by Chad Perman
“If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” ― Ram Dass
November is that time of year when many of us naturally begin to turn our thoughts a bit more toward family—for better or for worse—and so we decided that it made a whole lot of sense to build an entire issue around films that examine family dysfunction or wrestle with family dynamics in some elemental way.
Family tends to humble, inspire, and frustrate us like few other things, reminding us that no matter how much we manage to accomplish in this life—no matter how intelligent, independent, mature, empowered, or enlightened we’ve struggled to become—we are still also and always someone’s son or daughter, sister or brother.
And so, as George Bernard Shaw once famously said, “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”
With that in mind, each piece in this issue tackles different concepts of family, from the full-blown dysfunction on display in films like Carnage, Shame, andWhat’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, to the ancient familial echoes of The Tree of Life, the friends-as-family motif running through the films of Nicole Holofcener, and the plethora of narrative possibilities offered up in Stories We Tell. Hopefully, wherever you are, you’ll find a little something to hold onto in these pages, as we head into the final holiday-laden, family-heavy months of 2013.
This issue also marks our official half-year anniversary, also known as “six months of trying to figure out how to run a magazine”. And, while we’ve had our fair share of growing pains for sure, we arrive here at this sixth issue feeling both proud of what we’ve managed to put out into the world thus far, and quite hopeful about the future of things, in general. Thanks to the support we’ve received from all of you who subscribed and signed on to be a part of this, we’ve been able to (slowly but surely) make many important in-roads toward financial viability and, more importantly, to put out a product we feel passionate about each and every month. We can’t wait to see what comes next, and look forward to embracing the continued twists and turns of DIY magazine-making. It’s been a lot of hard work and late nights every step of the way, but it’s also beenentirely worth it.
All of which is to say, thank you. This thing only exists because you allow it to exist, and for that we remain forever in your debt.
And so now, let’s talk family.
—Chad Perman, Editor-in-Chief