TSPDT Series, #99

What would you rate Intolerance

Poll ended at Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:03 pm

1
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
3
1
10%
4
1
10%
5
0
No votes
6
1
10%
7
1
10%
8
0
No votes
9
2
20%
10
2
20%
Haven't seen
2
20%
 
Total votes: 10

letmeintomyzone
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TSPDT Series, #99

Postby letmeintomyzone » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:03 pm

Image

Last month was the film Blowup

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Rob
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Re: TSPDT Series, #99

Postby Rob » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 pm

This film has a magnificent scope, but by God is it pretentious, self-serious, naive, uneven and silly. It wows with it visuals, but it shows very much that Griffith was not a man of much intellectual depth. Casting the amazing Lillian Gish at the top of her game in the role of Eternal Mother is key to understand the folly of this project: she basically only has to sit next to crib with a baby, looking eternal, whatever that means. I give a six for the spectacle, but it is now weird to think that this was once seen as deep cinema as it reveals that Griffith's worldview is sadly as nuanced as Birth of a Nation suggested.

It has its place in the top 100 based on influence, but I feel it is one of the classics of the silent era that has aged the worst.

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Re: TSPDT Series, #99

Postby babydoll » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:17 am

Rob wrote:I give a six for the spectacle, but it is now weird to think that this was once seen as deep cinema as it reveals that Griffith's worldview is sadly as nuanced as Birth of a Nation suggested.

It has its place in the top 100 based on influence, but I feel it is one of the classics of the silent era that has aged the worst.

Care to elaborate a little more on that? I can't remember any outright racism in Intolerance; maybe the religiophobia of the Protestant-Catholic segment is equivalent.

I agree with you that it hasn't aged well, especially in comparison with True Heart Susie, a film that could have only been in the 1910s. I gave it a three star, because it is just a spectacle and nothing more. It doesn't even hold my interest as a spectacle. If I had a choice between the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton Cleopatra and Intolerance, I'd choose the former.

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Re: TSPDT Series, #99

Postby Jirin » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:17 am

I felt Intolerance didn't age quite as badly as True Hearted Susie. In terms of film structure and oversimplifying of complex issues it didn't age well, but I like the way the modern group was the only one to be rescued as it presented the message that we can't fix historical injustice but we can fix it in the future.

True Hearted Susie I felt was extremely morally condescending toward the city girl character, shaming women for not meeting a hypocritical feminine ideal.

Not that either one holds up well in modern culture. On 1915 scale I'll give it a 7.

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Rob
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Re: TSPDT Series, #99

Postby Rob » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:09 pm

babydoll wrote:
Rob wrote:I give a six for the spectacle, but it is now weird to think that this was once seen as deep cinema as it reveals that Griffith's worldview is sadly as nuanced as Birth of a Nation suggested.

It has its place in the top 100 based on influence, but I feel it is one of the classics of the silent era that has aged the worst.

Care to elaborate a little more on that? I can't remember any outright racism in Intolerance; maybe the religiophobia of the Protestant-Catholic segment is equivalent.


I didn't mean to suggest that there is overt racism in Intolerance, especially not in comparison to The Birth of a Nation. What I mean is more that Griffith is only able to present ideas about the world, tolerance and life in extreme broad strokes. This is not a man of great depth. He was apparently honestly surprised to hear that many perceived The Birth of a Nation as racist and said he considered black people as the children of white people. That was meant as a compliment...
Intolerance famously came into being as a response to the reception of The Birth of a Nation, as a proof of the deep humanity Griffith had. I think he was earnest, but this is a view that is just too simple to mean anything to me. Too black and white and too schematic. Of course part of it comes from the time in film history (though not history in general, as artworks of deep thought had been made for ages), but it doesn't make Intolerance more watchable.
I can't be more specific as I've seen the movie some 7 or 8 years ago and it hasn't exactly lingered in the mind much.

I agree with you that it hasn't aged well, especially in comparison with True Heart Susie, a film that could have only been in the 1910s.


