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As film reviews editor of this journal, I like to strike a balance in what we cover between the recondite and the recognised as well as between history and contemporaneity. In the past 3 years, we have featured new films by arthouse marquee names like Haneke1 and Almodovar2; but also reviewed a reissued DVD of a Clark Gable star vehicle from the early ‘30s that helped set a template for doctor movies to come3 and a strikingly unusual full-length ‘clay-mation’ film by young Australian director Adam Elliott called Mary and Max.4
In some ways, it would be wonderful if reviews could always be up-to-the-minute and topical; and we're very pleased to have a report (see page xxx) freshly filed from the frontline of the London Film Festival, which is taking place just as this issue is being put to bed. Of the numerous films being premiered that looked likely, Khalid Ali has focussed on those that deal with ageing.5 This case of fortuitous timing notwithstanding, the intrinsic nature of a journal that comes out twice a year is, ipso facto, different to a monthly or weekly magazine, or a daily newspaper, let alone an updated-hourly website or blog. The slow turnaround time of our reviews might be a cause for frustration—you'll be reading this at least 2 months after the Festival's closing gala—but it's a question of perception: in a world that seems to be spinning ever faster, it is surely advantageous to give a reviewer more time to reflect and a more generous word-count to explore ideas at greater length. As all parents know, tweets are fine, but they don't replace a proper meal.
Time and space, then, are valuable commodities; and I was reminded of this when I attended a masterclass by …
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