Belfast Telegraph

NI film-maker takes axe to latest movie in tribute to horror classic

By Staff Reporter

Northern Ireland-born filmmaker Mark Cousins this week shocked a movie festival audience by giving his latest film the chop - literally.

After a screening of his latest film, Bigger Than The Shining, at the 2017 International Rotterdam Film Festival, Cousins (51) took an axe to the movie in a bizarre homage to Jack Nicholson's scenery-chewing axe psycho performance in Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror classic.

Speaking to Screen Daily, the former St Louis Grammar School pupil explained the reasons behind his dramatic and unforgettable stunt.

"I think I always intended to destroy Bigger Than The Shining," he said.

"It's an experiment and a provocation which should probably only exist for a short period.

"It's a hybrid of other films, so a long life for it is not justified.

"It's a bit like the two main characters in La La Land. The two films in my movie meet and have fun, but it was never going to last. It becomes a memory.

In 2014, Cousins - a former presenter of BBC2's cult film show Moviedrome and Scene By Scene - released I Am Belfast. He described it as his "love letter" to the city, where he was born and grew up.

With a score by Northern Irish electronic musician David Holmes, I Am Belfast was well received by the critics.

Several new films by Cousins are in the works, the director told Screen Daily.

"My film Stockholm My Love comes out this year - March in Sweden, June in the UK," he explained.

"I definitely won't destroy it. I have three more films in the pipeline, but none are yet announced.

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