I’m a frequent contributor to Rouge, so I hope nobody thinks I’m tooting my own horn if I come right out and say that I regard it as the best film magazine going that’s exclusively online. It’s been around since 2002, and it happens to be based in Australia, but you might not even notice this if you were scanning the table of contents of any issue, because it’s far and away the most international of film magazines in English. The latest issue, number ten, has contributors from Australia, Brazil, France, Hungary, Japan, Portugal, Russia, and the U.S., including some filmmakers (Pedro Costa and Mark Rappaport) as well as critics writing about films from most of those countries plus England, India, and Bosnia. About half of the 16 contributors are writing in English, about a third are translated from French, Japanese, or Portuguese, and a couple more express themselves exclusively in the form of a photograph or film frames. In fact, one of the most fascinating of Rouge’s former issues, number five (2004), devoted itself exclusively to images selected by 52 contributors.
It’s fairly highbrow, and relatively austere in spite of its ingenious uses of images, so I can’t pretend that Rouge is geared to every taste. But I do think it’s quite attentive to what’s going on in movies around the planet. And its purview is certainly wide: in the current issue, you can find material about Sunset Boulevard, Singin’ in the Rain, Night of the Demon, and Terrence Malick, as well as Chantal Akerman, Robert Bresson, Pedro Costa, Ritwik Ghatak, English underground filmmaker Peter Whitehead, Ilya Khrzanovsky’s recent 4 , and Mikio Naruse’s Wife! Be Like a Rose! (the first Japanese sound film to be shown commercially outside Japan; it opened in New York in 1937).