Issue four of feminist film journal Another Gaze was due to arrive in-store in March, but delays held it up. This doesn’t affect reading it at all though – AG is timely in a drawn out way; considered, never rushed. Each essay is ruthlessly erudite – unsurprising considering the impressive (fully female) list of contributors. Here is a journal with a capital J – a publication that feels like it’s been around forever.
The issue begins with humour. An essay called ‘The Last Good Male Film Critic’ by editor Missouri Williams (above) features her co-editor (and founder of AG), Danielle Shreir. It follows their escapades around the Austrian film festival Diagonale, and their small obsession with n+1 film critic A. S. Hamrah. It’s beautifully written – laugh-out-loud funny and self-deprecating, the perfect ‘editor’s letter’.
So what else to expect from this issue? It’s unthemed as always, but each issue’s content page groups together mini themes (above). The call for entry requested pitches about: commodity (film) feminism, auto/biography, sex scenes, subtitles and translation, borrowing dangerously, imagined adaptations, objects in film and actresses. From what I’ve heard anecdotally, the journal was inundated with submissions.
Amongst others, this is just some of the content that made the cut: articles about Brazilian cinema, the late Ukranian director Kira Muratova, contemporary filmmaker Zia Anger in conversation with Ashley Connor and ideas of ‘rebellion’ and the ‘anthropocene’. Another Gaze doesn’t skimp on illustration either, with pages full of collaged photographs accompanying most essays. This is not, as you can imagine, a slim journal.
Another Gaze is undeniably erudite, but never to the point where it feels alienating. The editors describe the writing they publish as ‘thorough and research-based but not opaque or academic’. Not having heard of the films discussed in its pages is part of the point of the journal – it is a discovery handbook. And unlike its contemporaries, Little White Lies or Sight & Sound, the content is comprised of essays, not just reviews. ‘Peyote Queen: Trance, Ritual and the Female Body in the short films of Storm De Hirsch’ by Sophia Satchell-Baeza and Missouri Williams’ ‘How Do You Solve a Problem like Duszejko?: On Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead and Agnieszka Holland’s Spoor’ were two of my favourites in issue four.
It’s impossible to read Another Gaze and not come away inspired, a long ‘films to watch’ list saved in your phone notes. Reading it will always like having a long conversation with your sparkiest and most knowledgeable friend.