D. W. Griffith was a producer and a filmmaker pioneering new camera and narrative techniques. His movies have aroused controversies, due to the treatment of race and African American identity. He is best known for his 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation, which was critically received for its portrayal of the KKK as heroes who protect a woman from black men, played by white actors in blackface. He is also known for his pioneering of the close-up shot that has broadly influenced film. Griffith’s film Broken Blossoms (1919) was shown at The Kitchen in Filmworks ’82 with live piano accompaniment by Evan Lurie.
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