Editor of Film Quarterly and my editor at UC Press for Playing with Power

When I joined the editorial board of Film Quarterly in 1977, the editor was Chick Callenbach, who held this position from 1958 to 1991. Since we had board meetings at least three times a year, he soon became a good friend. His time at the University of California Press was split between editing the journal and functioning as a book editor. My own book, Playing with Power in Movies, Television, and Video Games (1991) was one of the last books he worked on before retiring. He was a brilliant editor who gave me great advice, urging me to omit the Lacanian theory from the introduction, which he claimed would date the book and prevent it from reaching a wider audience Of course, he was right, but unfortunately I didn’t listen. Callenbach was an important figure in the ecological movement. Once his book, Living Poor with Style, was published in 1972, people referred to him as Uncle Chick, and Woody Allen used him as the persona for the character he played in the 1972 film version of Play It Again, Sam, a film critic with a similar body-build, living in the Bay area. And once Chick published his 1975 utopian novel Ecotopia, in which Northern California, Oregon and Washington secede from the USA to live a life more in tune with nature, he became a cult figure worldwide.

From my Preface to Playing with Power