We discussed a possible commission with filmmaker Mark Cousins. We hoped that for Mark it would be an opportunity to build on the success of his film essay about Eisenstein. Mark had made an essay film 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. This was a theme which fitted neatly into our exploration of the impact of British culture on Eisenstein. Furthermore, the theme built on Mark’s own areas of current interest as it followed on from his film: ‘6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia’.
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 lo‐fi filming methods – mobile phone footage, inter-titles and photographs. Mark mused 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 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.