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Funny Faces and the Art of Composition

Author: boblipton from New York City
15 February 2010

Although D.W. Griffith is usually described as the man who invented film grammar, in reality most of his work was in the line of regularizing it. Most of the groundwork had been laid in the previous decade by Englishman George Albert Smith who later went into the color motion picture business with Kinemacolour.

However, before he could invent film cutting, he first had to deal with the details of motion and, in particular, with the motion of the human face and here he has produced a lovely little study of Tom Green, a well-known music hall performer of the era, as he sits, drinking a beer and telling a story. Entertaining in its own right, it is also tremendous advance for the era: an extended medium close-up.

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