It’s a beautiful day on the unceded lands of the Kulin nations. The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is in full swing and the climate crisis has delivered some sunshine on the land down under this winter. Issue 106 leads with Pride on the Margins, a dossier guest edited by Stuart Richards and Antoine Damiens that explores queer films that gain value through their circulation on the queer film festival circuit. Their lead essay provides an overview of queer film festival scholarship and argues that queer cinema travels along a number of circuits. Some Indiewood films crossover and reach broader audiences at larger film festivals, while others, such as the work of Xavier Dolan, Desiree Akhavan or Robin Campillo circulate across many at once. Some films do not ‘cross over’ at all and remain in a market often defined as ‘niche.’ Richards and Damiens argue that these films aren’t any less successful or meaningful to their audiences. Pride on the Margins presents an eclectic mix of queer films that, while traversing many film festival circuits, produce queer resonances in the space of the queer film festival.

In our features section Thomas Austin interrogates the form and content in Delitto d’amore / Crime of Love (Luigi Comencini, 1974). Austin scrutinizes the film’s synthesis of contrasting styles (melodramatic tone plus elements of a social realist aesthetic) and plot devices, and the indictment of working conditions in a Milanese factory. On her part, Laleen Jayamanne delivers a provoking essay questioning the male-American-genius-cliché adapted absentmindedly to a lesbian in Todd Field’s Tár, while recognising Cate Blanchett’s extraordinary performance. And that is only the beginning of her exploration.

In our Great Actors series Eloise Ross chronicles the life and times of Barbara Stanwyck, the star of classics such as Double Indemnity, Baby Face, and Stella Dallas. Stanwyck’s decades long career established her as one of the most powerful presences in classic Hollywood, with roles that disrupted gender roles and were, at the time, revolutionary. 

Hamed Sarrafi interviews Argentinian filmmaker Laura Citarella, whose latest film Trenque Lauquen is featured at MIFF. Marco Abel delivers an in-depth interview with German filmmaker, Christoph Hochhäusler, whose sixth feature played at Berlin earlier this year. Regular interviewer Maria Giovanna Vagenas spoke to Paloma Schachmann and Leandro Koch at Berlin about their debut The Klezmer Project, which won the Best First Feature Award at the Festival. And Claire Harper interviewed Melbourne-based documentary filmmaker John Angus Stewart about his music documentary Chunky Schrapnel.  

Finally our book reviews address the always compelling legacy of Cahiers du cinéma. First with Anthony McKibbin’s assessment of our former editor Daniel Fairfax’s two volume study The Red Years of Cahiers du cinéma (1968-1973). And then with the long awaited translation into English of the key French critic Serge Daney’s compilation The Cinema House and the World: The Cahiers du cinéma Years, 1962-1981, for which Emmanuel Bonin prepared a readers’ guide and an index of Part I, missing in the English edition. Both reviewers weigh up the heavy political approach of the classic French journal, with contrasting points of view.

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