Innovations In Intolerance

Innovations In Intolerance

Innovations in Intolerance The impact of the film Intolerance on the movie industry and its relative critical success is still debated to this very day. Although the majority hold this film to be a masterpiece and an artistic achievement others describe this film as a failure both financially and histrionically and the beginning of the end for D.W. Griffith. The only true consensus lies in the many innovations found in Intolerance. The modern use of camera techniques, the superb editing and the expansive set of Babylon lend great credit to the visualization and innovation of D.W. Griffith. Camera techniques employed during the filing of Intolerance include panning, close-ups and tracking shots. In the court scene of the French story the camera pans the court showing the audience the splendor of the court and its many lords and ladies. During the first encounter with the girl Brown Eyes, also in the French story, the camera does a continuous track ending in an extreme close-up shot of her face. This type of camera work was unprecedented at the time because “extreme close-ups were so rare’ (Koszarski 124) at this point in film history. This same camera technique is used again in the Babylon story when the Mountain Girl is introduced. It is also during the Babylon story that perhaps the most renowned camera work in Intolerance is seen. It is after the Babylon victory over Cyrus when the Feast of Belshazzar takes place. The camera opens on this scene in an extreme long shot showing the hundreds of extras and the entire set of the Babylon City in celebration. Then the camera begins traveling towards the scene and downward on an Elevator tower “that was 140 feet high and was mounted on six sets of railroad tracks’ (Williams 87). The resulting camera effect was similar to a zoom effect, at first capturing all the action but then moving us to the center of the action in the city center. In this way “the camera participate…


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