Death's Marathon

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Overview In a modern person’s view, making complex stories intelligible to audiences might seems impossible back in 1913, when film had no sound, no special effects, or any other modern filming techniques. In this case, film form contributed a great share within the storytelling process. Death’s Marathon by D.W. Griffith is a successful example that film form scheme is properly manipulated. It all starts with the film title, before we elaborate the formal properties of this film. The word Marathon, defined by dictionary, is something that lasts an extremely long time or that requires great effort, or a contest in which people compete with each other to see who can do something for the longest amount of time. As the name indicates, this…show more content…
Instead, Sweet is sitting on the chair reading quietly on the right edge of the frame. However, the magic of mise-en-scène still guides our eyes to the lady. One key component of the miss-en-scene employed in this shot is the colour. The foreground plane settings, trees and dressing in darker colour, catch audiences’ attention. In addition to the mise-en-scène, the cinematography of this scene is also noticeable. Medium long shot with deep focus provides relatively rich contents in the frame. We are able to clearly see not only the foreground but also the background plane. The upscale background fountain view also contributes to build the elegant image of the fairy lady desired by two…show more content…
The parallel editing technique is famously applied to show the wife (Blanche Sweet) talking with her husband (Henry Walthall) on the another end of the phone. The sequence combines only 3 different settings, the wife (with/without the suitor) dissuading the husband and keeping the husband on the phone, the husband on another end of the phone threatening to suicide, the suitor (friend of the husband) racing to the office to stop the husband, which are happening simultaneously. Cutting the 3 story settings to many different short shots and edited by cross-cutting helps “naturalize film’s power to move through space and time”[2]. Or helps viewers to unconsciously know that these stories are happening at the same time, to explain in a simple way. Most importantly, in this sequence, cross-cutting scheme plays a significant role in building the tensive rhythm in the narrative that can emphasis the thrilling effect and the

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