by Chad Perman
There’s an old adage in the music industry that a band has a lifetime to write, assemble, and record songs for its very first record, but only a handful of months to put together its second. As a result, second records quite often fall victim to the dreaded sophomore slump and, well, suck.
That notion was not lost on any of us here at BW/DR, as we feverishly worked to put together this second issue, attempting to avoid sucking while also working on a drastically reduced timeline. Thankfully, having less time only seemed to make us that much more focused, determined to get everything right. If nothing else, please know that we tried our very best to make this a Doolittle rather than a G N’ R Lies.
On Themes and Throughlines
The first issue of Bright Wall/Dark Room was purposely varied in its coverage, with essays on everything from Tokyo Story to Home Alone 2, because we wanted to offer readers a wide canvas that featured many different ways in. Moving forward, though, we plan to offer a bit more specificity in focus, building each new issue around a particular theme or throughline, with essays hovering in a kind of general proximity to one another. Not connected exactly, but swimming in similar seas.
And so this second issue revolves around entering strange and unfamiliar worlds, a swan dive into the surreal. In the pieces that follow, you’ll visit many places: dilapidated hotel rooms, ancient Roman battlefields, a monastery built on top of an island in France, a dream-like version of New York City at night (shot on a giant soundstage in London), Sgt. Nicholas Brody’s refrigerator, The 2013 Cannes Film Festival, a trailer in an empty field surrounded by expensive and loud stereo equipment, an all-girls boarding school at the turn of the 20th century, and a portal that leads directly into John Malkovich’s brain…
Get ready to get weird.
As we continue to try and grow this magazine in new and interesting ways, we would really love to hear back from you as well. Bright Wall/Dark Room is at its best when it’s a conversation rather than a monologue, and a vibrant community of engaged and passionate readers has been at the very heart and soul of the site since its earliest days. We realize it’s more difficult to translate that same kind of dialogue and energy from a website to a magazine, but we’d still like to encourage all of you out there to contact us with any thoughts, suggestions, ideas, or feedback you may have regarding any aspect of the magazine.
And it’s actually quite easy to connect with us: just tap anywhere on your screen while reading an article, and a little wheel will appear at the bottom left-hand corner of your tablet or device (go ahead, try it). Click on that, and then select “Feedback” from the list that pops up. At that point, you can choose which way you want to interact with us (Twitter, Facebook, email, or directly through our website). We promise to read and respond to everything sent our way.
Here it is: Issue #2.
It gets weird, but in a good way.
—Chad Perman, Editor-in-Chief