Mark Cousins Essay Film

Mark Cousins Essay Film

To celebrate the launch of our Eisenstein Programme we wished to commission a contemporary artwork that engaged with Eisenstein’s legacy in a surprising and playful way. An explicit theme of our programme was the film director’s relationship to England and English culture. Would this be interesting thematic territory for a film or art work and does Eisenstein’s work still speak to filmmakers today?

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We discussed a possible commission with filmmaker Mark Cousins.  We hoped that for Mark it would be an opportunity to revisit Eisenstein, building on the success of his film essay about Eisenstein’s time in Mexico ‘What is this thing called Love?’  Mark suggested to make a film essay on Eisenstein’s relationship to the writings of DH Lawrence – a theme which fitted neatly into our exploration of the impact of British culture on Eisenstein – and conversely built on Mark’s own areas of current interest following on from his film: 6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia’.

Results

Creating a playful 12 minute film essay, Mark imagined the great director’s response to the question “Did you ever meet D.H.Lawrence’? He used his characteristic lofi filming methods – mobile phone footage, inter-titles and photographs to muse on the role of the artist, the naked human heart, Lady Chatterley’s lover, repression, landscape and time travel.   Mark’s Eisenstein wished he could have travelled with Lawrence, argued with Lawrence, gone to Mexico with Lawrence… The film he created gave our audiences the opportunity to do just that.

An encyclopedic cineaste who is as happy watching movies as making them, Cousins has carved out a niche as the great chronicler of the medium.

Mark Kermode

The Guardian

Mark Cousins

Mark Cousins

Mark Cousins is a filmmaker, critic and programmer. He programmed the Edinburgh Film Festival (1996 – 97), hosted BBC2’s Moviedrome (1997 – 2000), and is the author of The Story of Film and (with Kevin Macdonald) ‘Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary’.  His movies include The First Movie, The Story of Film: An Odyssey and A Story of Children and Film, What is This Thing Called Love and 6 Degrees: DH Lawrence in Sardinia. He is the co-founder with Tilda Swinton of the 81/2 Foundation.

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