Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s long awaited new film The Wild Pear Tree premiered at Cannes this year. Its near 190-minute runtime might be scary for audiences that are not familiar with Ceylan’s work, but it is merely a surprise to cognizant audiences. However, the film has such a captivating flow that the viewers might not even perceive the passing of three hours – it is definitely more entertaining than his last film Winter Sleep which was also over three hours. Unlike his previous films which were decorated with elegant images of nature, The Wild Pear Tree is visually more raw; less pastoral beauty and more crooked landscapes that people live in. The shots are still representative of the director’s distinctive poeticism, and the brutal landscapes are the perfect reflections of the subject matter that is the deeply rooted in the suffocating anxiety spread across the young people of Turkey.
Children see themselves and their parents as parts of a single whole we call family. Some children realise later in life, as adults, the individuality of the parts that make up the family. In other cases, they’re forced to realise this when the whole collapses. A child is in one of the most helpless states they can be when they have to watch that collapse, witnessing everything that’ll contribute to the outcome that they somehow know is about to happen. A child cannot choose sides between two people who they once thought were a whole, and as we watch Wildlife through the eyes of a child in the middle of a collapsing marriage, director Paul Dano asks us, very delicately, not to choose sides either.
Last month, Much Ado About Cinema celebrated its first anniversary—and what could be more fitting to celebrate one year than announcing our first print issue!
The theme for our first print issue is Universality, whatever that means to you. Here at Much Ado, we pride ourselves on sharing the voices of writers from all over the world – we want to dig deeper into what it is about film & television that unites, divides, and transcends specific audiences. What does American, Mexican, or Japanese cinema assume to be universal? What criticism do you have of your favorite film’s universal assumptions? How do sexuality, race, and class inform how we interpret universal themes? These questions aren’t restrictive, but are just meant to act as inspiration for the creative pitches we hope to receive! At the end of the day, the theme is entirely up to interpretation.
In the issue we’ll publish pieces from our staff writers and accept pieces from you. You can pitch between now and October 10th by following the instructions below.
Your pitches should be very detailed. We expect you to have a very clear idea about what you want to write, concept, style, approx. length of your piece and how it’ll relate to the theme. You can pitch personal or academic essays, features, criticism and analysis. If you have a pitch that does not fit into any of these categories but fits the theme, go ahead and submit it. While we don’t have a word count limit, we prefer pieces that are between 1500-3000. Our editors may contact you to ask you further questions about your pitch and we’ll expect you to reply by October 29th the latest.
Before you pitch, you should keep in mind that if your pitch is accepted, there’ll be rigorous editing process. We expect you to be in contact with our editors throughout the writing process during which we will ask you to submit drafts. You should be punctual with your submissions. We expect you to be open to criticism and discussions regarding your piece. It’ll be a long process but at the end, you’ll have a well thought, developed and polished piece published.
Payment will be 15$ per piece, to be paid after you successfully submit your final draft.
If you are interested, mail your pitch with a bio attached with the subject “Print Issue Pitch” to email@example.com by October 10th. Make sure your bio is detailed as well, Much Ado is a community and we care about how you see and define yourself. You must be at least 18 years old. Late submissions will not be accepted.
As the dreadful month of August ends, fall begins and with fall comes the most wonderful time of the year: Festival Season! Venice already started, Toronto and Telluride will follow, then comes London and New York. The happiness and the discourse will spread from the sunny seaside of Italy, bringing film lovers together (or apart) until the Awards Season, in which we all will sell our souls to competition. But until then, enjoy a list of some of the films we cannot wait to see from festival season.
Much Ado About Cinema is now looking for new regular writers! As a Much Ado writer your responsibility is to publish at least once a month. This could be through group pieces or an individual piece. We are very open with the subjects on which we write. We publish features, reviews, and essays concerning all aspects of cinema, written by a young and diverse group of contributors. The work we publish here ranges from graduate-level analysis, to casual commentary on mainstream television, to festival coverage of the latest films. In our work, we emphasise diversity and inclusivity, and we wish to cast new impressions on the traditionally white, male and heterosexual world of film criticism.
We pride ourselves in being a community amongst everything else. All our writers and editors are friends who communicate daily. Being a Much Ado writer won’t just give you an opportunity to publish and attend festivals but also have a community where you can engage in conversations and discussions about cinema.
We especially encourage writers of colour and members of LGBTQ community to apply. We’d like to remind you that all positions at Much Ado are unpaid (meaning no one on our team earns any money from the website) and we don’t accept any applicants who are younger than 18. You can be from anywhere in the world as long as you have a good internet connection. Applications will close on the 22nd of July. Good luck!
Click here to go to the application form.
The Critics Interviews is a Much Ado series in which we interview film and cultural critics about the industry, social media, responsibilities of a critic, and their advice for young writers. You can find all of The Critics Interviews here.
Our third interview is with Anna Smith, the president of The Critics’ Circle and film critic for Time Out, Sky, BBC, Metro and The Guardian. Enjoy!
My introduction to David Lynch was, unfortunately, at a very young age. I was in elementary school and my mother came home with a VCD (the DVD’s precursor) of The Elephant Man. She thought it was a Chaplin-like black and white film about a man who is also an elephant, a fun film for an 8-year-old. Quickly into the film she realised this was not the case, but it was too late and I was too stubborn to admit I was scared. I had nightmares for days and to this day, I have not rewatched it.
But I came back to Lynch, many years later, during my freshman year of university, with Mulholland Drive. I had no idea what I was about to encounter, but I knew the moment the man started telling his dream at the cafe, that another nightmare filled sleep awaited me. After the film, I went online immediately, as I’m guessing many people do after seeing Mulholland Drive, searching for some explanations. What does it all mean? There were pages and pages of theories, each one making as much sense as the other. I went to sleep, confused and afraid of something I could not name. So I went back, again and again, first to Mulholland, then to his other films, to name what it was that made me feel so afraid, so anxious, and unable to move. I’ve wondered why that fear I felt after watching his films stayed with me longer than any other horror. Why the horrors that made me jump and scream left my mind very shortly, while the word “silencio” is still enough to make me shiver. Why can’t I still watch The Elephant Man, despite not remembering a single shot from the film?