The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month, one on the 1st and the other on the 15th. Today we're featuring Java's Journey.
Java's Journey is a delightful blog that reviews an array of classic films, whether they are well known or not. Browsing through the site is like browsing through a jewellery store; you never know the gems you'll discover.
The reviews are only part of its charm. The series "Toast of the Town" curates online blog posts and resources, and the site offers helpful tips for those struggling with writer's block, such as this wonderful post:100 Classic Movie Blog Post Ideas. (Try these ideas. They work!)
What sparked your interest in classic film?
This is a chicken and the egg question. Perhaps classic movies were always around the house because we kids enjoyed them; or maybe we liked them because they were readily available to us when newer movies were not. Perhaps the parents inadvertently moved us along this track when screening the film versions of classic novels, like Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, supplementing our reading regimen.
What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
For my blog - Java's Journey - a classic movie is made before 1968, give or take, just after the Studio Era/ Code Era bit the dust and movies changed forever. Or perhaps I should say, movies returned to their original status – artists had greater control over their art (which is great) but it was like opening Pandora's box. Explicit violence and gratuitous sexual scenes became the order of the day, and I just cannot stomach it sometimes. For similar reasons, I'm not a fan of many pre-code films. Others have different definitions of "classic."
What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
I try to discover why they dislike old movies and gauge whether they have a legitimate difference in preference or they are simply excluding old movies from their lives because they don't know anyone who likes old movies. I rarely recommend a movie until they show an interest, which may take some time or which may be never. If they show an interest, I get to know their general film preferences and try to pair it with a classic, e.g. If they love colorful film fashion, I might guide them down that route with an older film. It depends on the person.
Java's Journey has an identity crisis. I keep redesigning my blog because I want it to look authoritative on one day, then whimsical and fun the next. So I keep changing design, which must annoy the readers. I'm in talks with a blog design expert.
What advice would you give to a new blogger?
I prefer to get to know a classic movie blogger and discover his or her specific needs, but here is some general advice.
- Find the details that no one else has placed on the internet. To this day, Java's Journey has the only blog which has visited the town of Tyrone Power's last wedding and placed detailed wedding information on the internet. Java's Journey is also the only blog to mention the connection between Judy Garland's first outfit in The Pirate and a certain French painting from which it is inspired.You can go overboard with obscurity, though, so beware of that. Put your unique voice into it, and mention the little things that grab your attention. This helps you to stand out from so many classic movie blogs.
- Be vulnerable and relevant. I received wonderful feedback from a post about my misadventures in attending the stage version of the film White Christmas.
- Be of help to your readers. If someone in the comments cannot find a film, search for it for them and place the link in a response to them. Even if you don't find what they are looking for, mention that you've made the effort and where they can try next. Better yet, make a post out of your findings. In a post about finding Deanna Durbin's films on DVD, I highlighted a reader's question and provided the answer.
- Don't take yourself too seriously; they are only movies. Research as much as you can and have fun with it.
Thank you for joining us! You can visit Java's Journey by clicking HERE.