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.
Slipping into my neighborhood art house one recent afternoon, I wondered how much longer that theater—the Avalon, a nonprofit community film center in Washington, D.C.—would, could continue to exhibit film.
FEATURES: Films of the Year, 2010; An Interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul; and a survey of contemporary German director Fatih Akin.
READ: Into the Past, Egyptian Stories, Dovzhenko: Folk Tale and Revolution, and Edge of Darkness.
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.
For the last six months or so the idea that film criticism is undergoing an identity crisis has been gaining momentum. I carry some of the blame for this, having edited a “Who Needs Critics?” special issue of Sight and Sound, and organized and participated in public debates, some of which were even entertaining.
Progressive era American cinema, Sicko, British music subcultures, Chaotic Ana, London Avant-garde, Mindframes, and an interview with David Gatten
READ: From Handmade to Hi-tech; A Backlot in Bulgaria; Playing Undead; Myths, Mothers, and Monoliths
“Survival horror” is a highly popular genre of video games that takes its cue from horror cinema but modifies the experience, exploiting both fear and the urge to fight back. The term itself originated with the game Resident Evil (1996). Inspired in part by George A. Romero’s Living Dead series of films, the loading screen of Resident Evil invited players to “[e]nter the world of survival horror”…
Change is best undertaken with a plainly stated purpose in sight. The new formats that are visible in this issue are meant to enhance Film Quarterly’s appeal to people who think seriously about movies, whether they do so inside or outside the academy.
“Democratic government is the original user-generated content”—a simple, pithy message spoken directly into the camera with clarity and conviction. James Kotecki knows what makes good YouTube; indeed, he has a claim to being the site’s single most astute user when it comes to political communication through online moving-image content.
The Namesake, French war films, Into Great Silence, The Lives of Others, Cleo from 5 to 7, YouTube; democratization v regulation
READ: A Public Place, All That Is Solid Melts Into War, The Online Stump, and The Hungry Cinema of Stephen Dwoskin