The Name

Magic Lantern Review is named for the image projection device developed in the 17th century, a precursor to modern motion picture projection devices. A magic lantern gathered light and projected images imprinted upon glass slides. Pairs of glass slides would create a moving picture, with one remaining still and one placed upon a disc turned by a hand-operated pulley that would revolve to create the illusion of motion.


The magic lantern represents both our oldest instincts and our newest frontiers. The need to tell stories, to let others and ourselves experience, for a brief moment, a slice of humanity that is not our own, to live it and breath it as if it were our own life and breath, has existed as long as communication itself has. It's a primal need in us. And the magic lantern, as well, represents one of the earliest steps toward harnessing the dynamic, ever-growing capabilities of technology to fuse media forms, engage multiple senses, and create something that can be experienced by mass numbers of people simultaneously. This harnessing is a process that never stops, but keeps expanding and changing as time goes on.

The Journal

Likewise, Magic Lantern Review seeks to fuse the possibilities of poetry and cinema through the alchemy of web technology.


In terms of words, we seek to publish poetry inline with spirit of early moving picture projections. Sure, we're always keen on poetry about the cinema, poetry that captures the experience and effect of viewing films, that evokes the mood of a cinematic work (but please, no copyright infringement or use of someone else's characters!). But more broadly, we seek poems that demonstrate the artistic sensibilities found in film: substantial and dynamic character development; attention to visual storytelling techniques, rhythm, and craft; a fusion or crossing of artistic mediums to create a holistic experience.


We also seek to be a home to high-quality genre-based poetry. Poems that evoke a noir, horror, or science-fiction aesthetic, for instance. We seek to foster an environment that makes it possible for the aesthetics of genre-films to be taken seriously as literary works of art as well.


Additionally, we also publish non-fiction essays on film. This includes reviews and analysis of films from all genres and time periods, or even aspects of filmmaking itself, as well as personal essays related to individual experiences with film or cinema.


In terms of films themselves, Magic Lantern Review also strives to be a platform for short digital films. As long as it's under 10 minutes in length, we're open to anything and everything you want to throw at us, with no restrictions as to style or content (well, except for two restrictions: no porn, and nothing illegal). So let's have it!


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