Mark Cousins (filmmaker)
|Born||3 May 1965|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, producer, author|
|The Story of Film: An Odyssey|
Cousins interviewed famous filmmakers such as David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski in the TV series Scene by Scene. He presented the BBC cult film series Moviedrome from June 1997 to July 2000. He introduced 66 films for the show, including the little-seen Nicolas Roeg film Eureka.
Throughout his career, Cousins has interviewed directors, producers and actors including Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Tom Hanks, Sean Connery, Brian De Palma, Steve Martin, Lauren Bacall, Jane Russell, Paul Schrader, Bernardo Bertolucci, Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Moreau, Terence Stamp, Jack Lemmon, Janet Leigh and Rod Steiger.
In 2009, Cousins and Tilda Swinton co-founded the '8/2 Foundation'. Together they also created a project where they mounted a 33.5-tonne portable cinema on a large truck which was physically pulled through the Scottish Highlands. The traveling independent film festival was featured prominently in a documentary called Cinema is Everywhere. The festival was repeated in 2011.
His 2011 film The Story of Film: An Odyssey was broadcast as 15 one-hour television episodes on More4, and later, featured at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. In September 2013, it began to be shown on Turner Classic Movies. Drawing on its exhaustive film library, TCM complemented each episode with relevant short films and feature films ranging from the familiar to the rarely seen. TCM received a 2013 Peabody Award "for its inclusive, uniquely annotated survey of world cinema history".
After The Story of Film, Cousins' next project was intentionally a small-scale work: What Is This Film Called Love? is a self-photographed diary of his three-day walk around Mexico City, accompanied by his imagined conversation with a photo of Sergei Eisenstein and reviewed as "fatuous" by Variety. Another low-budget, quickly produced documentary, Here Be Dragons, covers a short film-watching trip he made to Albania and was also poorly received as indulgent and "random".
6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia is structured around an imagined letter from Cousins to the author D. H. Lawrence, who wrote about a 1921 visit to Sardinia. Life May Be was a collaboration with Iranian director and actor Mania Akbari, again making use of Cousins' familiar structural devices of letters, travel imagery, and voiceover commentary, judged "self-advertisement".
A Story of Children and Film was critically well-received. Its origins lay in some footage he shot of his niece and nephew at play, and grew into a documentary about the representation of children in cinema.
Cousins subsequently wrote and directed I Am Belfast, in which the city is personified by a 10,000-year-old woman. Portions of the film in progress, with a score by Belfast composer David Holmes were screened at the 2014 Belfast Film Festival. He is also working on a three-hour addendum to The Story of Film, on the subject of documentaries, entitled Dear John Grierson.
Cousins famously axed his own film Bigger Than The Shining following a screening in front of a live audience at the 2017 International Rotterdam Film Festival (IFFR). This was done with the intention being for it to never be shown again, as it was the only copy of the film.
Cousins is the Co-Artistic Director of 'Cinema China', 'The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams' and 'A Pilgrimage' with Tilda Swinton. Together with Antonia Bird, Robert Carlyle and Irvine Welsh, Cousins is a director of the production company 4Way Pictures. Between 2001 and 2011, he wrote for Prospect, Cousins now writes for Sight & Sound and Filmkrant.
Cousins was appointed Honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow in 2013, as well as Honorary Doctor of Letters at both the University of Edinburgh in 2007 and University of Stirling in 2014. He is now a Patron of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Cousins previously acted as both a programmer and director (1996–1997) of the festival.
He is a board member of Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival and a Member of the 'Audentia Award' jury at the 42nd Göteborg International Film Festival (GIFF) in 2019, as well as Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2018.
Born in Coventry, England, Cousins was raised in Ballymena, Northern Ireland (where he attended St Louis Grammar School), and graduated in film, television and art at the University of Stirling. Since 1984 he has been in a longterm personal relationship with Gill Moreton, a psychologist, whom he met at Stirling; they live in Edinburgh.
