If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…
Broken Blossoms is an American silent film from director D. W. Griffith. This melodrama tells the love story of an abused English woman and a Chinese Buddhist in a time when London was a brutal and harsh place to live.
Decades Project: 1/1 of the 10's
Wow. Ouch. Wowch.
One of the chief problems with silent films for me is their ability to connect on an emotional level, and boy does Broken Blossoms ever connect. Its story about an innocent young girl and a lonely Chinese immigrant oppressed and forgotten by the world around them is something which hits more than a few resonant notes with anyone who's ever felt like an outsider. Neither character has a place in society, but when they meet a space is magically opened up where they not only coexist as a pair but where they can finally exist as individuals.
You might expect a film adaptation of a story called The Chink and the Child made by Birth of a Nation director D.W. Griffith to be, well, not exactly racially sensitive. And, true, the character of Cheng Huan is played by westerner Richard Barthelmess, who squints his eyes to achieve an oriental look. But, if anything, Broken Blossoms is about tolerance, and in particular racial tolerance, it being the story of two ethnically different star-crossed lovers, whose flowering affections are cruelly thwarted by a racist brute.
Lillian Gish is phenomenal. Her character, Lucy, may never be anything more than a victim in the story, but Gish, with her tremulous, haunted fragility, is magnetic. There is one particular scene where Lucy…
Except for the creepy pedophilic overtones and casual racism, this is a straightforward melodrama. It's neither great nor terrible.
Poor, sad little girl. I am not sure I have ever seen terror portrayed so convincingly as the closet scene. And the way she acts with her eyes and uses her fingers to force a smile - brilliant.
I think this Lillian Gish might have a future in the flickers.
The loneliest movie there ever was.
As much a reaction to BIRTH as INTOLERANCE, with a racially flipped climax that suggests the average white woman has more to fear from a drunken, single-minded relative than a minority. Smaller in scale than Griffith's other features to that point, but no less intricate in its technical and emotional mastery. Maybe even my favorite of his features so far.
Se o encantamento do Homem Amarelo por Lucy representa um lado pedófilo repugnante, é importante notar que em certos aspectos o filme foge de certas convenções. A maior delas é certamente a de não defender o racismo que o personagem interpretado por Donald Crisp prega, e mais do que isso, em nenhum momento humanizar seu personagem a ponto de ter espaço para concessões. Crisp é vilão por completo, ponto. E Lillian Gish brilha ao encarnar perfeitamente o estereótipo de mulher angelical e sagrada que Griffith ama apresentar em seus filmes. Quando a câmera se aproxima dela é impossível não compadecer de seu sofrimento.
"The Yellow Man watched Lucy often. The beauty which all Limehouse missed smote him to the heart."
After some thinking and re-watching, I have decided to bring this down a half a star. I still adore Lillian Gish's performance, but the some of the acting (Donald Crisp's especially) is a little too over the top, but not enough to take it out of the movie. Also, there is the yellow face issue. Other than that, it's still a beautifully told story.
So apparently, that Asian man is actually a white man who just crouches and squints a lot for 90 minutes!!! Astonishing!!!
”Wot yer expect me to do - pick violets?”
D.W Griffith is the great grandfather of contemporary filmmaking. Back at a time where the motion pictures were still seen as a gag, one that was becoming increasingly tired due to the lack of innovation, he was one of the cineastes who restored the audiences’ faith in the motion-picture shows but most importantly he educated and presented them into a new paradigm in the film universe. Griffith is the first cineaste to truly explore celluloid as a narrative tool. The Lumiére Brothers were great technicians, Méliés dabbled with narrative but he was mostly a theater entertainer whilst Griffith on the other hand is the first true storyteller. Griffith explores uncharted territories;…
A film to admire more than to enjoy per se; the editing really was some next-level shit in 1919, but the plot, acting, and characters aren't terribly exciting. Lillian Gish, as always, is pure cinema.
My first D.W. Griffith film. Lillian Gish immediately made my 'celebrity crushes from the past' list. My favorite scene is when The Yellow Man see's Lucy through the store window for the first time and admires her as she gazes at a doll. The worst part of the film is having Richard Barthelmess be straight up squinting the entire time to portray an Asian. Like, yikes man, I get it, different times and Griffith but still, yikes.
Apparently all a white guy needs to do in order to play an Asian is squint his eyes a bit and slouch over like Gollum.
Okay, but in all seriousness, this movie does pack a bit of an emotional punch. I'm not too familiar with D.W. Griffith's work beyond 'Birth of a Nation' (which I disliked, to say the least). I respect his ingenuity as a filmmaker, but I guess the material in his movies is a bit off-putting to me. However, in spite of Griffith's heavy use of racial caricatures, I was really Still at how nuanced and even impartial this movie was when it comes to the topic of interracial romance. It's almost like Griffith is saying, "Hey,…
Film #26 of Smiler Grogan's Scavenger Hunt
Task 18/30: A silent drama
"What makes you so good to me, Chinky?"
D.W. Griffith at his least racist... is still pretty racist. (Mainly in the title cards in this one).
BUT... overall, this movie is a pretty tender melodrama of a love story. There's a lot of abuse going on when a ill-tempered English boxing lout beats up on his daughter and goes haywire when he learns about her courtship with a "Chink" (ugh, that word).
Lillian Gish is pretty crazy in this. Her using her fingers to force herself to smile is just weird. But funny. Not sure it was supposed to be funny, but it was to me.…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
20 Books (alphabetical)
Entre Nous - Emmanuel Levinas
Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon
In Search Of Lost Time - Marcel…