The Story of Film: An Odyssey
The grand evolution of motion pictures is examined and critiqued through the use of film clips and interviews with legendary artists and scholars.
S01:E01 - Birth of the Cinema (1900-1920)
The opening of The Story of Film: An Odyssey shows the birth of a great new art form, the movies. Filmed in the very buildings where the first movies were made, it shows that ideas and passion have always driven film, more than money and marketing.
S01:E02 - The Hollywood Dream (1920's)
This is the fascinating story of the movies in the roaring 20s. We see how Hollywood became a glittering entertainment industry and how star directors like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton emerged. But the gloss and fantasy was challenged by movie makers like Robert Flaherty, Eric Von Stroheim and Carl Theodor Dreyer, who wanted films to be more serious and mature.
S01:E03 - The Golden Age of World Cinema (1920's)
The 1920's were a golden age for world cinema. In this part, we visit Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Shanghai and Tokyo to discover the places where movie makers were pushing the boundaries of the medium. German Expressionism, Soviet montage, French impressionism and surrealism were passionate new film movements, but less well known are the glories of Chinese and Japanese films and the moving story of one of the great, now forgotten, movie stars: Ruan Lingyu.
S01:E04 - The Arrival of Sound (1930's)
In chapter 4, we see how the coming of sound in the 1930s upended everything. We watch the birth of new types of film: screwball comedies, gangster pictures, horror films, westerns and musicals.
S01:E05 - Post-War Cinema (1940's)
This chapter of The Story of Film shows how the trauma of war made cinema more daring. The story starts in Italy, and then we go to Hollywood, discover Orson Welles and chart the darkening of American film and the drama of the McCarthy era.
S01:E06 - Sex & Melodrama (1950's)
This chapter explores the story of sex and melodrama in the movies of the 50s. We discover James Dean, On the Waterfront and the glossy weepies of the time, but also travel to Egypt, India, China, Mexico, Britain and Japan to find that movies there were also full of rage and passion.
S01:E07 - European New Wave (1960's)
This is the explosive story of film in the late 50s and 60s. We discover how French filmmakers planted a bomb under the movies and see how the new wave it caused swept across Europe.
S01:E08 - New Directors, New Form (1960's)
This is the story of the dazzling 1960s in cinema around the world. As the new wave in cinema sweeps around the world, we discover the films of Roman Polanski, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Nagisa Oshima.
S01:E09 - American Cinema of the 70's
This is the remarkable story of the maturing of American cinema of the late 60s and 70s. Paul Schrader reveals his thoughts on his existential screenplay for Taxi Driver, Robert Towne explores the dark ideas in Chinatown, and Charles Burnett talks about the birth of Black American cinema.
S01:E10 - Movies to Change the World (1970's)
This is the story of the movies that tried to change the world in the 70s. We start in Germany, head to Britain, travel to Italy, see the birth of new Australian cinema, and then arrive in Japan, which was making the most moving films in the world.
S01:E11 - The Arrival of Multiplexes and Asian Mainstream (1970's)
Star Wars, Jaws and The Exorcist created the multiplexes, but they were also innovative. The Story of Film: Chapter 11 explains how, and then travels to India to show how Bollywood was doing new things in the 70s.
S01:E12 - Fight the Power: Protest in Film (1980's)
This is the story of how brave filmmakers spoke truth to power. American independent director John Sayles talks exclusively about these years. In Beijing we discover the blossoming of Chinese cinema before the Tiananmen crackdown.
S01:E13 - New Boundaries: World Cinema in Africa, Asia, Latin America (1990's)
Few saw it coming, but cinema around the world in the 90s entered a golden age. The story starts in Iran, where we meet Abbas Kiarostami, who rethought movie making and made it more real.
S01:E14 - New American Independents & the Digital Revolution (1990's)
This is the story of the brilliant, flashy, playful movies in the English-speaking world in the 90s. We look at what was new in Tarantino's dialogue and the edge of the Coen brothers. Then we plunge into the digital world to see how it changed the movies forever.
S01:E15 - Cinema Today and the Future (2000's)
In the final part of The Story of Film: An Odyssey, movies come full circle. They get more serious after 9/11; Romanian movies come to the fore; Inception turns film into a game. Then the The Story of Film surprises and goes beyond the present, to look at film in the future.