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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 19 May 2017
This is a great start for anyone wanting to understand the history of film. There are books on this topic, but Mark Cousins
provides a personal insight on dvd and I think this is a more enjoyable way to start learning the history of film.

I have awarded 4 stars as it is more opinion that necessarily a true academic study of film history. However, I think it
should be used alongside books such as Looking at movies - Richard Barsam
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on 26 April 2017
When this 1st came out on tv I didn't appreciate a lot of what mark cousins was talking about when he was referencing Asian films. Especially in relation to how Asian film was years ahead of even celebrated directors such as Orson Wells. Watched it in bite sized sitting and it was such an education about cinema... if you think you have watched a lot of films i challenge you to watch the story of film to prove otherwise.
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on 8 May 2017
am very interested in the subject and have found this great to watch - can dip in and out whenever
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on 21 May 2017
Nice editing, but the narrator is terrible and monotonous; he made me fall asleep...
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on 19 March 2014
So far watched the first disk and it is a terrific story. For anyone who wants to understand and know more about the art of film. It's insightful, complete, thorough, delves deep. Excellent!
But OMG Cousin's Northern Irish accent is grating on my nerves! Every - Single - Sentence is read out in the same monotonous tone. This is really hard to get past. I'm managing it but only barely! Why oh why did this production not invest in a professional sounding narrator?
Also there's no menu. So you're unable to choose a chapter to view and the disks are long. I will persist however and see the whole documentary. eventually I won't notice the voice anymore (I hope) and I will have learnt an awful lot.
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Inspired by Mark Cousins' odyssey I thought I would make more of my video making abilities describing product in use (this is my 27th video on amazon UK) with my film entitled: 'MAGIC TRIFLE.' And I wanted to write a poem without words. It exploded my Pinnacle software. Narrative, story, allusions and stark visual imagery stuffed in a five minute film. Made for PC 2012. Any comments would be most appreciated even if I've only made a delicious movie!

The love of creating moving pictures. Through Mark Cousins' The Story of Film it is clear that this love has been proven around the world. Why should the 1920s be cinema's greatest age? The documentary film-maker is convincing in his narrative. And how we get emotional watching film.

The narrative style emphasizes continuousness. Facts are not stated, they are laid down in the tone of an objective god. A god in love with his subjects. Each dvd disc has three Parts, there are no distinct chapters or titles save for the white screen of a new Part with its art-house style perfunctory drum beat. There is no Menu on each disc only a Play All arrow. On the debit side of this production there are no subtitles available. The voice-over aids the momentum: era to era, idea to idea, disc to disc. The kind of details which only someone who looks through film can elicit. The kind of overviews of a man who has worked hard and knows the truth. Compelling.

The 32 page Program Notes add to the odyssey. He even gave the reason why I shied away from viewing the series on More4: 'There have been histories of the movie genres before, star histories, continental histories, histories of popular cinema, Godard's essayistic history, etc...' which was my fear, 'But no one had tried to do a history of innovation in the movies.' I was particularly impressed by the analysis of eye-lines to camera and how sound had the effect of lighting the whole scene. I suspect that his work will never be eclipsed.

I managed to buy the steelbook edition of the dvd set which I now think suits the seriousness of the work. I would also compare it with All You Need Is Love : The Story Of Popular Music - Tony Palmer's Classic Series [2008] [DVD]14h 40 minute documentary covering the history of popular music which I recorded onto dvd when transmitted on More4 in 2008. Some people study music or film and some people live music and film. If you consider yourself to be having an affair with film don't bother to watch Mark Cousins' The Story of Film An Odyssey. If life and film are the same thing, come on in, your friends have plenty to say.
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on 30 January 2012
We must be thankful that this series was made at all because while TV seems happy to take risks in drama and comedy it is fairly conservative when it domes to documentaries. The Story of Film is as good a place to start an appreciation of film as any. The joy of the show is that it celebrates world cinema and places it alongside innovations taking place in the US and Europe. But it is not a polemic and Cousins succeeds in using the context of world cinema to ENHANCE our understanding and APPRECIATION of all cinema. The documentary is broadly chronological but like a superior drama Cousins uses references established early on to support later points e.g. the work of D W Griffith is used to help illustrate points made about spaghetti westerns and modern digital cinema. One emerges from this experience with an enriched understanding of the mechanics of cinema, an appreciation of the art of cinema, a hunger to explore unknown films and an admiration for a film maker who uses the simplest of techniques to tell his story. Cousins as filmmaker is matched by Cousins the narrator. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 26 December 2012
As somewhat of an inspired film fanatic I have been anticipating the release of such a documentry for some time now. Which means I can finally sit back and endure hours of factual film knowledge whilst attaining the educational value.

