2015 Sundance Docs in Focus: 6 DESIRES: DH LAWRENCE AND SARDINIA

6 desiresWinding down this year’s profiles, we turn to the only documentary offering in the Spotlight section: Mark Cousins’ latest essay film, 6 DESIRES: DH LAWRENCE AND SARDINIA, an exploration of the noted author.

Sundance Program Description:

The prolific Mark Cousins returned to the 2014 BFI London Film Festival with a meditation on one of England’s most emblematic authors in 6 DESIRES: DH LAWRENCE AND SARDINIA.

Out of his visit to the island of Sardinia in 1921, DH Lawrence wrote a travel book called SEA AND SARDINIA that described the land and its people’s timeless essence. Some 90-plus years later, director Mark Cousins goes to the island to understand the place and celebrated author. But instead of using the written word, Cousins relies on images.

Presented in part as a letter to Lawrence (or “Bert,” as he lovingly calls him) and in part as an extended dialogue with the writer (as voiced by Jarvis Cocker), what follows is both a celebration and denunciation of the man himself. By mixing his brand of wry humor and deep historic insight with Lawrence’s thoughts on fascism, masculinity, and history, Cousins again shows us the possibility of the cinematic essay in our century.

Some Background:
Director/writer/cinematographer Mark Cousins is best known for his epic fifteen-part documentary TV series THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY. He serves this year on Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary Jury. His producers include Samm Haillay, Laura Marcellino, Duane Hopkins (BETTER THINGS), and Don Boyd (a Sundance alum with TWENTY-ONE (1991) and AN UNSUITABLE JOB FOR A WOMAN (1985), as well as a producer for Derek Jarman’s THE LAST OF ENGLAND and THE TEMPEST).

Why You Should Watch:
At once both a free-flowing travelogue and a critical examination of a noted author, Cousins’ film is a celebration of the wonders, large and small, of discovery.

More Info:
Check out the film’s trailer. For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance filmmaker class of 2015 Twitter list.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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