FQ Editor-in-Chief B. Ruby Rich’s roundup of the Summer 2016 issue: Volume 69, Number 4. Rich recalls the early years of university-level film history courses, assesses the barrage of industry news that lands on her desk daily, and pays homage to Richard Dyer, who was honored by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies at their annual conference. Dyer’s first published monograph, GAYS AND FILM (1977), came into the world in a vacuum. There was simply no such field. Today, it is difficult to comprehend the force of imagination and courage required to launch such a career at such a time. Forty years ago, a grand ballroom would not have filled with people and applause for a gay scholar; today, it was unremarkable that one did.
I remember when. Today, conversations that recall an era when there were only a handful of broadcast channels, no internet, and only a few repertory houses for relief do really sound like dad or grandpa reminiscing about World War II or Vietnam: a nod to a time that seems at once tedious and unimaginable.
“People need a screen.” With those words, author/activist Naomi Klein galvanized the room at the CBC Glenn Gould Theatre, where a daylong documentary discussion was held in September in conjunction with the Toronto International Film Festival [see “Toronto Turns Forty” in this issue]../
Documentary has been in the grip of a shape-shifting transformation, thanks to shifts in technologies, genre, journalism, and the status of evidence and veracity. Not since the 1980s—when the invention of camcorders, VHS tape, and VCR machines, alongside the debut of cable television, fueled the last great upheaval—has the field been so explosively inventive and destabilized
In February 2015, Anita Hill came to the University of California, Santa Cruz, to deliver a lecture, “Speaking Truth to Power: Gender and Racial Equality, 1991-2015.” She also presented a seminar, “‘An Intersectional Problem’: Gender, Race, Class, Political Standing and the Sexual Assault of Black Women.”
If timing is everything, then the cycle of a quarterly is a frustrating one, especially for a film journal. A quarter of a year: it’s close enough to film premieres and television rollouts for the writing to be inspired, yet once into production, it’s still months away from delivery to the world.
FQ Editor-in-Chief B. Ruby Rich’s quarterly roundup of the issue: Winter 2014, Volume 68, Number 2. She recounts her chance meeting at the Toronto Film Festival with celebrated director Zhang Yimou, the IDA convening with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in LA, which she attended, and what the new industry buzzword— “metrics”—portends for the field.
Summertime is usually an interregnum for Film Quarterly and many of its readers: a time between university terms and, with the singular exceptions of Locarno and Karlovy Vary, between film festivals as well: after Cannes, before Toronto/Telluride/Venice/New York. As this issue went to press, however, production was repeatedly interrupted by a need to attend to the news.
At times it can seem that cinema, at least its American variant, inhabits a prolonged adolescence in which images of sex are at once omnipresent and puerile, in a “can’t look too close but can’t look away” manner. But why? Why should sex be any harder to credit in movies than murder?
FQ Editor-in-Chief B. Ruby Rich calls readers attention to the film festival and more. In the Spring 2014 issue of Film Quarterly, we pay attention, as always, to film festivals—this time, with a range of voices reporting on the Rotterdam, Berlin, True/False, and Middle East Now festivals. In this issue of Film Quarterly, we pay attention, as always, to film festivals—this time, with a range of voices reporting on the Rotterdam, Berlin, True/False, and Middle East Now festivals. These essays consider the new films on the circuit, but also think through the significance of very different festivals and cinematic histories. Festival coverage will continue to be an FQ cornerstone, alerting readers to important work coming to the public and to the politics of the festival circuit, but also heeding the larger questions of film festival instrumentality. (See the book review section for a consideration of two recent volumes assessing film festival histories.)