Friday, November 23, 2018

CMBA Profile: Outspoken and Freckled

CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Kellee Pratt blogs at Outspoken and Freckled.

Kellee’s blog covers a wide range of film from the silent to today. A multitasker who teaches film classes, writes a monthly column, The Funny Papers, for The Classic Movie Hub, Co-hosts a series of annual blogathons and still finds time to attend the annual TCMFF. Read on…

What sparked your interest in classic film? 

At a young age, I watched comedy classics on Saturday mornings at a local arts center/ theatre in Taos, New Mexico. They screened sure-to-please greats like Laurel & Hardy, Our Gang, and Mack Sennett shorts. My grandmother was also an early influencer who introduced me to jazz, mid-century modern style, and classic films such as A SHOT IN THE DARK, IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD and WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION.  

What film genre(s) do you favor?

Comedies have always been my staple. I write about this genre for Classic Movie Hub in a monthly column called, The Funny Papers. For many of life’s challenges, classic comedies have served as my go-to escape. I am also a huge fan of Pre-Codes and Film Noir, but honestly, my tastes are pretty eclectic. 

What makes a film "classic" in your opinion?

I realize this question sparks debate for some. Personally, my definition includes films prior to the transition of the end of the studio system in the 60s and the beginning of a grittier realism of the 70s. Beyond the 70s, there are many great films that have endured. For me, I label those films “new classics.” To each their own, but that’s how I roll.

The Kansas Silent Film Festival sounds like a lot of fun. Can you tell us a little about it?

It’s not only a lot of fun, it’s one of the best hidden secrets of the classic film fest world for over two decades. I’ve attended this fest for years. It’s consistently a delightful variety of silent films and shorts (and always with live musical accompaniment), guest speakers and biographers. For two days (a Friday night and a full day/night Saturday) in February, this fest is free but donations are VERY MUCH appreciated. Additionally, there is a ‘Cinema Dinner’ which includes a keynote speaker with your meal for a minimal cost. Last year’s speaker was famed biographer Cari Beauchamp, as the 2018 fest theme was focused on Women in Silent Film. Expect to see some ‘reel films’, including lesser-known gems, without the chaos, hustle and high costs of the bigger fests.

You have also attended the TCMFF. What do you like best about it? 

There’s so much to see and screen at TCMFF. Hollywood hallowed ground, fun events, celebrity sightings/intros, and the screenings are all worth the trip. But my favorite reason to attend is to connect with my fellow classic film friends in-person. It’s become a huge reunion for folks that live all across the country and in other countries, too.

You have hosted or co-hosted a few blogathons. What do you like best about it?

I have hosted and co-hosted several over the years, starting back when the classic film blogathon landscape was not as plentiful. A couple were popular enough that we chose to continue these as returning annual events. Along with my friends and co-hosts Aurora of Once Upon A Screen and Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club, we host both the What A Character! Blogathon (this one will take place Dec 14, 15, and 16th) and the 31 Days Of Oscar Blogathon. What do I like best? Reading all the fascinating entries and being introduced to the new bloggers that sign up.

What do you find is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

Blogging is such a pleasure because it brings me joy to write about subjects I’m passionate about. It’s great to write for others, but there is such freedom when we write for ourselves. 

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of film blogs these days. What makes your blog unique?

While there appears to be a great deal more of contemporary film blogs than classic film blogs, even the classic ones grow in number all the time. My frequency of writing is not as much as I’d prefer- partly due to current obligations in my life and partly because I’m not a fan of the quantity over quality style that I see a few bloggers embrace. I love sharing interesting trivia tidbits and background whenever I can, just like I do when I teach my classic film courses. I don’t like to post synopsis reviews that have no voice, although I see this approach commonly used. When I write, I prefer that some part of me is present. I often interject my personality and/or personal stories into my blog posts.

Friday, November 2, 2018

CMBA Profile: Viv and Larry

CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Kendra Bean who blogs at Viv and Larry. 

Kendra Bean’s Viv and Larry is a treasure trove of information on Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier. Launched in 2007, Viv and Larry is the go to website for everything you need to know or want to know and discuss about these two immortals. But wait, there’s more! Kendra is an author, historian and museum curator. She is the author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait and co-author with Anthony Uzarowski of Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies. There’s more to say about this California girl now living in England, but I will let her tell you.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Outlaws - The 2018 Fall CMBA Blogathon is a Wrap!

The Classic Movie Blog Association sponsored its 2018 Fall Blogathon, Outlaws, from November 15th to 19th. Outlaws of all types were featured: gangsters, cowboys, bikers, rural outlaws, con men and more were. Links to member contributions are listed below, by date posted...

