Wednesday, May 13, 2020

CMBA Classics for Comfort Blogathon - May 19 - 22




Hello everyone,

We hope all are safe! These days are trying and many of us are looking for comfort.  There are many terrific classic films our there that can soothe and comfort us. Whether it's a dreamy musical, a breezy fun plot, or something a bit darker. Movie magic soothes the soul. With that in mind, the CMBA presents its annual spring blogathon - the CLASSICS FOR COMFORT Blogathon.

The CMBA Classics For Comfort Blogathon runs from May 19-22.

CMBA MEMBER CONTRIBUTORS

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

CMBA Profile: In The Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood

CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with  Crystal Kalyana Pacey who blogs at In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood. Crystal recently completed studies in Freelance Journalism and is now a registered journalist.


What sparked your interest in classic film?

My fascination with the golden age of Hollywood dates as far back as 1999. I was 12 years old, and in my final year of primary school. Midway during that year it was announced that “us” the graduating students were going to do The Wizard of Oz for the end of year graduation play. This meant that we had to undergo many hours of rehearsal, as well as sitting through repeated viewings of the film. As a result, I developed an extreme obsession for Judy Garland, and I was on the quest to find out as much about her as I possibly could. Although she had piqued my curiosity, I was still too young to prolifically research her life and dig deep into her filmography. My method of study was to flood my Mother and Grandmother with questions pertaining to Garland. The one aspect that shocked me the most was when I discovered that Dorothy ( Judy Garland ) had died in 1969 of a prescription pill overdose. The fact that Judy was no longer alive upset me greatly. I suddenly realized that I would never have the opportunity of meeting the woman that I idolized immensely, but I was richer for having discovered her and I knew that a world full of Garland treasures were awaiting me.

My interest in Judy Garland escalated during high school when my Grandparents gifted me her movies on DVD. While watching Garland's films, I began to take notice of her co-stars and I would collect their films whenever I could. This exposure led me to pursuing the likes of the other stars from the golden era, and gradually I broadened my horizons and branched out of the Judy Garland circle. It also helped that my Mother, Grandmother, and my Late Great Aunty Pat supported me on my journey into the world of classic cinema. They have fond memories of watching the old movies on television when they were young and they were constantly giving me recommendations and telling me which actress or actor I should discover next. I could go on and on telling you my discovery story, but I'm afraid I'm boring you all – so I will end it there.




What other film genres do you favor?

I love classic films in general, but like most people I have my favorite genres. Usually, I tend to watch more drama, comedy, Film Noir, and thriller/mystery type productions, but I am occasionally in the mood to see a great western. It depends on the films synopsis and what I feel like watching at the time.  

Name three films that most classic film fans love, but you hate, and if you can tell us why?


My answers could have me dodging bullets. I understand that the films that I'm about to list are high on everyone's radar – so the fact that I dislike them will probably shock most people, but please remember that this is just my opinion. Without further ado, here are the movies that I find terribly overrated and downright boring:

It's A Wonderful Life ( 1946 )
Double Indemnity ( 1944 )
His Girl Friday ( 1940 )

I know you are a big admirer of Katharine Hepburn. What is it about Hepburn that connected with
you?

I think what initially connected me with Katharine Hepburn was her films and her indomitable presence on screen. I first discovered her during an interstate visit back home. I remember my Great Grandmother watching On Golden Pond in the back room of my grandparents house. I wandered in to see what she was doing and she automatically summoned me to sit on the bed with her and watch the movie that was about to commence on the television. My initial reactions were filled with enthusiasm. I had no idea what the movie was about, but the thought of cozily snuggling up in bed and drinking cups of tea and eating deserts with my beloved Great Grandmother thrilled me. As soon as the film started, I instantly knew that it was going to draw my attention, and needless to say, I was right. It would be an understatement to state that I was immersed in the story alone. I was also impressed with Katharine Hepburn and even then I had a slight inkling that she would one day become my all-time favorite. At the time of my introductory, I had just finished year 10 – so I had not yet read any biographies on Hepburn, nor did I know anything about her. Less than a year later a news flash ran across the television announcing her death. I was saddened to learn of her passing, but it made me want to discover her even more. Shortly after, I purchased a Hepburn biography that was reduced in price at my local Borders book store. Upon reading about her life, I realized that my connection with her was much deeper than what I had initially witnessed on the exterior. To my surprise, many of Katharine's personality traits closely mirrored mine, and we actually had a lot in common. I also admired her for making pants fashionable for women, and even to this day I'm still in debt to her for that.


