A comprehensive history of the medium and art of motion pictures.
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1  
2011  
1 nomination. See more awards »

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A Story of Children and Film is the world's first movie about kids in global cinema. It's passionate, poetic, portrait of the adventure of childhood: its surrealism, loneliness, fun, ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Cousins
Stars: Mark Cousins, Ben, Laura
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An innovative 'magic realist' documentary set in Iraq. Filmmaker Mark Cousins, who was brought up in a Northern Irish war zone, travels to Goptapa, a Kurdish-Iraqi village of just 700 ... See full summary »

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Filmmaker Mark Cousins goes to Albania for five days, and films what he sees. He discovers that the movie prints in the country's film archive are decaying. In investigating this, Cousins ... See full summary »

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Martin Scorsese describes his initial and growing obsession with films from the 1940s and 50s as the art form developed and grew with clips from classics and cult classics.

Directors: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson
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American Cinema (TV Series 1995)
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The career and life of Stanley Kubrick is explored through pictures, clips from his films, his old home movies, comments from his colleagues and a narration by Tom Cruise.

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Life May Be (2014)
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An epistolary feature film: a cinematic discourse between a British director, (Mark Cousins, the celebrated film maker and historian) and an Iranian actress and director (Mania Akbari, ... See full summary »

Directors: Mania Akbari, Mark Cousins
Stars: Mania Akbari, Mark Cousins
Documentary
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Experimental documentary that looks at the Hiroshima nuclear bomb and its legacy.

Director: Mark Cousins
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Director: Mark Cousins
I Am Belfast (2015)
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A visual, poetic depiction of Belfast and its citizens, told with love and passion of someone, who has left the city many years ago but is still fascinated by it. Themes brought up in the ... See full summary »

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Short
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A young man's swirling thoughts as he contemplates the murder of filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini shortly after the deed takes place.

Director: Mark Cousins
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Cast

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 Himself - Presenter / ... (15 episodes, 2011)
...
 Narrator (15 episodes, 2011)
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Storyline

Film critic and historian 'Mark Cousins' uses film clips, interviews with filmmakers, and illustrative footage of locations around the world to take viewers through film and filmmaking history, from the late 19th century to today, with a particular emphasis on world cinema. Written by agentstinky

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3 September 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A História do Cinema: Uma Odisseia  »

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Mark Cousins is an Honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow. See more »

Quotes

Himself - Presenter: A lie to tell the truth. This is film making. The art of making us feel that we're there.
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Connections

Featured in Brows Held High: Gerry Redux! (2014) See more »

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It should be called Mark Cousins' Story of Film
23 September 2013 | by (Brazil) – See all my reviews

Even though I'm a longtime IMDb user, I've never written a review here. However, I felt compelled to write one after watching the 15 episodes of Mark Cousins' odyssey through film. Most of the reviews here seemed to focus only on his narration, or the reviewers didn't seem to have endured the 900 minutes of Cousins' work (which is completely understandable). My opinion on the series changed as the episodes went by.

First, the narration. Cousins' voice didn't annoy me that much. Maybe because I'm not a native English speaker (even though I was following what he was saying, cause I watched it with German subtitles - and my English is much better than my German!). But he's definitely not the best narrator around. Its not about the accent. He lacks emotion in his voice. He basically says everything with the same tone of voice. But that's far from being my main problem with his approach.

One thing can't be denied: Cousins has a tremendous knowledge of cinema. Maybe the best thing about The Story of Film is how it encompasses basically the whole globe. I'm basically ignorant about African cinema, for example; Cousins showed me a lot of stuff I didn't know (not only about African cinema). It's refreshing to see such a global approach. And the movie clips are mostly superb - they're the main reason of the six stars out of ten.

The biggest problem, however, is called Mark Cousins. Be warned, this is not "The Story of Cinema". This is "The Story of Cinema according to Mark Cousins' point of view". Fair enough, the man wrote and directed the whole thing. But his choices became more and more puzzling to me, as the episodes went by and the story entered the 1970s. I was curious about how he'd treat the classic period of horror movies, for example; how the genre produced some of the most daring (and influential) films of the past 50 years. Surprise! He only mentions "The Exorcist". No "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", no "Carrie" (hey, De Palma is only mentioned by name), not a single mention of the Italian giallos. Another example: animated films. There's one "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" here, one "Toy Story" there - and that's it. Again, not a single mention of Hayao Miyazaki, for example; or Pixar ("Toy Story" is only mentioned because it's the first completely digital animated film). I know it'd be practically impossible to cover everything movie-related, but to almost ignore two genres is, in my opinion, baffling.

And as the series came to a close, another thing got on my nerves: Cousins' love of superlatives. The man LOVES superlatives. On the last two or three episodes, basically every film he puts on screen is "one of the best this", "one of the most that". I ended up laughing whenever he said it - and I even laughed at things that shouldn't be laughed, like the beauty of the final shots of "Breaking the Waves".

In the end, Cousins left me exhausted. I didn't watch The Story of Film, I watched Movies Mark Cousins Thinks That Matter. It felt like talking to someone who has obviously a great knowledge, but should learn one or two things about persuasion. As a viewer, Mark should leave me salivating for these amazing films I didn't know. Instead, he just sounded repetitive, without arguments. Several movie clips spoke for themselves; I'll definitely be checking some of the stuff he showed. But I doubt I'll be checking any more stuff Mark Cousins produces.


44 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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His accent? Jake-46
Why did he narrate himself? bsalar2004
so many great directors are missing aysesezer
List of movies referenced by Cousins? Jeff_Laxley
Mark that is Kyuzo NOT Katsushiro mad19571
Story of Film Soundtrack? fieldsofgrass419
Discuss The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

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