|1989||Dear Mr Gorbachev||Associate Director||TV||60m||Directed with Michael Grigsby, ITV|
|1990||Gulf War: Scottish Eye||Director||TV||38 mins|
|1993||Another Journey by Train||Co-Director and producer||TV||59 mins||Co-Directed by Mark Forrest|
|1994||I Know Where I'm Going! Revisited||Director||TV||40 mins|
|1996||Ian Hamilton Finlay: In a Wee Way||Director||TV||38 mins||Co-Directed by Mark Forrest|
|1996||I Remember IKWIG||Director||TV||40m|
|1997–2001||Scene by Scene||Director and presenter||TV||24 Episodes x 60 mins||Interviews include Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma, David Lynch, Jane Russell, Paul Schrader, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Roman Polanski. Shown on BBC.|
|1997–2000||Moviedrome||Presenter||TV||66 Episodes x 5 mins||Shown on BBC.|
|2005||Cinema Iran||Director and narrator||TV||59 mins||Shown on Channel 4. Presented by Omid Djalili|
|2005||On the Road with Kiarostami||Writer and director||TV||28 mins|
|2005||Faith||Executive Producer||TV Movie||102 mins||Starring Maxine Peake, Clive Russell and Jason Flemyng.|
|2008||First Impressions||Writer and director||Short Film||15 mins||Shot in Northern Iraq.|
|2008||The New Ten Commandments: Kenny Richie||Co-Director||Film||Anthology Film||Co-Directed with Irvine Welsh. Shown on BBC Two|
|2008||The New Ten Commandments: 8 1/2||Co-Director||Film||Anthology Film||Co-Directed with Tilda Swinton. Shown on BBC Two|
|2008||The New Ten Commandments||Contributing Director||Film||101 mins||Co-Directed of 2 of the 10 Chapters. Shown on BBC Two|
|2009||The First Movie||Writer and director||Film||81 mins||BAFTA Scotland Award Nominee for ‘Best Single Documentary’, Royal Television Society Award Nominee for ‘Best Arts Documentary’.|
|2011||The Story of Film: An Odyssey||Writer, Director and narrator||Film||930 mins||Shown on More4 and Turner Classic Movies.|
|2011||60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero||Contributing Director||Anthology Film||60 mins|
|2011||Cinema Is Everywhere||Self||Film||86 mins||Centred on a project between Cousins and Tilda Swinton.|
|2012||What is this Film Called Love?||Writer, Director and narrator||Film||75 mins||A personal film about Mexico City and Sergei Eisenstein|
|2013||Dear Georges Melies||Writer and co-Director||Short Film||8 ½ mins||Co-Directed with 102 children and Tilda Swinton.|
|2013||Apollo: Prvo ratno kino||Co-Writer||Short Film||14 mins|
|2013||Here be Dragons||Writer and director||Film||76 mins||Centred on Albania|
|2013||A Story of Children and Film||Writer, Director and narrator||Film||101 mins|
|2014||Homeless||Writer and director||Short Film||10 mins|
|2014||The Wind in the Trees||Writer and director||Short Film||10 mins|
|2014||The Place||Writer and director||Short Film||38 mins|
|2014||The Big Shave Backwards||Writer and director||Short Film||1 mins|
|2014||Life May Be||Co-Writer and co-Director||Film||80 mins||Cine-letters between Mark Cousins and Mania Akbari|
|2014||The Oar and the Winnowing Fan||Writer and director||Short Film||4 Episodes x Various mins|
|2014||But Then Again, Too Few to Mention||Writer and director||Short Film||7 mins|
|2014||The Film That Buys the Cinema||Contributing Writer and director||Film||77 mins||Alongside Nicolas Roeg, Tony Grisoni, Jennifer Abbott and Peter Strickland.|
|2014||6 Desires: D. H. Lawrence and Sardinia||Writer, Director and narrator||Film||83 mins|
|2014||The Place||Writer and director||Short Film||38 mins|
|2014||Dear John Grierson||Writer and director||Short Film||30 mins|
|2015||Your Eyes Flash Solemnly with Hate||Writer and director||Short Film||10 mins||About the killer of Pier Paolo Pasolini|
|2015||I am Belfast||Writer, Director and narrator||Film||86 mins||Cinematography by Christopher Doyle|
|2015||Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise||Writer and director||Film||72 mins||Score by Mogwai. Produced by BBC and the British Film Institute.|
|2016||Antonia Bird: From EastEnders to Hollywood||Executive Producer and Self||Film||90 mins||About Cousin's late friend Antonia Bird|
|2016||Stockholm, My Love||Co-Writer and director||Film||88 mins||Cinematography by Christopher Doyle, starring Neneh Cherry and co-written by Anita Oxburgh|
|2016||Bigger than The Shining||Director||Film||83 mins||Cousins' famously axed the film's DCP (Digital Cinema Package) following a screening in front of a live audience at the 2017 International Rotterdam Film Festival (IFFR). This was done with the intention being for it to never be shown again, this was the only copy of the film.|
|2016||Eisenstein on Lawrence||Writer and director||Short Film||9 mins||Sergei Eisenstein talks about D. H. Lawrence|
|2017||Storm in My Heart||Director||Film||100 mins||Experimental film about Susan Hayward and Lena Horne.|
|2017||The Eyes of Orson Welles||Writer, Director and narrator||Film||110 mins||Consulted on and featuring Beatrice Welles, Executive Produced by Michael Moore.|
