Sunday, September 13, 2015

When Magazines Were Everything

Before the internet, nonstop cable TV and even before television itself, magazines were the only place to get information on movies. Growing up I had limited access from the connivence store but after me and several friends started to branch out into corner stores all over the place we suddenly found a wealth of zines that suited our tastes. 

Seems, to me anyway, the 70s were a great time to be a film buff- especially a genre one like me and my pals. Not only were there monthlies to get, but occasionally a film would merit a special one time only issue...there was a King Kong (the original King Kong) retrospective that was double the pages (and price) which went over the film's history, effects, and influence and included tons of behind the scenes and production photos. We were always on the alert for this sort of thing as most places would get only one copy. That started to change and soon we were finding a small library of material being released every month. 

Preview Magazine
This publication seemed to have Sybil Danning on almost every cover and occasionally Caroline Monroe. To be honest, it was as close to a girlie magazine we could get away with as the articles were often secondary to the sexy photoshoots.

The legendary sci-fi media magazine.I had every issue for several years. We take for granted the never ending stream of information, media and speculation genre films produce now, but at the time starlog started, it was pretty much a lone voice in the wilderness for sci-fi fans. Every issue is available online! 

A spin off of Starlog, this was the most inspiring thing ever for aspiring film makers and effects artists, it told you in step by step detail how to produce your own effects for your super 8 productions! Also available online! 

Information on horror films but also « how to » sections on how to do make-up effects... again for your super 8 masterpieces. This magazine was still being published until very recently and outlasted the other Starlog press properties.

Film Comment
One of the greats (and still is from what I hear) intellectual film magazines. It chose not to take the stock publicity images but pick shots from the films themselves really stood out for cover images. They had in depth articles on foreign and little seen films while publishing at the excruciatingly slow rate at only one issue a year a several points. Site

In a way, the Film Comment of special effects magazines. Great covers, in depth interviews and in a great square format. Also like film comment, Ii had a very very slow release schedule but continues on today in digital form where you can access every single issue on your mobile devices. Site

A little less highbrow but very entertaining magazine with lots of photos and talk about what was being released. They had a very fun podcast until recently. It seems to be out of production… but there a website still but that seemed a little out of date whenI looked. 

This list is a personal one but it doesn't even touch on the fanzines... which are another discussion entirely. 

How did film magazines enhance your film going experiences? 



Muscato said...

Discovering Film Comment at the Public Library opened my teenage mind to one aspect of the movies; finding Filmfax on a newsstand gave me access to a whole other world. It's great to have access to all the information and richness of the Interwebz, but I do treasure the memory of devouring every word of a profile of Satyajit Ray in one or a Rose Hobart interview in the other...

Behemoth media said...

there is something to be said about having to search out and find information in the real world, or wait for it to arrive instead of having it at your fingertips all the time. I think the stuff we read in magazines will stick with us better than what we find online.