Original title Zur Bauweise des Films bei Griffith A video installation produced for the exhibition Cinema like never before (Generali Foundation 2006, curators Antje Ehmann and Harun Farocki) Idea Antje Ehmann, Harun Farocki Realisation and montage Harun Farocki Editing Jan Ralske, video (two channel), b/w, silent, 9 min. (Loop), Germany 2006

On Construction of Griffith' Films

In On construction of Griffith's film we picked a sequence from Griffith Intolerance (1916). It shows a dialogue between a man and a woman, filmed and edited as shot and counter shot. We reproduce the shot on two monitors to reveal its narrative character and also because analysis requires us to dissect something. The narrative form of shot / counter shot, which would later become the norm for depicting dialogue in film, remains novel here. A few years earlier Griffith had still used tracking shots to tell his stories. In The Lonedale Operator (1911), cuts were made only when the scene changed; a cut in the movie's story line. In Intolerance, cinematography had already achieved such a level of independence that it was the camera that constituted a room with it's detail.

(Harun Farocki)