If you don’t live near a magazine stand in California or pay for an online subscription, it may be hard to keep yourself caught up on Film Quarterly, the acclaimed film journal published by University of California Press. Yet this summer, you can check out all the peer-reviewed scholarly analyses for free, to your heart’s content.
The biggest highlight worth checking out is Amy Villarejo’s cover story, “Jewish, Queer-ish, Trans, and Completely Revolutionary: Jill Soloway’s Transparent and the New Television.” Villarejo dives deep into the show through the lens of Soloway’s adoption of the “female gaze” toward a handful of its characters. She also looks at “Transparent” as one of the most Jewish television shows of late and the diversity of the show within a gendered and queer community. If you like TV and queer theory (who doesn’t?), this is for you.
Elsewhere, Brian R. Jacobson looks at cinema’s role in public conversation about technological change through Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina.” He finds a meta nature to the film’s representation of the history of art, and how Nathan Bateman’s creation in the film serves a broader story about a story about representation and the creation of artificial film worlds.
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To be frank, this is content that’s worth its (pretty reasonable) price, and a total steal for free. These aren’t articles ready-made for when a given film or TV show comes out, these writers have been thinking and writing about “Ex Machina” and “Transparent” for the past year. They require patience, reason and a good amount of contradictory thought.
That’s what you should ask for in your film journalism, right?