“Death’s Marathon”: A Shot-by-Shot Analysis Introduction The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the author will describe each shot from the second half of D.W. Griffith’s short film “Death’s Marathon” (1913). Secondly, the visual style of the picture will be analyzed through the resulting shot list. Shot List TITLE CARD (3 seconds). Cut to Shot #1 ( ls ; straight-on): The suitor enters the husband’s home. (3 seconds). Cut to Shot #2 (ms; straight-on): In the living room, the distraught wife speaks with her maid and mother about her missing husband. The maid exits frame left to answer the door. She reenters frame left with the suitor (15 seconds). Cut to Shot #3 (ms; straight-on): The husband (in profile toward right of frame) gambles...The end:
..... an unaccountable pause between shots #1 and #2. In the first shot, the suitor walks up to the door of the wife’s residence. We then cut to the interior of her home where she speaks with her mother for a total of eight seconds before the maid goes off screen to answer the door. Logic would dictate the maid would immediately hear the knock of the suitor but we appear to have gone back several seconds in time for no apparent reason. While mistiming cuts by a few seconds may be a stylistic gesture of modern directors, this instance appears unintentional and not in keeping with the otherwise controlled montage of Griffith. Work Cited Dancyger , Ken. The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory, Practice. New York: Focal Press, 2010.