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D.W. Griffith

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1. Arthur (1872 - 1922), Irish journalist and nationalist: founder of Sinn Féin (1905); president of the Irish Free State (1922).
2. D(avid Lewelyn) W(ark) (1875 - 1948), U.S. film director and producer. He introduced several cinematic techniques, including the flashback and the fade-out, in his masterpiece The Birth of a Nation (1915).
Summary Article: Griffith, D(avid) W(ark), (22 Jan 1875 – 23 Jul 1948) from The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia
Film director, born in La Grange, Kentucky, USA. The son of a Confederate cavalry hero, he grew up in poverty in Louisville, KY, and in 1897 began a stage career. He wrote poetry and plays, then found work with the Edison film company in New York, where he starred in a short film, Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest (1907). He joined Biograph as a writer and actor, and his first directorial effort was The Adventures of Dollie (1908). By 1909 he was the general director of Biograph. While there he developed undercutting, crosscutting, parallel action, mobile cameras, close-ups, and other techniques now common in film-making. He also assembled a ‘stock company’ that was to include Mary Pickford and the Gish Sisters among others. Feeling restricted, he left Biograph (1913) to join Reliance-Majestic, where he began work on The Birth of a Nation (1915). Still regarded as one of the most influential films ever made, it was also criticized for its bias in favour of the South in the Civil War....    Continue Reading

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