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"The Story of Film" DVD Set: the best gift for a movie buff!

Updated on June 9, 2014

My own "Odyssey" with the love of movies:

My husband knows that I love films. He often states that that I would watch a movie of a fly on a wall if it was called a "film", and he is not too far wrong. So, when I noticed a new recording on my DVR, The Story of Film: An Odyssey I knew that he put it there for me, just me.

When I was eleven years old in the sixties, I began a lifelong love affair with films (aka movies). My family lived outside of Philadelphia and there was a channel that had movies on every afternoon. Most often, they were in black and white. (My granddaughters now call them "gray" movies.)

In the summer when school was out, I used to stay up all night watching movies on my little black and white portable TV in my room on the third floor of our home. I fell in love with the stories about swashbuckling pirates with pearly white teeth (Errol Flynn), or diaphanously beautiful women who where haunted by ghosts in houses by the sea (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir). To me, black and white films were the creme-de-la-creme. I was watching on a b&w TV, remember? My family did have a color TV in the den, but I did not really enjoy any film that was not in black and white because, to me, they were not as beautiful. Yes, I loved the beauty of those black and white movies. It never, ever occurred to me that those films were made in the 1930s and 40s and that most of the movie stars were no longer the young beautiful creatures that I adored watching. In fact, I was devastated when I learned that Tyrone Power was no longer alive when I was 11!

What you need to know about the collection "The Story of Film":

This is film history like you have never seen it before. The odyssey of this series reveals the innovations that made history and paved the way for the films that we view today.

There are 15 episodes and each covers a specific set of years in the development of movies. Mr. Cousins begins with the first films ever made and shows you what was going on "globally" during each era. For example, during the years that lead up to WWII, movies being made in the US and in European countries were very, very different. In Italy, most of the studios were closed down and the art of making movies was taken to the real streets of that country. No perfect movie sets for those bambinos. The Italians learned to shoot their movies "on location". That was an innovation.

What is an Odyssey? It is a "long and eventful or adventurous journey or experience."

Learning to Love the innovations and the art of Film:

When I was in graduate school, I took a course about the history of film. I studied how the art of film making developed and how a few directors experimented with the medium of film. For the first time in my life, I came to love "silent" films and saw that dialogue is only one aspect of a movie. In fact, I came to love the images that told the story and found out that if the film is well made, it does not matter what language the actors are speaking.

That course I took was almost forty years ago so a lot of movies have been made since that time and a lot of history has been made in the film industry.

The series The Story of Film is a welcome source for me. Mark Cousins has become my new hero. My mind is stimulated every time I watch an episode of this remarkable compendium. In fact, I want to view the episodes again and again because so much information is shared and I miss concepts because I am thinking so hard.

"The Story of Film: An Odyssey" is the perfect gift for a movie lover!

Below you will find the book to accompany the DVD collection. Also included is a documentary by Martin Scorsese, one of the best directors in the film industry today. I believe that he is has a true understanding about how history has influenced of the art of film and the industry as it is today.

The Story of Film
The Story of Film

An optional companion for the DVD series. A student of the art of film can browse the book if there is someone who is hogging the TV.

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

Extra credit is given for watching this documentary.


Movie Buffs need to be introduced to the odyssey of film:

Watch the trailer for the series, an interview with the creator or a snippet of the first three episodes. Enjoy the films!

Get an idea of what this series is all about.

Need to know more about the style of the film-making in this documentary series?

Do you know someone who would love this series about the history of film? (comments are welcome after you select an option below)

See results

Why do you think the story of film-making is an "odyssey"?

Would you consider purchasing this set for the movie buff in your life? I guarantee that whoever receives this set, will watch it over and over again. And with each viewing, they will learn something new.

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