Monday, 5 September 2011

Film Buffs: Documentary Alert

The channel More4 started showing a 15-part documentary at the weekend, called The Story of Film: An Odyssey, and what a documentary it is. If you are like me and know roughly how film began, who the main pioneers were: the Lumiere Brothers, Edison, Melies to name only a handful, then this is one to watch. This series shows every tiny fact we knew, and delves deeply into it by going through each innovative film: the first magic tricks, the first cuts, the first close-up, and many more.

I had learnt about the so-called "primitive" years of filmmaking in my university course, but my knowledge was vague and general. This documentary however, paints a wonderful picture on an enormous canvas, showing the great changes and developments that took shape in the art form chronologically. What I really love about this documentary is how it shows the global picture of how so many filmmakers in so many different countries contributed to the development of cinema: how it became a universal language and art.

I was fascinated throughout the first episode with all these different clips showing just how the art progressed into multi-layered narratives, how stars were made and how they gave images a heavenly glow. It is really a wondrous series (from what I have seen so far) and I cannot wait to see the other fourteen episodes which also includes input from some of film's most famous faces, including one of my favourites, Claudia Cardinale.

For those of you who live in the UK, it is on More4 every Saturday I believe, unless they change the schedule. If you miss it or live outside the UK, I think you might be able to view it here on youtube: 

If I haven't convinced you to watch it, then please watch the trailer for the series in the video below, it may just wet your appetite. I would like to thank my friend Doug for sending me this video and alerting me that this documentary was being aired soon. 

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