In terms of the conflict between content and presentation, director and critic Mark Cousins is a singular case. Exampled most in his 15-hour documentary epic, “The Story of Film,” Cousins explores ideas surrounding film and its players with a personal, insightful ability, but also carries a lilting accented brogue (featured prominently) that can be irksome for some . However, his interviews are always topnotch, and that trend continues today with archival talks with two cinematic giants.
Filmed for the 90s BBC series, “Scene by Scene,” which found Cousins in both the directorial and hosting roles, he turns his program over to two worthy subjects: Brian De Palma and Bernardo Bertolucci. We’ve brought you Cousins’ interviews with Woody Allen and David Lynch before, but here, you can witness the “alligator grin” of De Palma as he dissects voyeurism and redemption in his films, while elsewhere, Bertolucci talks about his love for Jean-Luc Godard‘s “Breathless,” and also his methods of directing a scene.
Bertolucci is as pleasant as ever in his discussion with Cousins, and even De Palma — known to be somewhat abrasive in interviews — comes off as a fascinating, obliging subject. Check out both episodes below.