VivLeighFan

People have voted to remove Lillian and Dorothy Gish's name from a college theater

127 posts in this topic

18 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Thinking you are right doesn't mean you are. Someone posted this news and we are reacting to it. Saying it is meaningless means it may be meaningless to you, but obviously it means something to other people. This is a classic movie board. We aren't censored here (for the most part) on what we want to talk about. If you aren't interested in the subject, it would be better to move on to other threads. This topic is on its 4th page, so obviously many people are interested in the subject, how minor this may be in the swing of things is irrelevant.

 

What possible meaningfulness could you gain from this?  I tell you: you gain just as little as the students in that college.  You people and those students are suffering from the SAME THING.  To them, the "Gish" name would cause some imaginary "hostile" environment.  To you, a protest in some local school you have nothing to do with would cause imaginary harm to you that you should write 4 pages to get upset about, when in fact both sides will likely suffer no harm at all!

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3 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

No one here is outraged or calling for anything to be censored or have any names changed. We're merely discussing this. Is just discussing something an "outrage machine" to you? If we want to discuss something do we need your approval now?

 

A couple of posters have already told me they could get upset at whatever they wanted.  That meant they DID get outraged.  So there.

When you say "Do we need your approval now?", there is a tinge of outrage right there.

We are all grownups here, and we can tell whether someone is upset or not without them telling you so, both online and in real life.

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2 minutes ago, DVDPhreak said:

 

A couple of posters have already told me they could get upset at whatever they wanted.  That meant they DID get outraged.  So there.

When you say "Do we need your approval now?", there is a tinge of outrage right there.

We are all grownups here, and we can tell whether someone is upset or not without them telling you so, both online and in real life.

Okay, my bad. Why don't you make a list of things that are acceptable to discuss and threads acceptable to post in and those that are not? I would greatly appreciate it.

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3 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

Okay, my bad. Why don't you make a list of things that are acceptable to discuss and threads acceptable to post in and those that are not? I would greatly appreciate it.

 

As soon as you people start giving me a list of what TANGIBLE EFFECTS a local college naming practice have on your livelihood for you to make a 4-page complaint about, then I'll give you my list.

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On May 7, 2019 at 5:07 AM, Sepiatone said:

Not too many "lead" roles for Lillian up to that point, so she probably looked at the role( and movie) as more "career move" than a personal social commentary.  As then(and more so) acting, and the still fledgling movie industry and film acting had one of the largest unemployment numbers of all professions, that ANY role in ANY movie was work,  and with bills to pay and eating to survive was certainly MORE important than how society MIGHT react to a movie and it's subject matter some 60+ years later. 

 We'll never know Lillian's side of the story for obvious reasons but this sounds like what most likely happened. It's true that actors and actresses cannot afford to be very picky early on in their careers. Stardom is not achieved instaneously. Heck, Jackie Chan and Sylvester Stallone were both in pornos when they were first starting out.

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For the record, we're not upset about the name change- we're upset about the stupidity. :rolleyes:

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18 hours ago, Dargo said:

OH, and one more thing here, folks!

IF I don't now receive a MINIMUM of five "likes" for my previous "profound" post up there, then....

(...well then, SCREW YOU ALL!!!) 😝

LOL

;)

You just did, I checked LIKE before I read this post of yours and that makes 5 ;)

 

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So it was Bowling Green University in Ohio that pulled this? Bowling Green University is located in Bowling Green, Ohio ... and the town is named after Bowling Green, Kentucky ... which was the provisional capital of Kentucky during the Civil War ... and Kentucky was a confederate state ... and ... and ... racist or something ...

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That's the problem with these PC types. They actually think the confederates were racists.

C'mon, man.

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:rolleyes: Sure....

So in subsequent years, it was the BLACK folk that restricted the WHITE folk to separate restrooms, restaurants, hotels and such to "protect" THEIR "racial purity", right?   :rolleyes:  :blink:

Sepiatone

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13 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

So it was Bowling Green University in Ohio that pulled this? Bowling Green University is located in Bowling Green, Ohio ... and the town is named after Bowling Green, Kentucky ... which was the provisional capital of Kentucky during the Civil War ... and Kentucky was a confederate state ... and ... and ... racist or something ...

Actually, KY was never really in the Confederacy.  There was a group that claimed to represent it and sent representatives to the Confederate Congress.  It and MO did have stars on the Confederate flag, but neither ever actually seceded from the US and established a Confederate state.

20 hours ago, DVDPhreak said:

You guys have GOT to calm down about something this inconsequential.  Wait till something TRULY consequential before getting so worked up.  I'm a big silent film fan, big Gish fan, and I own about 30 of her shorts and features.  If anyone is upset, it should be me, but I'm not.  Will all Gish films, DVDs, and Blu-rays vanish from the face of the Earth?  Will people stop making discs and writing books about her and silent films?  Will TCM stop broadcasting her films?  This little kerfuffle has next to NO TANGIBLE effects towards us film fans here.

If we protest, it should be about something tangible and consequential -- such as the apparent impossibility of hoping Disney would release "Song of the South" on home video.  Yes, it has outdated and insensitive views, but we still need to see it for film history.  We can assume Disney has done next to no restoration for the film.  So this film is actually in some REAL danger of being erased from the face of the Earth, and film history.  Now, this is something that we could lodge a LEGITIMATE protest against -- not some inconsequential naming practice in some local college.

As has already been pointed out this is a discussion board so people are free to discuss any thread or posts.  They are expected to, otherwise the site would die.

Personally I believe this thread should be moved to Off Topic and should have been there to begin with.  

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Yeah, it was more of an allied state...

