The Story of Film: An Odyssey

Episode Guides

Award-winning film-maker Mark Cousins provides a worldwide guided tour of the greatest movies ever made and tells the story of international cinema through the history of cinematic innovation

About the Show

Award-winning film-maker Mark Cousins provides a worldwide guided tour of the greatest movies ever made and tells the story of international cinema through the history of cinematic innovation

Series 1 Summary

Award-winning filmmaker Mark Cousins tells the story of international cinema. The series provides a guided tour of the greatest movies ever made; an epic tale that starts in nickelodeons and ends as a multi-billion-dollar globalised digital industry.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 1

    Mark Cousins tells the story of cinema, starting in this episode with the birth of the movies, telling the glamorous, surprising stories of early moviemaking and the first film stars.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 2

    Mark Cousins' epic history of the movies reaches the roaring twenties, when Hollywood became a glittering entertainment industry, and stars like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton emerged.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 3

    The 1920s were a golden age for world cinema. This episode visits Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Shanghai and Tokyo to explore the places where movie makers were pushing the boundaries.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 4

    The arrival of sound in the 1930s changed everything for cinema. This episode revisits the birth of screwball comedies, gangster pictures, horror films, westerns and musicals.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 5

    The trauma of war made cinema more daring. This episode starts in Italy and moves to Hollywood, from Orson Welles to the darkening of American film and the drama of the McCarthy era.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 6

    The story of sex and melodrama in 1950s cinema, from James Dean, On the Waterfront and other glossy weepies to the passionate movies of Egypt, India, China, Mexico, Britain and Japan.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 7

    The explosive story of film in the late 50s and 60s, from Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman and Pier Paolo Pasolini to the French filmmakers whose new wave swept across Europe.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 8

    The story of the dazzling 1960s in cinema around the world. Easy Rider and 2001: A Space Odyssey begin a new era in America cinema, while the new wave in cinema sweeps around the world.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 9

    The remarkable story of the maturing of American cinema in the late 60s and 70s, from The Graduate to Taxi Driver and Chinatown, and the birth of Black American cinema.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 10

    The story of the movies that tried to change the world in the 70s, from Wim Wenders in Germany to Ken Loach in Britain, and the big, bold questions being asked in Africa and South America.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 11

    This episode reveals the innovation behind blockbusters Star Wars, Jaws and The Exorcist, and travels to India to talk Bollywood with the world's most famous movie star, Amitabh Bachchan.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 12

    This episode explores the 1980s: with Ronald Reagan in the White House and Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street, it was a decade of protest in the movies all around the world.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 13

    Few saw it coming, but cinema entered a golden age in the 90s, from Iran to Japanese horror, France and Mexico. The programme meets Abbas Kiarostami, Shinji Tsukamoto and Claire Denis.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 14

    The story of the brilliant, flashy, playful movies in the English-speaking world in the 90s, from Tarantino to the Coen brothers, Baz Luhrmann and the digital film revolution.

  • The Story of Film: An Odyssey

    Episode 15

    The final episode of the series looks at how movies became more serious after 9/11, the rise of Romanian films, the movies of David Lynch, and interviews Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov.

The Story of Film: An Odyssey synopsis

Award-winning film-maker Mark Cousins provides a worldwide guided tour of the greatest movies ever made and tells the story of international cinema through the history of cinematic innovation

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