  
I know you’re working on a book about Hepburn. Is there anything you can reveal to us about:
biography, photo-book, look at her films, etc. ?

Writing a book is a lengthy process. The most important step is research and assuring you have amassed enough information. Never rely solely on the internet or media as your major source. In order to produce an accurate and loving biography is to interview family members, former co-stars and those closest to the person you’re writing a book on. I also strongly advise any aspiring authors to detour away from the myths. If you are writing a biography on a person who has had previous books published on them, it is essential to approach a different angle and try to unleash all the rare stories pertaining to the actor or actress. During the research stage for my Katharine Hepburn book, I've managed to tap into unknown sources by reaching out to people who have not been interviewed for any previous biography on Hepburn. I've also learnt to never leave a stone unturned. As I've discovered, you can attain really interesting and unique stories in the most unusual places.

At the moment I'm not going to reveal any of the rare information that I've uncovered. I would much rather keep everyone in suspense until my book is published. All I will say is that the research phase is very rewarding. I've spoken to some renowned people on the phone, and I have many more interviews lined up. I feel honored to be writing the Great Kate's life biography. Moving forward, my publishing company has assigned me my next book project, and I'm beyond thrilled to announce that Lucille Ball is the subject for my next biography. Stay tuned.



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

For me, the most rewarding thing about blogging is the recognition. I'm a person who yearns for feedback, but unfortunately, I find that my articles receive very little comments, which can be very frustrating when you spend hours researching and writing an article. The most important thing however, is that I enjoy writing about classic cinema. I also find it a bonus when I give the criminally underrated and lesser-known films more exposure.


What movies would you recommend to someone who “hates” classic films?

This depends on each individual taste. If the person was more into comedies, the first film I would recommend is Bringing Up Baby. However, I would also urge them to delve into Lucille Ball's filmography and television series, for example I Love Lucy. I think Lucy would serve as a great stepping stone into the world of classic cinema. But if their preferred genre was thriller, I'd strongly advise them to watch The Spiral Staircase, or a great Film Noir title starring Joan Bennett or Barbara Stanwyck. Another movie that stands as the perfect introductory to the golden age is Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, which in my opinion is quality entertainment that everyone can enjoy.

  
What makes a film "classic" in your opinion?

I consider any film made during the silent era right up to 1969 a classic. In my opinion, movies that were made in 1970 and onwards lack the quality and aesthetics that the films from the golden age possessed.


Do you have an interest in other pop culture arts?

Yes. I have a diverse range of interests. While classic cinema is the main foundation of my obsession, I am also passionate about the golden age of television, and music – especially Judy Garland, Petula Clark, Mario Lanza, Neil Diamond, and Nat King Cole – though my music tastes transcends many genres.  In addition to that, I have a great interest in cooking and travelling. 



Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Books, Books, Books 7th Edition

This is the  7th edition and last in our series on books published by our fellow members. You can check out our previous post by clicking here.  Please note if I missed anyone or you have a new book coming in the future, let us know.
A couple of things to point out.

I will be doing one post per week, so please be patient.

Each post will feature one to three authors depending on the number of books in their catalog.

The CMBA ebooks are not included. All CMBA books are listed on a separate page on this blog.

If I miss a book of yours, fret not. Let me know and I will add to a new future post.

In the future, If you are working on a new book, or will have a book “coming soon.” Let us know and we will announce it.

