For the young actress turned director, Saffron Cassaday, this film marks her debut. Many stories are intertwined here: from explaining the origins of what the film title is about — an education program that started in Toronto for showing seniors how to use a computer to effectively communicate — to what these people can do with it, there is even a personal note added to this film.
When Saffron’s sister, Macaulee, and grandfather were diagnosed with cancer during production, that did not bring making this film to halt. Their journey is also chronicled. Having started two years ago, the teaching program called Cyber-Seniors was well underway. When medical issues only showed how effective online communication works for two very close family members, the ties that bind are expressed online too. But that should not stop people from meeting for real.
The documentary, A Story of Children and Film might be better off named The Role of Children in Cinema, and it can easily become a textbook for the next cinema studies course at a university campus if Mark Cousins, Irish director and occasional critic, wanted it. He shares to the world his excellent knowledge of this subgenre.
In Cousins’ video essay, he delves into a nearly complete history starting from Charlie Chaplin’sThe Kid (1921) to Wes Anderson’sMoonrise Kingdom (2012), and wraps it around his own little video shoot of his visiting neice and nephew playing with a marble toy set. The juxtapositions he makes are interesting. When he delves into actual cinema, a few movies, like Martin Scorsese’sHugo(2011) is missed for good reason – it’s an adaption of a book. But with more than a century’s worth of movies to sift through, this narrator successfully finds the movies from many countries (25 in fact) and representative of different eras to make his point with. He also uses it in a compelling juxtaposition when he includes footage of his neice and nephew visiting his flat and playing with a marble run.