What is this Film Called Love?

***this review originally appeared on myfilms2010 in 2012***



I’ve met Mark Cousins a few times.

Sometimes, in conversation, I will turn those few short meetings into a friendship.

That’s not my fault.

Mark Cousins makes you feel like you either are friends, could be friends or should be friends.

The fact that I lie about being his friend is really his fault. If you think about it.

What information have I gleaned from my friendship with Mark Cousins?

He is very charming.

Really charming.

The first time I met him he was wandering around the book festival here in Edinburgh.

I introduced myself to him and didn’t introduce my wife who was standing next to me.

Mark Cousins wasn’t comfortable with that…he turned to my wife, asked who she was, introduced himself to her and was, basically, very charming. This brief encounter has led to my wife developing a serious crush on Mark Cousins.

Mark Cousins is creative.

Really creative.

At another meeting with Mark Cousins I heard him deliver a speech on creativity. It was brilliant. Brilliant and creative. He took us all on a long, meandering walk around Edinburgh showing us photographs of the things he saw along the way, sharing anecdotes and investigating the process of creativity.

Mark Cousins likes to dance.

Standing in the foyer of Filmhouse during this years EIFF I saw Mark Cousins start dancing while he was standing waiting for someone. He didn’t have any headphones in. There wasn’t any music playing in the bar. He just started dancing. It wasn’t a “look at ME” kind of dance…he just sort of bopped around a little bit. I liked it.

Mark Cousins really loves films.

I “chaired” a meeting at Filmhouse earlier this year where Mark Cousins showed a short section from his mammoth “Story of Film” documentary before he fielded questions. His love and knowledge of film was a joy to be exposed to. It wasn’t a “listen to how much I know” type of knowledge, it was a genuine “I want to SHARE this with you” kind of knowledge. It was inspiring.


Mark Cousins loves films, he loves to dance, he is creative and he is charming.

What is this film?

What is this film called?


“What is This Film Called Love?”

It’s a film about Mark Cousins.

It’s a film about film.

It’s a film about love.

It’s charming, creative, knowledgeable and has dancing.

I think that if you didn’t know certain things about Mark Cousins you might see this film as being a bit…too Mark Cousins.

Mark Cousins appears in this film a lot.








But this film isn’t really about Mark Cousins.

It’s about you.

It’s about me.

Mark Cousins just uses himself and his charm, his love of film, his creativity and his dancing to say something to us about ourselves.

With loves and hates and passions just like mine…

I could have made this film. I didn’t though…Mark Cousins did.

There are people, places and things that I am obsessed with and that define me.

I sometimes see the world around me and am overwhelmed by how beautiful if is…even now when the rain hasn’t stopped falling, when I’ve got a cold, when I’m feeling a little depressed; I can see beauty all around me and I can still feel my heart skip a beat when I hear certain songs or think about certain films.

The difference is that Mark Cousins actually managed to capture that sense of joy on film.

In a film that says a lot about Mark Cousins he manages to say something about me.

You should probably try to see “What is This Film Called Love?” because it will say something to you and about you…you will feel a little better about things too.

You might also want to dance a little more often.

Or walked naked in the desert.

Do more press ups.

Or meet Mark Cousins then lie to other people about being friends.

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