This edition features Thomas Gladyz who blogs at the Louise Brooks Society Blog

Thomas' author page can be viewed here.


Available at Amazon as a paperback.


Available at Amazon as a paperback


Available at Amazon as a paperback



Available at Amazon as a paperback

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Books, Books, Books 6th Edition

This is the 6th edition in our series on books published by our fellow members. You can check out our previous post by clicking here.

A couple of things to point out.

I will be doing one post per week, so please be patient.

Each post will feature one to three authors depending on the number of books in their catalog.

The CMBA ebooks are not included. All CMBA books are listed on a separate page on this blog.

If I miss a book of yours, fret not. Let me know and I will add to a new future post.

In the future, If you are working on a new book, or will have a book “coming soon.” Let us know and we will announce it.

This edition features Hal C F Astell who blogs at Apocalypse Later.
 Hal's Author page can be viewed here.



Available as a paperback at Amazon and Amazon U.K.


Available as a paperback at Amazon and Amazon U.K.


Available as a paperback at Amazon and Amazon U.K.



Available as a paperback at Amazon and Amazon U.K.


Available as a paperback at Amazon and Amazon U.K.



Available as a paperback at Amazon and Amazon U.K





Monday, April 13, 2020

Books, Books, Books 5th Edition

This is the 5th edition in our series on books published by our fellow members. You can check out our previous post by clicking here.

A couple of things to point out.

I will be doing one post per week, so please be patient.

Each post will feature one to three authors depending on the number of books in their catalog.

The CMBA ebooks are not included. All CMBA books are listed on a separate page on this blog.

If I miss a book of yours, fret not. Let me know and I will add to a new future post.

In the future, If you are working on a new book, or will have a book “coming soon.” Let us know and we will announce it.

This edition features Karen Burroughs-Hannsbury who blogs at Shadows and Satin and John Greco who blogs at Twenty Four Frames.


First up is Karen Burroughs-Hannsbury.
You can view Karen's Amazon Author page here.



Available at Amazon.



Available at Amazon


Available at Amazon

.

Available at Amazon

Next up is John Greco
John is also the author of several short story collections. His author page can be seen here.


Available at Amazon 



Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Books, Books, Books - 4th Edition

This is the 4th edition in our series on books published by our fellow members. You can check out our previous post by clicking here.

A couple of things to point out.

I will be doing one post per week, so please be patient.

Each post will feature one to three authors depending on the number of books in their catalog.

The CMBA ebooks are not included. All CMBA books are listed on a separate page on this blog.

If I miss a book of yours, fret not. Let me know and I will add to a new future post.

In the future, If you are working on a new book, or will have a book “coming soon.” Let us know and we will announce it.


This edition features  Christian Esquevin and  Jacqueline T. Lynch

Christian Esquevin blogs at Silver Screen Modes




Adrian: Silver Screen to Custom Label is available in hardcover from Amazon.  Originally published by Monacelli Press, the book is now out-of-print but still available at Amazon 


Jacqueline Lynch blog at Another Old Movie Blog.  In addition to her film writing, Jacqueline is the author of several novels and non-fiction. Jacqueline's Author page is here.
.

Ann Blyth: Actress, Singer, Star is available as an eBook at AmazonBarnes and Noble, Apple iTunes and Kobo.

Print books available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Audio Books are available at  Amazon, Audible, and Apple iTunes.




Classic Films and the American Conscience is available as an eBook at Amazon.




Movies in Our Time: Hollywood Mirrors and Mimics the 20th Century is available as an eBook and paperback at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Also available as an eBook and Apple iTunes and Kobo as an eBook.



Calamity Jane in the Movies is available as an eBook at Amazon.


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Books, Books, Book - 3rd Edition

This is the third edition in our series on books published by our fellow members. You can check out our previous post by clicking here.


A couple of things to point out.

I will be doing one post per week, so please be patient.

Each post will feature one to three authors depending on the number of books in their catalog.

The CMBA ebooks are not included. All CMBA books are listed on a separate page on this blog.