|2019||Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema||Writer, Director and narrator||Film||840 mins||Starring Thandiwe Newton, Jane Fonda, Tilda Swinton, Sharmila Tagore, Adjoa Andoh and Debra Winger.|
|2020||Alexander's Film||Writer and director||Short Film||8 mins|
|2020||40 Days to Learn Film||Writer, Director and narrator||Film||136 mins|
|2020||This Violation||Director||Short Film||8 mins|
|2020||Dear Paul Schrader||Writer and director||Short Film||11 mins|
|2021||The Storms of Jeremy Thomas||Writer and director||Film||90 mins||A road movie with the film producer Jeremy Thomas.|
|2021||The Story of Looking||Writer, Director and narrator||Film||84 mins||Based loosely on the book by Cousins of the same name.|
|2021||The Story of Film: A New Generation||Writer, Director and narrator||Film||160 mins||A sequel to The Story of Film: An Odyssey.|
|2021||The Flowers the Fish and the Cockerel||Self / Film Subject||Film||83 mins||A documentary about Mark Cousins.|
|1996||Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary||Faber and Faber||Co-Edited by Kevin Macdonald|
|2002||Scene by Scene||Laurence King Publishing||Based upon the BBC TV Series of the same name.|
|2004||The Story of Film: Book||Pavilion Books||re-issued in 2011 and 2021|
|2008||Widescreen: Watching Real People Elsewhere||Columbia University Press|
|2017||The Story of Looking||Canongate Books||re-issued in 2021|
Awards and nominations
- "Mark Cousins Years". Moviedromer.
- "Mark Cousins and Tilda Swinton Officially Announce Their 8 1/2 Foundation". 28 June 2010.
- Ebert, Roger. "Our gal Tilda and her magical perambulating film festival | Interviews". RogerEbert.com.
- "Entertainment | Actress Swinton hauls cinema". BBC News. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- Staff (2012). "The Story of Film: An Odyssey". Channel 4. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
- Scott, A. O. (31 January 2012). "Your Film of Films: A Sweeping History of an Art". NY Times. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Staff (2012). "The Story of Film: An Odyssey – Episodes". Channel 4. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
- Cousins, Mark (2011). "The Story of Film: An Odyssey – Real To Reel". Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
- "TCM Monthly Schedule – View the Full TCM TV Schedule". www.tcm.com.
- "The Peabody Awards, The Story of Film: An Odyssey (TCM)". Grady College of Journalism and Mass Media, University of Georgia. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "Robert Osborne – The Story of Film: An Odyssey – 2013 Peabody Award Acceptance Speech" – via www.youtube.com.
- Guy Lodge, "Review: ‘What Is This Film Called Love?’", Variety, 2 July 2012. ("Sprite-like Irish film critic, historian and documaker Mark Cousins has done many commendable things to honor the medium he loves so deeply – notably last year's "The Story of Film" – but his fatuous vanity project "What Is This Film Called Love?" is not among them."
- Stephen Dalton, "Here Be Dragons: London Review", The Hollywood Reporter, 17 October 2013. ("Shot last year during a short working holiday in Albania, this free-associating documentary initially promises to illuminate a mysterious Balkan backwater rarely seen on screen. Instead, it reveals rather too much about its author, his brainy reading habits, his airline meals, and his random thoughts on culture and politics.")
- Brian Moylan, "Sundance 2015 review: 6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia – Mark Cousins is lost somewhere over The Rainbow", The Guardian, 24 January 2015.
- Andrew Pulver, " Life May Be: Edinburgh 2014 review – intensely felt passion with a sense of self-advertisement. Mark Cousins' latest essay film is a two-way love letter to Iranian artist-film-maker Mania Akbari, with intriguing results." The Guardian, 21 June 2014.
- Peter Bradshaw, "Cannes 2013: A Story of Children and Film – review", The Guardian, 4 April 2013. ("... one of the most beguiling events at Cannes, appropriately presented in the Cannes Classics section. Mark Cousins' personal cine-essay about children on film is entirely distinctive, sometimes eccentric, always brilliant: a mosaic of clips, images and moments chosen with flair and grace, both from familiar sources and from the neglected riches of cinema around the world.")
- Peter DeBruge, "Cannes Film Review: 'A Story of Children and Film', Variety, 18 May 2013.
- Tim Robey, "A Story of Children and Film, review: A vivid history of children in front of the camera", The Daily Telegraph, 3 April 2014. ("Something about Mark Cousins’ feyly magisterial presenting style fits the material like a glove in his new documentary – it may be the best thing he's ever done."
- Mark Kermode, " A Story of Children and Film review – Mark Cousins' 'spine-tingling' visual essay" Mark Cousins' film exploring childhood and film is dazzling in its breadth and intelligence", The Guardian, 5 April 2014. ("A hugely impressive work by a uniquely talented storyteller.")
