Palm Springs International Film Society Presents

Please join us for an exclusive opportunity to experience award-winning filmmaker Mark Cousins’ epic 15-hour film about the history of the movies. The film provides a worldwide guided tour of the greatest movies ever made and tells the story of interna-tional cinema through the history of cinematic innovation. The Story of Film: An Odyssey received its U.S. Premiere at the 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival and is currently making its way across the globe to the delight of movie loving audiences everywhere. In this special presentation, the film will be shown over the course of eight consecutive weeks (Sunday afternoons at 2:00PM and one Saturday meeting at 2:00PM). Each 2 1/2 hour pro-gram features a brief introduction by Palm Springs International Film Society's Education Coordinator Ken Jacobson, followed by the screening of two one-hour installments, and concludes with a guided discussion. The program will be presented at the Palm Springs Art Museum's intimate 3rd floor Lecture Hall. Only 75 spaces available.


“The cinematic event of the year…extraordinary” - Daily Telegraph

“Ambitious and intelligent” - The Guardian

“Remarkable” - The Independent on Sunday

“If I wasn't already a rabid cinephile, Mark Cousins' orgiastic The Story of Film: An Odyssey would turn me into one. I'm overwhelmed by its richness, depth and philosophy. It will dazzle the neophyte but also holds surprises for the most devoted film geek” - Meredith Brody, Indiewire

Series Passes are available at or by calling 760-322-2930 / Series Pass - $75.00
Palm Springs International Film Society and Palm Springs Art Museum Members - $50.00
Single tickets, space permitting, sold at the Palm Springs Art Museum Box Office - $15.00
PSIFS and PSAM Members - $10.00


Click here to learn more about PSIFS membership

Click here to learn more our new CLASSIC FILM SERIES

Episodes 1 & 2

Sunday, September 9 – 2:00 p.m.
Palm Springs Art Museum
101 North Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262
3rd Floor Lecture Hall (accessible through main entrance)

Episode 1. 1895-1918: The World Discovers a New Art Form
The first episode in Mark Cousins' epic history of cinema reveals how this art form was born. Filmed in the buildings where the first movies were made, the program reveals the story of the very first movie stars, close-ups and special effects, and travels to Hollywood to show 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.

Episode 2. 1918-1928: The Triumph of American Film - And the First of Its Rebels
The fascinating story of the movies in the roaring twenties, when Hollywood became a glittering entertainment industry; star directors such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton emerged. But the gloss and fantasy were challenged by Robert Flaherty, Eric Von Stroheim and Carl Theodor Dreyer, who wanted films to be more serious and mature.

Episodes 3 & 4

Saturday, September 15 – 2:00 p.m.

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 North Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262
3rd Floor Lecture Hall (accessible through main entrance)

Episode 3. 1918 - 1932: The Great Rebel Filmmakers Around the World
The 1920s were a golden age for world cinema. The program visits Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Shanghai and Tokyo to explore the places where movie makers were pushing the boundaries. German expressionism, Soviet montage and French impressionism and surrealism were passionate new film movements. Less well known are the glories of Chinese and Japanese films and the moving story of one of the great, now largely forgotten, movie stars, Ruan Lingyu.

Episode 4. The 1930s: The Great American Movie Genres - And the Brilliance of European Films
The arrival of sound in the 1930s changed everything for cinema. This episode revisits the birth of new types of film: screwball comedies, gangster pictures, horror films, westerns and musicals, and discovers the master of most of them, Howard Hawks. In England, Alfred Hitchcock hits his stride, French directors become masters of mood, and the program reveals what three of the great films of 1939 - The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and Ninotchka - have in common.

Episodes 5 & 6

Sunday, September 23 – 2:00 p.m.

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 North Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262
3rd Floor Lecture Hall (accessible through main entrance)

Episode 5. 1939 - 1952: The Devastation of War - And a New Movie Language
This episode reveals how the trauma of war made cinema more daring. The story starts in Italy, and moves to Hollywood, from Orson Welles to the darkening of American film and the drama of the McCarthy era. Interviews include screenwriters Paul Schrader and Robert Towne and Stanley Donen director of Singin' in the Rain. The program also reveals how British films such as The Third Man best sum up these extraordinary years.

Episode 6. 1953 - 1957: The Swollen Story: World Cinema Bursting at the Seams
The story of sex and melodrama in the movies of the 50s. The program looks at James Dean, On the Waterfront and the glossy weepies of the period, but also travels to Egypt, India, China, Mexico, Britain and Japan, where movies were full of rage and passion. Exclusive interviews include the people who worked with Satyajit Ray; legendary actress Kyoko Kagawa, who starred in films by Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu; and the first great African director, Youssef Chahine.

