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Why No One Is Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Feature Film

Why No One Is Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Feature Film Essay .................... by Godfrey Cheshire What, finally, do we make of this holy monstrosity, this poisoned cornerstone of American cinema? And what do we do about it? Ignore it? Consign it to the cultural rubbish heap? Display and discuss it only in scholarly contexts? Or: bring it back into the national discussion, as if it might still have a few things to tell us? The Birth of a Nation movie poster, 1915, Library of Congress. y one way of reckoning, the week of February 8, 2015, can be called the 100th birthday of the medium with which many of us have spent our lives enthralled: the feature film. But the nation didn't see any parades, fireworks, grand speeches, or other shows of celebration. That's because the film that premiered at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles on February 8, 1915, was D. W. Griffith's The Clansman, soon to be retitled The Birth of a Nation--the most virulently racist major movie ever released in the United States. Of course, the definitions of such landmark dates can be debated. (Thanks to a vigorous campaign by the French, many people think motion pictures were first publicly projected in Paris by the Lumière http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

Why No One Is Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Feature Film

Southern Cultures , Volume 21 (4) – Jan 31, 2015

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
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Abstract

Essay .................... by Godfrey Cheshire What, finally, do we make of this holy monstrosity, this poisoned cornerstone of American cinema? And what do we do about it? Ignore it? Consign it to the cultural rubbish heap? Display and discuss it only in scholarly contexts? Or: bring it back into the national discussion, as if it might still have a few things to tell us? The Birth of a Nation movie poster, 1915, Library of Congress. y one way of reckoning, the week of February 8, 2015, can be called the 100th birthday of the medium with which many of us have spent our lives enthralled: the feature film. But the nation didn't see any parades, fireworks, grand speeches, or other shows of celebration. That's because the film that premiered at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles on February 8, 1915, was D. W. Griffith's The Clansman, soon to be retitled The Birth of a Nation--the most virulently racist major movie ever released in the United States. Of course, the definitions of such landmark dates can be debated. (Thanks to a vigorous campaign by the French, many people think motion pictures were first publicly projected in Paris by the Lumière

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 31, 2015

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