There's no better channel than Turner Classic Movies (TCM) to run the U.S. television premiere of Mark Cousins The Story of Film: An Odyssey. Beginning Sept. 2, the series will run 15 weeks and programmed alongside it on Mondays and Tuesdays will be over a hunderd films and short subjects from 29 different countries to tell the history of the medium. Cousins will join TCM host Robert Osborne to introduce each week's episode and discuss some of the highlights and themes.
After the video promo, TCM's schedule for the first five weeks of the event is listed below with accompanying links to reviews where applicable.
Monday, Sept. 2
8 p.m. - An Edison Album (U.S.A.)
9:30 p.m. - Lumière's First Picture Shows (France)
10 p.m. - The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) - Episode One: "The World Discovers A New Art Form (1895-1918)" -The Story of Film: An Odyssey opens with the birth of a great new art form, the movies. Filmed in the very buildings where the first movies were made, it shows that ideas and passion have always driven film, more than money and marketing. This opening installment tells the story of the very first movie stars, close-ups and special effects. It also explores how Hollywood became a myth. The story is full of surprises, such as the fact that the greatest and best-paid writers in these early years were women. It's also full of glamour, as epitomized by great movie cathedrals.
11:15 p.m. - A Trip to the Moon (1902) (France)
11:30 p.m. - Alice Guy-Blaché Shorts (U.S.A.): Falling Leaves (1912), Canned Harmony (1912), A House Divided (1913)
12:30 a.m. - The Squaw Man (1914) (U.S.A.)
2 a.m. - The Birth of a Nation (1915) (U.S.A.)
5:15 a.m. - Orphans of the Storm (1921) (U.S.A.)
Tuesday, Sept. 3
8 p.m. - Intolerance (1916) (U.S.A.)
11:30 p.m. - Way Down East (1920) (U.S.A.)
2 a.m. - Haxan (1922) (Sweden, Denmark)
4 a.m. - The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) - Episode One: "The World Discovers A New Art Form (1895-1918)"
5:15 a.m. - The Phantom Carriage (1922) (Sweden)
7:15 a.m. - The Wind (1928) (U.S.A.)
Monday, Sept. 9
8 p.m. - One Week (1920) (U.S.A.)
8:30 p.m. - The Three Ages (1923) (U.S.A.)
10 p.m. - The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) - Episode Two: "The Triumph of American Film and the First of Its Rebels (1918-1928)" - This is the fascinating story of the movies in the roaring '20s, when Hollywood became a glittering entertainment capital and star directors like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton emerged. But the gloss and fantasy was challenged by movie makers like Robert Flaherty, Eric Von Stroheim and Carl Theodor Dreyer, who wanted films to be more serious and mature. Filmed in Hollywood, Denmark and Moscow, this part looks at the battle over the soul of cinema and some of the greatest movies ever made.
11:15 p.m. - The General (1927) (U.S.A.)
12:45 a.m. - The Kid (1921) (U.S.A.)
1:45 a.m. - City Lights (1931) (U.S.A.)
3:30 a.m. - Never Weaken (1921) (U.S.A.)
4:15 a.m. - Safety Last! (1923) (U.S.A.)
Tuesday, Sept. 10
8 p.m. - Nanook of the North (1922) (U.S.A.)
9:15 p.m. - The Thief of Bagdad (1924) (U.S.A.)
11:15 p.m. - The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) (France)
1:15 a.m. - The Crowd (1928) (U.S.A.)
3:15 a.m. - The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) - Episode Two: "The Triumph of American Film and the First of Its Rebels (1918-1928)”
4:30 a.m. - Greed (1924) (original release version) (U.S.A.)
6:45 a.m. - Vampyr (1932) (Germany)
Monday, Sept. 16
8 p.m. - Sunrise (1927) (U.S.A.)
10 p.m. - The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) - Episode Three: "The Great Rebel Filmmakers Around the World (1928-1932)" - The 1920s were a Golden Age in world cinema. In Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Shanghai and Tokyo, movie makers were pushing the boundaries of the medium. German Expressionism, Soviet montage, French impressionism and surrealism were passionate new film movements, but less well known are the glories of Chinese and Japanese films and the moving story of one of the greatest movie stars of all time, the all-but-forgotten Ruan Lingyu.
11:15 p.m. - Battleship Potemkin (1925) (Soviet Union)
12:45 a.m. - The Goddess (1934) (China)
2:15 a.m. - The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) (Germany)
3:30 a.m. - Metropolis (1927) (Germany)
Tuesday, Sept. 17
8 p.m. - La Roue (1923) (France)
12:30 a.m. - Un Chien Andalou (1928) (France)
1 a.m. - I Was Born, But… (1932) (Japan)
3 a.m. - The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) - Episode Three: "The Great Rebel Filmmakers Around the World (1928-1932)”
4:15 a.m. - Osaka Elegy (1936) (Japan)
Monday, Sept. 23
8 p.m. - Love Me Tonight (1932) (U.S.A.)
10 p.m. - The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) - Episode Four: "The Great American Movie Genres and the Brilliance of European Film (1930s)" - The coming of sound in the 1930s upended nearly everything that had gone before, giving rise to new genres like the screwball comedy, gangster picture and musicals, and fertile ground for Howard Hawks, who managed to master all of them. The decade climaxed in 1939 with Hollywood delivering some of the greatest films of all time, three of which - The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and Ninotchka - also have something else in common. Meanwhile, far from Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock hit his stride in England, and French directors became masters of mood.
11:15 p.m. - The Public Enemy (1931) (U.S.A.)
12:45 a.m. - Frankenstein (1931) (U.S.A.)
2 a.m. - Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) (U.S.A.)
3:45 a.m. - Twentieth Century (1934) (U.S.A.)
5:30 a.m. - The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1927) (Germany)
Tuesday, Sept. 24
8 p.m. - Zero de Conduite (1933) (France)
9 p.m. - L'Atalante (1934) (France)
10:45 p.m. - Grand Illusion (1937) (France)
12:45 a.m. - Rules of the Game (1939) (France)
2:45 a.m. - The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) - Episode Four: "The Great American Movie Genres and the Brilliance of European Film (1930s)"
4 a.m. - Le Quai de Brumes (1939) (France)
Monday, Sept. 30
8 p.m. - Stagecoach (1939) (U.S.A.)
10 p.m. - The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) - Episode Five: "The Devastation of War and a New Movie Language (1939-1952)" - This part of The Story of Film shows how the trauma of war made cinema more daring. The story starts in Italy, and then we go to Hollywood, discover Orson Welles and chart the darkening of American film and the drama of the McCarthy era. Screenwriters Paul Schrader and Robert Towne discuss their work during this time. Singin’ in the Rain co-director Stanley Donen talks about his career, and we discover that British films like The Third Man best sum up these extraordinary years.
11:15 p.m. - Citizen Kane (1941) (U.S.A.)
1:30 a.m. - The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) (U.S.A.)
4:30 a.m. - Rome, Open City (1946) (Italy)
Tuesday, Oct. 1
8 p.m. - Singin' in the Rain (1952) (U.S.A.)
10 p.m. - Double Indemnity (1944) (U.S.A.)
Midnight - The Bicycle Thieves (1948) (Italy)
1:45 a.m. - Gun Crazy (1950) (U.S.A.)
3:15 a.m. - The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) - Episode Five: "The Devastation of War and a New Movie Language (1939-1952)"
4:30 a.m. - The Big Sleep (1946) (U.S.A.)
6:30 a.m. - A Matter of Life and Death (1947) (United Kingdom)
What are you most looking forward to seeing or rewatching?