He’s one of the most prominent voices of current film analysis and film history, author of the documentary series "The Story of Film: an odyssey ", and most recently "Women make film”, among others.
Mark Cousins offered, via Zoom, a masterclass to Audiovisual Communication Students of Blanquerna: “The biggest challenge in terms of any filmmaking is the creative challenge”, he said in a conversation moderated by professor Elisabet Cabezas, a journalist specialized in film and also documentary director.
Here's a summary of the key ideas that Cousins shared with the students, ones of great interest for any “movie lover”.
The Ten Commandments according to Cousins
- Avoid conventions. Avoid conventional wisdom. “That’s the hardest bit”, Elisabet, he said.
- Be Wild.
- Ignore categories, transgress, jump over the fence.
- Jot down everything: “The first ideas, scribble them down as fast as possible”.
- Mind the structures. Devote time and effort to their development.
- And if there’s chaos, let it be. Show it.
- Use your brain, your intellect, but learn when to switch them off and let your subconscious do the rest of the job.
- Film everyday, just for fun, with no particular purpose (at least that’s what he does and so far, it has paid off).
- Get yourself a small camera: big ideas can be carried in small equipment.
- Do not try to be professional: “It’s a trap, it’s not creative”.
As Robert Bresson said, for the inspiration of Cousins, and everybody who listened to his lecture: “Show me something that you can see, and I can't”. If that much is achieved, then something extraordinary is on the way. Rest assured.