A decade after The Story of Film: An Odyssey, an expansive and influential inquiry into the state of moviemaking in the 20th century, filmmaker Mark Cousins returns with an epic and hopeful tale of cinematic innovation from around the globe. In The Story of Film: A New Generation, Cousins turns his sharp, meticulously honed gaze on world cinema from 2010 to 2021, using a surprising range of works — including Frozen, The Babadook, and Cemetery of Splendour — as launchpads to explore recurring themes and emerging motifs, from the evolution of film language, to technology’s role in moviemaking today, to shifting identities in 21st-century world cinema. Touching on everything from Parasite and The Farewell to Black Panther and Lovers Rock, Cousins seeks out films, filmmakers and communities under represented in traditional film histories, with a particular emphasis on Asian and Middle Eastern works, as well as boundary-pushing documentaries and films that see gender in new ways. And as the recent pandemic recedes, Cousins ponders what comes next in the streaming age: how have we changed as cinephiles, and how moviegoing will continue to transform in the digital century, to our collective joy and wonder.
“Cousins is an omnivore extraordinaire, sharing choice morsels from the far corners of the form. And for those who appreciate the director’s wide-eyed and open-hearted way of looking at cinema, the documentary is brimming with clips sure to expand their horizons.” – Peter Debruge, Variety
“A discursive love letter to cinema. Restless and impassioned. A welcome voice in cacophonous times.” – Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
“Another engaging documentary [from Mark Cousins], a journey around the cinematic world over 160 minutes that’s clever and informative.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
“Ferociously eclectic, Cousins makes connections as he singles out films we’ve seen and ones we haven’t … He possesses an idiosyncratic cinematic imagination” – Steve Pond, The Wrap