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The Off-ScreenAn Investigation of the Cinematic Frame$
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Eyal Peretz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781503600720

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503600720.001.0001

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On the Origin of Film and the Resurrection of the People

On the Origin of Film and the Resurrection of the People

D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance

Chapter:
(p.61) 1 On the Origin of Film and the Resurrection of the People
Source:
The Off-Screen
Author(s):

Eyal Peretz

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9781503600720.003.0002

This chapter consists of a reading of Griffith’s masterpiece Intolerance. From the point of view of the development of cinematic grammar, Griffith is perhaps most famous for two things: for having basically invented cinematic montage--a logic of cinematic cutting--and for having liberated the location of the camera, no longer having it simulate the position of a theatrical audience, freeing it from occupying a constant center and distance in relation to which a stage opens. These innovations meant that the perspective and order of cinematic shots were no longer subjected to the principle of a given center; any shot could follow any given shot, without any pre-established reason or meaning. The chapter demonstrates how these innovations are fundamentally based on Griffith’s understanding of the dimension of the off-screen.

Keywords:   off-screen, montage, the people, Griffith, Intolerance, Birth of a Nation, politics, aesthetics

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