This episode of the podcast - produced in association with Club des Femmes and The Barbican - focuses on the recent retrospective and celebration of the American Film Critic, Scholar and Curator B. Ruby Rich (@brrich1) entitled Bring Ruby Rich. The centrepiece of the podcast is a wide ranging interview with Ruby herself covering, among many things, her initial entry into film criticism, her promotion of the cinema as a social space, the legacy of her concept of New Queer Cinema, and the possibility of a political cinema in the digital age. We also interview Sophie Mayer (@tr0ublemayer) and Selina Robertson (@Clubdesfemmes), from Club Des Femmes who organised the event. And there is an in-depth Q&A hosted by Ruby and featuring Yance Ford (@yford) who discusses his first feature, to be released on Netflix in September, entitled Strong Island.
B Ruby Rich is one of America’s greatest contemporary film critics and academics. Currently working as a professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California: Santa Cruz, Rich has spent much of her career, both within academia and industry, supporting and celebrating the marginalised voices of moving image. Alongside her academic work, Rich has been International Curator for the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival; has served on juries at the Sundance, Toronto, San Francisco, Oberhausen, Havana, Sydney, and Guadalajara film festivals; and is a member of the advisory board of the Provincetown Film Festival and previously of the Sundance Selection Committee. Rich was also the Director of the Electronic Media and Film Program at the New York State Council on the Arts in charge of supporting non-profit film, video, digital, and radio activities in New York City and throughout New York State in 1981-91.
Yance Ford At 19 years old during his sophomore year at Hamilton University, Yance Ford’s life was unequivocally altered by the brutal murder of his older brother, William Ford Jr. Originally working in photography, the devastating events surrounding his brother’s death and the refusal of a white jury to persecute William’s killer, galvanised Ford into becoming a filmmaker. Ford has spent most of his professional career, as a series producer for the PBS documentary programme P.O.V, deciding which submissions make it on to air. After working as a producer for several years, Ford was incited by a conversation with a co-worker to start working on the film that would become Strong Island (2017).
Yance Ford’s debut feature is a deeply moving, complex film about a family murder, memory, injustice and the institutional racism that continues to pervade America’s legal, social and economic systems. Reminiscent of Errol Morris, Ford unforgettably delivers an investigation into resistant black masculinities, cis and trans, and meditations on raw personal grief.
Many thanks to The Barbican for their support in the production of this episode.