Mark Cousins

A film critic, programmer, author, filmmaker and explorer, Mark Cousins has become one of the most intriguing film essayists of the past decade. A prolific journalist and writer, former director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and presenter and writer of such acclaimed BBC documentaries as SCENE BY SCENE and MOVIEDROME, Cousins channeled his cinephilia into filmmaking with THE FIRST MOVIE (2009), about children in Iraq, and then the 930-minute epic THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY (2011), an idiosyncratic, globe-trotting exploration of the history of cinema drawn from his book of the same name. The New York Times praised the film as "the place from which all future revisionism must start," while the Telegraph raved, "it’s at once a love letter to cinema and a radical rewriting of movie history." His later essay films, WHAT IS THIS FILM CALLED LOVE? (2012) and A STORY OF CHILDREN AND FILM (2013) continued his intertwining of the personal, the social and the cinematic.

It’s not merely Cousins' films and writings that are "love letters to cinema" but seemingly all his projects; in the mid-'90s he co-founded the charity "Scottish Kids are Making Movies" while, in 2009, he and actress Tilda Swinton collaborated on a venture to take a 33-ton portable cinema across the Scottish Highlands on a truck. Across his arms are even tattoos of famed filmmakers: "Forough" (for Iranian documentarian and poet Forough Farrokhzad) and "Eisenstein" (for the great Soviet director). It is the cinematic turned even more personal (just like his films). - Jason Sanders


Recent Reviews

What is this film called Love?

It's alright. If you loved The Story of Film, or if you're a fan of Mark Cousins, it's worth a look. But the film borrows a lot from Chris Marker's...