Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism is a refereed publication whose aim is to create a forum for a range of analysis, debate and discussion that only a journal devoted to a detailed film criticism can adequately provide. We are committed to publishing rigorous but accessible critical writing, at a variety of lengths, that is responsive to the detailed texture and artistry of film and television, old and new. We also welcome articles that illuminate concepts, analytical methods and questions in film aesthetics that are of significance to film criticism.
We welcome articles up to 8,000 words in length, though are also open to the possibility of longer pieces, to be judged on a case-by-case basis. The journal operates on a rolling publication model, meaning that submissions will be accepted and published throughout the year. Each Issue number will be associated with the year of publication.
A style guide for submissions can be found here. Articles should be submitted as email attachments to movie dot journal at gmail dot com. We also welcome style-based videographic criticism. Submissions should take the form of a password-protected link to the video on Vimeo and a statement of approximately 500 words contextualising the essay. Where an essay can be easily anonymised, it should be. Statements will be published alongside accepted audiovisual essays.
In addition to the general call for papers, we are developing themed dossiers that respond to the following topics:
i) Audiovisual approaches and the archive
Videographic criticism is almost always concerned with the archive in one way or another. Jason Mittell has encouraged audiovisual essayists to consider the media objects they work with as “as an archive of moving images and sounds” and Chris Keathley has suggested that the most successful video essays are the ones that “borrow the aesthetic force of the moving images and sounds that constitute their object of study … for their own critical work.” The part of the video essay field that is closest to found footage filmmaking or that which is most immediately inspired by documentary have other kinds of relationship to the archive. More specifically, Liz Greene, in ‘The Elephant Man’s Sound, Tracked’, found forms to animate different kinds of archive, especially Sound Mountain, the library which houses Alan Splet and Ann Kroeber’s sound effects. Lucy Fife Donaldson’s essay 'Tracing the threads of influence: George Hoyningen-Huene and Les Girls (1957)' draws on the archives of the Margaret Herrick library and a range of other materials to establish the varied and complex contributions of the eponymous color-consultant.
Submissions on the theme of audiovisual approaches and the archive are welcomed for a dossier planned for the next issue of Movie: a journal of film criticism (rolling publication through 2023 – deadline 25th September for inclusion this calendar year). Submissions could include audiovisual essays, written reflection, or approaches which extend or challenge these categories. All submissions will be subject to the journal’s peer review processes and authors should note the guidance for submission on the website.
ii) The politics of close analysis, and its object
What should be the object of writing on film and television aesthetics at this contemporary moment? Public reflection on the relationship of cultural representation to historical and current power structures that oppress particular peoples and communities has recently gathered pace and prominence. This activist moment reposes pressing questions about who gets to make films and television, who gets to write criticism, and which films, television shows and their makers should be examined and celebrated as the object of analysis. The form of rigorous analysis often present in the pages of Movie is attentive to style not as natural or neutral, but meaningful and engaging with questions of representation, of race, gender and class. In this dossier, we invite contributions which give voice to and reasoned evaluation of figures, communities, and films or television that have traditionally been marginalised in critical analysis and culture, and in wider cultural discourse. We seek to reject what So Mayer and Ania Ostrowska (2015) have called ‘the perception of scarcity’ that such has so often framed and perpetuated marginalisation, and embrace the prompt to ‘celebrate and participate in [the] plenitude’ of marginalised films and filmmakers instead (ibid).
ii) V. F. Perkins Dossier
We are inviting essays that speaks to the work of V.F. Perkins. Essays can directly analyse Perkins' work, explore new applications of it (for example to different media such as television, animation, or video art), or use it to discuss any aspects relevant to the study of aesthetics, philosophy of art, and criticism.