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Century of Cinema

Personal and profound look into lives immersed in film. These documentaries about films and culture show the medium's role in love and war, nostalgia and national identity.

Cinema was born in the late 19th century when inventors in three different countries almost simultaneously developed the technology to shoot moving film and to project it. The Lumiere Brothers were the first in Paris, 1895. To celebrate cinema's centenary, in 1995 the BFI produced a series of documentaries in which talented directors were invited to contemplate their own national cinemas. The results ranged between highly personal and profoundly universal, and together constitute this collection, Century of Cinema.

"Photography is Truth. The Cinema is Truth Twenty-four Times Per Second"

Jean-Luc Godard

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Century of Cinema

RECOMMENDED

View Night of the Filmmakers
Night of the Filmmakers
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Night of the Filmmakers 1995

From the director of Heimat, a mini-epic about the history of German cinema.

90 mins Germany

View 100 Years of Japanese Cinema
100 Years of Japanese Cinema

100 Years of Japanese Cinema 1996

Archive propels argument in this fascinating exploration of the social and cultural importance of Japan's film heritage.

52 mins United Kingdom Director. Nagisa Oshima

View A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 1
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 1

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 1 1995

The first part of Martin Scorsese's 'personal journey' through American Cinema.

72 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Henry Wilson, Martin Scorsese

View A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 2
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 2

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 2 1995

The second part of Martin Scorsese's 'personal journey' through American Cinema.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Henry Wilson, Martin Scorsese

View A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 3
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 3

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese... Part 3 1995

The third part of Martin Scorsese's 'personal journey' through American Cinema

73 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Henry Wilson, Martin Scorsese

View Typically British
Typically British
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Typically British 1994

Stephen Frears explores the wealth of stylish and familiar images created by the British film industry in the 20th century, aided by fellow directors Alexander Mackendrick, Michael Apted, and Alan Parker and writer Gavin Lambert.

74 mins United Kingdom

View Irish Cinema - Ourselves Alone?
Irish Cinema - Ourselves Alone?
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Irish Cinema - Ourselves Alone? 1996

Irish images, foreign fathers: asking why a nation's cinematic identity has been outsourced.

51 mins Ireland

View A Century of Australian Cinema
A Century of Australian Cinema
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A Century of Australian Cinema 1996

Mad Max director George Miller explores the tradition of film production in Australia.

65 mins

View 2 x 50 Years of French Cinema
2 x 50 Years of French Cinema

2 x 50 Years of French Cinema 1995

Six regions, six films appraised for cultural and historical meaning. Produced by Jean-Luc Godard.

50 mins France

View Yang ± Yin - Gender in Chinese Cinema
Yang ± Yin - Gender in Chinese Cinema
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Yang ± Yin - Gender in Chinese Cinema 1997

An inspirational and star-laden journey through Chinese cinema in the company of John Woo, Chen Kaige, Ang Lee and Tsui Hark.

80 mins Director. Stanley Kwan Kam-pang

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