If you wanted to better understand cinema and how it has developed, you could take a film history class, read some film history books, or build a time machine and explore the past hundred years.
Or, you could watch Mark Cousins exhaustive, ten part documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey, like we’re doing in this new series on the Reel Spirituality Podcast.
The Story of Film: An Odyssey traverses the history of cinema from the zoetrope days up to the modern blockbuster touching down in every country, every genre, and every stylistic innovation along the way. It’s a monumental work of film scholarship, and it actually shows you the movies themselves. It doesn’t distance you from them via text or lecture.
The entire documentary is available to stream on Netflix Instant, or, if you’d rather, you can purchase and/or download it via Amazon and other online outlets.