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The History of Film

The History of Film

25- The Birth of a Nation: Part II

Wed, 29 Sep 2021

When I write these, I never know just how long they will be. As it turns out, talking about a film that has had a huge impact on the development of film history, and made the world so much worse, is taking a lot of words. So, this is the second of what I hope to be three episodes on The Birth of a Nation. In this episode, we describe the plot of the movie in detail (though I still skipped a couple of things here and there for the sake of brevity, believe it or not), and talk about how the ideas present in the story interact with each other.

The clip I play toward the end is from the 1993 Documentary D. W. Griffith: The Father of Film, directed by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. 

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24- The Birth of a Nation: Part I

Thu, 23 Sep 2021

Well, where it is. The Birth of a Nation is an extremely important movie. It would actually be hard to overstate it. In this episode, we cover the original novel the film was based on, and the film-making process for the movie. 
So, spoilers for a 106 year old movie, the birth of a nation is an evil film. other than the films that were created by the Nazi regime during WWII, I don't think there have been movies that have spread so much evil, and hate that have been so widely received. We have to deal with it, so we will do so now.

If you would like to email me, you can do so at

Bonus: Film as Cultural Artifacts

Mon, 06 Sep 2021

This is the first of (hopefully) a recurring series of episodes on film critical theory. Today, with special guest Melissa Favara, we cover the idea of cultural production. This is kind of the broadest way of looking at movies, as a product of a culture rather only the work of an individual or group of filmmakers. This is a lens with witch to look at movies, and a tool for building context for the movies we will encounter throughout this series. I hope you enjoy it!

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23- D. W. Griffith

Sun, 05 Sep 2021

Here it is! Its an episode and a subject that has been a long time coming, and it's one that is less important then people used to think, though perhaps a little more important than some people say it is now.
D. W. Griffith was a filmmaker who invented nothing, innovated on much, and influenced many (including influencing people to commit acts of viscous evil and pernicious violence). In today's episode, we cover his early life and career, and talk about some of the movies that would lead him to making  The Birth of a Nation. You can learn more about some of Griffith's movies in Episode 13, 15, and 16a of this show.

If you would like to email me, you can do so at

I hope you enjoy thew show!

22- Italian Futurism and Everything Else

Thu, 26 Aug 2021

Hello and welcome back! This is everything about early Italian films that we didn’t cover in the last two episodes. That means we talk a little about how Italian studios were run throughout the 1910’s,  Important actors not playing Maciste, influential directors (including another of the most prolific women of early film),and a film movement: Futurism. We talk about the movement’s origin, and it's only surviving film – Thaïs – and how it, and the whole Italian film industry, entered a decline throughout the 1920’s.

If you would like to contact me, you can email me at

And you can visit the shows website at

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