D.W. Griffith secured his name in film history with Birth of a Nation, the 1915 epic depicting American heritage through the lens of nascent Hollywood, and followed it up with the equally epic Intolerance, which took on the history of the world. So how did this New York filmmaker find such epic spots in Southern California to film his silent blockbusters? Turns out he'd been here before, shooting movies with his Biograph Company, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences screens those early works in Griffith in California: Hollywood's Earliest Films From a Century Ago. Projected on a 1909 Power's Model 6 Cameragraph, and introduced by film historian Scott Simmon, the films include Faithful, shot in Hollywood; Ramona, shot in Ventura County; As It Is in Life, shot at a pigeon farm; A Rich Revenge, shot on oil fields; and Over Silent Paths, shot in “the San Fernando desert.”

Mon., Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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