With this issue of cléo, we wanted to keep it brief. We’re not going to lie: it was partly in hopes of getting a bit more rest and relaxation during the summer months, but we soon found that brevity doesn’t necessarily equate to a lack of profundity. (Twitter fans, rejoice!) Editing this issue opened us up to new filmmakers and new ideas, and another—often unsung—aspect of the film world: short filmmaking. With vol. 5, issue 2 (our 14th edition to date), we hope to prove once and for all that size really doesn’t matter, and that big ideas sometimes come in small packages.
There’s a challenge to writing tight, and all of our authors rose to the occasion, exploring their films and filmmakers with keen, concise nuance. Monica Uszerowicz reflects on her first sense of sexual desire as reflected in the queer short by Camila Saldarriaga ¡Mais Duro!. Chelsea Phillips-Carr, who will be joining our editorial team on the next issue, highlights the colonialist mindset behind Barbara Loden’s The Frontier Experience. Child’s play and “time mismanagement” are the common thread linking Andrea Arnold’s Wasp and Lynne Ramsay’s Small Deaths, according to Juan Velàsquez-Buriticá, and returning cléo contributor Willow Maclay digs into the uncompromising Riot Grrrl attitude of Sarah Jacobson’s I Was A Teenage Serial Killer. Ayanna Dozier studies how L.A. Rebellion filmmaker Alile Sharon Larkin edits anti-Blackness into plain view in The Kitchen and Courtney Duckworth explores laughter in the face of violence as a feminist survival strategy in Cecelia Condit’s Possibly in Michigan. Last, Michael Sicinski reflects on provocation and embodiment as throughlines to avant-garde tradition in the cinema of Nazlı Dinçel.
And speaking of small packages, we’d like to thank all the folks who have been giving to our Patreon campaign. Be it two bucks or 20, it all adds up and has become a true source of sustenance for us. It’s a monthly reminder that we’re not in this alone, that you also care about changing film culture, and that piece by piece we’re going to get there. Small steps maybe, but we’re pushing forward together.
The cléo editors