TIFF 2013: A Story of Children and Film Review

A Story of Children and Film

A Story of Children and Film

TIFF Docs

Director: Mark Cousins

Following up his epically lengthy Story of Film, film writer and scholar Mark Cousins takes a look at cinematic tropes, theories, and histories in a much smaller space. Using his niece and nephew as a microcosm, Cousins uses their childish playfulness to talk about how kids are depicted on film. Using examples from around the world and as varied as E.T., Moonrise Kingdom, Night of the Hunter, Los Olvideros, and countless others, Cousins examines how children throughout cinematic history have dealt with trust issues, class relations, violence, and arrogance. He also independently examines how children cope with adventure, loneliness, and their own dreams in the film’s intriguing but wonky final 20 minutes.

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Cousins is certainly an erudite, concise lecturer, and the film is as playful and deconstructed as the work of his niece and nephew. He’s still very much a “capital A academic” with some of his readings and theories occasionally coming across as grandiose, but they’re never based in anything less than thoughtful analysis. There’s also something winsome about the personal nature of the project that makes for a balanced and thoughtful narrative in itself to go along with all the close reading going on. It might not appeal to anyone outside of academics and critics, but those interested will find more than enough to chew on. (Andrew Parker)

Screens

Thursday, September 5th, 6:00pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Friday, September 6th, 9:00am, AGO Jackman Hall

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Sunday, September 15th, 2:45pm, Scotiabank 11

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