Intolerance (1916)

This is one of the milestones and landmarks in cinematic history.
The film consists of four distinct but parallel stories that demonstrate mankind's intolerance during four different ages in world history. It was made in response to critics who protested against Griffith's previous film, The Birth of a Nation, for its overt racist content, characterizing racism as people's "intolerance" of other people's views.
Films were poised between an emphasis upon visual pleasure, 'the cinema of attractions', and story-telling, 'the cinema of narrative integration' but conventions for constructing internally coherent narratives had not yet been established. In the transitional years, between 1907-8 and 1917, the formal elements of film-making all became subsidiary to the narrative, as lighting, composition, editing were all increasingly designed to help the audience follow a story. Integral to these stories are psychologically credible characters, created through performance style, editing, and dialogue intertitles, whose motivations and actions seem realistic and help to link together the film's disparate shots and scenes.

The increased use of editing and the decreased distance between camera and actors most obviously distinguish the films of the transitional period from their predecessors.
Intollerance displays a more consistent construction of internally coherent narratives and credible individualized characters through editing, acting, and intertitles than do any of the other genres.
However, the basic elements of the earlier films remained unchanged- credible individual characters still served to link together the disparate scenes and shots, the difference being that character motivation and plausibility became yet more important as the films grew longer and the number of important characters increased.
You can buy Intolerance.

No comments: