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Mark Cousins Presents: The Cinema of Childhood

April 2014

Films about childhood take us on fantastic voyages.

Introduction by Mark Cousins


Films about childhood take us on fantastic voyages: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial was a magical bike ride across the moon; The Jungle Book showed us the bare necessities; a boy in The Red Balloon stole our hearts; and Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films are animated dreamscapes. Beyond these mainstream and arthouse classics there’s a world of great cinema about kids which is hardly known, but just as brilliant. Welcome to that world – jump into it. Fly to the moon on gossamer wings with the little boy in Astrid Henning-Jensen’s Palle Alone in the World. Get close to the flame of life with Renko, in Shinji Somai’s masterpiece, Moving. Body-swerve the bullies in Karel Kachyna’s cinematic wonder Long Live the Republic. See Little Fugitive, the American film which helped inspire the French New Wave. Discover the work of one of the world’s greatest movie makers, Mohammad-Ali Talebi.

From April to June at BFI Southbank, and nationwide, The Cinema of Childhood season will present 17 of the best films about childhood, from 12 countries, spanning several decades. Most of these are featured in my documentary A Story of Children and Film (see p22). Many have rarely, if ever, been shown in UK cinemas.

This is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy them all, feel young again and see the world through the eyes of a child. You’ll discover movie masterpieces, new stories, new truths; an Aladdin’s cave. Treat yourself.

Mark Cousins


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