Two inspirational critics that I have encountered in my life are Adrian Martin from Australia and Mark Cousins from Northern Ireland. I have only realised how inspirational Martin is recently. Martin was born in Melbourne in 1959, he has been writing and teaching about film since 1979. His latest book Mise en Scene and Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art was published last year. A 20 year archive of his writing on film to due to published as a website http://filmcritic.com.au/. Martin is a great speaker, he continues to get my attention on elements of film theory that would normally pass me by. It goes to show you that the individual teaching the material matters so much. Amsterdam University Press are publishing an essay collection of Martin’s academic writings by next year. Martin completed his Ph.D on film style in 2006 and took a post as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Film Studies at Monash University in Melbourne and later Goethe University in Frankfurt. Martin wrote an essay on Philippe Garrel’s L’enfant secret which he considers to be the greatest film ever made. http://cinentransit.com/lenfant-secret/#z3. He later spoke of his experience of watching it for the first time in the Irish Film Institute Cinema 2 in Dublin. http://blogs.indiewire.com/pressplay/video-essay-sight-and-sound-film-poll-adrian-martin-on-philippe-garrels-lenfant-secret Martin recently moved to Vilassar de Mar in Spain where he continues to write and teach.
Cousins was born in Belfast in 1965, he has lived in Scotland since 1983 and resides in Edinburgh. He made his first film in 1989 and began working as a film programmer for the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 1991. Cousins made his first feature film The First Movie in 2009, he has made eight feature films as of 2015! twenty-two all together for film, television and online. Cousins’ passion is infectious. It was Cousins’ interview with Scorsese on BBC’s Scene by Scene that I discovered him. Cousins on BBC’s Moviedrome is very special, particularly his introduction to Bad Timing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFZaCIWKCCQ He is the most beautiful writer on film that I know, the writing flows like river. Read his essays on Billy Wilder’s The Apartment http://moviedromer.tumblr.com/post/103736115843/the-apartment-1960 and Bruno Dumont’s L’humanite for Sight and Sound. Cousins is writing a new book, his first in nearly ten years, a follow-up to his most famous work The Story of Film.
Martin and Cousins both write for BFI’s Sight and Sound and the Dutch film magazine De Filmkrant. Both are deeply passionate, articulate and clear about cinema. Martin introduced me to Philippe Garrel, V.F. Perkins, Gilberto Perez. Cousins introduced me to Imamura Shohei, Forough Farrokhzad, Mani Kaul. Martin and Cousins fly the flag for international cinema, they both fight for what they believe in.