Wednesday, January 02, 2019

2018: 10 Great Writers



This Happy New Year post is a way of thanking ten writers who gave me much reading pleasure and taught me many new things last year.

In alphabetical order:

ELENA GORFINKEL: Can I just say how great it is to be able to read the work of this brilliant film scholar on a regular basis now in the pages of Sight & Sound magazine?

-- On Valeska Grisebach's Western.
-- On Barbara Loden's Wanda (1970). [pdf]

CATHERINE GRANT: Nothing less than an Internet film-cultural institution.

-- Catherine's prolific Vimeo page, with over a hundred video essays.
-- Four posts at Film Studies for Free from 2018 that contain links to an embarrassment of riches.

AMELIE HASTIE: Pioneering feminist film scholar (for many years part of the Camera Obscura editorial collective) whose invaluable column, "The Vulnerable Spectator," has run in Film Quarterly for the last five years.

-- The archive of the column is available to read online at the journal. [subscribers only]
-- A moving account of her personal relationship to Debra Granik's Winter's Bone (2008).

PAMELA HUTCHINSON: An indefatigable freelance critic, silent film historian, and erudite and elegant writer.

-- Pamela's personal website helpfully contains links to all her online work.
-- Let me specifically point to her online archives at The Guardian, and at the British Film Institute.

SO MAYER: One of film culture's most gloriously centrifugal thinkers and writers.

-- Because so much of their work--poetry, essays, pamphlets--was in print form (see this tweet for details), let me link here to two (of many) online pieces: on "women who wander" in the films of Campion, Varda, and other filmmakers; and an obituary for Armenian fimmaker Maria Saakyan.

B. RUBY RICH: A titan of film culture--whom I've been reading for decades. (Full disclosure: I feel fortunate to be working alongside her at Film Quarterly on the journal's online column, Quorum.)

-- All of Ruby's editorials for Film Quarterly are available to read for free online.

ANNA BACKMAN ROGERS and DANIELLA SHREIR: Two visible and important figures in film culture today, whom I group together because of their invaluable work as editors (of MAI Feminism and Another Gaze, respectively), in addition to their own writings: Rogers' recently released book on Sofia Coppola (Berghahn Books), and Shreir's award-winning translation of Chantal Akerman's My Mother Laughs (Silver Press).

-- MAI Feminism
-- Another Gaze

MOIRA WEIGEL: Freelance writer/editor with an extraordinary range, including but traveling well beyond film.

-- You can read her film criticism: at Criterion and at n+1.
-- "Why Silicon Valley Can't Fix Itself" at the Guardian.
-- Moira also edits the superb technology magazine Logic (with Ben Tarnoff). See her important piece, "The Internet of Women".

ALISON WILLMORE: Few critics working today are as good at surrounding films with rich context (about representation, cultural politics, industry, genre) in their reviews. Here are just two of many excellent pieces at Buzzfeed (where she is film critic):

-- "Orientalism is Alive and Well in American Cinema"
-- "Why I've Had Trouble Buying Hollywood's Version of Girl Power"

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If you're curious: last year's year-end post also highlighted (and linked to) the work of several excellent writers.

Happy New Year!