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.)
New FQ Editor-in-Chief B. Ruby Rich announces her arrival at a moment of transformation in the field of media studies and the media industry at large. “Assuming the editorship of Film Quarterly at a time when nearly every element of the medium of cinema is up for reinvention is no small burden. For those of us who love cinema and live by its precepts, happily, there’s as much reason to feel exalted as daunted by the transformations underway within and outside its domain…Of one thing I am certain: Film Quarterly has a crucial role to play. Since 1958, FQ has been a lodestone guiding the development and best ideas of an emergent field, discipline, and locus of attention. Its future calling can be no less.”
I take this opportunity to offer thanks to departing guest editor David Sterritt for his many contributions to Volume 66 and his generous words on my behalf…
I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase film culture and its mercurial meaning at a time when the art of the moving image is going through what may be its most profoundly transformational stage ever…
FQ Editor Rob White charts a course through the Autumn 2008 issue, on the occasion of FQ’s golden anniversary. In the fall of 1958, fifty years ago, the inaugural issue of Film Quarterly was published, and it is fascinating to revisit those first years, when the European New Wave cinemas generated a scintillating critical energy in a pioneer magazine. In this anniversary issue, founding editor Callenbach recalls FQ’s origins and traces the development of its agenda; James S. Williams argues that Antonioni’s cinema opened up whole “new spaces of thought and being”; while D. A. Miller reconsiders Visconti’s epic melodrama and its strange “larval beauty.”
Film Quarterly covers a selection of recent films (including re-releases) in greater detail than is possible in many other publications. The balance of reasonable timeliness and in-depth analysis reflects our policy of combining the best qualities of journalism and academic writing.
In this issue of Film Quarterly, four unusually lengthy works now available on DVD, which have a combined running time of forty hours, are reviewed. They range from poetic documentary to crime epic, but each is a work of the utmost distinction
In addition to regular commentary on narrative cinema and documentary, Film Quarterly has a useful role to play from time to time by publishing accessible writing about avant-garde film and video. Although there are rare exceptions (such as Matthew Barney’s films), this work is mostly not screened theatrically, which is one reason for it slipping through the net of magazine coverage.