Skip to content


Series Editors: Erika Balsom (King’s College London) and Genevieve Yue (The New School)

“This new series of small-format books focused on cinematic motifs, themes, and devices represents something new and exciting in English-language writing on film”—Dennis Lim, Artistic Director, New York Film Festival

“Featuring some of the field’s most exciting scholars and critics, Cutaways is a welcome addition to film writing. The series promises to expand the ways cinema is conceived, consumed, and received, in ways that parallel the contemporary situation of cinema.”—Sarah Keller, author of Anxious Cinephilia: Pleasure and Peril at the Movies

Cutaways is a series of pocket-sized books by and for cinephiles. Each volume offers a journey through the history of cinema guided by a single motif or formal device. Adopting an essayistic style free of jargon and imbued with each author’s unique voice, the books create a space for intellectually engaged and broadly accessible cinephilia, bringing together expertise, eclecticism, provocation, and passion.

Cutaways offers inspiring and unlikely conversations with and among films. Each volume considers popular and lesser-known films from around the world, ranging from early cinema to contemporary releases, and from Hollywood to documentary and the avant-garde. Breaking with the categories of author, nation, and period that govern so much writing on cinema, the motif-based approach allows for classic films to appear in a new light and for relatively unknown films to challenge the inherited narratives of film history.

Cutaways inhabits an interstitial space between academia and a wider public sphere, bringing together contributors who aim to advance film criticism as a domain of vibrant intellectual inquiry. It allows our best film writers to experiment with form and voice. While the series is grounded in a commitment to cinema, it conceives of filmmaking as a portal through which to consider culture, history, and politics.