On February 24th, Film Quarterly marked the 10-year anniversary of the uprisings known as the Arab Spring with a webinar discussion based on its special dossier (Vol. 75, No. 2, Winter 2021) devoted to pivotal works of Arab cinema since 2011. Dossier co-editor and contributor Rasha Salti and FQ editor B. Ruby Rich moderated a conversation with contributors Donatella Della Ratta (John Cabot University), Kay Dickinson (University of Glasgow), and Stefan Tarnowski (Columbia University).
Film Quarterly marks the 10-year anniversary of the Arab Spring uprisings with a webinar discussion based on its special dossier (Winter 2021) devoted to pivotal works of Arab cinema since 2011.
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In late 2020, during the dark days of pandemic lockdown and a global universe plunged into a shared crisis devoid of unanimity, the subject of impending anniversaries arose. It was then, in a gesture of optimism for an unknown future, that the idea was hatched for an FQ dossier dedicated to the then-impending ten-year mark to commemorate the 2011 uprisings known as the Arab Spring.
The Arab Spring, the wave of popular insurgencies that spread in that region between 2010 and 2012, springs from a solid history of large-scale political mobilizations that coalesced outside (and sometimes against) the framework of such established and enshrined political organizations as political parties and unions.
There was a dustup last fall over an op-ed by Martin Scorsese in the New York Times and his earlier interview with Empire magazine.1 Controversy erupted after he compared the movie franchises based on Marvel comic books to theme parks, saying they weren’t cinema, that he’d never go watch them, that they are ruining cinema. Hardly surprising! With the exception of his own delightful Hugo (2011) and his tireless World Cinema Project rescues of global film history, Scorsese is known for his own brand: a cinematic realism of hard streets, hard men, and hard mob battlegrounds, always set in specific pasts (New York, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Boston) and always etching the DNA of masculinity onto the screen with unfailingly precise craftsmanship.