The Story of Film: An Odyssey puts a unique and compelling spin on standard film histories. Director Mark Cousins traces the development of film worldwide, both as an art form and a popular pastime—exhilarating for both cinephiles and the casual fan. 2011, digital, 180 minutes.
Part 4: The 1930s Talkies Upend Everything
Along with the advent of sound with film comes a host of new genres: screwball comedies, gangster pictures, horror films, westerns, and musicals. Director Howard Hawks was a master of most of them. During this period, Alfred Hitchcock hits his stride and French directors become masters of mood.
Part 5: World War II and a New, Daring Cinema
Starting in Italy, this episode moves to Hollywood to cover Orson Welles and chart the darkening of American film during the drama of the McCarthy era. Screenwriters Paul Schrader and Robert Towne discuss these years; and Singin’ in the Rain director Stanley Donen talks about his career.
Part 6: Sex and Melodrama in the ’50s
In the United States, it was James Dean, On the Waterfront, and glossy weepies; but movies in Egypt, India, China, Mexico, Britain, and Japan were also full of rage and passion. Exclusive interviews include associates of Indian master Satyajit Ray; legendary Japanese actress Kyoko Kagawa, who starred in films by Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu; and the first great African director, Youssef Chahine.