VCI Entertainment announced this past week a film restoration celebrating the 100th anniversary of D.W. Griffith’s 1915 silent film classic, The Birth of a Nation, will be released on DVD this coming Nov. 3.
As a bonus, his follow-up masterpiece in 1916, Intolerance, is also included in this double-disc collection titled 2015 Centennial Edition: The Birth of a Nation/Intolerance.
Regardless of the politics associated with The Birth of a Nation — one can’t help but think how different “Reconstruction” would have been if president Lincoln had not been assassinated — it remains a landmark film, which technically-speaking was far ahead of its time. Sadly, that “timeline” of Lincoln as the overseer of the post-Civil War healing process was lost to us.
VCI Entertainment has restored The Birth of a Nation to its original theatrical aspect ratio (1.33:1) and its proper projection speed of 16 frames per second (FPS), which yields a running time of 199 minutes for this presentation.
A new recording of Joseph Carl Breil’s original 1915 orchestral score for the film has also been prepared for this restoration release and the appropriate “color tint” sequences have been restored as well.
Intolerance has also been digitally restored to its proper aspect ratio and 16 FPS theatrical projection speed (with restored color-tinted sequences). The running time clocks in at 180 minutes.
Also included as a bonus feature is a newly-prepared video presentation of the original souvenir programs for both The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance. Additionally, renowned musicologist Eric Beheim’s “Music Notes” for both The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance have been reprinted and are included here as an insert.