Chronicles the birth of European cinema, from the Lumiere brothers to World War I, and then the first golden age of Swedish cinema, from the formation of Svenska Bio to the departure for Hollywood of Stiller and Sjöström. The French build the first studio, invent the traveling shot, and experiment in sound. Max Linder becomes the first comedic star. The Italians do spectacle and early realism. Germans invent film propaganda and have Lubitsch. The Danish cinema is rich before the war. An affectionate portrait of Swedish cinema appreciates its cinematography, led by Jaenzon, its conversion of novels into film, and the emergence of a production company that owned its own theaters. Written by
Yes it's long at 6 hours but you'll never be bored by the constant barrage of rare old films and amazing facts about the early days of European cinema. Kenneth Branagh is a fine narrator you'll learn so much over the course of this excellent documentary about early Swedish, German, French and British cinema. Did you know that the anamorphic lens used for CinemaScope was invented in France in the 1920's but suppressed by the French government for nearly 30 years? And then see the few remaining frames from the one film shot in this process. Watch this mini-series documentary and find out much, much more!
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