Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Old And Young Come Together Over "The Story Of Film: An Odyssey"

Mark Cousins does a fine job narrating the series. His laconic style of presentation and Irish accent give the 10-year-old plenty of material for both comedy and critical analysis..
I've enjoyed watching The Story of Film with my son. The series does an excellent job of explaining why film is a unique art form and how it developed.

Full disclosure, I've only seen three episodes, but I'm hooked.

Perhaps the most crucial observation in these first episodes is that film is a language unto itself and nothing, camera angle, lighting, the projection machinery, should ever be taken for granted.

I liked very much how Cousins explained how the big studios of the `30s and `40s, set up like giant assembly lines, produced, in spite of the system, many fine movies. As there was no established pedigree to the sort of person who worked on, wrote, or acted in films, all sorts of talented weirdos found employment. "The deus ex machina in the studio system was art," Cousins drolly intones.

I suspect the series will become a bit too erudite for the 10-year-old soon, but it motivated him this week to take a camera to school and shoot a movie documenting his field trip dealing with invasive species. However we get there, the journey's still good.

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