Films About Looking: Mark Cousins Sunday Brunches

Please note: this season finished in Oct 2017
Mark Cousins Sunday Brunches

To coincide with his talk Looking at Cities and Cityscapes, Art and Cinema (18 Oct, 18:00) at the forthcoming Festival of the Future City (18-20 Oct) and the launch of his new book The Story of Looking, author and director Mark Cousins has selected five films that stand out for their particular emphasis on looking and the visual.

Welcome to our short season of films about looking. All cinema is visual, but in writing my new book The Story of Looking I realised that some are remarkably so. In Terrence Malick's Tree of Life, looking at nature and children is an almost sacred act. Antonioni's Blow Up is a detective story about seeing. Jonathan Glazer's Birth has one of the most daring looking scenes in cinema. In David Lean's Summer Madness, Katharine Hepburn's solitary looker falls in love with what she sees - a city and a man. And Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers is a symphony of gorgeous looking. As we have love lives and work lives, so we have looking lives. These films celebrate this. Feast your eyes.

- Mark Cousins, author and filmmaker

In developing this season with Mark we asked him to send a long list of titles which reflected ideas raised in his new book. Our research discovered that the UK cinema rights had expired or the rights holder could not be found for some of the films which Mark would have liked to screen. These included films such as as Larisa Sheptiko’s Ascent (1977) Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Evolution (2015) and Sergei Paradjanov’s The Colour of Pomegranates (1968). The full list of films Mark suggested are shown below. We urge you to check them out.

  • Le Bonheur | Dir. Agnès Varda | 1965 | France
  • The Ascent | Dir. Larisa Shepitko | 1977 | Soviet Union
  • The Zapruder Film (short) | Dir. Abraham Zapruder, Trevor Moore | 2010 | USA
  • Ugetsu Monogatari | Dir. Kenji Mizoguchi | 1953 | Japan
  • Powers of Ten | Dir. Charles Eames, Ray Eames | 1977 | USA
  • The Colour of Pomegranates | Dir. Sergei Parajanov | 1969 | Soviet Union
  • The Unseen | Dir. Miroslav Janek | 1996 | Czech Republic
  • The Flicker Film | Dir. Norman McLaren (short – widely banned) | 1961 | Canada
  • Vagabond | Dir. Agnès Varda | 1985 | France
  • Evolution | Dir. Lucile Hadzihalilovic | 2015 | France
  • Rien que les heurs | Dir. Alberto Cavalcanti | 1926 | France
  • Dames | Dir. Ray Enright, Busby Berkeley | 1934 | USA
  • Shirin | Dir. Abbas Kiarostami | 2008 | Iran
  • Repentance | Dir. Tengiz Abuladze | 1984 | Soviet Union
  • The Last Men in Aleppo | Dir. Firas Fayyad, Steen Johannessen | 2017 | Denmark, Syria
  • Mad Max: Fury Road | Dir. George Miller | 2015 | Australia, USA
  • Jaws | Dir. Steven Spielberg | 1975 | USA

Previous screenings in this Season

House of Flying Daggers 15 (S)

Film House of Flying Daggers

Sun 29 Oct 2017 12:00

Zhang Yimou seduces with this visually ravishing and artfully directed martial arts spectacle and complex love story about two officers and a blind dancer who are charged with capturing the leader of a mysterious rebel group.

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Summer Madness PG

Film Summer Madness

Sun 22 Oct 2017 12:00

Before becoming known for his sweeping epics with casts of thousands, director David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) shot this sumptuous Technicolor Venice-set romance in which Katharine Hepburn has a close encounter of the Italian kind.

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Birth 15

Film Birth

Sun 15 Oct 2017 12:00

Jonathan Glazer’s mysterious, haunting and utterly mesmerising portrait of the profound loss and emotional insecurity felt by a delicate young widow faced with the seeming reincarnation of her dead husband, is one of the great unsung masterpieces of the early 2000’s.

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Blow Up 15

Film Blow Up

Sun 8 Oct 2017 12:00

Michelangelo Antonioni's landmark thriller about a fashion photographer in Swinging Sixties London who develops a set of pictures only to discover a sequence of shots that apparently proves a murder, is a countercultural masterpiece about the act of seeing and the art of image making.

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Tree of Life 12A

Film Tree of Life

Sun 1 Oct 2017 12:00

Terrence Malick’s visionary masterpiece is a magnificent, toweringly ambitious and deeply serious address about the inner crisis of a tormented man in his middle years and the terrible unchangeability of the past.

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