The Seventh Row takes a multi-disciplinary approach to cultural criticism — focussing primarily on film, theater, television, and jazz — by combining expertise in film through a feminist perspective with expertise in other areas. This was inspired by founder and Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney’s own multidisciplinary background: an engineer by training, with experience in theater, classical music, higher education, and a deep knowledge of science.
We provide a fresh perspective on mainstream films — like looking at Ex Machina from the perspective of a feminist engineer — as well as draw attention to foreign and independent films from an outsider perspective. For example, in our review of Seymour: An Introduction, Alex Heeney brings to bear her classical training in music as well as her theater training, while our review of Merchants of Doubt is from the perspective of an engineering Ph.D. Candidate working on climate change mitigation.
Through interviews with directors, actors, and jazz musicians, we aim to put a spotlight on up-and-coming talent, with a focus on technique and technical decision-making. We especially try to support female-directed and female-led films. And when interviewing major filmmakers, our goal is to delve deeper into the technical side of things. We asked documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman how he maintained the fidelity of the paintings in National Gallery. We asked writer-director Damien Chazelle about his experiences and views on jazz and music and how those informed the film.
We also cover film festivals, like the Toronto International Film Festival (2014–2016), Sundance Film Festival (2014–2016), Cannes Film Festival (2014–2016), The San Francisco International Film Festival (2014–2016), HotDocs (2016), and the Berlin Film Festival (2016).
The Seventh Row publishes daily.