It is how we know who and what we are, and where we might be going?
Word of mouth stories eventually got written down.
In 1890 the miracle discovery of photography led to the development of moving those pictures to record and tell a story
In the matter of a few years audiences in picturehouses could be frightened to dive out of the way of an oncoming train pulling up at a station or witness the elderly painter Degas strolling on a Paris street
Film had arrived and a new reality had been created.
In time moving pictures became cinema with silent pictures enhanced with the playing of live music.
An entertainment business had been founded telling stories of human endeavor with westerns, funnies, and melodramas.
This soon became a worldwide phenomena with creators and audiences popping up all over the globe making stars such as Chaplin,Valentino,Lillian Gish and Laurel and Hardy.
America led with Hollywood becoming the dream factory.
By the thirties a method had been found to match sound with picture and “talkies” took over.
Since then developments have become a variation of that basic theme.
Telling a story in picture and sound.
3D, 5.1 sound, digital, and online are all now means of a delivery of this latest and perhaps last “new” method of human story telling.
This narrative is Director/Narrator Mark Cousins brief in this brilliant series, which was originally broadcast on Channel 4.
Innovative in how he tells this story he speaks to surviving veterans of the early days of cinema with rare archieve interviews with world class Directors and actors.
These are intercut with pointed excerpts of films with explanations as to how they have been created and why they achieve what they do.
How cinema tells a story.
These excerpts themselves are a joy to watch in their cleaned up state and prompt pleasant memories of when and where you first saw them.
Great psychological insight is provided as to how film was used to propel narrative and in so doing frighten, amuse and entertain us the audience.
I for one will not look at a film the same way again after watching this great and illuminating series.
Knowing how things are done only enhances my enjoyment of the medium.
Famous directors and their work is looked at with some hilarious clips of them at work and “playing “the role of a Director.
In this regard John Ford the man was as unique a character as he was as a director.
Legendary actors are seen in a different light.
Human yet still unknowable as the icons they became.
I was greatly impressed with the sweep of the series in showing how European cinema fed into the development of film.
Up until watching this I was unaware of early Indian and Mid East cinema.
It is clear that we owe a lot to Japanese and Chinese cinema.
British quirkiness was but one string to a fabulous bow that gave us Ealing films, David Lean epics and Hammer horrors.
This is a wondrous story excellently told.
Mr. Cousins may have his distracters as to his vocal delivery but I feel that the uniqueness of his marriage of picture and sound is appealing, distinguished and pitch perfect for a medium for the story he tells.
We all love and enjoy cinema.
Mr. Cousins tells a great story and paints it well.
A must buy for the film fan.
A great diversion for the merely interested.
This is one series to put on and press play.
It’s a take.
No one will be disappointed.
The Story Of Film – An Odyssey by Mark Cousins Network Distribution (4 disc box set)