The Belcourt Theatre presents The Story of Film: An Odyssey, a 15-hour film screened in eight parts that passionately and expertly offers a guided tour through the history of moving pictures. The first two parts will screen this weekend on Saturday and Sunday at noon each day. Additional parts will open each weekend at noon through July 29 with additional screenings offered during the week, dates and times to be determined.
Told through the observations of award-winning writer and filmmaker Mark Cousins, The Story of Film is replete with wonderful film clips and insightful interviews with both famous and lesser-known writers, directors and others. Beginning with the first moving pictures in the late 1800s and concluding with a glimpse into the future of this visual art form, The Story of Film follows the innovation and maturation of film across 11 decades, six continents and 1,000 films.
“By documenting so passionately the magic and creativity behind films and film-making, The Story of Film is, in a way, a celebration what we do each and every day here at the Belcourt,“ says Stephanie Silverman, executive director of the Belcourt Theatre. “Dozens—if not hundreds–of the films highlighted in The Story of Film have graced the Belcourt’s screens over the years: Battleship Potemkin, Casablanca, City Lights and Black Girl to name only a few. We are delighted to share this incredibly entertaining and compelling look at film.”
The Story of Film examines the art of film and its evolution and covers topics that include rebel and radical filmmakers, new wave cinema, world cinema, movie-making and protest, and much more. Although the film’s parts are presented chronologically, each part is whole unto itself: Patrons can attend one part of the film without having viewed any previous parts.
In an effort to remind and encourage The Story of Film patrons to seek some of the many films referenced in the feature, the Belcourt is giving audiences a graphic poster that features titles of the approximately 1,000 film clips included in the eight parts.
The Story of Film parts and screening dates include:
July 7: “Introduction/1895-1918: The World Discovers a New Artform/Thrill Becomes Story” and “1918: The Triumph of American Film…and the First of its Rebels”
July 8: “1918-1935: The Great Rebel Filmmakers Around the World” and “The 1930s: The Great American Movie Genres…and the Brilliance of European Film”
July 14: “1939-1952: The Devastation of War…and a New Movie Language” and “1953-1957: The Swollen Story: World Cinema Bursting at the Seams”
July 15: “1957-1964: The Shock of the New…Modern Filmmaking in Western Europe” and “1965-1969: New Waves Sweep Around the World”
July 21: “1967-1979: New American Cinema” and “1969-1979: Radical Directors in the 70s Make State of the Nation Movies”
July 22: “1970s and Onwards: Innovation in Popular Culture Around the World” and “1980s: Moviemaking and Protest Around the World”
July 28: “1990-1998: The Last Days of Celluloid Before the Coming of Digital” and “1990s: The First Days of Digital – Reality Losing its Realness in America and Australia”
July 29: “2000 Onwards”
Patrons may buy individual tickets to one or more parts of the film, or buy a discounted Full Pass for $45 ($40 for Belcourt members) for individual admission to the entire eight-part film. The Belcourt’s website, www.belcourt.org, provides an in-depth description of The Story of Film. More up-to-the-minute information may be found at the theatre’s Twitter page, @belcourt, or on its Facebook page. Parking note: Online ticket purchasers may conveniently print a Belcourt parking lot pass for dashboard use.
*Poster art courtesy Belcourt Theatre.