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.
Film Quarterly’s webinar series showcasing the best in recent film and media studies publications continued on April 22nd with a conversation between Page Views editor Bruno Guaraná (Boston University) and Ross Melnick (University of California Santa Barbara) about his new book Hollywood’s Embassies: How Movie Theaters Projected Power Around the World (Columbia University Press, 2022), introduced by FQ editor-in-chief B. Ruby Rich.
Film Quarterly marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Pacific Film Archive (now officially known as BAMPFA) with a webinar discussion about the PFA’s invaluable role in cultivating film culture that expands upon the Special Focus in FQ’s Fall 2021 issue.
This event is now closed.
On December 2nd, Film Quarterly marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Pacific Film Archive (now officially known as BAMPFA) with a webinar discussion of the PFA’s invaluable role in cultivating film culture that expands upon the Special Focus in FQ’s Fall 2021 issue. FQ Editor in chief B. Ruby Rich moderated a conversation with Kathy Geritz (BAMPFA), Josslyn Luckett (Film Quarterly), Cornelius Moore (California Newsreel), Rajendra Roy (MoMA), and David Schwartz (Netflix).
If you had happened to attend the December 8, 1929, screening of Fox Movietone Follies (David Butler and Marcel Silver, 1929) at the opening of the Moulin Rouge cinema in Paris, you would certainly remember the raucous audience that surrounded you. If reports are to be believed, you might have been among the patrons outraged by the poorly written French subtitles—“deplorable” French, really. You may have joined others that night or the following weekend in vandalizing chairs and throwing pieces of furniture at the screen, with shouts of “Shut up” or “In French!” But maybe you were there for a romantic rendezvous, in which case the film and the music and the subtitles mattered a lot less than having your evening marred by unhappy, snobbish viewers. Whatever the hypothetical situation, imagining yourself as a willing participant in Parisian film culture from the era of early sound cinema to around 1950 is nearly inevitable while reading Eric Smoodin’s Paris in the Dark: Going to the Movies in the City of Light, 1930–1950.
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.