This marks my fortieth and final editorial as I step down from my post as editor in chief of this wonderful journal. Ten years ago, I accepted the helm of Film Quarterly with the intention of transforming it into a journal that I wanted to read, a journal that could offer the field of film and media studies an “alternative commons” instead of the usually siloed areas of identities, nationalities, sexualities, racializations, studies, and specializations that fracture it.
Film Quarterly’s original webinar series showcasing the best in recent film and media studies publications continued July 11 with Page Views editor Bruno Guaraná in conversation with Laura Mulvey, and Oliver Fuke about the new edited volume The Films of Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen: Scripts, Working Documents, Interpretation, ed. Oliver Fuke (Bloomsbury, 2023). The event was moderated by FQ editor and volume contributor B. Ruby Rich.
Last winter, Oscar campaigns may well have rolled through a city near you: visiting stars, catered snacks, diligent handlers, lots of hopes and dreams. Occasionally, a film or actor so exceeds the transactional nature of these events that mundanity is set aside for a moment and the event becomes special beyond its PR function.
Interview: Karim Aïnouz
Madame Satã at Twenty
A Night of Knowing Nothing
Refugee Narratives—Before Flee
Insomnia of a Serial Dreamer
Page Views: Lynn Spigel
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Cannes Film Festival at Seventy-Five
Columns: Dementia, Close-Ups, Julia Child
Not since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 that ended its Prague Spring, and the Chilean coup of 1973 that ended the presidency of Salvador Allende, has the film world been as galvanized by one country’s struggle as it has been in 2022 by Ukraine’s—though, of course, countless other global conflicts, atrocities, and deaths (Brazil, Yemen, Syria, Gaza) have also deserved such attention.
Say the words out loud: alpha—delta—omicron. Add whatever variant(s) have emerged since this article’s deadline. Greek-alphabet letters, recited like a chant, singsong, may sound like a nursery rhyme.
The fall equinox (the time of this writing) seemed to mark the world in its terms: literally and metaphorically light and dark, day and night, good and evil, floods and droughts, a global order torn between the forces of positive and negative energies.
Today, there are celebrations taking place across U.S. universities. The creation of Asian American studies centers and departments fifty years ago was the culmination of an effort by students, administrators, and community members to reorient American history, to engage directly in their communities, and to promote Asian American faculty research and hiring. By 1968, there had been at least three generations of Chinese, Filipinos, and Japanese in the United States, many engaged in profound political work, but what was new about the late sixties was the creation and institutionalization of a collective, pan-ethnic voice known as Asian America.
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.
Writing from Paris at the moment, a stone’s throw from the Archives Nationales, I can’t help but reflect on national character and the differences that span