Mark's influence on my work, and I many other cinephiles, has been deeply rewarding.
I first came across on screen him when he presented a series on the BBC in the 1990s interviewing some of the greatest directors and actors in the world. e.g. Scorsese, Tom Hank's etc.
Three years ago I had one of those rarest opportunities to share a space with him for a week. Such is his vast encyclopedic knowledge that he deconstructed my work and offered his own critique, which I intend to eventually use for a book.
|Interviewing Mark Cousins|
We create meaning through a negotiation between what the filmmaker offers and how we ourselves perceive the text. One aspect of this is a Wittgensteinian model. The strength of images and text is not fixed and that film based on fixed language of meaning is not fixed.
Because then the limitation of language pens in ideas. If you're five years you'll use language in a certain way. If you're twenty with a greater language vocabulary, you'll have a greater use. But even at twenty you might end up limiting yourself because you believe, say for instance, meaning in the English language is all encompassing.
Were that the case, then French, Iranian, Cuban and Chinese films to name a few would be prescriptive to our English language of film mode. But all the aforementioned have all redefined film.
Film in effect is a universal language, with multiple syntaxes and grammars, and Mark whether its in his documentaries or in his latest film seeks to discover how standing on the shoulders of giants he can himself enhance his understanding.
Forever learning ")