Mark Cousins’ documentary on the evolution of cinema cites five Indian films

Mark Cousins’ A New Generation cites Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, Rajkumar Hirani’s PK, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram-Leela, Anand Gandhi’s Ship of Theseus and Anand Patwardhan’s documentary Reason among the most popular films. important today.

Director Mark Cousins ​​poses for photographers during a photo call for the film The Story of Film: A New Generation during the 74th international film festival, Cannes, south of France, Wednesday July 7, 2021. Image via AP

Five Indian films, all made in Mumbai but disparate in spirit and substance, feature in Belfast-born Edinburgh filmmaker and critic Mark Cousins’ thought-provoking 160-minute documentary. The history of cinema: a new generation.

Made during the pandemic and peppered with memorable cinematic moments, the documentary had its world premiere on the opening day of the 74th Cannes Film Festival as if to tell the world that cinema is and always will be alive, whatever the adversity he faces. .

The history of cinema: a new generationwhich is part of the Cannes Classics section, opens with a shot of Madrid’s new cinematheque, a symbol of hope and renewal for fans of a medium that is nothing but dynamic.

A new generationa sequel to Cousins’ 15-hour magnum opus The history of cinema: an odyssey (2011), tracks creative innovations, technological advancements and new ways of seeing in an image- and attention-intensive digital age.

In addition to covering the last decade of American and European cinema, it focuses largely on Asian and Arab films. It also discusses the pandemic and ruminates on its repercussions: lockdowns, face masks and social distancing.

Gripping and thought-provoking insight into the “new millennium of cinema” quotes Anurag Kashyap’s Five Hours Wasseypur Gangsby Rajkumar Hirani packageby Sanjay Leela Bhansali Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Leelaby Anand Gandhi Ship of Theseus and Anand Patwardhan’s brilliant documentary Raison among the most important films of the current era.

A new generation is written, photographed and narrated by Cousins. It covers a dizzying array of films and probes the evolution of key cinematic genres, extensions of cinematic language, the centrality of faces in cinema, the explosion of streaming platforms and communication devices, and the advent of performance capture and aging. .

Starting with Joker and Frozenit encompasses a diverse range of films – from Cemetery of Splendor, Parasite and Shoplifters at Mad Max: Fury Road, Black Panther and Midsommarand of Norte, the end of the story, Sacred Engines and An elephant sitting motionless to hustlers, gravity and baby driver – grasp the methods and orientations of 21st century cinema.

Cousins ​​sees Wasseypur Gangs as “one of the most complex gangster films” of the 80s since the birth of the genre. A “most elaborately choreographed song” from Ram Leela featuring Ranveer Singh’s characters in the film.

The documentary filmmaker, whose credits include women make movies (2018) and Orson Welles eyesalso notes “the colors…and musical energy” of another Bollywood number, this one by packagewith Aamir Khan and Sanjay Dutt.

The filmmaker describes a “change of tone” in PK as “one of the greatest…in contemporary cinema”. He considers Raison as one of the most significant documentary films of our time and identifies a “moment” in Patwardhan’s film as “one of the most courageous…in recent cinema”.

Ship of Theseuswith its theme of illness, healing and renewal, is presented as a cinematic example of the transitions humanity is witnessing today as it stands on the cusp of a process that could change it beyond any recognition.

Cousins ​​makes a special mention of films that point the finger at our inhumanity and our refusal to learn the lessons of history.

Cousins ​​has another film at Cannes Classics this year – The Storms of Jeremy Thomas a documentary about the prolific British producer who has collaborated over the past five decades with some of the world’s greatest filmmakers, including Bernardo Bertolucci, Nagisa Oshima, Wim Wenders, Lars von Trier and David Cronenberg.

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