The Birth Of American Movies And Cinema That Shaped A Nation

 In Culture Exchange

In 1915 on February 8, at the Los Angeles’s Clune’s Auditorium, the premiere of D.W. Griffith’s Birth Of A Nation American Movies was seen. After this the world of film has never been the same again. In the early years the US nation struggled to come to terms with race equality. Nowadays after the premiere of Birth of a Nation, America still struggles not only with race but with how it is now played out on the cinema screens. Birth of a Nation marks what was the beginning of the first 100 years of Cinema in America. It was racially ugly but epically beautiful at the same time.

Today we know Griffith’s film as Birth of a Nation, although when it first premiered the title read The Clansman. This was based off The Clansman novel from Thomas Dixon Jr in which Griffiths based this film. The title was later changed due to the reshaping and reuniting of America after the Civil War ended. It was the biggest film of its time.

Although as the saying goes, bigger may not be better, although with the release of Birth of a Nation, it introduced to a larger audience many innovations. Griffiths wanted to make every scene as realistic as possible.  He ask West Point Academy consultants to help make the battle scenes real. The actors wore authentic uniforms which were originally used in the civil war, and the locations were the real areas which once stood downed heroes.

Now if you fast forward to 100 years later, American filmmaking is completely different to what it once was. Similar films such as Selma, 42, and 12 Years A Slave have showed great progress. Today American movies also feature things that movies back then didn’t. This includes advanced technology and the many faces of great African American actors and actresses. With the 100 years of American movies transforming the world, it will be interesting in how far American cinema and movies will progress in another 100 years’ time.


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