A major theme of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series is West Indian joy. West Indian immigrants’ struggles against state resistance to everyday black life. In a rather profound contrast to McQueen’s other work—in which long takes of suffering bodies draw the viewer into the inescapability of the pain experienced by his subjects—joy disrupted provides the counterpoint to bodies in pain. Striking this balance between suffering and joyous bodies is one of the reasons that McQueen’s series may be his best effort yet to move between art cinema and popular genres.
Documentary’s Radical Unreal
The Antipodal in Argentine Documentary
Women and Work in South Korean Cinema
Death in Venice at Fifty
Special Focus on “Small Axe”
Remembering Walter Bernstein
On May 27th, FQ’s B. Ruby Rich moderated a discussion with FQ contributors Christian Rossipal and James Williams and filmmakers Amel Alzakout (Purple Sea, 2020) and Dagmawi Yimer (Asmat, 2015) on new forms of expression in documentaries about Europe’s refugee crisis.
Shannon Kelley pays tribute to Liza Minnelli and analyzes her unshakeable appeal.
Gina Marchetti on the various ways in which China marks Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland”.
Film Quarterly’s webinar series showcasing the best in recent film and media studies publications, continued on April 2nd with a conversation between Page Views editor Bruno Guaraná and Professor Lúcia Nagib (University of Reading) about her groundbreaking new book, Realist Cinema as World Cinema (Amsterdam University Press, 2020), introduced by FQ editor-in-chief B. Ruby Rich.
When I was growing up in Pakistan in the 1980s, the combination of cultural censorship by the Islamic Republic and the ban on foreign imports stunted any prospects for global cinephile development. With cinemas shuttered, VHS bootlegging thrived but was largely focused on Bollywood’s tackiest melodramas. During any rare evening broadcast of an English-language film on state television, scenes deemed “non-halal” would abruptly transition into large pixelated forms instead of being spliced out altogether.
The 2019 Hong Kong protests witnessed not only sustained physical demonstrations by locals, but also a swell of online digital media that recorded and remixed conflicts between protestors and police. By documenting key moving images that circulated throughout social media and the film festival circuit, White’s essay reorients Hong Kong film studies’ relationship with the digital.
It is a human habit, perhaps, to project the present into the future—a default mode that drives forward even when the road has crumbled. So it was with film in Year One of the pandemic, characterized by a state of denial shaded with panic. By the end of 2020, film festivals were adjusting their schedules according to an imaginary “after” as if the vaccine were set to materialize imminently, universally, and magically everywhere, to step out from behind the curtain and restore life to what it used to be: movie theaters open, film festivals under way.
The New Butch Middlebrow
Streaming Streets: Hong Kong’s Digital Media
Helena Ignez, Brazil’s Unknown Superstar
Mediterranean Border Crossings
Interview with Michelle Porte
Churails: Revenge and Censorship
Queer Revolutionary Docs, From Puto to Bixa
Lucia Nagib’s Realist Cinema