- Mark Cousins, " Fountain of youth: how a film-maker recaptured his passion for the craft. Burned out after making the epic documentary The Story of Film, Mark Cousins describes how filming kids having fun helped him find his way back – and create a moving portrait of childhood." The Guardian, 2 April 2014.
- Una Brankin, "Mark Cousins: A personal odyssey. As he brings his new film to Belfast, director and critic Mark Cousins tells Una Brankin how he's learning to love his home city once more." Belfast Telegraph, 1 April 2014.
- Mark Cousins, "Dear John Grierson: A Postscript to The Story of Film (rough cut). All aboard the good train cinephilia, as Mark Cousins conducts us to lesser-visited stations around the documentary globe." Sight & Sound, 14 August 2014.
- "Mark Cousins destroys his own film with an axe at IFFR".
- "Antonia Bird obituary". The Guardian. 28 October 2013.
- "Filmmaker Mark Cousins appointed Honorary Professor". www.gla.ac.uk.
- "Mark Cousins | Edinburgh College of Art". www.eca.ed.ac.uk.
- "Mark Cousins | College of Humanities | University of Exeter". humanities.exeter.ac.uk.
- "Mark Cousins | Edinburgh International Film Festival". www.edfilmfest.org.uk.
- "Kermode Uncut: Mark Cousins". YouTube.
- "About the Traverse City Film Festival".
- "Lucky One Winner of the Audentia Award". 2 February 2019.
- "KVIFF | We are introducing juries of the 53rd Karlovy Vary IFF". www.kviff.com.
- "Dr Mark Cousins FRSE". The Royal Society of Edinburgh. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
- "Competition juries announced for the 65th BFI London Film Festival". BFI.
- "THE STORY OF FILM: A NEW GENERATION". Festival de Cannes.
- Rodger, James (8 September 2016). "Mogwai gear up for stunning Coventry Cathedral show". CoventryLive.
- Henry Hepburn, "Mark Cousins" Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine, TESS, 21 September 2012.
- "Honorary Graduates of the University of Stirling" (2013), University of Stirling, accessed 1 March 2015.
- Teddy Jamieson, "Interview: Mark Cousins on the end of youth", The Herald, 30 September 2012.
- Fiona Reed, "Lip service rustles up a real glass act", The Scotsman, 12 June 1999 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- Cousins, Mark. "Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise". Storyville. BBC Four.
- "Women Making Films: A New Road Movie Through Cinema". Official Site. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- Thompson, Anne (8 July 2021). "How Mark Cousins Connected Cinema, Again, in 'The Story of Film: A New Generation'". IndieWire. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
- "Mark Cousins". IMDb.
- "Mark Cousins". IMDb.
- "Outstanding Achievement Award | BAFTSS". www.baftss.org. Archived from the original on 22 September 2020.
- "The New Ten Commandments (2008) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "The New Ten Commandments « Lansdowne Productions".
- "The First Movie" – via mubi.com.
- "The First Movie (2009) – IMDb" – via www.imdb.com.
- "Mark Cousins". IMDb.
- "The Story of Film: An Odyssey" – via mubi.com.
- "60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero (2011) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "What Is This Film Called Love?" – via mubi.com.
- "What is This Film Called Love? (2012) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "A Story of Children and Film" – via mubi.com.
- "A Story of Children and Film (2013) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "Here be Dragons (2013) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "Life May Be" – via mubi.com.
- "Life May be (2014) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "The Film That Buys the Cinema" – via mubi.com.
- "The Film That Buys the Cinema (2014) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia (2014) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "I Am Belfast (2015) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise (2015) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "Stockholm, My Love (2016) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "Stockholm My Love" – via mubi.com.
- "The Eyes of Orson Welles (2018) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "The Eyes of Orson Welles". Foyle Film Festival. 15 October 2018.
- "The Eyes of Orson Welles (2018) awards & festivals on MUBI". mubi.com.
- "Storm in My Heart" – via mubi.com.
- "Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema – IMDb". IMDb.
- "Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema (2018) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema (2018) awards & festivals on MUBI". mubi.com.
- "40 Days To Learn Film" – via mubi.com.
- "The Storms of Jeremy Thomas (2021) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "The Story of Looking (2021) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "The Story of Looking (2021) awards & festivals on MUBI". mubi.com.
- "The Story of Film: A New Generation (2021) – IMDb". IMDb.
- "The Story of Film: A New Generation (2021) awards & festivals on MUBI". mubi.com.
- "FFF | 34th Foyle Film Festival 2021". Nerve Centre. 21 October 2021.
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