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The Story Of Film: An Odyssey (5 Discs)

Released on 10 May 2012

Featuring: Gus van Sant, Lars Von Trier & Claire Denis

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

3.0 out of 5 (3 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The Story of Film: An Odyssey, written and directed by award-winning film-maker Mark Cousins, is the story of international cinema told through the history of cinematic innovation.

Five years in the making, The Story of Film: An Odyssey covers six continents and 12 decades, showing how film-makers are influenced both by the historical events of their times, and by each other. It provides a worldwide guided tour of the greatest movies ever made; an epic tale that starts in nickelodeons and ends as a multi-billion-dollar globalised digital industry.

Described as a love letter to the movies, Cousins visits the key sites in the history of cinema; from Hollywood to Mumbai; from Hitchcock s London to the village where Pather Panchali was shot, and features interviews with legendary filmmakers and actors including Stanley Donen, Kyoko Kagawa, Gus van Sant, Lars Von Trier, Claire Denis, Bernardo Bertolucci, Robert Towne, Jane Campion and Claudia Cardinale.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (3 reviews)


| | See all AntonDaniels's reviews (1)

This Documentary-serie by Mark Cousins is even better than his previously released "The Story of Film" Book, which is one of the best film history books I think. All I really can say is; This is Important masterpiece for a viewer that does want to learn something about history of a film, Be it Asian, European or American. There's also much to be learn for a people (,Like me) who do think they know everything about films and how to read specific messages and aspects about them. Well I was wrong and did learn much!

 An engaging journey through film

| | See all metaldogs's reviews (2)

I just wanted to provide a little balance to the review of this series.

Though the series is not always shot in a broadcast style it does allow Cousins the scope to get some truly remarkable interviews from film producers and directors that would not have been possible with a huge crew.

It does contain great analysis of shooting styles, composition, use of lenses, framing, art direction and many other invaluable insights. The series also covers much of the new digitally enhanced fantasy films of the more recent past so I can only assume that the other reviewer didn't actually watch the whole series.

The series is well researched and unashamedly high brow at points but not pretentious, just in depth.

I found it a compelling offer to any one who has ever picked up a camera from established industry folk to newcomers and I will be using it as a great addition to teaching film theory and production.

I suspect it will become the defacto standard for film history as Shock of the New is to art history.

 Narrow minded and pretentious

| | See all nEoPOL's reviews (21)

The Story Of Film. 15 parts at over an hour a time to explain Mark Cousin's view on what makes film through the ages. Well in the end he can KEEP IT! This was nothing more than an self-indulgent exercise in glorifying his view of film without any real or significant detached view point.

He failed to look at the Epics, Science Fiction, Horror or Romantic Comedies, or any of the interesting or major technical innovations beyond those involving camera work and direction, even though he insisted throughout that his programme was about little else.

He did spend an inordinate amount of screen time discussing, for example a film about a near naked make, climbing a tower and entering a portal into some sort of Zen chamber with a naked chick, a tiger and a religious guru, who explains that if he defecates into a bowl it will turn to gold, with many a deep implication! Where was The Empire Strikes Back? The brilliant adaptation of from book to screen of Lord Of The Rings or Harry Potter? Writing seemed to be overlooked as well as almost everything else.

The series ended up just focussing on his favourite films from around the world with a few nods to the mainstream to keep us happy, well it didn't! In 15 hours I would have expected a detailed and broad history of film from the early innovations, which were covered well in the early episodes, to the major developments and failures such as the many widescreen formats including the epic Cinerama and the successful Imax, 3D fads and the innovations in sound.

I ended up treating this as a film class but as it went on I found my interest was almost destroyed by his teadious tone and ever increasingly boring and indulgent subjects. And all this was summed up with the epilogue, the future of film and the seemingly random year of 2046.

He begins top postulate the future of film which seems to only have two options according the great Mark Cousins. One is that we will dream films...? Well that was I got from his shoe horning of Inception into it, whilst ignoring Christopher Nolan's greater works, such as Memento and The Dark Knight. The other was that film will be banned and we will have to remember them until such time as they are viewed again...

Okay thanks for that up beat hypothesis though I feel that there is little reason to postulate that the future of film is doomed any more that it isn't. I have honestly NEVER seen a worse and more disturbingly pointless film documentary and the final rating of 2/10 is only so high due to the few early episodes that offered some interesting insight and hope for a decent series but in the end it became such a disappointment, that I would, given the freedom to ignore these early pluses, have given this 1/10 without a doubt.


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ActorsGus van Sant, Lars Von Trier, Claire Denis, Bernardo Bertolucci & Jane Campion
DirectorMark Cousins
Certificate15 years and over
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (2.0) Stereo
SubtitlesNone listed
Duration15 hours (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.