Lockdown watch: Mark Cousins on why he’s only seeing films from 1940

In the first of a series in which film-makers reveal their self-isolation viewing habits, the documentarian on batty curios and rare gems from 80 years agoFor absolutely no good reason, I’ve decide that the theme of my quarantine should be the number 40.

To pretend to keep fit, I’ve been doing 40 sit-ups and 40 weight-lifts a day.

I did an online talk for film students and called it 40 Days to Learn Film.

And I decided that, in my free time, I’d watch films released in 1940.I skipped the famous ones – Hitchcock’s Rebecca, Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, Cukor’s The Philadelphia Story, etc – because I’d seen those and I seldom watch a film twice.

I wanted to know what I didn’t know about movies in 1940.

I wanted an adventure.

I feel alive when I’m discovering something new.

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