Welcome to the Wallflower table, it’s nice to see you again! I’m Ryan Groendyk, the editor for Wallflower. You may have heard (from me, most likely) that Wallflower became a true imprint of Columbia University Press a few years ago, and since then I’ve been pushing the list in some interesting new directions—as well as maintaining our long-lived and beloved series, Directors’ Cuts and Short Cuts. I’m interested in taking proposals and inquiries regarding any project that fits Wallflower’s brand of thoughtful, scholarly cinephilia and our focus on contemporary global cinema.
We’re very excited to debut two new books at this year’s conference! First, we have a new book from Raya Morag, who looks at what she calls “perpetrator cinema”—films that focus on the perpetrators of crimes, rather than on the victims—in contemporary Cambodian documentary. Focusing on filmmakers like Rithy Panh and Thet Sambath, both first-generation survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide, Morag analyzes the ways in which these films try to evoke a sense of direct confrontation with unrepentant perpetrators. Unlike the more familiar and established mode of documenting atrocities that focuses on preserving the stories of victims and survivors, Perpetrator Cinema advances a new political framework that encourages indictment and resentment of the wrongdoers, rather than a paradigm of confession and forgiveness.
It’s also a bittersweet pleasure to announce the final entry in our Cultographies series. This terrific little book on Jack Smith’s notorious Flaming Creatures packs a huge punch. Constantine Verevis covers the film’s history of censorship (you may recognize the image on the cover as the one that earned Jonathan Rosenbaum a ban from Facebook when he posted it in 2019); examines its place in Smith’s varied artistic output; and parses the sequoia-dense layers of imagery that make up this bizarre love letter to Hollywood in all its weird and campy glory. It’s a fitting end to a series that so thoroughly embodied the cinephilia that brought most, if not all, of us into this field in the first place.