Mark Cousins

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Mark Cousins: 'Over the years I came to realise that looking is the theme of a lot of my films, and that looking keeps me happy'

18 Aug 2018

Not just a 'movie guy', Mark Cousins fill us in on the passion and inspiration behind his latest book, The Story of Looking

'If people know my work, it's as a 'movie guy',' says the Edinburgh-based filmmaker and film historian Mark Cousins, who has broadened his approach to visual culture significantly with the publication of his book – discussed this month at the Edinburgh…

The Eyes of Orson Welles

13 Aug 20184 stars

Mark Cousins finds a fresh perspective on the filmmaking legend by focusing on his artwork

As biographer and subject, Mark Cousins and Orson Welles are well suited – the intelligent, impishly personable cinephile casting his eye over one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of the medium, and its ultimate showman. Unsurprisingly, the…

Stockholm My Love

12 Jun 20173 stars

Director Mark Cousins and star Neneh Cherry explore the titular city in this restless drama

Hailed as a move from documentary to drama for prolific filmmaker Mark Cousins, Stockholm My Love retains the sense of poetry and restless curiosity that have become essential elements of his dreamily distinctive style. Co-written with veteran Swedish…

Mogwai & Mark Cousins

28 Aug 20165 stars

Exploration of nuclear energy for good and for bad from linchpins of Scottish culture

'The government has decided you should be told how best to protect yourself in the case of nuclear attack.' A stilted message delivered in Queens English formality portends the devastation to come: Mark Cousins' meticulous documentary exploring the…

Preview: Mogwai and Mark Cousins

12 Aug 2016

Two of Scotland's biggest creative forces band together for live performance of documentary film

For the premiere live performances of the new documentary film Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise, it's fair to say that two of Scotland's most significant creative forces have been brought together. The film itself was directed by the Edinburgh-based…

I Am Belfast

4 Apr 20164 stars

Documentarian Mark Cousins’ beguiling latest is a love letter to his home town

Mark Cousins is the Man with a Movie Camera of our age, darting around the world gathering images, impressions and emotions and shaping them into highly personal, poetic documentaries on everything from Sergei Eisenstein in Mexico (What Is This Film…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Mark Cousins and Mania Akbari's Life May Be takes inspiration from 19th Century letter novels

10 Jun 2014

EIFF 2014 features two strands dedicated to Iranian cinema

How would you describe Life May Be? Mark: The film is an old-fashioned letter piece – like Les Liaisons Dangereuses or Pamela by Samuel Richardson, radically updated to the digital age and with modern themes – Iran, exiles, nudity, etc. Mania: It’s a…

A Story of Children and Film

4 Apr 20143 stars

Mark Cousins’ film essay/poem is an impassioned look at childhood in cinema

A fervent supporter of world cinema, Mark Cousins’ new documentary provides some examples of the way childhood has been captured by filmmakers around the globe in the hundred years since cinema’s birth. Focusing on filmmakers from Francois Truffaut to…

Mark Cousins curates season of rare childhood films, the Cinema of Childhood

27 Mar 2014

The selection is inspired by Cousins' own doc/film essay, A Story of Children and Film

In Mark Cousins’ documentary, A Story of Children and Film, the critic and filmmaker trawls through the canons of film history and pulls out the most memorable, revealing and poignant portrayals of childhood. Steven Spielberg’s ET receives a mention, as…

What's your favourite thing about winter in Edinburgh?

