On December 13, 2016, a month after the presidential election, Film Quarterly organized an emergency panel with the sponsorship of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Staged amid the political aftershocks, the event at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center’s Amphitheater brought together eight panelists from wildly divergent arenas to engage a rapt audience with its central theme: “Film & Media in A Time of Repression: Practices and Aesthetics of Resistance.”
FQ Editor-in-Chief B. Ruby Rich’s survey of the Winter 2016 issue. Her roadmap for navigating the ideas, authors, films, TV shows, and interviews featured within; a reflection on the state of film and media criticism, the beginning of awards season, and special tributes to Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor and Curtis Hanson.
FQ Editor-in-Chief B. Ruby Rich’s quarterly roundup of the issue: Fall 2016, Volume 70, Number 1. The issue pays homage to Chantal Akerman with a special dossier co-edited with Ivone Margulies. Rich also weighs in on being female onscreen and online, and the origins of Girlpower. She charts a course for readers through this special issue that also includes the first English translations of some of Akerman’s work, Laura Mulvey on the Jeanne Dielman universe, an in-depth feature article on Mati Diop’s documentary MILLE SOLEILS, columns by Paul Julian Smith and Amelie Hastie, festival coverage, and more.
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.