Magazine article Screen International

Mark Cousins, A Story of Children and Film

Magazine article Screen International

Mark Cousins, A Story of Children and Film

Article excerpt

Michael Rosser talks to Mark Cousins about his latest documentary, which has its world premiere in Cannes Classics tonight [May 3].

After making the epic documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey, it will surprise some that Mark Cousins has already made another history of the movies.

But the writer-director has turned his focus onto movies aimed at younger viewers for A Story of Children and Film, which is part of the Cannes Classics line-up.

Cousins told Screen that its genesis was unconventional. "This film happened because, one day last November, I filmed my niece and nephew playing for 12 minutes - a single shot," he recalls.

"I looked at the shot afterward and saw the gamut of kids' emotions and behaviour in it. Each emotion reminded me of films like E.T. and Night of the Hunter, and lots of others from Africa, Iran, Japan, etc.

"In chatting to a producer friend, I suddenly thought that I could make a film based on that 12-minute shot."

Chronicling more than 100 years of cinema would be a daunting task for anyone so Cousins turned to friends and experts.

"As I wanted the selection of films to be as wide as possible, I asked friends in Sweden and Prague, and the great film historian and collector Neil McGlone to suggest films I might not know about," he says. …

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