The Story of Film: An Odyssey

The Story of Film is a feast for cinema lovers. Mark Cousins adapts his celebrated book of the same title into this audacious fifteen-hour project. He traces the entire history of film, concentrating on artistic vision (rather than business or celebrities) from the silent era to the digital age. Unlike historians who place an emphasis on Western cinema, Cousins takes a more global approach. He showcases iconic film clips from Asia, Africa, India, the Middle East and South America - woven into the more familiar legacy of Europe and North America. His treatment succeeds at being both erudite and accessible.

Based in Scotland, ... he marshals his wealth of knowledge to narrate The Story of Film in his endearing brogue. He supplements his commentary by interviewing cinematic history makers such as Wim Wenders, Claire Denis and Alexander Sokurov. The conversations are shot with the idiosyncratic style of a one-person crew in locales around the world.

By taking a DIY approach, Cousins preserves an editorial independence that normally gets lost with a bigger budget and committee decision-making. His achievement represents a breakthrough for the multi-part documentary. After experiencing this history from such a distinctive viewpoint, you may crave similar treatments for music, literature, politics or whatever compels you. Of course, Cousins has the advantage of drawing upon image makers who take our breath away: Buster Keaton, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Fritz Lang, Yasujiro Ozu, Satyajit Ray, Orson Welles, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Youssef Chahine, Agnes Varda, Nicholas Roeg, Ousmane Sembene, Abbas Kiarostami — to name only a sampling. In The Story of Film, you’ll drink their visions and walk away thirsty for more. (TIFF)

15 Episodes, 60 min each, Digital, Dir: Mark Cousins

The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode 15

  • Aug 26 (2012) @ 4:30pm
  • Aug 29 (2012) @ 7pm
15. Movies come full circle: They get more serious after 9/11, and Romanian films come to the fore. Meanwhile, David Lynch's _Mulholland Drive _becomes one of the most complex dream films ever made and _Inception_ turns film into a game. In... view more

The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episodes 13 & 14

  • Aug 19 (2012) @ 4:30pm
  • Aug 22 (2012) @ 7pm
13. Cinema around the world enters a golden age in the 90s: Starting in Iran, we meet Abbas Kiarostami, who rethought movie making and made it more real. This episode also meets Shinji Tsukamoto, who laid the ground for the bold... view more

The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episodes 11 & 12

  • Aug 12 (2012) @ 4:30pm
  • Aug 15 (2012) @ 7pm
11. Innovation in Popular Culture: As well as creating the multiplexes, _Star Wars, Jaws_ and _The Exorcist_ were also innovative. The programme then travels to India, where the world's most famous movie star, Amitabh Bachchan, shows how Bollywood was doing new... view more

The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episodes 9 & 10

  • Aug 5 (2012) @ 4:30pm
  • Aug 8 (2012) @ 7pm
9. The maturing of American cinema in the late 60s and 70s: Buck Henry, who wrote _The Graduate_, talks exclusively about movie satire of the time. In New York, Paul Schrader reveals his thoughts on his existential screenplay for _Taxi Driver_.... view more

The Story Of Film: An Odyssey: Episodes 7 & 8

  • Jul 29 (2012) @ 4:30pm
  • Aug 1 (2012) @ 7pm
7. The Explosive Story of Film in the Late Fifties and Sixties: The great movie star Claudia Cardinale talks exclusively about Federico Fellini; in Denmark, Lars von Trier describes his admiration for Ingmar Bergman; and Bernardo Bertolucci remembers his work... view more

The Story Of Film: An Odyssey: Episodes 5 & 6

  • Jul 22 (2012) @ 4:30pm
  • Jul 25 (2012) @ 7pm
5. The Trauma of World War II Makes Cinema More Daring: The story starts in Italy; then we go to Hollywood, discover Orson Welles and chart the darkening of American film during the drama of the McCarthy era. Screenwriters Paul Schrader... view more

The Story Of Film: An Odyssey: Episodes 3 & 4

  • Jul 15 (2012) @ 4:30pm
  • Jul 18 (2012) @ 7pm
3. The 1920s were a Golden Age for World Cinema: German Expressionism, Soviet montage, French impressionism and surrealism were passionate new film movements, pushing the boundaries of the medium. Less well-known are the glories of Chinese and Japanese films, and... view more

The Story Of Film: An Odyssey: Episodes 1 & 2

  • Jul 8 (2012) @ 4:30pm
  • Jul 11 (2012) @ 7pm
1. The Birth of a Great New Art Form: The Movies: Filmed in the very buildings where the first movies were made, this first hour shows that ideas and passion have always driven film more than money and marketing. The very... view more
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