Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (TV Mini-Series 1995– ) Poster

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10/10
Required viewing for film buffs!
Eegah Guy20 October 2000
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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10/10
The Silent Era
rock-2615 February 1999
Kevin Brownlow & David Gill have done it again. After doing great justice to Hollywood in the silent era (Hollywood, The Unknow Chaplin, Buster Keaton: A hard Act To Follow & Harold Lloyd: The Third Guineus), they took on the silent films from Europe. Carl davis has written yet again a fabulous score. Why hasn't the Academy Awards honored these guys. Being from England (Davis is a New Yorker),these guys care more about our film heritage than anyone in Hollywood does.
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10/10
Offers so much and leaves you wanting even more.
tmccraw20 September 2002
This documentary brings out the excitement of the artistry and sheer beauty of the medium of film, showing us that the pioneers are quite often still the masters. This is a cinema history lesson that is mandatory viewing for all fans of silent films. Cinema Europe is the best documentary that I have ever seen on any subject. A perfect 10
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Marvelous documentary with exquisitive opening theme.
cricket-1424 May 1999
This is the type of documentary I live for. The Brownlow/Gill team have produced some very intriguing documentaries on the silent film era - about which I knew very little until I saw ALL of them (and a wonderful marathon of Buster Keaton silents on American Movie Classics channel about 3 years ago.)

Encore! Bravo!
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10/10
Every fan of early and international cinema should see this--and probably can't!
MartinHafer22 August 2011
In the States, "Cinema Europe: The Forgotten Hollywood" was shown on television shortly after it was shown in the UK. I saw bits and pieces of it and assumed they'd re-show it. Well, they didn't. So, I tried to get a copy from Amazon of the series on DVD--and it was out of print very quickly. And, if I DID want a used copy, it was $200!! $200 for a single-DVD is preposterous--and I assume it being out of print and so expensive will keep practically everyone from seeing this amazing series. So, I tried to find a copy on Netflix--and it was not available. And, I tried a really great independent video/DVD rental place many miles away...and they didn't have a copy but said they sure wished they had one! Fortunately, one of the local libraries had a copy and now a decade and a half later, I finally got to see it in its entirety. And I doubt if many will realize that they have such a treasure in their library system or take advantage of it. It's a shame--it's a real must-see and you might not have access to it!

The biggest reason I wanted to see this is that the two men responsible for the show were Kevin Brownlow and David Gill--two men who are responsible for preserving so much in our film history. In fact, Brownlow just recently received and honorary Oscar for his work--and Gill, sadly, died only a few years after "Cinema Europe" debuted--and did not receive this award. Some other work they've done were the absolutely amazing films on the art and work of Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton and Chaplin--as well as non-comedians D.W. Griffith and Mary Pickford. They have helped our generation remember and celebrate these brilliant early film makers and actors.

"Cinema Europe" is about the earliest days of European film up to about the time of Nazi rule in Germany. So, while the box are says it's about the silent era, episode six ALSO includes the transition to sound and the early sound films. It's narrated by Kenneth Branagh (who did a great job) and has many film clips--almost all of which were nearly pristine. But it's improved more through the use of various interviews made for the film AND which had been done through the years by various film makers who had died well before the series was created. It took a lot of work to assemble all this--that's for sure.

While I adore this series and wish I had my own copy, I won't lie and say it's perfect--even though I gave it a 10 (it is without equal--that's why it merits a 10). The shows often give spoilers, so if you haven't seen a great silent film like "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", you might not want to as the show tells the surprise ending!! This is not cool. Also, the DVD has no captions of any type--and with some of the thick accents of the people in the show, it would be appreciated--especially with someone like me who is hard of hearing. Still, it's great...see this film.
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9/10
Should be on the shelf of any serious film buff.
thao9 January 2007
Cinema Europe should appeal to anyone interested in film history, especially the silent era. Its goal is to document the birth of cinema in Europe and its development all the way to the early years of the sound film - in just 6 hours! Six hours is way to short for such an endeavor but the filmmakers manage to pack amazing amount of information in to these six hours, so much in fact that one is left with the desire to see it immediately again.

The film is in six parts. The first covering the birth of cinema in Europe, the second one is about the Swedish silent film industry, the third one about the German Masters, the fourth one about France, the fifth one about Britain and the last one about the death of silent cinema and the arrival of sound.

One would expect that the German part would be the best of the six but it was unfortunately one of the least interesting, IMO. This may have something to do with the fact that I knew the German story quite well, but I just felt that it lacked insight and a clear direction. The same goes for the Swedish part. The narrator spends most of the time retelling the plot of the films in question, including their end.

The France and English parts are pure pleasure to watch. They are full of well based social insight and focus more on techniques and experiments than story lines. The British one is admirably honest and at part quite funny.

The transfer of the films they show is exceptionally good and the collections of the shots they gather together here is a goldmine. Many of the films shown from in the documentary are still not available on VHS or DVD.

On the down side though, I felt they often chose wrong scenes from the films they picked, and left out much superior scenes, but such is always a matter of opinion.

Cinema Europe is a true gem which I'm going to revisit again and again in the future. It should be on the shelf of any serious film buff.
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