The Story of Film: An Odyssey

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The Story of Film: An Odyssey
The Story of Film - An Odyssey (poster).jpg
Genre Documentary
Based on The Story of Film
by Mark Cousins
Written by Mark Cousins
Directed by Mark Cousins
Narrated by Mark Cousins
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 15
Producer(s) John Archer
Editor(s) Timo Langer
Running time 915 minutes
Production company(s) Hopscotch Films
Original network More4
External links Website

The Story of Film: An Odyssey is a documentary film about the history of film, presented on television in 15 one-hour chapters with a total length of over 900 minutes. It was directed and narrated by Mark Cousins, a film critic from Northern Ireland, based on his 2004 book The Story of Film.[1]

The series was broadcast in September 2011 on More4, the digital television service of UK broadcaster Channel 4. The Story of Film was also featured in its entirety at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival,[2] and it was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in February 2012.[1] It was broadcast in the United States on Turner Classic Movies beginning in September 2013.[3]

The Telegraph headlined the series' initial broadcast in September 2011 as the "cinematic event of the year", describing it as "visually ensnaring and intellectually lithe, it’s at once a love letter to cinema, an unmissable masterclass, and a radical rewriting of movie history."[4] An Irish Times writer called the programme a "landmark" (albeit a "bizarrely underpromoted" one).[5] The program won a Peabody Award in 2013 "for its inclusive, uniquely annotated survey of world cinema history."[6]

In February 2012, A. O. Scott of The New York Times described Cousins' film as "a semester-long film studies survey course compressed into 15 brisk, sometimes contentious hours" that "stands as an invigorated compendium of conventional wisdom." Contrasting the project with its "important precursor (and also, perhaps, an implicit interlocutor)", Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma, Scott commended Cousins' film as "the place from which all future revisionism must start".[1]

List of episodes[edit]

Each episode lists the film clips that are featured.[1][2][7][8]

Episode 1 - Birth of the Cinema[edit]


1895-1918: The World Discovers A New Art form or Birth of the Cinema

1903-1918: The Thrill Becomes Story or The Hollywood Dream

Episode 2 - The Hollywood Dream[edit]

1918-1928: The Triumph of American Film...

...And the First of its Rebels

Episode 3 - The Golden Age of World Cinema[edit]

1918-1932: The Great Rebel Filmmakers Around the World

Episode 4 - The Arrival of Sound[edit]

The 1930s: The Great American Movie Genres...

...And the Brilliance of European Film

Episode 5 - Post-War Cinema[edit]

1939-1952: The Devastation of War...And a New Movie Language

Episode 6 - Sex & Melodrama[edit]

1953-1957: The Swollen Story: World Cinema Bursting at the Seams

Episode 7 - European New Wave[edit]

1957-1964: The Shock of the New - Modern Filmmaking in Western Europe.

Episode 8 - New Directors, New Form[edit]

1965-1969: New Waves - Sweep Around the World.

Episode 9 - American Cinema of the 70s[edit]

1967-1979: New American Cinema.

Episode 10 - Movies to Change the World[edit]

1969-1979: Radical Directors in the 70s - Make State of the Nation Movies.

Episode 11 - The Arrival of Multiplexes and Asian Mainstream[edit]

1970s and Onwards: Innovation in Popular Culture - Around the World.

Episode 12 - Fight the Power: Protest in Film[edit]

The 1980s: Moviemaking and Protest - Around the World.

Episode 13 - New Boundaries: World Cinema in Africa, Asia & Latin America[edit]

1990-1998: The Last Days of Celluloid - Before the Coming of Digital.

Episode 14 - New American Independents & The Digital Revolution[edit]

The 1990s: The First Days of Digital - Reality Losing Its Realness in America and Australia.

Episode 15 - Cinema Today and the Future[edit]

2000 Onwards: Film Moves Full Circle - and the Future of Movies.

Epilogue the Year 2046


  1. ^ a b c d Scott, A. O. (31 January 2012). "Your Film of Films: A Sweeping History of an Art". New York Times. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Cousins, Mark (2011). "The Story of Film: An Odyssey - Real To Reel". Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 6 November 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
  3. ^ King, Susan (2 September 2013). "'The Story of Film: An Odyssey' gives a non-Hollywood history". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  4. ^ Sukhdev Sandhu, "The Story of Film, cinematic event of the year: Mark Cousins's 15-hour television series is an epic journey through the history of cinema, says Sukhdev Sandhu", The Telegraph, (UK) 2 September 2011.
  5. ^ Donald Clarke, "Mark Cousins’s Story of Film", Irish Times, 5 September 2011.
  6. ^ 73rd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2014.
  7. ^ Staff (2012). "The Story of Film: An Odyssey". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
  8. ^ Staff (2012). "The Story of Film: An Odyssey - Episodes". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 3 February 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2018. 

External links[edit]