In my history of media arts class last semester, we would watch one movie a week. While we were on silents, I noticed that there were two students who would bring their ipods and listen to their own music while watching the film. While the music they chose most likely did not go along with the action of the film in the way that the chosen orchestra music did, I always thought it to be a pretty clever idea. I've only ever seen bits and pieces of "Birth" and have enjoyed most of what I've seen, however, since it is a three hour long, racist movie that probably isn't on anyone's top ten list, I might just adopted their method.
After: I have to admit, (of course, ignorance, racism, and blackface aside) I can understand why Birth of a Nation is hailed as Griffith's, as well as early silent's, masterpiece. The coloring was supreme, setting the tone where music today would do the job. And the mere fact that Griffith was able to make such an elaborate time period piece in 1915 is almost baffling. Think of the other films being made at that time, Chaplin's 32 min "The Tramp" which created his still famous character cannot compare. My only complaint with Birth (again, ignorance, racism, and blackface aside) was the length, 300 minutes of anything will get tired quickly (I'd advise watching in two separate blocks). Otherwise, Birth is a humorous movie that still has the ability to entertain to this day.