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On February 8, 1915, at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation premiered. The fledgling art form of film would never be the same, especially in America, which even half a century after the end of the Civil War struggled to come to terms with race. Now, a century after Birth of a Nation’s premier, America still struggles not only with race, but also with how race plays out on the silver screen. For good and ill, Birth of a Nation marks the beginning of the first 100 years of the American Cinema—epically beautiful, yet often racially ugly.
“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up,” says washed-up silent film star Norma Desmond in the final scene of Billy Wilder’s unforgettable 1950 film Sunset Boulevard. Gloria Swanson […]
With his appointment of Chris Cerf as Commissioner of Education, Chris Christie is rebuilding New Jersey public education using sweeping, data-driven methods that have been tested (and sometimes bitterly contested) in New York City and Washington, DC.   
Because whatever becomes of the allocation of electronic rights, the death of chain stores, or (even) the recurring flirtations of this novelist or that poet with risky new forms, we […]
When evangelist Franklin Graham—son of the better known Billy Graham—had his invitation to the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer service rescinded after Muslim members of the military complained about comments […]