Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


The Story of Looking

On the eve of an operation to remove a cataract in his right eye – surgery which naturally isn’t free from risk – critic and cinephile Mark Cousins reflects on a lifetime of looking and visual rapture. And once again, this uniquely valuable film-maker has given his audience a treasure trove of insight about what it means to look – really look – at the world about us, and at art and movies, and not to take any of it for granted. Cousins’ voice is as ever delicate, humorous and good-natured – but fundamentally serious. It is very personal and yet it does not reveal much about Cousins himself in the conventional way. — The Story of Looking — takes the impending operation almost as a dramatic pretext for a brilliant, free-associating critical rhapsody about what it means to look. — The flood of dazzling images from all over the world and Cousins’s commentary is almost too much to take in, too much to look at, in fact. But I think it is his best film so far: there is real wonder and passion in it.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

As well as one of our most important film thinkers, Mark Cousins is emerging as an original, innovative non-fiction filmmaker. — Cousins’ work is personal in content and idiosyncratic in form, but always manages to be provocative and entertaining in equal measures. His latest, The Story Of Looking, falls into this latter, more intimate bracket, a free-form exploration of how we experience the world visually. — The Story Of Looking is fascinating, thought-provoking stuff, told in Cousins’ engaging, typically impish way.

Ian Freer, Empire

Language: English
Subtitles: no subtitles
Length: 90 min
Age Limit: K7
Year: 2021
Production Country: United Kingdom

Director: Mark Cousins
Producer: Adam Dawtrey, Mary Bell
Production Company: Bofa Productions
Screenplay: Mark Cousins
Editing: Timo Langer
Cinematographer: Mark Cousins
Music: Donna McKevitt
Sound Design: Ania Przygoda