Episodes 7 & 8

Sunday, September 30 – 2:00 p.m.

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 North Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262
3rd Floor Lecture Hall (accessible through main entrance)

Episode 7. 1957 - 1964: The Shock of the New - Modern Filmmaking in Western Europe
The explosive story of film in the late 50s and 60s. The great movie star Claudia Cardinale discusses Federico Fellini. In Denmark, Lars Von Trier describes his admiration for Ingmar Bergman; and Bernardo Bertolucci remembers his work with Pier Paolo Pasolini. The program discovers how French filmmakers planted a bomb under the movies, and sees how the new wave it caused swept across Europe.

Episode 8. 1965 - 1969: New Waves Sweep Around the World
The story of the dazzling 1960s in cinema around the world, from Hollywood to the birth of Black African cinema. Includes an interview with legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who reveals how documentary influenced mainstream movies. A discussion of Easy Rider and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the films of Roman Polanski, Andrei Tarkvosky and Nagisa Oshima. Featured is an exclusive interview with the Indian master director Mani Kaul.

Episodes 9 & 10

Sunday, October 7 – 2:00 p.m.

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 North Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262
3rd Floor Lecture Hall (accessible through main entrance)

Episode 9. 1967 - 1979: New American Cinema
The remarkable story of the maturing of American cinema in the late 60s and 70s. Buck Henry, who wrote The Graduate, talks exclusively about movie satire of the time. In New York, Paul Schrader reveals his thoughts on his existential screenplay for Taxi Driver. Writer Robert Towne explores the dark ideas in Chinatown, and director Charles Burnett talks about the birth of Black American cinema.

Episode 10. 1969 - 1979: Radical Directors in the 70s Make State of the Nation Movies
The story of the movies that tried to change the world in the 70s. The program starts in Germany with Wim Wenders, then to Britain, talking to Ken Loach, before travelling to Italy and Australia, and ends in Japan, which was making the most moving films in the world. Bold questions about film were being asked in Africa and South America.

Episodes 11 & 12

Sunday, October 14 – 2:00 p.m.

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 North Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262
3rd Floor Lecture Hall (accessible through main entrance)

Episode 11. 1970s and Onwards: Innovation in Popular Culture Around the World
This episode reveals how, as well as creating the multiplexes, Star Wars, Jaws and The Exorcist were also innovative. The program then travels to India, where the world's most famous movie star, Amitabh Bachchan, shows how Bollywood was doing new things in the 70s. And there's a look at how Bruce Lee movies kick-started the kinetic films of Hong Kong, where Master Yuen Wo Ping talks about his action movies and his choreography for The Matrix.

Episode 12. The 1980s: Moviemaking and Protest Around the World
The 1980s was a decade of protest in the movies. American independent director John Sayles talks exclusively about these years. In Beijing, Chinese cinema was blossoming before the Tian'anmen crackdown. In the Soviet Union, the past wells up in astonishing films, and in Poland the master director Krzysztof Kieslowski emerges.

Episodes 13 & 14

Sunday, October 21 – 2:00 p.m.

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 North Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262
3rd Floor Lecture Hall (accessible through main entrance)

Episode #13 Episode 13. 1990 - 1998: The Last Days of Celluloid - Before the Coming of Digital
Few saw it coming, but cinema around the world entered a golden age in the 90s. The story starts in Iran, where the program meets Abbas Kiarostami, who rethought movie making and made it more real. Shinji Tsukamoto discusses his contributions to the bold new Japanese horror cinema. In France, one of the world's greatest directors, Claire Denis, talks exclusively about her work. The story ends in Mexico with the blossoming of its new films.

Episode 14. The 1990s: The First Days of Digital - Reality Losing Its Realness in America and Australia
The brilliant, flashy, playful movies in the English-speaking world in the 90s. This episode looks at what was new in Tarantino's dialogue and the edge of the Coen brothers. In Australia, Baz Luhrmann talks about Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge! and the program plunges into the digital world to see how it has changed the movies forever.

Episode 15

Sunday, October 28 – 2:00 p.m.

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 North Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262
3rd Floor Lecture Hall (accessible through main entrance)

Episode 15. 2000 Onwards: Film Moves Full Circle - And the Future of Movies
In the final episode, movies come full circle. They get more serious after 9/11, and Romanian movies come to the fore. Meanwhile, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive becomes one of the most complex dream films ever made and Inception turns film into a game. In Moscow, master director Alexander Sokurov talks exclusively about his innovative films, and the program goes beyond the present, to look at film in the future.