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The Eyes of Orson Welles

Mark Cousins
UK 2018 / 110’
The End of Fear The Goose

Apparently, every letter is a love letter. This is especially true in the case of Mark Cousins. His enthusiasm is so contagious, his commentary so brilliant and his associations so fresh that even an overly studied subject like the works of Orson Welles can be an adventure for the viewer. Welles, a cinematic icon of the 20th century, a frequenter of salons and lover of great stars, had a hidden passion: drawing. Many years after his death, Mark Cousins meets Beatrice Welles, who shows him a secret box with her father's drawings. "What's in the box, Orson?" asks Cousins in his unmistakable staccato, and thus begins this film letter to the great filmmaker, a project that is in no way a classic biopic. In studying individual chapters of Welles' life, Cousins embarks on a number of journeys: from Ireland, through Morocco to New York. Everywhere he ends up, he tries to set up his camera in the same place Welles put his. He is obsessed with seeing the world through his eyes, seeing exactly what he saw. The eyes are a metaphor for visual thinking, a portal that allows us to enter the world of the imagination of the great artist.

Ewa Szabłowska

Mark Cousins

An Irish writer, reporter, director, and globetrotter. A maker of documentary and reportage films and a university lecturer, he has hosted television programs on film and was the artistic director of the Edinburgh Film Festival for many years. In 2009, he organized a touring cinema along with Tilda Swinton. The Story of Film, a 15-hour film odyssey based on his book of the same name, was a hit at international festivals.

Selected filmography

1994 I Know Where I'm Going! Revisited (TV, doc.)

2009 The First Movie (doc.)

2011 The Story of Film – odyseja filmowa / The Story of Film: An Odyssey (TV, doc.)

2012 O czym jest ten film o miłości? / What Is This Film Called Love? (doc.)

2013 Opowieść o dzieciach i filmie / A Story of Children and Film (doc.)

2013 Here Be Dragons

2014 Być może życie / Life May Be

2014 6 desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia

Cast & Crew

director Mark Cousins
screenplay Mark Cousins
cinematography Mark Cousins
editing Timo Langer
music Matt Regan
cast Beatrice Welles, Jack Klaff (voice of Orson Welles)
producer Mark Bell, Mark Thomas, Michael Moore
production Bofa, BBC
sales Dogwoof
language English
colouration colour & b&w