Jan 23, 2013
There is a lot an American can learn about film from an Irishman.
Mark Cousins’ new 15-hour documentary, The Story of Film: An Odyssey, offers a perspective that is dramatically different from a Hollywood-centric view of the celluloid universe. He packs this surprisingly fast-moving epic with film clips and filmmaker interviews from around the world, from Bernardo Bertolucci, director of The Last Emperor, to American Buck Henry, writer of The Graduate.
In between, he visits sites of film history on every continent and takes a global view of an industry that Americans incorrectly think of as all theirs.
MARK COUSINS audio excerpt: "Live cheaply. Don't got to restaurants. Don't take taxis. If you live cheaply, you don't have to earn much. When you work for low budget, you have creative freedom, which is the best best thing for a filmmaker. I could focus on who did great things at different points in film history."
As a student of cinema myself – my fraying degree is in film studies from the University of Florida, where I studied everything from New Wave French and German cinema to the entire Charlie Chaplin catalog – I’ve become accustomed to movie travelogues that will be 80 percent Hollywood with a little French, German and Japanese dropped in for flavor.
But in The Story of Film: An Odyssey, which was just released as a DVD set, Cousins give the rest of the world its due. You’ll watch this documentary and be introduced to the brilliance of many filmmakers whose names and titles you probably never heard of before.
Mark Cousins Twitter • Wikipedia • IMDB • BFI • Order The Story of Film: An OdysseyDVD boxed set from Amazon.com