Hollywood has long been revered as the mecca of the movie world, and many people have forgotten -- if they ever knew -- that a thriving cinema scene developed in Europe during the great silent film era. British film historians Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, who years ago made a comprehensive survey of those days in Hollywood, now remind film lovers of that fact, with this six-part look at the "other Hollywood" of Europe's silent film era. The cinematic efforts in France, Sweden, Germany, and Great Britain are showcased, using archival film footage and interviews with actors and directors, from Sir John Gielgud to Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock to Simon Feldman. The documentary shows how many of the artistic devices that are standard in the industry were first developed in Europe, including the use of color and special effects, soundtracks, and the now ubiquitous chase scene. The fourth volume in the series, narrated by Kenneth Branaugh, considers the many artistic contributions of the French filmmakers. The lightweight cameras of Auguste and Louis Lumiere brought the scenes of nature to the screen for the first time. Hand tinting, slapstick comedy routines, and musical scores all had their inception in French cinema.
by Rose of Sharon Winter synopsis