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On 5/8/2019 at 11:21 AM, jamesjazzguitar said:

We should all recall what Hitchcock said about actors;  they are just cattle.

Would anyone fault a cattle for being in a controversial film?

(ok  maybe PETA).

 

Hitchcock denied that he ever said that.

Image result for hitchcock cattle quote

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4 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

Tippi Hedren might disagree with that.

Or did he treat her like cattle?

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1 hour ago, jakeem said:

Or did he treat her like cattle?

???,,,,, Or maybe chattel?  :o

Sepiatone

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On 5/8/2019 at 2:55 PM, DVDPhreak said:

If we protest, it should be about something tangible and consequential -- such as the apparent impossibility of hoping Disney would release "Song of the South" on home video.  Yes, it has outdated and insensitive views, but we still need to see it for film history.  We can assume Disney has done next to no restoration for the film.  So this film is actually in some REAL danger of being erased from the face of the Earth, and film history.  Now, this is something that we could lodge a LEGITIMATE protest against -- not some inconsequential naming practice in some local college.

At this point, the only thing STOPPING SotS on DVD--apart from Disney still in Warner "Digital-vs-Physical" mode from the 10's, vainly trying to pretend "disks are dying" to get their DRM service started--is Bob Iger.  Who still thinks Remus was a "slave", and now dismisses the "fanboys" nagging him about it at every stockholder meeting.  (The last time it was "buried", in '96, Sidney Poitier was still on the Disney board, and Maya Angelou was palling around with the Clintons.)

Cutting the Crows out of Dumbo (just the remake for now, BUT...) and the Siamese cats out of the upcoming direct-to-streaming Lady/Tramp remake (yes 😓) isn't a helpful current sign--But up to now, back during the big "Disney Archive" push in the 00's for classic rarities on disk, there was widespread studio support for just getting it out there like a passed kidney stone, and Iger's announced retirement became a fan "deathwatch" to get over the one main obstacle, before he kept pushing the dates back.  At this point, the fan mentality seems to be "Sure, give him a $100M, give him a hundred billion, just get rid of him!!"

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I've known and worked with many people who knew Lillian Gish. The image of Miss Gish that comes across from them is one of unwavering kindness and decency. The move by the college in Bowling Green is truly sad.

 

 

 

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In an interview, Lillian Gish was asked how she felt about her starring in Birth of a Nation and her responce was something like this,  "As far as I was concerned,  I was committed to work and act the role I  was assigned.  I never thought once of quitting due to any controversy about race and I trusted that D.W. Griffith told his story honestly and truthfully as he could."  So go and argue with her now, she's buried in St. Bart's church in NYC.

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While I disagree with many posters on here, whom I suspect, I wouldn't get along with regarding political discussions, both Lillian and Dorothy Gish were one of the first pioneering film actresses in early Hollywood history. I don't know anything about the University at hand, but a theater being named in honor of the Gish sisters wouldn't initially signify approval of the 1915 film "Birth of a Nation" from my perspective. I believe it's due to the fact that I am well informed on their entire Hollywood career and not just the fact that they were in that incredibly racist film.(I don't believe Dorothy was even in it but correct me if I'm wrong)

The sisters started out as child performers at the turn of the century, as traveling stage performers in the theater with their mother and performing all around the country.  When films were in their infancy during the Gish's childhood, getting a job in movies was considered a millimeter more respectable than prostitution so it wasn't until their fellow friend and theater actress Mary Pickford signed with American Biograph under D.W. Griffith and made several short films, that the Gish sisters decided to dive head first into the newly fledgling motion picture industry to make more money. 

Under D.W. Griffith, they made several Biograph short films between 1911-1912 and became very famous with movie-goers. When Griffith decided to invest more time and money to experiment with producing and directing feature length movies in 1913, Griffith chose his most popular and best experienced ingenue actress still under contract with Biograph, and that was Lillian Gish. She made several featured movies with Griffith between 1913-early 1920s, the most well known to the contemporary population being the controversial film in question. But both Lillian and Dorothy(the comedic of the two) starred in many wonderful silent films that aren't racist, though should come with a warning that they are in fact, films that were made during a period when attitudes and socially accepted behaviors wouldn't be tolerated in 2019. 

So am I in favor of banning their films or their names off theater buildings? I think banning things is just a lazy way of erasing history and prevents any discussion on these legendary but controversial actresses in a period in history that wasn't especially tolerant of people of color or any community different from a middle-class white protestant culture that certainly dominated at the time.

My suggestion is keep the Gish name for the theater and have the film studies students with the aid of an archivist to produce an exhibition inside the lobby area with a display of some ephemera showcasing their entire film career span so that students and guests of that theater can become better educated on them and associate the Gish name with something more than Birth of a Nation. 

The simple answer of course is that Lillian Gish herself, was not herself a racist.(as far as I know and only based off her own account) The film she starred in, unfortunately is incredibly racist, even during the time it was released if you read the trade papers. But the truth is, she didn't go in making Birth of a Nation because she was deeply passionate on getting the story on the screen, she was under contract with Biograph at the time and she had to full-fill her obligations as a contract player in that early studio system. 

If people have a problem with Birth of a Nation, they shouldn't attack Lillian Gish's legacy but rather be critical of David Wark Griffith's decisions as a producer and director of the film. 

 

 

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to pontificate on a time you did not live nor walk in their shoes is laughable ...

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7 hours ago, JakeHolman said:

 

to pontificate on a time you did not live nor walk in their shoes is laughable ...

now there's the guy who wishes he coulda been in that sunken tub with pretty boy tony.

:lol:

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