SUNSET ON LEO SEASON
founding editor: rooney elmi cover art design and copy editor: nadia el h. digital media artist: miles le
Background image: Still from 'Taste of Cherry' (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)
Editor's Note: SVLLY’s genesis sprung from anger.
SVLLY’s genesis sprung from hope.
This magazine is the creation of the goals, ideals, ramblings, heartache, desire, and most supreme: sheer optimism for carving a subversive current in the status quo. One that caters to the destruction of the capitalist, sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, white supremacist, patriotic, violent, and propagandist foundation of the greater Western film establishment. From theory, to programming to criticism and production, the mechanisms of these pervasive ideologies has displaced imagery created by radical thinkers and marginalized folx, but it doesn't have to be that way. There must be a new wave of making and thinking about cinema.
On August 18, 2016, I welcome my 22nd cycle around the sun, with the gripping anticipation of not inviting the emotional death Cassavetes once alluded to. I would venture out to say, not only should films be a road-map through the grudge of our reality, but cinephilia, as a whole should be an everevolving ecosystem that cultivates the attitudes and principles of cinephiles worldwide. What is culture if not the shared traditions of its brethren? Conversations regarding cinema have yet to capture the larger imagination in the way it could because cinephilia, in conjunction with cinema, has yet to be made by the people, for the people.
This bulletin of SVLLYwood is rooted in the tragically hopeful personal code created by John Cassavetes, a leading member of American indie film making: “Films today show only a dream world and have lost touch with the way people really are. In this country, people die at 21. They die emotionally at 21, maybe younger. My responsibility as an artist is to help people get past 21. The films are a road-map through emotional and intellectual terrain that provides a solution on how to save pain.”
SVLLY isn't just one thing: it’s universal. It’s grounded in history and experience. It’s emphasized by the sincerity of its collective. Since this is the first look of a greater project, we hope to introduce a template that caters to a new cinephilia. It is the great hope that one day, **inshAllah** SVLLY will permeate the cultural lexicon, but when that day comes, let the vanguard of the new wave be the authentic lovers of its philosophy. Without further ado, we present “Sunset on Leo Season”, tracking the sorrow, resurrection, and rebirth of the fire sign. In trust + solidarity, Francis Ford Coppola's little fat girl in Ohio 08/31/2016
Seize the means of cinema 4
By any means necessary 5
Driving through the Eternal Abyss
This past “Independence” Day wasn't
the typical celebration to commence white land-owning mens right to no longer pay taxes to the British Empire, it also waved a heavy farewell to one of films most humane artists. The Iranian auteur, Abbas Kiarostami, a mysterious master of natures highest virtues, succumbed to cancer in Paris. Kiarostami is a titan in global cinema, with a resume boasting classics such as Where is the Friends Home (1987), Close-Up (1990), and his one and only English language venture, Certified Copy (2010). It's vital to build a community that honors trailblazing creatives in our visual medium. Uplifting the vision, impact, and strides made by our cinematic ancestors should be unified objective, so fickle measures such as time and human memory cannot erode our art.
-----** Car rides have always been my main modem of travel, and Kiarostami constantly emphasizes automobile transportation as the height of communication and personal breakthroughs. This methodology spills into the cinema of descendants such as Farhadi, Makhmalbaf and Panahi. ----- ** This amazing quote: “As film-makers, it is very important for us to find common ground between cultures, and maybe that's less the case for politicians who benefit more from finding the conflicts and differences between us.”
