|Image from: http://www.hanwayfilms.com|
A Story of Children & Film takes a look into the portrayal of childhood in film, and is the latest cine-study from critic, writer and director Mark Cousins.
The brilliantly clever set-up has Cousins filming his niece and nephew as they play around one morning at his home. The camera generally doesn’t move around and the footage of the children remains the same, but Cousins uses this to pick up on all the little intricacies in their behaviour and compares it to those depicted across a wide and varied range of films.
Films from across the globe and from different times; films which even the most avid cinema-goer (including myself) have never heard of, are studied to show the same re-occurring themes, similarities and differences of how childhood is portrayed, depending on where or when you may have lived.
Loneliness, shyness, the need to show off and the appetite for both destruction and adventure are proved to be universal traits in children and Cousins explores this with an elegant and intelligent understanding.
It is dense and plays like a film studies lecture, full of great anylatical details regarding the composition of shots and performances from the young actors, so with this in mind A Story of Children & Film may not be to everybody’s taste.
But overall it’s a fascinating insight into an element of cinema that is often overlooked, as well as making for an excellent introduction to films you may never have heard of.
A must see for any cinephile, it’s playing locally at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff all week or alternatively is available to download on iTunes right now.