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  • A Vertical Time Adventure The Story of Film: An Odyssey
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    Monday, Mar 26, 2012 1:44PM / Standard Entry / Members only

    A Vertical Time Adventure 
    The Story of Film: An Odyssey 



    26 March, 2012 - A monumental work, Mark Cousin's The Story of Film: An Odyssey attempts to do nothing less that cover the wide ranging history of cinema. Produced by the British Film Institute and Channel 4, the film comprises 15 one hour episodes that delve into the highways and byways of the quintessential art of our time. Beginning with the silent era, Cousins ventures around the world and propels the story through history that reflects also the social and industrial development of countries and regions around the world. 

    Based on his extensive and in-depth book "The Story of Film", the film medium allows Cousins to include fascinating film clips and in-depth interviews with filmmakers and personalities. 

    This 15 hours epic work is essential viewing for anyone interested in film, society and innovation in technology that have made the cinema an intrinsic part of life and civilization. 

    HKIFF will show the complete film divided into five programmes of 180 minutes each. 

    The Story of Film: An Odyssey I (ep. 1-3) 
    Dir: Mark Cousins 
    UK 2011 Colour/B&W 180min 
    In the beginning was the image: we follow the genesis of moving images, starting with pioneers Thomas Edison and the Lumiere Brothers. Discover how film language, from cuts to angles, evolved during the early days of cinema. By the 1920s, Hollywood had become a bustling entertainment industry, giving us grand spectacles during the silent film era. We remember comic icons Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin and study the legacy of cinematic masters such as Fritz Lang, Sergei Eisenstein and Carl Theodor Dreyer. In the East, we are introduced to the early works of Ozu Yasujiro, as well as the tragic life of Chinese superstar Ruan Lingyu. 

    The Story of Film: An Odyssey II (ep. 4-6) 
    Dir: Mark Cousins 
    UK 2011 Colour/B&W 180min 
    In the 1930s, the arrival of sound changed everything. Film genres were expanded to include gangster flicks, musicals and westerns. From post-World War II Italy came neorealism - works by Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica. And then came film noir. Alfred Hitchcock is presented as the master of mood and mystery. The works of John Ford; the expressionistic Orson Welles; the Hollywood classic era defined by Howard Hawks. Far from the West, there's Youssef Chahine and Egyptian films; India's Satyajit Ray and Guru Dutt; Chinese melodrama by Xie Jin; and Japan's cinematic rise, led by Kurosawa Akira. 

    The Story of Film: An Odyssey III (ep. 7-9) 
    Dir: Mark Cousins 
    UK 2011 Colour/B&W 180min 
    The explosion of arthouse cinema in the late 50s and 60s, from Sweden's Ingmar Bergman and Italy's Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini to the revolution that was the French New Wave, led by Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. Elsewhere, from the Soviet bloc came Poland's Roman Polanski and Russia's Andrei Tarkovsky. Farther East, Japan's enfant terrible Nagisa Oshima. The rise of Black African cinema. Back in Hollywood, Easy Rider and Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey redefined American films, a trend continued by Martin Scorsese and the seminal Taxi Driver. 

    The Story of Film: An Odyssey IV (ep. 10-12) 
    Dir: Mark Cousins 
    UK 2011 Colour/B&W 180min 
    1970s European cinema welcomed the German New Wave (Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog) and British social realism (Ken Loach). Hong Kong movie's explosion - the beginnings of Shaw Studios and the rise of the kung fu craze, as personified by Bruce Lee. Then in the 1980s, John Woo's and Yuen Woo-ping's action mastery. Bollywood's popularity and the impact of the classic Sholay. The rise of the 5th Generation Chinese filmmakers. A giant of Eastern European cinema: Krzysztof Kieslowski. But in Hollywood, it was the birth of multiplexes and blockbusters like Jaws and Star Wars. 

    The Story of Film: An Odyssey V (ep. 13-15) 
    Dir: Mark Cousins UK 2011 Colour/B&W 180min 
    The final episodes chronicle 'the last days of celluloid' and the beginning of digital cinema. Cousins begins with Iranian cinema: Abbas Kiarostami and the Makhmalbafs. Crossing to the Far East, auteurs such as Wong Kar Wai, Tsai Ming-Liang and Hou Hsiao-Hsien. But Japan was making new kinds of horror: Tetsuo, The Ring, and Audition. And in Europe: Lars von Trier, Bruno Dumont, Claire Denis and Michael Haneke. In America, we discover the rapid wordplay of Quentin Tarantino, the edginess of the Coen Brothers, and the dreamlike world of David Lynch. 


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