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The Story of Film

When filmmakers turn the camera on themselves, or on each other, the results are insightful and often profoundly personal.

The agony and the ecstasy of making films also makes for great storytelling. Discover explorations of the medium, through Mark Cousins’ The Story of Film - a fifteen part odyssey.

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The Story of Film part 1: The World Discovers a New Art Form
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The Story of Film part 1: The World Discovers a New Art Form

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

Lyrical tribute to the moving image begins with an establishing shot: the birth of the movies - spanning 1895 to 1918.

The Story of Film part 2: The Triumph of American Film
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The Story of Film part 2: The Triumph of American Film

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

The 1920s. Moving between Hollywood, Denmark and Moscow, Mark Cousins shows how glamour and gravitas battled to define film.

The Story of Film part 3: The Great Rebel Filmmakers Around the World
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The Story of Film part 3: The Great Rebel Filmmakers Around the World

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

Testing the limits of cinema, German Expressionism, Soviet montage and other international movements are launched.

The Story of Film part 4: The Great American Movie Genres and the Brilliance
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The Story of Film part 4: The Great American Movie Genres and the Brilliance

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

The Talkies begin, bringing new genres and new masters like Hawks and Hitchcock. Written and presented by Mark Cousins.

The Story of Film part 5: The Devastation of War and a New Movie Language
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The Story of Film part 5: The Devastation of War and a New Movie Language

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

Between 1939-1952, cinema got darker - reflecting the tumult and carnage of war – and more daring. Mark Cousins investigates.

Part 6: The Swollen Story World Cinema Bursting at the Seams
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Part 6: The Swollen Story World Cinema Bursting at the Seams

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

The story reaches the 1950s. Cinema across the world is dominated by melodrama and sex proves to be big business.

The Story of Film part 7: The Shock of the New Modern Filmmaking in Western Europe
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The Story of Film part 7: The Shock of the New Modern Filmmaking in Western Europe

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

The French New Wave propels Europe into creative overdrive, heralding fresh filmmaking talent from Truffaut to Bresson and beyond.

The Story of Film part 8: New Waves Sweep Around the World
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The Story of Film part 8: New Waves Sweep Around the World

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

Easy Rider and 2001: A Space Odyssey signal a new phase in cinema. It's part of a movement bringing Polanski, Tarkovsky and others to prominence.

The Story of Film part 9: New American Cinema
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The Story of Film part 9: New American Cinema

Documentary201160 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

American movies grow up, courtesy of Schrader, Scorsese and Nicholson, Buck Henry, Coppola and Charles Burnett.

The Story of Film part 10: Radical Directors of the 70s Make State of the Nation Movies
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The Story of Film part 10: Radical Directors of the 70s Make State of the Nation Movies

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

Recalling the firebrand films of the 1970s, a time when an ambition to change the world prevailed.

The Story of Film part 11: Innovation in Popular Culture Around the World
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The Story of Film part 11: Innovation in Popular Culture Around the World

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

The blockbuster arrives, driving a new revolution with Jaws and Jedis. Meanwhile, Bollywoood and Hong Kong are adapting too.

The Story of Film part 12: Moviemaking and Protest Around the World
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The Story of Film part 12: Moviemaking and Protest Around the World

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

Political reality stirs a wider dissent among filmmakers in the 1980s from London to Beijing, the Soviet Union and Poland.

The Story of Film part 13: The Last Days of Celluloid before The Coming of Digital
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The Story of Film part 13: The Last Days of Celluloid before The Coming of Digital

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

Europe, Japan, Iran and Mexico show the way forward for a bold cinema for Lars Von Trier, Michael Haneke and Abbas Kiarostami

The Story of Film part 14: The First Days of Digital Reality Losing Its Realness
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The Story of Film part 14: The First Days of Digital Reality Losing Its Realness

Documentary201161 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

Tarantino, Lebowski and Buzz Lightyear refresh the movies with dazzling dialogue, visuals and a signpost toward cinema's future.

The Story of Film part 15: Film Moves Full Circle and the Future of the Movies
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The Story of Film part 15: Film Moves Full Circle and the Future of the Movies

Documentary201162 minsDirector: Mark Cousins

This stunning series closes with an appraisal of post-9/11 cinema, analysis of its best directors and a speculative look at film in the future.