The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Season 1, Episode 14

New American Independents & the Digital Revolution (3 Dec. 2011)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
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The Story of Film looks at American and Australia cinema in the 1990s and examines the rise of digital film-making which allows for the crafting of scenes that would otherwise be impossible... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Himself - Presenter
Woo-Ping Yuen ...
Herself - Interviewee
Himself - Interviewee
Matthew Barney ...
Himself - Interviewee
Herself - Interviewee
Himself - Interviewee
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Narrator (voice)


The Story of Film looks at American and Australia cinema in the 1990s and examines the rise of digital film-making which allows for the crafting of scenes that would otherwise be impossible. It looks at the innovative effects work of Ridley Scott, James Cameron, and Steven Spielberg and discusses the popular CGI animated film Toy Story (1995). It also look at the low-budget The Blair Witch Project (1999) which was primarily shot on video. It looks at the rise of post-Moderism in American film and examines the work of Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Oliver Stone, Joel and Ethan Coen, Gus Van Sant, Matthew Barney, and Paul Verhoeven. It also looks at directors in New Zealand and Australia including Jane Campion and Baz Luhrmann. Written by Shatterdaymorn

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3 December 2011 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Himself - Interviewee: [walking through the thought process of making Romeo + Juliet, 1996] The audience know this is going to happen. How can it happen in a way in which their delicious expectation and enjoyment of it's-going-to-happen, be suspended so that then it happens, it's a surprise they knew was going to happen? It was perplexing.
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New American Independents
23 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Welcome to the world of digital -- bring on "Jurassic Park", "Gladiator", and James Cameron's "Terminator 2" and "Titanic". Cameron, of course, has been pushing the boundaries from day one and keeps at it. Oh, and we cannot forget Pixar, which changed the way we think about animation.

On the other end, we have "Blair Witch Project", which was innovative and low-tech. While today this film is often maligned, it cannot be denied how big of a phenomenon it was and the inspiration it unleashed (unfortunately bringing us the awful horror subgenre of "found footage").

As he often does, Cousins shows a Scorsese clip and compares it to other films. Here, he picks "Goodfellas" and puts it side by side with 1903's "The Great Train Robbery".

But he also praises Tarantino, explaining how "Pulp Fiction" was loaded with dialogue and how "Reservoir Dogs" was inspired by Ringo Lam's "City on Fire", and borrows multiple shots from it. Not to mention the films he wrote but did not direct, like Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers".

The Coen Brothers focus on Frank Capra's "little man" in "Hudsucker Proxy" and really took off in the 90s with "Fargo" and "Big Lebowski" (though they had been building their careers strongly since the 1980s.

We find out that Gus Van Sant was inspired by painting, the death of Kurt Cobain, the Columbine massacre and also by video games like "Tomb Raider". What could be more 90s than these things? What about Kevin Smith? If you want to talk about the 1990s, independent film and dialogue, Smith matched Tarantino in many ways (though he takes it in a much different direction).

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