Honestly, from the top my head I'd say I have seen about seven films by Griffith and I wouldn't want to revisit any of them soon. I like silent cinema a lot, but Griffith just hasn't aged well at all. I didn't care for True Heart Susie either. The one I liked the most was Broken Blossoms, but even that one is problematic and would not come close to my own top 500 films. I've never been good at separating style and content in films or other artworks and if one is off I usually don't care that much. Stylistically (or better: technically) Griffith is of interest, but more as a historical artifact. It's sort of funny that he shares this distinction for me with Eisenstein, his communist counterpart. Two technical innovators who made extremely simplistic films, whereas other directors of the era explored style as well as content. Though I have to say this of Eisenstein: I love the Ivan the Terrible films.

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Re: TSPDT Series, #99

Postby babydoll » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:17 pm

Jirin wrote:True Hearted Susie I felt was extremely morally condescending toward the city girl character, shaming women for not meeting a hypocritical feminine ideal.

You must love Sunrise, then.

Actually, I don't think that's the case. I think it's actually kinda pities the girl who ends up being suffocated with the pastoral society; so much that she ends up trying to escape and have fun, especially when it's clear that she's clearly not meant to be a minister's wife. When she finally confesses her crimes, it's the most moving thing she's ever done, the most she's ever been human. In several aspects, I think the film is trying to suggest that Susie is a much better wife for the minister, not the city girl. Plus I love Susie's attempts to be the woman of the world, something that she clearly isn't and honestly works much better for the city girl. I would actually suggest that this film is moralistic, but stressing the importance of being who you are and seeing others exactly for who they are.

And, thanks, Rob, for your response. It's exactly what I think about Intolerance; I just got momentarily confused when you compared it to the previous film. I do think that's one of Griffith's main issues; he's incredibly simplistic, which is actually ironically one of the reasons why I think True Heart Susie actually works. And I love that comparison to Eisenstein; it's incredibly true that their films are best viewed aesthetically and not plot-wise. That being said for Eisenstein, I love Strike and October: Ten Days That Shook the World.

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Re: TSPDT Series, #99

Postby Jirin » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:13 am

I dunno, I think the whole 'Powder and paint' thing seemed extremely judgmental.

At least it didn't have a Japanese man played by a white guy holding his eyes half closed.

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Re: TSPDT Series, #99

Postby BleuPanda » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:19 pm

The average after the first 8 votes is a 7.25/10. Lower than I would expect, but it's definitely one of the less accessible of the top 100.
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Re: TSPDT Series, #99

Postby Rob » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:22 pm

BleuPanda wrote:but it's definitely one of the less accessible of the top 100.


Only if you have problems with long or silent films. Otherwise it's the opposite, scoring points through a lot of sensational scenes and dime-store philosophy that a kid could understand. Looking over the rest of the top 100 I find most of them far more challenging.

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Re: TSPDT Series, #99

Postby JimmyJazz » Tue May 02, 2017 3:09 am

BleuPanda wrote:The average after the first 8 votes is a 7.25/10. Lower than I would expect, but it's definitely one of the less accessible of the top 100.


I forgot that I actually meant to vote for a 10 rating, but I ended up voting for "Not Seen"... because I'm stupid and can't read LOL

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Re: TSPDT Series, #99

Postby Gillingham » Mon May 15, 2017 9:26 pm

Rob wrote:
BleuPanda wrote:but it's definitely one of the less accessible of the top 100.


Only if you have problems with long or silent films. Otherwise it's the opposite, scoring points through a lot of sensational scenes and dime-store philosophy that a kid could understand. Looking over the rest of the top 100 I find most of them far more challenging.

That's probably the main reason why I don't need to watch any other Griffith movie after I'd seen The Birth of a Nation. I just wasn't interested while watching which made it quite a challenging (for the wrong reasons, I like challenging the way you describe it) and inaccessible experience for me.


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