Call for Papers – Performer Spotlight: Sissy Spacek

Pitch Deadline: Friday, 21 May 2010

Final Deadline: Monday 12 July 2010 (STRICT)

Contact: Matt Mazur

Email: mazur at popmatters dot com

We are pleased to announce that after the very successful launch of our Director Spotlight last year (featuring Pedro Almodovar), PopMatters will be publishing it’s first ever “Performance Spotlight” on one of the most amazing actresses of our time, the legendary Sissy Spacek.

Spacek, in case you have been living under a rock, is a six-time Oscar nominated actress who won the award for Best Actress for her work as Loretta Lynn in 1980’s Coal Miner’s Daughter, in which she sang all of Lynn’s songs herself. We have decided that with her upcoming performance opposite Robert Duvall in Get Low, her recent turn as a powerful lobbyist on HBO’s Big Love, and her upcoming network series debut in a new medical drama for CBS, that it is the right time for a serious revisiting of her overall body of work, with PopMatters’ usual academic, engaging, laser-beam focus.

We are looking for some fairly specific pieces of writing from interested writers. Each day of the series will look at a different decade of Spacek’s performances, their themes, her co-stars and collaborators, the critical reaction to her films and performances, and just about everything in between.

We are seeking nuanced, thoughtful, creative pieces that are heavy on original, scholarly analysis. If you are interested in writing about a single film, rather than a decade, we can perhaps work that out, but we encourage you, if you have an interest in participating in the series, to take this opportunity to challenge yourself to explore this essential actresses’ canon and tell us about your experience!

For the Monday ’70s feature it will be mandatory to focus in depth on Spacek’s work with some of the major auteurs of the decade in the following films: Badlands, Carrie, 3 Women.

In the ’80s piece on Tuesday the following films must be considered, as well as Spacek’s abrupt exit from leading roles in film mid-decade: Coal Miner’s Daughter, Raggedy Man, Missing, Crimes of the Heart and ‘night Mother.

Wednesday will bring the ’90s essay, which should critically engage Spacek as an activist and supporting actress and the writer should be familiar with the following films and include them in the conversation: The Long Walk Home, JFK, A Place for Annie (TV movie) The Grass Harp, If These Walls Could Talk, Affliction and The Straight Story.

In the Thursday piece that corresponds Spacek’s last decade of work, the essay will focus on the concepts of aging, the kind of roles available to Spacek and her contemporaries, and how the actress shockingly changed the public’s perception of her as a performer with her revelatory characterization of Ruth Fowler in In the Bedroom.

You are cordially invited to participate in PopMatters’ first-ever Performer Spotlight on Sissy Spacek, a sure-to-be exciting look at one of film history’s most interesting women. Strict adherence to the due dates is non-negotiable because of a tight publishing schedule – please do not commit to writing if you can’t make the deadlines, this makes things very tough on the site’s editor’s who are juggling a lot of content.