Monday, December 22, 2014

Cinema Scope

As I said in my Wild review: the old way of doing things is over, and in place there has to be the creation of a new world. It’s 2014 and it would be delusional to think that humanity can keep going the same way as it has done in the past. The world isn’t a pretty place. For a key image of this - cinema's uncertain fate, environmental destruction - an example comes from Mark Peranson’s Editor’s Note in the new Cinema Scope, of Jessica Chastain, anticipating the planet’s destruction, stuck in a shot from Interstellar, which was 'paused' in the middle of the film.

But what to do? For filmmakers there’s Pedro Costa that leads by example. In Horse Money Costa remains loyal to the now old and sick Ventura, a Cape Verdean immigrant, and the disappearing Fountainhas neighborhood as Lisbon, and the world, continue onward towards its terminal state in the name of Capitalism and ‘progress’.

And for film criticism? Attempt relevancy, be open to new forms, and explore new territory. In the new Cinema Scope (N.61), and in every one of their issues, they propose one of the best indicators of what’s exciting in contemporary cinema. And, if some of these films haven’t yet been released, it’s for the sake of helping raise awareness about them and to get them a distribution. For example, the new featured film on its cover is Christian Petzold’s Phoenix (which is written about by Adam Nayman) and is distributed by Filmswelike. So hopefully by highlighting it would raise more awareness about it and increase its eventual theatrical attendance. And in the magazine each film review (well they’re actually more like essays) propose a unique approach to understanding cinema, a director, and film history. For examples in the new issue: Andrew Tracy examines Olivier Assayas's work in genre, Blake Williams looks at Paul Thomas Anderson’s artistic progression and relation to Robert Altman, and Jordan Cronk highlights the new Sensory Ethnography Lab film The Iron Ministry. There’s also a social aspect to the magazine. Cinema Scope is like a password to bond certain cinephiles and film studies students; and is the starting point of many serious film discussions. Its dedicated readership wants to meet its film critics and participate in this conversation (luckily many of them are on Twitter). 

Pedro Costa might have said in his Horse Money interview (N.60) that Cinema Scope might not have a home, but its cast is international, and if these individuals might be alone, they quickly form allegiances, to fight for an idea.

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