The Internet may have finally delivered avant-garde filmmakers the audience they always claimed they wanted. With experimentation rejected by the moving-image industry, and moving image shunned by commercial art galleries until the 1970s, film and video artists in the twentieth century relied on film festivals, grassroots film clubs, artist-run co-operatives, and art school curricula as channels of distribution.
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.”
When the editor told me that this was em>Film Quarterly’s fiftieth anniversary issue I was surprised — surprised not that the magazine had been going so long, but that it was not in fact even older
With the British empire at its turn-of-the-century zenith, a curious shift occurred in the sociology of the English-speaking ghost. Once a haunting had simply marked the site of a traumatic injustice. Now the ghouls of popular fiction were expanding their portfolio; on behalf of the powerful and the ugly of long ago, specters became pitiless watchdogs visiting mayhem on blameless passersby
Anniversary Essays; Grindhouse, Paranoid Park, Redacted, Southern Indian Cinema, Michaelangelo Antonioni, Activist Documentaries, Adam Curtis, and a look back on 50 years of Film Quarterly
READ: On Looking Back, The Rise and Fall of Film Criticism, Ghost Law, Spatter Pattern, and founding editor Ernest Callenbach looks back on 50 years
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.
Ideology in Nature Films, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, The First Eco-Disaster Film?, and The Demise of Digital (Print #1). Plus reviews of Two Brothers and 9 Songs
READ: The Battle to Film The Forty Days of Musa Dagh