All posts by Marc Nelson

The Story of Looking

Over Britain’s documentary and film commentary sectors, Mark Cousins exerts something like an inexorable influence. Such recognisability means he’s a favourite of film festivals, such as Sheffield Doc/Fest, where his latest, THE STORY OF LOOKING, premiered as the closing night film.


In THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY, director Petra Costa’s camera flows through the sleek and spacious rooms of the Palácio da Alvorada, Brazil’s presidential residence designed by modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer, in slow travelling shots. As the camera traipses around the empty, noiseless halls and doorways, it becomes clear that the stillness and quietude of these … Continue reading Alvorada

Back to the Wharf

Taking a decidedly more casual approach to its noirish stylings than Diao Yi’nan’s THE WILD GOOSE LAKE (or even the second chapter of Jia Zhang-ke’s ASH IS PUREST WHITE), Li Xiaofeng’s BACK TO THE WHARF has a quality that could trip a viewer up on occasion.

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

Beneath the documentary textures of BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS, its vérité camerawork and calm but quick editing schemes, something planned and constructed is at work. The Ross brothers transform a concocted scenario into a space full of what seems like extempore feeling and lived-in experience. Marc Nelson reviews.