21 Nov 2013

Ian Rankin, Daniel Sloss, Mark Cousins and more share their festive favourites

Ian Rankin (author) I love it when the canal freezes over. I've never quite dared to try walking across the ice from one bank to the other, but it does make for an otherworldly scene. Kim Kjaerside (Apex Hotels Ltd sales executive) I enjoy sipping…

Programme highlights of the London Film Festival 2013

4 Sep 2013

The capital film fest will feature new works from Richard Ayoade and the Coen brothers

Tom Hanks thriller Captain Phillips, Walt Disney biopic Saving Mr Banks and Steve McQueen's Shame follow-up 12 Years a Slave are among the highlights of the London Film Festival's 2013 programme. The festival, which takes place in several venues across…

Mark Cousins' letter to legendary British filmmaker Nic Roeg

19 Jul 2013

Legendary British filmmaker Roeg has just published his autobiography, The World is Ever Changing

Dear Nicolas Roeg, So you’re thinking of coming to Edinburgh. Will you travel up from London by train? I imagine you staring out the window as England whizzes past in Turner blurs and Constable clusters. Do you still look at landscapes as the…

Mark Cousins outlines his Ecstasis takeover as part of macrobert's THAT Festival

18 Sep 2012

You fall in love with movies more than once. At the age of 18, I saw Chen Kaige’s Yellow Earth at the macrobert centre in Stirling, where I was a student, and fell head over heels. It was about a Chinese girl longing to be someone else. Last month, when…

What is This Film Called Love?

25 Jun 20124 stars

Mark Cousins’ charming, witty and very personal film about travel, film and Mexico City

Filmmaker, broadcaster, writer, former EIFF artistic director and the festival’s latest patron Mark Cousins’ new film is a supreme piece of self-indulgence. Finding himself grounded in Mexico City for three days, Cousins, who by his own admission can’t…

The Hot 100 2011: 100-50

16 Dec 2011

The definitive list of Scottish creative talent

100: Gordon Ferris. Kilmarnock crime author makes good. The already packed Scottish crime writing field has finally found a bit of elbow room for another burgeoning talent. Joining the likes of Rankin, Brookmyre, McDermid and co is this Ayrshire-born…

Mark Cousins - The Story of Film: An Odyssey

16 Dec 2011

Five things we learned about film while making the series

I wrote and directed The Story of Film: An Odyssey [a 15-part history of cinema, shown on Channel 4], but there are moments in it, wee spikes, which still surprise me. The first is that nobody in the earliest years of the movies placed the camera as…

Whatever happened to the Edinburgh International Film Festival?

8 Feb 2011

The champagne party may be over, but the EIFF may yet rise again

Back in 2008, the EIFF seemed to be in good shape. A new June slot, a fresh artistic director in the form of Hannah McGill, and a whopping £1.88 million lottery cash investment from the Film Council, in addition to financial support from Scottish Screen…

Au Revoir Taipei, Honeymooner and Third Star bring EIFF 2010 to a close

28 Jun 2010

Edinburgh International Film Festival Blog

Sunday 27 June. The closing days of the festival are a giddy affair: you realise that, after so many recommendations and bits of buzz floating about, the EIFF has mutated into this Cloverfield-like monster: there’s beautiful people wandering around…

Interview: Mark Cousins - The First Movie

22 Apr 2010

Documentary on experiment introducing the children of Iraq to cinema

Mark Cousins most recent adventure took him to Kurdistan on a mission to spread his love of cinema. Miles Fielder catches up with him Belfast-born, Edinburgh-resident Mark Cousins has been involved with cinema in many ways. He’s hosted the BBC’s cult…

Glasgow International - Mark Cousins meets Douglas Gordon

15 Apr 2010

Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art returns this fortnight with a mouth-watering programme of work by over 50 artists in venues across the city, based around the theme ‘past, present, future’. Opening the festival, internationally renowned…

Agantuk (The Stranger)

10 Sep 2009

Indian cinema legend Satyajit Ray’s final film (before his death in 1992) receives an all too rare screening. A comic dissection of familial trust, honesty and fragile belief systems, Agantuk is a major work from a Bengali great (based on one of Ray’s…

Africa in Motion

18 Oct 2007

Mark Cousins In the 90s, when I first fell in love with African movies, I’d jump on a cheapo train or plane to London or Paris if either city was showing the classics. Films like Ousmane Sembene’s astonishing satire on impotence, Xala, or his pioneering…