A STORY OF CHILDREN AND FILM

A STORY OF CHILDREN AND FILM

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I found this film tantalising, interesting and infuriating all at the same time. At times I found myself discovering hidden gems and film which I had never ever heard of, but other times, and more often than not, I was just left frustrated by how reaching some those links from clip to clip were, how far-fetched were some of the arguments and wrong were some of the readings and basically just how random it all seemed. It really felt as if Mark Cousins was so keen to try to include certain film clips (which he had to “fair deal” in order not to pay the copyrights, so he filled them up with pointless descriptions and analysis), that it didn’t really matter whether they fitted or not: he just made them fit. Phrases like “a storm about to hit… just like adolescence” felt incredibly forced and actually quite up-their-own-self. And of course there were HUGE oversights too. Where was Bicycle thieves? And Kolya? Stand by me? The 400 Blows? Lord of the flies? Au Revoir les Enfants? ANd the list goes on… I was also amazed to see how ET was used 3 times (obviously the moon shot, but also two other moments which were beautiful but to me didn’t quite illustrate the points Cousins was trying to make) but then when Cousins talks about adults cut off from frame, making the analogy with Tom & Jerry, he fails to mention ET, which is a wonderful example of how Spielberg keeps the camera a child’s level all the time and keeps the adults out of frame as if they were not allowed to enter the children’s world (except the mother, who’s obviously special), until the moment ET is about to die (which is the moment Elliot really grow up). Incidetally, no animations? And finally the “family moments” were completely unrelated to the rest, despite the constant attempt to make it all relevant. Anyway, it really should have been called “A Personal Story of Children and (some) Films” Basically it was all just very very light despite all the pretences to be deep.

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