** For Muslim children of the diaspora, Kiarostami provided a duality to movie making. Whereas older generations dismissed film as merely Western entertainment chock full of haraam temptation, Kiarostami didn't heed to anyone's agenda: neither God nor country. He granted his characters agency to explore the beauty and ills of society. Witnessing people of color (Iranians, Ugandans, Japanese, etc.) on their native land, discussing and dissecting relationships is unfortunately a rare treat. ** The radical notion that one can fall asleep whilst watching a film! ** Kiarostami is the gateway for many peoples understanding of breeding a less pretentious film world, where D.I.Y film making is nurtured and not frowned upon. Frequently using new technology and nonprofessional actors instead of seeing his success as a way to accumulate more celebrity and wealth. ** Using film to express simplicity. Cinema as a canvas for poetry. ** When asked what it takes to be a international filmmaker, Kiarostami replied: “To be international, you have to first be local.”
''It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.'' - Assata Shakur 10
SAY HER NAME 11
On August 2nd 2016, the Baltimore
Police Department, fresh off their victory of six overturned convictions stemming from the Freddie Gray murder trial, entered into the home of 23 year old Korryn Gaines. After an hour's long armed stand off with an arrest warrant, the encounter resulted in the death of Gaines whilst sending her 5 year old son to the hospital with a gunshot wound. This horrendous case of police violence against a young woman willing to protect herself and her family might prompt you to believe there would be another Baltimore rebellion much like the one that spearheaded from the result of Gray’s paddy wagon ride in 2015, but alas you’re forgetting one key element: Korryn was a woman. In the fight for black liberation, women have historically created and maintained positions of resistance. In the case of Amerikkkan chattel slavery, black slave women participated in acts of disobedience by destroying food supplies and in the case of Harriet Tubman leading hundreds to freedom through the Underground Railroad. In the early 20th century there were anti-lynching campaigns created by Ida B. Wells, and in late 1960s, the Black Power Movement saw the deliberate call to arms that had many revolutionaries, killed, thrown in prison, or forced into exile, namely the legendary Assata Shakur.
Today, the movements and ideologies of the past that called for third world solidarity, womanism, and community are forgotten for the mere imagery of radical “wokeness”. So if the freedom fighters of yesteryear bring comfort to so many of our black brothers, why do they pause when modern day women follow the same blueprint of armed resistance? Idolizing history, selective outrage, and misogynoir all play a factor in the silence of Korryn Gaines and all black women who have died at the hands of the police state. The deafening silence in regards to trans women is horrifying to witness. Despite the fact that #BlackLivesMatter was coined by a black queer woman, and the movement that took its name is currently lead by folx of the same identity, the greater discourse surrounding the safety of black women has yet to take center stage. As Gaines' five-year old son physically heals from his wounds, the loss of his mother will be forever. Our motherly ancestors throughout the diaspora bore children through eras of imperialism, colonialism, great racial and gendered violence, yet We Still Rise.
It's time for our brothers to do the same and SAY HER NAME!
Summertime ☀️ Syllabus ☀️ Remember the time your teacher
unexpectedly popped in a movie for class and the feeling of pure euphoria that blinded all your senses for 0.5 seconds? As luck will have it, it's back to school season, which translates to the slight chance of experiencing those 0.5 seconds of euphoria again. Because what's the point of attending every class if not for the off chance of catching a free movie? Before we officially pack our book-bags, let's put down that cup of Lemonade™ and pop in some classics. Here are three essential movies to check out before bidding farewell to summer.
Now and Then (1995)
The ultimate tale in friendship and girlhood (also directed by a woman: Lesli Linka Glatter)!
Do the Right Thing (1989)
This Spike Lee joint chronicles the hottest day of the year in Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn which jump started American indie black film making as we know it.
The tea is that Spielberg actually snatched the concept of an alien crashed down to Muva Earth from the iconic Indian filmmaker, Satyajit Ray. Spielberg allegedly has a history of thievery that tampers with his legacy, but I refuse to let that ruin the nostalgia attached to Elliot and co. And if you still have time remember to check out: Stand By Me, Crooklyn, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wet Hot American Summer, Tourist Trap, Friday the 13th, and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
JUSTICE FOR BARB
SMASH THE BURYING YOUR GAYS TROPE (UNIRONICALLY) 16
BESOS TO SHAOLIN HERE'S TO A LESS SEXIST VERSION OF YOU IN SEASON TWO 17
Excerpt of the SVLLY(wood) manifesto It is only through acting towards these goals that cinema be begin to be considered a true art form. Once we foster an international, diverse, open and fluid process to creating movies will the pretentiousness and elitism lose face. As part of a growing collaborative effort to foster growth, mentor-ship, and cinematic excellence I present a list of guidelines to adapt a creative medium that empowers new generation of filmmakers and film culture.
