Best known for his 15-hour The Story of Film: An Odyssey, Belfast native Mark Cousins brings a personal perspective to this lively cinematic essay about how children appear on film, from the famous (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Night of the Hunter, The Red Balloon) to lesser-known films from Africa, India and Iran – and even home video of his own niece and nephew Mr. Cousins suggests there are common behaviours that link all children on film, including such characteristics as wariness, showing off, and what he calls “stroppiness” (misbehaving). The connections between films are more associative than chronological or thematic, and Mr. Cousins’s Belfast upward inflection makes statements sound like questions. That seems appropriate to a suggestive alternative to conventional film history.
At VIFF: Sept. 26, 12 p.m., Cinematheque; Oct. 5, 4:45 p.m. Cinematheque; Oct. 9, 7 p.m., Cinematheque