Yes, yes, I've been busy lately—Auburn football, Spring cleaning, walking the dog, a never-ending construction project. And I've fobbed off a lot of old movies on you and called it blogging. Fortunately, I know you've been eating these movies up with a spoon—you have been eating them with a spoon, haven't you?—here's another one to tide you over: D.W. Griffith's first feature film, 1914's Judith of Bethulia. It doesn't have the epic scope of The Birth of a Nation, but then neither does it feature the Ku Klux Klan as the hero of the story.
More to the point, Judith, along with The Musketeers of Pig Alley, The Lonely Villa, The Lonedale Operator, The Battle at Elderbush Gulch, and many others, undercuts the notion that Griffith invented movies with The Birth of a Nation. The invention of a film language was a steady evolution, not a one-picture revolution; indeed, I would say The Birth of a Nation didn't invent anything except a long-overdue recognition on the part of audiences and critics that movies were an art form unto themselves.
But more about that later.
In the meantime, Judith of Bethulia.
For a longer discussion of Judith of Bethulia, click here.