CORNER IN WHEAT

V'07

A CORNER IN WHEAT

D. W. Griffith
USA, 1909
16min, stumm

A CORNER IN WHEAT

D. W. Griffith
USA, 1909
, 16min, stumm

Cast: 
Frank Powell
Grace Henderson
James Kirkwood
Jeanie Macpherson
Linda Arvidson
Kate Bruce
W. Chrystie Miller
Gladys Egan
Henry B. Walthall
William J. Butler
Charles Craig
Edward Dillon
Frank Evans
Edith Haldeman
Robert Harron
Ruth Hart
Arthur V. Johnson
Henry Lehrman
Charles Hill Mailes
Owen Moore
George Nichols
Anthony O’Sullivan
Billy Quirk
Gertrude Robinson
Mack Sennett
Blanche Sweet
Dorothy West

Production: 
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
World Sales: 
Distribution in Austria: 
35 mm/1:1,33/SW

<![CDATA[<i>]]>A Corner in Wheat<![CDATA[</i>]]> is a little meditation on capitalism, derived from Frank Norris, weaving together narrative fragments linked by their relation to wheat. The film begins with farmers sowing grain and taking their meager harvest to market. Capitalist speculators engineer the \"corner in wheat\" of the title, establishing full control over the world's supply. We see, intercut with this coup and the main capitalist's ensuing celebrations, the effects on others: another speculator is ruined, the farmers return home empty-handed, the urban poor go hungry and begin to riot when bread becomes unaffordable. The riot is squelched, but the \"Wheat King\" meets with his just desserts, inadvertently buried under an avalanche of grain, while the farmers continue to toil.
There are, then, three narrative strands. The farmers sow their seed, go to market, return empty-handed, and toil more. The capitalist engineers his plot, succeeds, ignores the defeated man's plea, celebrates, and dies at the site of his wealth. The urban poor go hungry, riot, and are defeated. No character from one strand enters another, nor are any locations held in common among them. All that links them is wheat-that and the force of Griffith's juxtaposition and commentary. Gilles Deleuze's statement, derived from Eisenstein, that in Griffith the rich and the poor are \"treated as 'two parallel independent phenomena,' as pure effects that are observed . without having any cause assigned to them\" is not true of <![CDATA[<i>]]>A Corner in Wheat<![CDATA[</i>]]>. Griffith's structure directly analyzes the connection, and alienation, of rich and poor, and holds the actions of the former responsible, at least in part, for the situation of the latter. What is remarkable is how Griffith does not merely assert his message, but achieves it formally. (Erik Ulman)

Will be screened together with <filmlink id=\"2546\">Het witte Kasteel</filmlink>.