Participating member blog entries posted daily, Nov. 15 - 19. Be sure to check back: 

Thurs. Nov. 15th
A Person in the Dark: The Producers (1967)
Make Mine Film Noir: The Prowler (1951)
Anybody Got a Match: The Petrified Forest (1936)
Strictly Vintage Hollywood: The Eagle 1925 

Sat. Nov. 17th
Classic Film Obsession: Warpath (1951) 
Film Fanatic: China 9, Liberty 37 (1978)
Speakeasy: Four Guns to the Border (1954)

Sun. Nov. 18th
Twenty Four Frames: Point Blank (1967)
Four Star Films: Pretty Poison (1968) 
The Lady Eve's Reel Life: Underworld (1927)
Hometowns to Hollywood: Talk of the Town (1942)

Mon. Nov. 19th
Once Upon A Screen: The Career of Yosemite Sam
Stardust and Shadows: Wild Boys of the Road (1933)
Outspokened and Freckled: Three Godfathers (1948)
Le Critica Retro: I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932) 
Stars and Letters: The Gunfighter (1950)
Film Noir Archive: High Sierra (1941)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Coming Soon! CMBA's 2018 Fall Blogathon

The Classic Movie Blog Association is proud to present its 2018 Fall Blogathon. The Subject is  Outlaws. Outlaws of all types are acceptable: gangsters, rural outlaws, thieves, cowboys, anyone who lives outside the law. Keep in mind that the same film cannot be submitted by more than one blogger. So, plan to have a backup. Its first come, first served. Get your thinking caps on! The blogathon will run from November 15 - 19.

An official invite via email will be sent out later this month asking for submissions.

Below are some banners you can now post on your blogs for the event.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Introducing the winners of the Classic Movie Blog Association's 2018 CMBA Awards. Links to the winning entries are included. Thank you to all members who participated in the awards competition, every entry was exceptional! And thanks, too, to all members who voted.

Best Film Review/Drama: The Beautiful Refugees of Casablanca by Silver Screenings

Best Film Review/Musical or Comedy: "On the Town," in Celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s Centenary by Lady Eve’s Reel Life

Best Profile of a Performer: A Mesmerizing Talent: The Life and Career of Conrad Veidt by Silent-ology

Best Classic Movie Article: Fascism, Nationalism and the Banned Films of Marlene Dietrich by Lady Eve’s Reel Life

Best Classic Movie Blog Event: The Food in Film Blogathon co-hosted by Silver Screenings and Speakeasy

Best Classic Movie Series: Olivia de Havilland vs. FX: Backlots at the Courthouse by Backlots 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


The final ballot for the 2018 Classic Movie Blog Association (CMBA) Awards has gone out to all members, and the nominees for this year's awards are listed below. Congratulations and best wishes to everyone nominated!

Monday, October 1, 2018

CMBA Profile: 4 Star Films

CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Tynan Yanaga who blogs at 4 Star Films.

Tynan Yanaga’s blog 4 Star Films is not just a celebration of classic films, he dives in deep as the blogs sub-title states (Looking Deeper at the Best Classic Films). Like many of us, the more he looks the more films he find. But it’s more than that, and I am going to let Tynan speak for himself. The following is from his introduction page.

“True, I want to preserve a love of film as an art form, understand their historical context, and acknowledge their value as pure entertainment. But most importantly, there’s the human component to movies that is so important. I’m constantly drawn back to them, like so many others, because they bring us together and act as an imperfect reflection of our imperfect lives.”

Saturday, September 8, 2018


It's CMBA Awards time again and an email went out to all members last night soliciting awards submissions. Entries are due by the 15th of September. Preliminary voting should be done by the end of the month and the final ballot will follow. If any member hasn't received last night's email, please advise by commenting here. Thanks!

~ Sept. 16: The deadline for entries has closed. Thanks to members for participating!  ~

Thursday, September 6, 2018

CMBA Profile: Cinema Crossroads

CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Julia Ricci who blogs at Cinema Crossroads.

Julia Ricci’s  Cinema Crossroads is both smart and entertaining. Take a look at her review of the cleanest condemned film in history, The Moon is Blue.  One of my own favorite post's is Julia's take on  J.D. Sheldrake, the villainous womanizer in Billy Wilder's The Apartment.  In 2017, Julia, like many other CMBA members, attended the TCM Film Festival (she returned again in 2018). Julia is also a Film Programming Coordinator for Heartland Film in Indianapolis, Indiana, but I will let her tell you more about that in the interview below.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

CMBA Profile: A Viewer's Guide to Classic Films

CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Linda J. Sandahl who blogs at A Viewer’s Guide to Classic Films.

A Viewer’s Guide to Classic Films is filled with backstories, analysis, film, and book reviews. In many cases, Linda takes a look at what these classic films say to us both then and now. Check out Linda's post The Fight for Truth: Paul Muni in The Story of Louis Pasteur. Linda has worked as an associate editor on Steven H. Scheuer’s Movies on TV, a precursor to Leonard Maltin’s similar Movies and Video Guide series. Linda is also the author of A Viewer’s Guide to Rock and Roll Films 1955-1985, now available as an ebook.