Persistence of Vision Award: Mark Cousins + “The March on Rome”
Established in 1997, the Persistence of Vision Award honors the achievement of a filmmaker whose main body of work falls outside the realm of narrative feature filmmaking each year.
Thu, Apr 20 at 7 pm
7 pm: Award Presentation
7:30 pm: Screening
Persistence of Vision Award
The POV award honors a filmmaker whose main body of work falls outside the realm of traditional narrative filmmaking. We dedicate this year’s POV presentation to the late Tom Luddy, whom Cousins calls “one of the most influential film people of the second half of the 20th century.”
Mark Cousins is a prolific writer and filmmaker whose documentaries display his wit and vast knowledge of film. The POV presentation will include Mark Cousins in conversation, followed by a screening of The March on Rome.
Aiming for a coup, fascist Black Shirts marched from Naples to Rome in 1922, the demonstration leading to the ascension of Benito Mussolini as Italy’s dictator. Mark Cousins explores this pivotal moment that presaged worldwide horrors to come in this commanding documentary that weaves together world and cinema history. Actor Alba Rohrwacher appears as a witness to Il Duce’s regime but most of the film is culled from archival footage. Cousins’ centerpiece is Umberto Paradisi’s record of the march, A Noi!, propaganda the filmmaker dissects, exposing a foundational myth of Italian fascism and demonstrating the power of lies to alter history. With modern black shirts on the rise, Cousins masterfully connects the past to the present in a film that makes manifest the adage that those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. This film is screening as part of the Persistence of Vision Award, dedicated to Tom Luddy, and awarded to Mark Cousins.
Persistence of Vision Award
Documentary filmmaker and writer Mark Cousins has made features spanning numerous themes such as major cities, visual culture, walking, children, and politics. He has made films about his hometown (I am Belfast), life and death in the atomic age (Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise), and the deeply personal restoration of his own vision (The Story of Looking). He is the director of the 15-hour documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey; its sequel, The Story of Film: A New Generation; The Eyes of Orson Welles; The Storms of Jeremy Thomas, about the Oscar®-winning producer; and many other works that display his vast knowledge of film. Among this year’s Festival offerings is his witty survey of the work of the Master of Suspense, My Name Is Alfred Hitchcock. We dedicate this year’s POV presentation to the late Tom Luddy, whom Cousins calls “one of the most influential film people of the second half of the 20th century.” The POV presentation includes Mark Cousins in conversation, followed by a screening of The March on Rome.
My Name Is Alfred Hitchcock
Fri, Apr 21 4 pm PT at BAMPFA
Join us for a special screening of Mark Cousins’ My Name Is Alfred Hitchcock. Click here to purchase tickets.
Mark Cousins is an Irish-Scottish director and writer. His films–including The Story of Film: An Odyssey, What is This Film Called Love?, Life May Be, A Story of Children and Film, Atomic, Stockholm My Love, I am Belfast, and The Eyes of Orson Welles–have premiered in Cannes, Berlin, Sundance and Venice film festivals and have won the Prix Italia, a Peabody, the Stanley Kubrick Award and the European Film Award for Innovative Storytelling. He has filmed in Iraq, Sarajevo during the siege, Iran, Mexico, across Asia, in America, and in Europe.
Mark’s books include Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary and The Story of Looking. He has collaborated with Tilda Swinton on innovative film events, and tries to find new, filmic ways to explore his themes: looking, cities, cinema, childhood, and recovery. His 14 hour documentary Women Make Film tries to rethink cinema. His newest films are The Storms of Jeremy Thomas, The Story of Looking and The Story of Film: A New Generation. He has walked across Los Angeles, Belfast, Moscow, Beijing, London, Paris, Berlin, Dakar and Mexico City and likes night swimming.
Thom Powers is the host of the Pure Nonfiction podcast and the documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival. He co-founded the DOC NYC festival, served as its artistic director for 12 years, and currently oversees its annual Visionaries Tribute. He writes and co-hosts the WNYC radio segment Documentary of the Week that’s run for over 400 installments. He is a co-founder of the Cinema Eye Honors, the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant and the Montclair Film Festival in New Jersey. He’s held programming and consulting roles at other festivals including Miami, CPH:DOX, Asbury Park, and Freep in his hometown of Detroit. He spent ten years working as a documentary filmmaker and has taught documentary production for over 20 years at New York University and the School of Visual Arts.
Language English, Italian
Original Language Title Marcia su Roma
Director Mark Cousins
Executive Producer Antonio Badalamenti, Andrea Romeo
Producer Carlo Degli Esposti, Nicola Serra
Editor Timo Langer
Cinematographer Mark Cousins, Timoty Aliprandi
Closed Captions Closed Captions are not currently confirmed and will be updated soon.
Audio Description Audio Descriptions are not currently confirmed and will be updated soon.
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation American Sign Language Interpretation is not currently confirmed and will be updated. For any questions about accessibility at SFFILM Events, please email ADA@SFFilm.org.