Works featuring "social commentary" (44)

Rescued By Rover

1905 is known as a 'miracle year' for physics, when Einstein published papers that changed views on space, time, mass, and energy. That year, the international blockbuster hit movie was of a dog performing tricks for the camera. That this nonetheless appears as a coherent story of a character moving through space and time, has to mark 1905 as also a 'miracle year' for motion pictures.

The White Caps

The two men renown as pioneers of early US cinema, Edwin S. Porter and D.W. Griffith, shared another claim to fame/infamy: each created a work inspired by Thomas Dixon Jr.'s 1905 The Clansman. Griffith's 1915 film The Birth of a Nation was adapted from the stage version of the novel. Edwin S. Porter was inspired by the novel to create this film. According to Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company, Edison advertisements held a pro-vigilante view, proclaiming: A lawless and criminal element almost invariably accompanied the advance guard of civilization and to keep this element in check the law abiding citizens were compelled to secretly organize themselves for their own protection...We have portrayed in Motion Pictures, in a most vivid and realistic manner, the method employed by the “White Caps” to rid the community of undesirable citizens.

While the White Caps role here as Morality Police may seem relatively benign compared to the lynch justice in The Birth of a Nation, the book also points out: This film narrative exactly parallels an earlier account of “White Cap” activity in a turn-of-the-century newspaper. In the newspaper account, the tar clogged up the man's pores and he eventually died.

A Sticky Woman (La femme collante)

When man kisses maid, whose mouth is used for affixing postage stamps, their lips become glued. Elevates a silly gag to a grim social satire.