The series is narrated by Irish film-critic/director Mark Cousins, who does happen to talk very distinctively, and has a certain emphasis on words, which does appear grating to some. I will clarify, Cousins does often tend to finish each sentence as if it were a question, which may sometimes exhaust the audience. This however does not bother me as much as other reviewers have pointed out. Despite those minor flaws, Mr. Cousins does clearly have a comprehensive ardent for film and of which possesses substancial knowledge in the field.

On the downside, the set is quite expensive (whilst informative and engaging!), so if you're easily off-put or distracted by Cousins' pronounciation then choose very wisely!

The series relies dependently on the depiction of art film works. Other than the making of film itself. The documentry is riddled with oftenly endearing segments of vintage noir films and modern-day classics.

Finally, if anyone here is pondering about specific information of the DVD set. The series is spread across 5 discs, clocking in at a total of 15 hours and 15 minutes! The set is also accompanied with an insightful 'Programme Notes' guide, written by the man himself. Note: there are no subtitles and the DVD's are devoid of any special features. Annoyingly, there isn't even a scene selection menu insight.

Anyhow, small nitpicks such as those do not stand in the way of such a beautifully executed spectacle 'The Story of Film: An Odyssey'.
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on 16 April 2012
I'm writing this having watched the 15-week TV screening and this evening having attended the BFI launch of this DVD set, at which Mark Cousins introduced a 75 min taster and answered questions. I found the series compulsive and very instrumental in widening my horizon for cinema across the world and as an antidote to getting trapped by Hollywood dominance of the marketing of film. Cousins doesn't behave with disdain for all things Hollywood but he does place them in a wider global and temporal context. I found his style engaging and uncluttered, e.g. he doesn't deliver his narrative to camera, leaving the viewer free to concentrate on the over 1000 film clips he uses to make various points. He uses well-known films like The Third Man and Taxi Driver and eye-opening films from around the world, some well-known, others obscure. But they're all there for a reason, not as wallpaper while he speaks: each clip illustrates a particular point and fits into a carefully presented whole. The extent of his research to produce the series was extremely extensive both in identifying the clips to use and in the interviews he conducted.

I know several people who couldn't watch the TV series because of Mark Cousins' Irish inflexion. My wife was one of those but at this evening's BFI launch she had no problem. I urge anyone who reacts against his inflexion to try hard to get past it, to the enjoyable and educational insights he provides. It is, in my opinion, a masterwork by that most wonderful of things, an enthusiastic expert who just wants to engage more people in the subject he loves. In his own words, a love letter to the movies.
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on 3 November 2012
First of all I think this film described by it's Director/Writer/Narrator Mark Cousins as 'a Love Letter to Film'is a masterpiece of Documentary filmmaking.

The film is 15 hours in total spread over 5 Disc's from the birth of cinema in the late 19th Century to the present time. The film contains around about 1000 clips from films all over the world and the Director films in some of the locations around the world where pivotal moments occured and also interviews key players in the Story of Film.

I really enjoyed the 32 page booklet that comes with the boxset in which Mark Cousins discusses the making of the film and also shares some of his highlights from filming in various parts of the world.

Mark Cousins narration is a little difficult to get used to at first with his emphasis on certain word's and phrases and admitedly not a born narrator. But once you get over this you are able to enjoy the film without letting this spoil it for you.

My only critiscism of the DVD is that it doesn't have Subtitles which is disappointing.

As a companion to The Story of Film An Odyssey I would recommend the following films; Mgm: When the Lion Roars [DVD] [2009] [US Import]Easy Riders, Raging Bulls [2003] [DVD]That's Entertainment Box Set [DVD] and The Kid Stays in the Picture [DVD] [2003]

For anyone with a love of Film or is studying the subject this DVD is invaluable.
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