I am Belfast

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United Kingdom | 2015 | 84 minutes | Mark Cousins

Film essayist Mark Cousins (The Story of Film) enlists cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love) for a cinematic love poem showcasing the everyday beauty of the dynamic, mythical city of Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

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For too long, Belfast has been known primarily as the heart of the Irish Troubles, the bloody sectarian conflict between Catholic Nationalists and Protestant Unionists. Yet the city itself has a vital industrial, economic, and, most important, cultural history—one explored by its favorite cinematic child, Mark Cousins (Life May Be, The Story of Film: An Odyssey). Personifying Belfast as an older woman, Cousins embarks upon a meditative dialogue that explores his hometown's changing landscape, delving into its history while also addressing philosophical questions about the city as an urban phenomenon and how, in turn, it affects the nature of humanity. From the pastoral landscape surrounding Belfast to its changing architecture and inhabitants, including lifelong friends Rosie and Maud (whose hysterically expletive-laden speech would make sailors blush), Cousins' film mixes prosaic reality with mythic musings as he searches out, and often finds, quiet moments of everyday beauty within the city's streets, landmarks, and even weather. While Belfast's tormented history does not escape examination, it pales in comparison to the larger warmth and generousness Cousins uncovers within the city's past and present. Featuring the gorgeously lush cinematography of Christopher Doyle (a frequent collaborator of Wong Kar-wai), I am Belfast is a visually poetic love letter to Northern Ireland's capital.

Director Biography
Belfast native Mark Cousins has decided to take a unique and in-depth look at his hometown in the film I am Belfast. Much like his 15-hour long documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey, I am Belfast is a pastiche of film clips that tell a story unlike any other. Other notable works of Cousins include A Story of Children and Film, Here Be Dragons, and Life May Be.

Sponsored by KPLU

  • Director: Mark Cousins
  • Principal Cast: Helena Bereen
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 84 minutes
  • Producer: John Archer, Chris Martin
  • Screenplay: Mark Cousins
  • Cinematographers: Christopher Doyle, Mark Cousins
  • Editors: Timo Langer
  • Music: David Holmes, Van Morrison
  • Website: http://www.neweuropefilmsales.com/movies/93
  • Filmography: 6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia (doc, 2014); Life May Be (doc, 2014); Here Be Dragons (doc, 2013); A Story of Children and Film (2013); What Is This Film Called Love? (doc, 2012); The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011); The New Ten Commandments (doc, 2010); The First Movie (doc, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: New Europe Film Sales