On the occasion of the exhibition of Isaac Julien‘s celebrated 10 screen installation, Lessons of the Hour, Film Quarterly collaborated with the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts on a webinar to mark this meditation on Frederick Douglass and his times. On October 28th, FQ editor B. Ruby Rich moderated a discussion of Julien’s genre-breaking and immersive moving-image practice with the artist himself as well as with professors Kass Banning (University of Toronto) and Warren Crichlow (York University, Toronto), authors of the first major study of the exhibition, “A Grand Panorama: Isaac Julien, Frederick Douglass, and Lessons of the Hour,” (FQ 73.4).
This editorial was written on the Fourth of July, that annual orgy of barbecues and tin-hat patriotism made worse this year by the unprecedented arrival in US cities of bomb-grade fireworks—explosives that shook the ground, sending dogs cowering and possibly softening up the urban population for a battlefield future. This appears, however, in the FQ issue emerging just prior to the 2020 US presidential election, an event destined to change the future of this country and the world and, yes, the film and TV world, in ways that are equally unpredictable, confusing, and terrifying.
At times it can seem that cinema, at least its American variant, inhabits a prolonged adolescence in which images of sex are at once omnipresent and puerile, in a “can’t look too close but can’t look away” manner. But why? Why should sex be any harder to credit in movies than murder?
FEATURES: Cinema’s Sex Acts; Ten Thousand Waves; Male Beauty and the Erotics of Intimacy; Under the Skin; plus Festival Reports, Page Views, and more…
Chihwaseon, Frantz Fanon, Donkey Skin, and Farenheit 9/11. Plus reviews of Nobody Knows and The Ninth Day.
READ: Why Less is Still Moore — Celebrity and the Reactive Politics of Farenheit 9/11