The Story of Film: An Odyssey

Turner Classic Movies (Mini-Series 2011)


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Episode Guide


  • Season 1
    • 12/10/11

      Cousins ends the series in the 2000s. He skips around the globe continuing to look at examples of innovation in film. Both documentary realism and fantasy are alive and well. The epilogue contains some speculations about the future of film and a call to all of us to remember the filmmakers and continue telling the story of film.

    • The Digital Revolution of the 90s is explored. From Tarantino and Van Sant in America to Campion and Luhrmann from Australia, filmmakers continued to be innovative.

    • This episode constantly reminds us that the 90s was the last decade of celluloid before digital fantasies seemed to take over. We visit filmmakers in Iran, Taiwan, Denmark, France, and other countries (though Latin American countries are strangely absent, despite the episode title). Filmmakers of this period rethought filming methods and who movies were about.

    • 11/19/11

      In the 1980s we travel from the east to the west examining filmmakers who protested by speaking truth to power.

    • Globally, this episode explores the mainstream popular cinema of Hong Kong, India, and Egypt in the 1970s. Then it jumps back to America to take a look at the innovations of The Exorcist, Jaws, and Star Wars, the biggest blockbusters of the west in the 70s.

    • 11/5/11

      In part 10 of the series we take a global tour of the 1970s. We see samples of new voices from Germany, Italy, Britain, Australia, Japan, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

    • 10/29/11

      With a lot of social change in the 60s, the death of the Hollywood studio system, and a film school awareness of European cinema, American movies of the 1970s fell into three categories: satirical, dissident, and assimilationist.

    • 10/22/11

      In the late 60s, we take a trek around the globe to see how the New Wave and less glossy adult themes are influencing film. Cousins pays particular attention to Polanski, Tarkovsky, and Oshima. He also explores emerging cinema from the Middle East and Western Africa.

    • 10/15/11

      In the late 1950's through the early 1960's we look at European directors Bergman, Bresson, Tati, and Fellini. Then we take a look at the changes brought to western European cinema by the French and Italian New Wave.

    • Sex & Melodrama
      Episode 6

      Cousins examines 50's melodramas beginning with masterpieces of Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian, and Mexican film. Then we look at American directors like Sirk, Ray, and Kazan and some Method Actors like Dean, Brando, and Clift, who revealed suppressed emotions in Eisenhower America. England's Lean is briefly compared to Japan's Kurosawa. And it is argued that the masters of the previous decades: Welles, Ford, Hitchcock, and Hawks each made another masterpiece in this period.

    • Post-War Cinema
      Episode 5

      Part five begins by looking at the influence of Stagecoach and John Ford on Citizen Kane and Orson Welles. Then we explore how WWII led to Italian neo-realism. The French poetic realism of Marcel Carné and Jean Renoir is also studied. Cousins shows the many elements that merged to form Hollywood's film noir genre, including the history of the House Un-American Activities Committee witchhunt. This chapter also looks at the innovative style of Alfred Hitchcock as he entered the scene.

    • 9/24/11

      Sound changes things in the world of film and for awhile makes movies less cinematic. We see the influence of German Expressionism on new horror films. We see the continuation of the western genre. We see the development of musicals, gangster pictures, and animation.

    • 9/17/11

      In Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, and Shanghai, impressionism, expressionism, and realism around the 1920's are explored in this continuation of part two.

    • 9/10/11

      Following WWI in the late-1910's through the late-1920's film artists continued to be innovators. Cousins pays particular attention to the comedians such as Keaton, Chaplin, and Lloyd as well as non-fiction filmmakers. In fact, global film history is studied for a comprehensive view and Hollywood is seen as only a bauble.

    • 9/3/11

      It all begins with the birth of a new art form. From Edison and the Lumiere Brothers in the last decades of the 1800's to innovators of film language in the mid-1910's, there is a passion that drives movies more than money and marketing.

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