If I miss a book of yours, fret not. Let me know and I will add to a new future post.

In the future, If you are working on a new book, or will have a book “coming soon.” Let us know and we will announce it.

First up is Terry Sherwood. who blogs at Stardust and Shadows


Available at Amazon



Our next author for this edition is Cliff Alperti who blogs at  Immortal Ephemera. Cliff's  Amazon Author Page is HERE

Available at Amazon




Available at Amazon



Available at Amazon


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

CMBA Profile: The Wonderful World of Cinema-




CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with  Virginie Pronovost who blogs at The Wonderful World of Cinema.  Virginie loves comedy and recently completed a marathon series of posts on the "Carry On" series.  


What sparked your interest in Movies?

My interest in movies, and especially classics, is all a question of curiosity. If I remember correctly, the first truly old movie I saw and loved was Chaplin's Modern Times. I was 14 at the time, but I didn't get to truly explore classic films until I was 15, I would say. Nevertheless, during summer 2009 (so, when I was 14), I was traveling in Europe with my parents and, as we were in Turin, we went to the Museum of Cinema, which absolutely mesmerized me and piqued my curiosity even more.  Then, I got to discover more classics thanks to this TV channel in Quebec that broadcasts films (classics or not) at 9 pm. As a teen, I came across a few of them that made me stay on the couch instead of going away and made me realize "classics are actually good"! So, aside from Modern Times, the films that started my interest for classic films were Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Good the Bad and the Ugly and High Noon, that I discovered with this TV channel. And there was The Birds, which was a recommendation from my father (and it was unlike anything I had seen before). The last step of that discovery came with a book on movie stars, classic and modern, that I decided to buy although I had no idea whom most of them were. I bought it because I loved the pictures. I would then read that book about twice a day and would show it to everybody (I was rather proud of it!). Naturally, films' titles were mentioned, so that was a good source to know what to watch next. Now my to-watch list is way too long, and I doubt I'll have enough of a lifetime to see everything.

What film genre(s) do you favor?

Comedy is my to-go genre, and more precisely screwball comedies and classic British comedies. They are not only a great form of escapism, but they can be pretty clever as well. And as Chaplin said, "A day without laughter is a day wasted". I agree. Other than that, I have that strong passion for Hitchcockian films (I guess it can almost be considered a genre it itself) and film noir. I know noir is not a genre per se (well, there's a lot of debate around that), but I guess you get the point!

Do You Have a Favorite Film, actor and actress and would You Tell Us Why?

Yes, of course! My favourite film is Some Like It Hot. As I said previously, I always favour a good laugh, and this is the perfect film for that. Plus, the whole cast is terrific as well as the screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond. My favourite actor is James Stewart. Is it possible not to like James Stewart? Despite often being labelled as the "regular guy", he had an incredible range and was very versatile. And in terms of actresses, there are three at my #1 position: Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman. Those ladies were not only tremendously talented but they also never cease to inspire me.

Name three films that most classic film fans love, but you hate, and if you can tell us why?

It's not necessarily films that I hate because "hate" is pretty extreme, but let just say they didn't reach my interests as expected:
- To Each His Own: I totally lost my concentration while watching this film. I don't even remember what the story was about. Too bad considering it was Olivia de Havilland's first Oscar-winning role.
- Double Indemnity: Don't kill me! I know this is an essential noir, but I've tried, more than once, and it just doesn't work for me. I'm not a fan of Fred MacMurray, so I guess it doesn't help and the two main characters played by him and Stanwyck mostly irritate me. But, normally, I love pretty much anything done by Billy Wilder.
- The Wizard of Oz: I don't think it's a bad film, of course, and it's definitely one of the most important classics, but I watched it once, and I think it's enough. Maybe the fact that I watched it in my 20s and not as a child didn't help because I found it a bit too childish and sometimes grotesque. Sorry!

You recently completed a series of on the classic “Carry On” series. Can you tell us what attracted you to this?

