“I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha.” – Spice Girls
As far as expressions of cravings go, the Spice Girls nailed it back in 1996. In their debut single, “Wannabe,” the girls gleefully barked out the above chorus before devolving into gibberish. What better way is there to exemplify just how hard it is to talk about cravings? Coming more from the gut than the brain, cravings exist in the realm of the unstable, the all-consuming, and the irrational—of the “zigazig ha.” With this issue of cléo, we wanted to explore this tantalizing but troublesome topic, looking at films compelled by fixations, hungers, compulsions, and even, occasionally, gratification.
Unlike the aforementioned all-girl pop group, our writers managed to more than articulate their thoughts on this tricky theme, tackling desires in their carnal and culinary forms. Julia Cooper interviewed Eliza Hittman, whose debut feature and anti-cumming-of-age story, It Felt Like Love, is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Eleni Deacon delves into internet porn, examining just what a modern Don Jon stands for. Mallory Andrews looks at eggs and abjection in Tampopo, and Angelo Muredda explores absentee bodies in Her. At long last, Thelma & Louise makes it into our digital pages, as Lindsay Jensen traces the routes the women take as they run from the law and toward a radical freedom. Zorianna Zurba boldly goes into the twisting and twisted cravings of Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl, and I round things off with a foray into appetites as controlling forces in the eating disorder documentary Thin. And for the first time, we’re pleased to publish a visual essay, “Caught in the Frame,” by filmmaker and critic Gina Telaroli.
But as we embark on our second volume, it also seems fitting to pause and think about what we, cléo, are craving. There are the practical concerns that come with running a new publication: growing readership, grants, more Twitter followers. In the bigger picture: we crave radical change in the film world, where feminist readings and reviewers aren’t considered “niche.” A film world where women’s voices aren’t a minority, and when they do have a platform, aren’t dismissed as mere tokenism. Where longform criticism thrives, where people continue to think about what movies mean and seek to challenge the status quo by dissecting them. That, I guess, is our zigazig ha.
– Kiva Reardon
April 24, 2014