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I highly recommend the Cousins' 5 part documentary, The Story of Film: An Odyssey which is airing on TCM during September. But it can also be seen online on Amazon and Netfix. The LA Times has an article on it here:


Amazon video link (watch the preview):


Cousins, who does the narration as well, is Irish, and it sounds like he is fluent in French too. His taste in films/directors/cinematographers to highlight is quite excellent, imo. And since he's not American, he doesn't feel the need to discuss Hollywood to the exclusion of everyone else's contributions to the art of film. It's a well balanced approach, and there are some wonderful rarities that get mention throughout the 15 hour documentary.

Here's one section that is available on YouTube - talking about director Yasujiro Ozu:


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