Editor’s Note

Here at In the Mood, it’s hard to exactly articulate our identity as a journal. Maybe it’s because our team is all Libras (a caveat: it’s only my moon), a sign characterized by indecision and ambivalence. Libras want to make everyone happy, they want beautiful furnishings and good-looking friends, they want harmony. As editors and Libras, we don’t aim to be an authority, but maybe a confidante. If anything we’d like to think of ourselves as party hosts: refilling glasses, putting on a record, adjusting the lighting. 

But criticism isn’t the domain of equivocation, it demands parsing, weighing, rating. Even subtle reviews are scanned by an algorithm to deem the film’s freshness. So what does a Libran approach to criticism look like? Maybe it’s becoming emotionally invested in a YouTube channel. Or chronicling a teen drama binge with your partner. Or turning a movie into poetry into a game

Perhaps In the Mood is a study of parasocial cinema; more than anything our contributors are writing about their relationship to watching, relationships that are ambivalent, excessive, imaginary, unrequited, nostalgic. Decidedly, the only thing we’re authorities on is ourselves—and even then, sometimes, we need a second opinion.

In Harrison Wade’s poem, “After Renoir’s The River, Renoir’s masterpiece is barely mentioned. But the walk from the screening, still a little electrified by the screen, is cinematic, worthy of verse. The feeling fades, the more steps you take until maybe you’re home again.

Days after seeing Leos Carax’s Annette this summer, my boyfriend said he was hesitant to watch another film, wanting to hold onto that feeling as long as possible.

Annette stars Marion Cotillard, an iconic Libra, so adept at seeing both sides that she’ll express skepticism in the moon landing but wear, on more than one occasion, NASA merch in public. Marion plays an opera singer who flits from role to role, wig to wig, and tragic death to tragic death. Acting is a vocation that encourages the dissolution of the self. You might also try to slip into another self, like the eponymous, albeit anonymous, Girl 6 who almost gets lost in the famous people she impersonates.

It’s good to change it up every once in a while. Maybe watch something you’d never pick on purpose. Or buy an item of clothing you don’t think you can pull off (Marion herself has never shied away from a bold fashion choice). The best thing about cold weather is you can mitigate any risky look by wearing it under a coat. Maybe make a claim and take it back right away. After all, the most Libra thing about me is I don’t really believe in astrology. 

It’s our second issue and in a Libran spirit, we’re setting the table, arranging flowers, putting something pretty on mute in the background.

Welcome to our home!

Gabrielle Marceau