- Event Details
- Adapted from his book of the same name, Mark Cousins’ epic exploration of film—its distant and recent past, and even its future—has something of interest for everyone from the mildly curious to the hardcore cineaste. Cousins’ film is designed to be a history of ideas and innovators rather than a charting of money and business, focusing on the development of cinematic language around the world. Comprehensive yet idiosyncratic, the series is packed with luscious film clips and judicious interviews with directors both beloved and underappreciated (many of them veterans of SFIFF) as well as lesser-known figures in the history of the medium. Aiming to redress what he considers racism by omission in many official cinema histories, Cousins illustrates the importance and innovation of filmmakers and films from Asia, Africa, India and the Middle East—without in any way dismissing the importance of mainstream commercial cinema. Guiding the journey with a lilting voice-over, whispering his version of cinema history in viewers’ ears, Cousins moves us through a travelogue of images of current locations and cities that have been important to the story of filmmaking. All together, it adds up to an ambitious, wide-ranging, provocative look at the evolution of the medium. “It’s entirely possible that the most important cinematic event of 2011 is actually The Story of Film. Visually ensnaring and intellectually lithe, it’s at once a love letter to cinema, an unmissable masterclass, and a radical rewriting of movie history.” Telegraph (UK) June 2: Part 1 “Birth of the Cinema” (1900–1920); “The Hollywood Dream” (1920s) June 9: Part 2 “Expressionism, Impressionism and Surrealism: Golden Age of World Cinema” (1920s); “The Arrival of Sound” (1930s) June 16: Part 3 “Postwar Cinema” (1940s); “Sex & Melodrama” (1950s) June 23: Part 4 “European New Wave”; “New Directors, New Forms” (1960s) June 30: Part 5 “American Cinema of the ‘70s”; “Movies to Change the World” (1970s) July 7: Part 6 “The Arrival of Multiplexes and Asian Mainstream” (1970s); “Fight the Power: Protest in Film” (1980s) July 14: Part 7 “New Boundaries: World Cinema in Africa, Asia, Latin America”; “New American Independents & the Digital Revolution” (1990s) July 21: Part 8 “Cinema Today and the Future” (2000s) Scotland 2011. Written by Mark Cousins. Photographed by Mark Cousins. 8 parts, 122 min each part. Distributed by Music Box Films. Individual tickets $8; $48 for special eight-film package. Box office opens May 21 online at sffs.org and in person at SF Film Society Cinema.
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