I’ve been watching The Story of Film: An Odyssey on Channel 4 (not sure how available this is to people outside of the UK but I think the full 15-hour documentary is being shown at various film festivals around the world if you can get to see it) and finding it an amazing experience.
I love films but I wouldn’t particularly call myself a fanatic; I started watching this on a whim really and found it totally compelling. It’s done in a very accessible way which doesn’t make you feel like an idiot for not know absolutely everything about every film that has ever been made. It tracks the development of film from its flickering genesis in the late 19th century to the blockbusting present day but it doesn’t do this in a plodding, academically heavy way. Instead it jumps around in time and circumnavigates the globe to capture the essence of what film is all about.
The passion and perceptiveness of its creator, film-critic Mark Cousins, shines through each and every frame. I’ve only watched the first four episodes so far but I’m genuinely thrilled to think that there are another eleven yet to come!! Best of all, this amazing documentary is introducing me to loads of films that I didn’t even know existed and infecting me with a Cousins-like enthusiasm to go and watch them.