Anything and Everything

A YEAR IN RETROSPECT: Being a Screenqueen

Ayearinretrospect..beingascreenqueen Sarah K

 

Artwork by Sarah K

EDITOR/FOUNDERS LETTER-CHLOE LEESON

There is a tonne of ways I could start this paragraph from:

‘never in a million years did I think that….’ to

‘wow, what a year it’s been’ or even

‘I can’t believe we’ve lasted this long’

all would kinda be true but also incredibly cringey so I will avoid but seriously, I never thought we’d make it past 6 months let alone a year. I expected our views to solely be made up of me checking formatting issues and the girls in the group but I’m so glad that Screenqueens has managed to become something more than just a little group of us on Facebook posting content for each other to read. The contributors have came from all around, some were people I’ve mutually followed for ages, some friends of internet friends and some total strangers all bound by a cute lil love of the movies. Over the past year, a few drunken Facebook posts (namely me and Mel), a few imaginary movie pitches and a lot of Winona Ryder love I’ve came to consider this bunch of gals friends, it’s a great thing to finally have someone to talk with about which Fincher movie is the best, why can’t we have a frat party college movie starring girls, the ins and outs of Spring Breakers and varying opinions of John Green.

I think one of my favourite things about this past year has to be how long my watch-list has gotten. Varying tastes and varying opinions provide much discussion in the way of films we should see. Monica provides a tonne of knowledge on Italian cinema, Cherokee has got great taste in Asian cinema, Katie loves Cult Classics and Beth and Rena make beautiful Sofia Coppola/Wes Anderson style films that make me ache with jealousy and awe. It’s also been a pleasure and a privilege seeing growing interest in submitting to our Women Film-Makers segment, an idea which is very much the reason I started this blog in the first place. When emails for film submissions show up in my inbox it gives me a serious sense of pride and achievement that we’ve managed to reach out to even a few people.

So thank you everyone for any and all support you’ve shown this little project over the past year and I hope you will continue to enjoy whatever happens next

X

Now here’s some words from a couple contributors about the past year….

CHEROKEE SEEBALACK– Contributor since February’14. Best post: ‘Zoe, you don’t need the approval of teenage boys

I don’t even know how I stumbled across Screenqueens in the labyrinth that is the internet. Maybe through Pop Culture Puke (who the editor, Chloe, contributes to), or some other just-as-cool site with awesome babes. I guess that doesn’t matter. The important thing is that I found Screenqueens, and well, I didn’t expect the last year or so writing for the site to have as much as an impact on my view of films as it has. But here I am, writing about films like I used to; discussing films like I used to (with other people than my dad) and loving them a lot more than I have done in quite some time.

I always feel quite weird talking about my patchy feelings towards film on sites or blogs that talk about movies. The internet is already filled with negativity, why would I want to contribute anymore to it? Like any relationship, though, there are always times when it isn’t going so well and I’m slowly realising there isn’t a problem in saying that. Working in film didn’t inspire me to continue in the industry – in fact, it did the complete opposite. Writing a feminist film blog with my barely-readable opinion became too difficult to manage (and I wanted to write about pop culture as a whole, not focus on one area). It’s been an up and down time with films over the last couple of years and I wanted to change that.

Although I am in my early 20’s, there are great sites that I regularly read that are aimed at teen girls. (Hey, I’m not that old!) Screenqueens was one of them. At first, I was nervous about sending in my application for a contributing writer – what if my age got in the way? Am I an old bag now? I understand blogs and websites that are written for teens by teens is important (hey, I am the editor of one of those very sites, which has content published by the age of the audience it is geared towards) and I was out of that demographic.

I sent in an email with examples of my work anyway, because – why not? What could the possible outcome be?

That whole age worry thing? Turns out it wasn’t a biggy after all. I’ve been regularly contributing to Screenqueens since February this year. And what can I say? It’s been fucking awesome. (And so has all the cool chicks who have met through it. Love you long time.)

ASHLEY WOODVINE– Contributor since June’14. Best post: ‘HIGH SCHOOL HEROINES: Film & TV ladies to help shape your school experience

When I joined Screenqueens, it was already 7 months old. I had been a fan for a few months and basically thought it was dead cool – girls my age who shared my love for film, feminism and writing. I joined partly because I loved films, but mostly because I wanted to write and for the first time ever, I wanted other people to read what I had written.

Without getting too sentimental, I think that in these past 5 months my writing style has improved immensely, and I owe that all to Screenqueens. Rereading my Boyhood review now, it feels stilted and messy in comparison to my Say When review or the piece about my high school heroines. I’ve gained style and focus and clarity that I never would have had if I didn’t have Screenqueens. It is a safe space; everyone loves films, everyone is conscious of issues affecting women, and I believe everyone genuinely enjoys reading one another’s work. When I write something, I’m writing it for the other girls in the group, the ones who will leave comment on the facebook group and be supportive and generally great. I’m sure there’s an external audience but (no offence) I don’t ever keep them in mind – it’s great to be able to write in such a targeted and personal way with no fear of what anyone is going to think.

Screenqueens has not only aided my writing, it has made me even more passionate and excitable about films. Josie & Chloë’s reviews of Pride and What If actively made me watch both and subsequently love them. Caroline wrote about first watching The Graduate aged 16 and how it’s played a part in her life ever since – and thus, I watched the same film for the first time and the same tender age. My favourite piece from the last year has to be both of the ‘Scenes from the Suburbs’ by Reba; that hazy, trapped aesthetic created from rows of identical houses is so eerie yet pretty and I loved that she wrote a dedication to it.

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