I. Foster creatively on all fronts. The state of cinematic affairs is evolving. Be active participates in sustainable trends that promote open access to film and artist mobility. II. No places for hate. Acts of oppression towards individuals and groups are not to be accepted. Nay, remaining vigilant to problematic behavior is key to progressing the state of affairs. III. Fight against forms of structural silence against marginalized voices. Although a theme of acceptance and diversity is a contemporary hot button topic, diversity for diversity sake is redundant to the goals of a just cinematic forum. Fight to main cultural credibility and systematic erasure of disenfranchised communities. 18
V. Participate and act within accordance to growing advancement of democratization of cinema. Abide by this code to marshal the future. VI. Understand the importance of connecting to new talent. New talent isn't synonymous with youth. Appreciate innovative voices and ring the bells to sponsor this word. VII. Every person apart of the making of an SVLLYwood project should be met with respect. Integrity, dignity and code of ethics are critical for any abiding comrade. This point extends to all beings outside of SVLLYwood sphere. VIII. Recognize we live and work under a capitalist hierarchy, trying to enact total socialism under current hyper capitalist industry would be not be sufficient for the survival of SVLLYwood. Adapt if and when totally necessary without losing credibility of this politico. The question of whether art or activism comes first is much akin to the age old debate, what came first the chicken or the egg? The argument is an important one to flesh out but the essence of the question should be the blueprint of SVLLY(wood) participants. Art and activism don't ride different waves but flow in unison on a current of harmonic waters.
In trust + solidarity, Francis Ford Coppola's little fat girl in Ohio
Call for submissions
SVLLY(wood) vol.1 issue. 1 will be The Feminine Mystique Redux
A woman's body and psyche are the sight of mass attention and public scrutiny, which subsequently is the basis of horror as a genre. There is immense duality in horror, utilizing sexist tropes and exploitation yet churning some of the most engrossing woman led narratives on screen. The Feminine Mystique Redux will track the spirituality, legacy and metaphoric transformations of women in horror. The upcoming issue will also be triple the size of Sunset on Leo Season! Pitches can include mini essays, retrospectives, curated film syllabuses and artistic designs.
Topics to consider:
Freaky Face Horror Kweens: Decoding the legendary horror thespians that redefine beauty. Specifically Mia Farrow, Shelly Duvall & Sissy Spacek. Queering Horror: LGBTQI+ identity is constantly under attack in so many horror classics yet there are plenty of queer icons too. What are positive and negative portraits of queer folx in horror? Sub-genres Galore: What are the sentiments behind giallo, teen slashers, gothic, paranormal, etc? W.o.C in Horror How does race and gender manifest in horror? International cinema with tenacious W.o.C leads are highly encouraged. Movies to consider: Onibaba (1964), Ganga and Hess (1973), Audition (1999). Maybe she's born with it maybe its neurosis: Horror bleeds obscene imagery and problematic portrayals of mental health. Kier-La Janisse’s, “House of Psychotic Women” is a compelling text that bends film analysis with personal critique. A blueprint that SVLLYwood magazine follows. Movies to consider: Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1972), Possession (1981), and May (2002). Deadline for pitches is 09/24/2016. Essays should be about 500-1,000 words & mini articles can range from 100-300 words. Include (2) pieces of writing (scholarly essays are discouraged).
Contact + Social Media
email: firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @svllywood
the first bulletin of SVLLYwood.