Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bruno Dequen’s New Editorship of 24 Images

All it took was three issues. Since the departure of the previous chief-editor of 24 Images, Marie-Claude Loiselle leaving after 23 years at the end of 2015, Bruno Dequen, the new holder of the position, has been able to reorient the magazine by bringing to it a new fresh and youthful voice, improving the layout and sections to more clearly express its views, reaching out to cinema in its entirety through its multi-disciplinary and –platform incarnations while also holding on to some of its predecessor Loiselle’s major values and never loosing sight of Québécois cinema as its centerpiece. Not an easy task! But which Dequen accomplishes with what appears as ease. So far the three first covers of Dequen’s period includes Miguel Gomes’ Arabian Nights with a feature on the major cinematographic shifts from 2010 to 2015 (which creates an intellectual base to build upon), then a Ben Wheatley High Rise cover with a dossier on new experimental documentary forms, and finally a Sylvain L’Espérance cover for his upcoming monumental Greece documentary Combat au bout la nuit (which seems to answer Loiselle’s earlier call for exactly this in one of her last essays) and a roundtable on young cinephile culture from the perspective of 2016. Through continuity and rupture, Dequen took the magazine from a perhaps esoteric Trafic model to resembling something more like the mixture of Cahiers and Cinema Scope but specific entirely to Montreal, its cinephile culture and its repertoire film institutions and festivals. Ce n’est plus seulement du ‘sérieux’ mes maintenant ça inclus le monde. Each issue now is full of interesting articles (with the golden rule being that there should be at least five to warrant the purchase) all which answers the question of comment penser le cinéma aujourd'hui de Montréal? Some of these recent highlights include the pieces by its new writers like Alexandre Fontaine Rousseau (probably one of the biggest cinephiles to come out of Aylmer) on vulgar auteurism, The Forbidden Room and his own comical film-related drawings; Ariel Esteban Cayer on Isiah Medina’s 88:88 and Adam Nayman’s Showgirls book It Doesn’t Suck; and Apolline Caron-Ottavi on André Habib’s book La Main gauche de Jean-Pierre Léaud. These are all mixed together with pieces by its older writers, which all have a new personal urgency to them, like Dequen on Philippe Lesage’s Les demons, Robert Greene’s Kate Plays Christine and Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day; Robert Daudelin on Thom Andersen, or a special contribution by Leo Goldsmith on Dominic Gagnon’s of the North. To celebrate this new energized activity Marcel Jean at the Cinémathèque Québécoise has been inspired to re-boot the old La Fête du cinéma program (May 20th to the 21st). With this level of confidence and joyous activity: everybody gains.

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