On November 3rd, Film Quarterly Editor-in-Chief B. Ruby Rich moderated a discussion of the changing conception of binge-watching during the Covid-19 pandemic with Neta Alexander (Colgate University), Tanya Horeck (Anglia Ruskin University), Tina Kendall (Anglia Ruskin University), and Kartik Nair (Temple University), whose special focus on binge-watching appears in the Fall 2021 issue of Film Quarterly.
Hongwei Bao on the film and media crackdown in China and the country’s official attitude toward culture.
Much has been said about serial dramas such as The Sopranos (HBO, 1999–2007), The Wire (HBO, 2002–8), Mad Men (AMC, 2007–15), and Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008–13) bringing about a new golden age of television. A lot of these discussions, however, have centered on the idea that quality television has become more cinematic than ever—a modifier that implies a superiority of cinema and a teleological linearity toward a particular aesthetic. Notwithstanding the overuse of the term and its implications, there is no consensus about what exactly “cinematic” means in these contexts.
A young black woman dressed to signal a 1920s time frame walks along an empty country road, holding an umbrella. She stops in front of a white man sitting beneath a large tree, slowly kneels in front of him, and removes her hat. We see a close-up of his hand before shifting to hers. She begins ripping his white robe, a garment unambiguously suggestive of a Ku Klux Klan costume.
Garrett Bradley’s Poetics
Rethinking Feminist Anger
Pacific Film Archive at Fifty
The Black Gentrification Film
Latin American Dystopias
The Man Who Sold his Skin
Page Views: Cinematic TV
Brian Hu on the Asian American hero documentary, its sub-genre of the “intersectional hero film,” and invocations of solidarity.
Girish Shambu highlights three activist-minded, grassroots streaming projects that were launched during the pandemic.
On July 15th, Film Quarterly brought together filmmakers and scholars of Asian-American film and media for an urgent and dynamic webinar discussion of the spate of (renewed) violence against AAPI peoples.
Season 8 of Friends (NBC, 1994–2004) included an episode in which Monica and Chandler, en route to their honeymoon, are detained by TSA agents after Chandler mocks a TSA sign forbidding jokes about bombs. By the time the episode aired on October 11, 2001, however, the scene had been excised, its humor nullified in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. The scene’s later resurrection as bonus material for a DVD box set—and, inevitably, on video and social-media platforms—reflects the sort of time-sensitive relationship between comedy and context that Philip Scepanski explores in Tragedy Plus Time: National Trauma and Television Comedy.
It has been more than a year since this editorial space filled with speculations about streaming films and the closing of theaters. It was with distinct excitement, then, that I began to read the reopening announcements. The beloved Paris Theater in New York City, with its lease now held by Netflix and with programming selected by former Museum of the Moving Image curator David Schwartz, trumpeted an Al Pacino retrospective. The Film Forum, that mainstay of downtown New York tastemaking, announced its theater’s reopening while retaining its virtual marquee, too.