Griffith, D.W.

views updated May 23 2018

Griffith, D.W. ( David Wark) (1875–1948) US film director. His expressive use of the camera, lighting and dramatic editing established film as an independent art form. In 1915, Griffith released the Civil War epic The Birth of a Nation, often cited as the most important document in cinematic history, but also condemned as racist. Intolerance (1916) was his response, examining the persistence of prejudice. In 1919, he co-founded United Artists, and in 1935 he won an honorary Oscar.