The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Season 1, Episode 4

Episode #1.4 (24 Sep. 2011)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
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The Story of Film: An Odyssey is an epic journey through the history of cinema. Guided by film historian Mark Cousins, this 15-part love letter to the movies spans from the invention of ... See full summary »



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Title: Episode #1.4 (24 Sep 2011)

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Episode credited cast:
Himself - Presenter
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself - Interviewee
Jean-Michel Frodon ...
Himself - Interviewee
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Narrator (spanish version) (voice)
Jean Bouquin ...
Himself, directeur du Théâtre Dejazet
Himself (archive footage)


The Story of Film: An Odyssey is an epic journey through the history of cinema. Guided by film historian Mark Cousins, this 15-part love letter to the movies spans from the invention of film in the 19th century to the digital industry of the 21st. Written by Anonymous

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24 September 2011 (UK)  »

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Himself - Presenter: A spokesman of the Vichy government, which sided with the Nazis, said if we've lost the war it's because of Quai Des Brumes. Director Carney retorted that you can't blame a storm on the barometer.
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The Next Level of the Senses
14 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There is so much covered in this Episode it is a bit overwhelming. It begins with the implications of going from a purely visual presentation to one with sound, where a bit of sterility reared itself until the technical aspect could catch up. In other words, some of the films aren't very good. We are introduced to Ruben Mamoulian and his "Love Me Tonight" where wonderful things are done with sound, though they are almost like music. We are then introduced to six genres that begin to flourish in the Thirties: Horror (The Golem and Frankenstein); The Gangster Film (Cagney and Scarface); The Western (The Iron Horse and My Darling Clementine); Comedy (Bringing Up Baby); Musicals (especially those by Busby Berkeley); and The Cartoon (animation from the French culminating in Walt Disney with Snow White breaking ground).

We now go to France where the great filmmakers, Jean Vigo with Zero de Conduite and L'Atalante push the envelope, angering the powers that be with their political commentary. Jean Renoir and his humanist films. There is a look at what is going on in South America.

Leni Riefenstahl, a controversial though brilliant female director was at the right hand of Hitler, doing films like The Triumph of Will and work on the 1936 Olympic Games. She seemed to be unapologetic about her films. Because the Jews were not allowed to work in Hitler's Germany, much of the creative juice went out of the industry.

The final major focus has to do with Alfred Hitchcock who was possibly the most innovative of all. They list seven things he excelled at: 1) point of view 2) creativity based on his schooling and upbringing 3) an understanding of fear 4) close ups 5) beginning with non-descript close ups and moving back to a broader shot 6) diminishing sound for dramatic effect, and 7) moving to a high shot and then back to very emotional close up.

Finally, there are three films that feature female characters which are benchmark to this era: Ninotchka, with Greta Garbo; The Wizard of Oz, with Judy Garland; and Vivien Leigh's portrayal of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind.

This is really quite a tour de force in about one hour.

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Does this series hate America? bcapaul84
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
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