Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism follows the print journal, Movie, edited and published by the late Ian A. Cameron from 1962 to 2000. The stated aim of this online version is “to create a forum for the range of analysis, debate and discussion that only a journal devoted to a detailed film criticism can adequately provide.” Although the title might lead you to think otherwise, subjects covered here include both film and television, both old and new. The editors invite submissions of articles up to 8,000 words long, although they may publish longer pieces on a case-by-case basis. The style guide for admissions is available at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/film/movie/contents/movie_style_sheet-1.pdf.
The makeup of each issue is eclectic. All issues include in-depth articles, such as, “Talking Space in Vertigo,” “Play It Again, Butch, Cricket, Chick, Smoke, Happy… The Performances of Hoagy Carmichael as a Hollywood Bar-room Pianist,” “Acting Ordinary in The Shop Around the Corner,” and “‘MADAME BOVARY, C’EST MOI’ —signed, Vincente Minnelli,” but you’ll also find here editorials; series of articles concentrating on a single subject, such as, The Fritz Lang Dossier, Parts 1 and 2; tributes to past contributors; and Opening Shots, a section that “draw[s] attention to movies that are rarely seen and too little discussed…, films [that] have fallen from view for many reasons, including those of distribution.”
A links section on the site connects to a number of related online titles, such as Bright Lights Film Journal, Cahiers du Cinéma, Cineaste, Critical Studies in Television, Film Philosophy, and Senses of Cinema; unfortunately, a number of these are dead links. In addition to the open access articles it makes available, Movie is republishing monographs that originally appeared in the series Close-Up (Wallflower Press, 2006-09). These are free e-books, ready to download, and are available in epub and mobi formats. Thus far they’ve made available: Movies and Tone, by Douglas Pye; The Police Series, by Jonathan Bignell; and Reading Buffy by Deborah Thomas.
There are excellent critical assessments here, as well as wonderful stills from classic – and not so well-known – films. Although the content is aimed at cinematic auteurs, it is generally written in an accessible style that will appeal to all film lovers (I had to wrench myself away from the “Talking Space in Vertigo” article to finish this review). This is a title librarians should be bringing to the attention of any and all researchers in film and television studies; it’s beautifully done, and it’s open access.