15 NOV - 5 DEC 2021

The Story of Looking



As he prepares for surgery to restore his vision, Mark Cousins explores the role that visual experience plays in our lives as he guides us through a deeply personal meditation on the power of looking. How does the way we see change over the course of our lifetime? Facing an imminent cataract operation, he attempts to answer this question on screen by returning to ideas he explored in his book of the same name, conjuring up a kaleidoscope of extraordinary images and film clips revealing the role of looking in our lives, in an age when we are bombarded with more images than ever.


Mark Cousins (Belfast, 1965) is a filmmaker, critic and programmer. He programmed the Edinburgh Film Festival (1996–1997), hosted BBC2’s Moviedrome (1997–2000) and Scene by Scene(1997–2000) and made . He is the author of The Story of Film (2011). Together with Tilda Swinton, he set up the 8½ Foundation, a Scottish-based not-for-profit organisation dedicated to introducing world cinema to children. His films include The Eyes of Orson Wells and Women Make Film. In 2018 he was at l'Alternativa in person to present the Spanish edition of his book The Story of Looking, which he has now adapted in the form of this film.