From the Director: Film Studies in the Time of Corona

After a long hiatus, our film studies newsletter returns. The months since COVID disrupted our lives have seemed like years, and in the meantime all of our relationships to the moving picture have changed: suffering in some ways, and blossoming in others.

Was it only last March when our spring crew reflected on What We’re Watching While Social Distancing? The list has grown long since then, and we have all learned new ways to experience film. Theaters close, re-open, close again, film festivals and new releases move online, and the financial future of the industry remains a question mark. In the coming weeks, we will be reflecting on many of these issues, so stay tuned.

Our new Fall Crew has kept busy with our own weekly Thursday screenings that we launched in the summer via Netflix Party, and which we will continue hosting. We’ve also been considering the place of film in the social justice reckoning that this pandemic summer issued in, including the responses of the film industry to this crucial time. We’ve been thinking about the ways social distancing has been especially hard on student filmmakers, and seek ways to overcome that while still respecting the need to keep safe. And, more broadly, we have all been facing the serious need for kindness, compassion, and understanding in all our lives during these unprecedented times, and how much film can by turns and at once instruct our empathy and offer a respite. Expect to see more about all of this in the coming weeks.

Cheers, and good watching!