A Story of Children and Film

Tuesday 29 April 2014
reading time: min, words
"The mind of a child is beautifully explored, instilling in the viewer a sense of reminiscence"
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A comprehensive knowledge and manifest adoration of cinema, coupled with that distinctive, authoritative and poetic voice ensure Mark Cousins perfectly bridges the gap between critic and filmmaker. His remarkable recent fifteen-part series The Story of Film: An Odyssey was mesmeric in its exploration of the medium, and is matched in style and excellence by his new film, A Story of Children and Film.

As a framework, Cousins employs a short piece of footage of his own niece and nephew playing together, crafting a fascinating journey through the spectrum of childhood emotion. Utilising his encyclopedic knowledge of film - shifting the focus away from the ‘traditional’ children’s films, with a focus more on the largely forgotten or less well-known – Cousins crafts a film that is part visual essay and part poetry. It is from the title of his previous work that his style is best described, as the viewer is taken on a visual odyssey through the mind of a man so evidently passionate about the medium that has offered such astute insight into the child’s psyche.

The list of films explored includes Children in the Wind, Crows, Forbidden Games and Long Live the Republic (all of which were shown at Broadway Cinema as part of the Cinema and Childhood season), and never feel arbitrary or forced. His references are pertinent and clearly chosen with consummate care. The presentation of children is rich and explorative, never reducing them to background characters or folly for plot. Rather, the mind of a child is beautifully explored, instilling in the viewer a sense of reminiscence both of the enticing, exciting initial interactions with film, and the memory of our own childhoods, what Dylan Thomas called the “green and carefree” days of innocence and exuberance.

A Story of Children and Film is a masterly, magisterial work that displays the power of cinema, shepherded with the skill and passion of Cousins, the wonderful host for this beautiful journey through some of the lesser-known, but astutely selected representations of children in film. 

A Story of Children and Film is out to rent and buy on DVD now.

A Story of Children and Film Official Site

 

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