Quick: Name America’s most popular silent film. No, it’s not anything by Charlie Chaplin. Not Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd either. Film students might answer The Birth of a Nation, but if we judge by ticket sales, that’s wrong too. Mickey, a film starring comedian Mabel Normand, was by far the most-seen and most popular [...]
New York City’s Liberty Theater in 1935

D. W. Griffith’s evil, racist film The Birth of a Nation is widely regarded as the most popular silent movie ever made. I believe this reputation is based on a misinterpretation of its box office records. The Birth of a Nation indeed made an awful lot of money. It had an estimated $18 million gross [...]
Otto Dix (1891–1969) . Storm troopers advancing under a gas attack from the portfolio War 1924.

World War I’s impact on modern art and philosophy are well documented. The Victorian Age took human progress for granted. The Enlightenment idea that rationality would continuously improve and perfect civilization ruled. That view of the world died, along with 16 million people. The universe seemed broken, and death reigned. Otto Dix (1891–1969) . Storm [...]

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hollywood. That's no coincidence. The first true blockbuster - the movie that helped create the modern industry - was director D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation. If it had been any other film, [...]