THE STORY OF FILM AN ODYSSEY BLU RAY REVIEW

10 years ago, Mark Cousins embarked on a journey, that journey was THE STORY OF FILM : AN ODYSSEY. 10 years later, released on Blu Ray for those who adored it previously, this journey begins anew. A story of the universal language of films, journey from the ground to the stars. Covering its humanity, humility and hope. It was a sensation on the release. Some called it a film school on the screen. Others told us it was the definitive history of the screen and the light cast from it. It was not unlike Cousins many previous journeys into humanity. MOVIEDROME, which was a journey through cult cinema and his own exploring the ever radical worlds of film. Or like Cousins own travel to far off foreign climbs. He drove a car across the world to get to India, to understand the world and its film heart. Exploring the global resonance with humanity. This series exposes how film is more than form. Less than universal mirror.

THE STORY OF FILM : AN ODYSSEY begins with the birth of film. Lumière, Porter, Dickson are there. As is Méliès. The path moves to Hollywood. Keaton, Chaplin and Lloyd. The world of the silent era and burst into sound. Japan, Ozu, Mizuguchi, Naruse. The war, Noir and documentary. Immigration and inspiration. Bollywood and Indian voices. China. Post war, New Waves, France, Czech, Russian, TV. The Cold War. Cinema of Africa, South America. The shock of the new. So much details. Improvisation and inspiration. We move into documentary, Psycho, sex, television. The final third is radical cinema of Europe, Africa, South America. Hollywood again and on. Dreamscapes and spaces. Like a scream in the dark. Identity and inspiration. Using sequences from the films, news footage, stills, locations shots, Cousins trademark frames of the moment, we voyage cinemas many laboured histories.

I could simply list film directors, name after name of greats. I could list the films Cousins uses extracts from. Talking about them, he covers, exposes, extracts and analyses. THE STORY OF FILM is that rare of things. An history of imagination. A history of radical creation. A history of art. The series is stunning. Broad, complex, passionate and personal. Sometimes the series is brilliant in its examination. Revealing classic ideas but with a view askew. Sometimes it is straight. Telling the tale as many have before and since. However what the documentary story pines for is a centre and sometimes this has to be forced a little. This is not the only issues with the series. Problems of misreading certain films, like that of Hollywood’s Golden age, are regular and it leaves it weakened. Then there are the avoidance of others periods of cinema, especially at the early fringes of film and then its much later works. But the reality is there are much, much more gains than there are losses. The series opens the doors to the world of cinema.

Our view is balanced, brilliant and bold. It opens the global aspect of cinema. With a rewarding focus on its depth and breadth. Its understands the filmic world. Aesthetics, creation, subtext and substation. But also that creativity is like a fire that can consume when untamed. Cinema becomes a magical place. A challenging place. A place of conflict. A space for resolution. It can be about the paradigm of us but it can also be our lesser.

Films evolution as a being has been done before, the Blu ray remaster of this version, adds another note. Maybe its not exactly renewed but it is modern. This voyage of film and the art that gives us something of our self, sings on the screen again. The revolution within it is clearer to see. THE STORY OF FILM benefits from Cousins remixes and that of the new Blu.

The Story of Film: An Odyssey is on Blu-ray 26 July

https://youtu.be/BUR7zUZNrSc

 

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.