 I heard of the Carry On films a few years ago after watching Please Turn Over, which is a sort of non-official Carry On (same producer, director, writer, many Carry On regulars, etc.). So, these were eventually added on my long watching list. I was eventually inspired by other bloggers to start my own blog series and, therefore, saw a good opportunity to finally explore that franchise. I'm a huge fan of British comedy, as I said before, so I couldn't have made a better choice. Someone told me recently that I should do a blog series on Ealing comedies. I'm seriously considering it!

What movies would you recommend to someone who “hates” classic films? 

Many Hitchcock films are pretty timeless and could be a good introduction to non-classic films viewers. I would go with something like Rear Window or Strangers On A Train. Some Like It Hot would also be a good introduction. I'm not saying that because it's my favourite film but because I've rarely encountered people who have seen it and haven’t liked it.

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

So many things! Being part of a blogging community where people support each other's work is one of them, developing my writing skills, feeling that my work is valued, etc.

Do you have an interest in any other arts that you can share?

I live for the arts! Music is one of them, listening and performing (I play the piano). I also love painting, especially artwork by René Magritte and Fernand Léger; vintage fashion photography by Irving Penn, Richard Avedon or Horst P. Horst, and dance (once again, watching and performing).


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Books, Books, Books: 2nd Edition

This is the second post in our series on books published by our fellow members. You can check out our previous post by clicking here.

A couple of things to point out.

I will be doing one post per week, so please be patient.

Each post will feature one to three authors depending on the number of books in their catalog.

The CMBA ebooks are not included. All CMBA books are listed on a separate page on this blog.

If I miss a book of yours, fret not. Let me know and I will add to a new future post.

In the future, If you are working on a new book, or will have a book “coming soon.” Let us know and we will announce it.

This edition features Kendra Bean who blogs at Viv and Larry (Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier. )
Kendra is the author of the following:


Available as an ebook and hardcover at Amazon , Barnes and Noble and other online sources. bookstores.




 Co-written with Anthony Uzarowski. available as a eBook, Hardcover, Audiobook and Audio CD at Amazon.  As an eBook and Hardcover at Barnes and Noble, and other online sources.



Kendra is a contributor to this book. available at Amazon. Also available from Manchester University Press.


Next up is Donna Hill  who blogs at Falcon Lair. Donna is the author of Rudolph Valentino: The Silent Idol.



Donna' book is available at Amazon and Lulu.com

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Books, Books, Books!

This is the first in a series of posts on film-related books written, and yes, on sale, by our fellow members. When I first suggested doing this post, I knew of only four or five members that have written a book or books on our favorite subject. The volume of the one post topic I realized was going to be more than anticipated. Therefore, it’s been decided it would be more prudent to focus on two or three authors per post depending on the number of books.

A couple of things to point out.

I will be doing one post per week, so please be patient.

Each post will feature one to three authors depending on the number of books in their catalog.

The CMBA ebooks are not included. All CMBA books are listed on a separate page on this blog.

If I miss a book of yours, fret not. Let me know and I will add to a new future post.

In the future, If you are working on a new book, or will have a book “coming soon.” Let us know and we will announce it.


Let's begin!

Rick Armstrong blogs at the Classic Film and TV Cafe.  Rick and his wife Mary are co-authors of the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FILM THEMES, SETTINGS AND SERIES (3rd Edition).


Rick and Mary's book is available at Amazon (paperback and hardcover), Barnes & Noble  (paperback and hardcover), and McFarland Books.


Lisle Foote blogs at Grace Kingsley's Hollywood. She is the author of BUSTER KEATON'S CREW: THE TEAM BEHIND HIS CREW.



Lisle's book is available at Amazon (eBook and paperback), Barnes and Noble ( eBook) and McFarland Books (paperback)



Donna Hill blogs on Valentino at Falcon Lair. She is the author of RUDOLPH VALENTINO THE SILENT IDOL: HIS LIFE IN PHOTOGRAPHS.



Donna's book is available at Amazon and Lulu as a paperback.