The first three episodes of Mark Cousins’ The Story of Film: An Odyssey have been selected as the Opening Night Presentation of the 6th Annual Buffalo International Film Festival on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7PM in The Screening Room, 3131 Sheridan, Amherst, NY.

The Story of Film: An Odyssey is an epic, 15-part history of the motion picture as it developed all over the world. Opening Night at BIFF 2012 will present the first three episodes in a single evening with intermissions and special refreshments: 


1] Birth Of Cinema (1895-1920)

This opening of The Story of Film: An Odyssey shows 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. We hear the story of the very first movie stars, close-ups and special effects and then we travel to Hollywood to see how it 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. And then there’s the glamour: the building of the great movie cathedrals.

2] The Hollywood Dream (1920s)

The movies in the roaring 20s. We see how Hollywood became a glittering entertainment industry and how 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.

3] Expressionism, Impressionism, Surrealism (1920s)

The 1920s were a golden age for world cinema. In this part, we visit Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Shanghai and Tokyo to discover the places where 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 great, now forgotten, movie stars: Ruan Lingyu.

The Buffalo International Film Festival runs this year from September 14 (a special theater screening tie-in with Buffalo Curtain-Up!, September 21, 22, September 27-30, 2012. Tickets are available in advance through  Early purchases are discounted.

[via press release]

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