UCSC film professor celebrates release of new book at Lincoln Center

B. Ruby Rich also named new editor of Film Quarterly, the academic film journal of the University of California Press

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From left, Dennis Lim, Film Society of Lincoln Center director of programming; UCSC film professor B. Ruby Rich; and film producer Christine Vachon at the Film Society of Lincoln Center May event "Origins: The Beginnings of New Queer Cinema." (Photo by David Ninh)

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UCSC professor B. Ruby Rich has just been named the new editor of Film Quarterly, the prestigious academic film journal of the University of California Press.

Two decades ago, UC Santa Cruz professor of film and digital media B. Ruby Rich coined the term “New Queer Cinema” to describe a new type of film making its debut at film festivals featuring lesbian and gay protagonists.

Last year, the San Francisco Chronicle noted that Rich’s appearance on a panel at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992 to discuss groundbreaking LGBT cinema, plus an influential article she wrote for the Village Voice, “are considered watershed moments” in the LGBT film world.

Her latest book, New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut, offers new thoughts on the topic, and also brings together the best of Rich’s writing on the subject, tracing this cinematic movement from its origins in the mid-1980s up to the present.

Rich investigates such acclaimed films as Go Fish, Brokeback Mountain, and Milk, while also examining lesser-known films and international cinemas, including Latin American and French films and videos. She also covers the most recent expressions of the New Queer Cinema in film, on the web, and in the art world.

After launching the release of the book at San Francisco’s famed City Lights independent bookstore in May, Rich recently gave a reading and participated in a special event in New York City, organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

“The New York Film Society’s director Dennis Lim emceed on stage with me as I read from my book and discussed NYC in the '80s and the origins of the movement,” Rich said of the evening.

“Legendary producer Christine Vachon joined us on stage and we talked about that time and how films got made. I showed a number of works from the 1980s and early 1990s—plus footage from a 1992 panel at Sundance Film Festival with many of the central figures in this movement.”

“It was a great time recollecting the early days of what turned out to be a momentous time in filmmaking…and life,” she added.

Now back in Santa Cruz, Rich will give a reading and book signing at UCSC on May 22, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Communications 139. Copies of her book will be available for purchase, courtesy of Bay Tree Bookstore.

Rich also revealed she has just been named the new editor of Film Quarterly, the prestigious academic film journal of the University of California Press.

Established in 1958, the peer-reviewed journal examines all aspects of film history, film theory, and the impact of film, video and television on culture and society.

Rich has additionally received a Mellon Fellowship at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, which she said will enable her to do research for her next project in New York. At Columbia, she will give a series of master classes, work with students and faculty, and deliver a public lecture.