Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CMBA Blogger Profile: Classic Film and TV Café

The CMBA is excited to start a new series that profiles our member bloggers. Two classic movie blogs will be featured each month, one on the 1st and the other on the 15th. Today we're toasting the blog (and the man) who started it all: Rick from Classic Film and TV Café.

Classic Film and TV Café is a lively blog that always teaches you something new. Topics include classic film and television shows, obscure facts about classic celebrities and the famous Movie-TV Connection Game (click HERE for a sample).

One of the outstanding features of this blog is the impressive amount of interviews the Café conducts. Rick has interviewed a surprising number of classic film and television insiders, including celebrities and biographers.

"I've been fortunate enough to interview several classic film and television stars," says Rick. "One of my favorite interviews was with three-time Oscar nominee Piper Laurie. I sat beside her for almost an hour at a nostalgia convention, and she patiently answered my questions as she autographed photos." (You can read the interview HERE.) 

CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
Classic Film & TV Cafe: I think I inherited it. I don't think my parents would have called themselves film buffs, but my family watched a lot of movies. Films starring Errol Flynn, Ronald Colman, or Bing Crosby were family "events." My sister and I rarely missed Shock Theater on Saturday nights. I became exposed to silent films by watching them on 16mm at the public library. When I attended Indiana University, I took at least one film course per semester and became exposed to international cinema. My friends – and my future wife – enjoyed watching classic films with me. I guess classic movies have always been a part of my life.

CMBA: Why did you decide to start the CMBA?
Classic Film & TV Cafe: My first experience with blogging was TCM's Classic Film Union. I enjoyed reading other people's posts on classic cinema and their thoughts on mine. Unfortunately, one overzealous blogger began to post 5-8 times daily and dominate the "white space." That inspired me to create my own blog, and I invited several other bloggers to join me. We supported each other with comments, which was great...but  then, I thought: "Why not expand our community to include other classic movie blogs?"

I created the CMBA on October 31, 2009 and invited Rupert Alistair of Classic Movies Digest to become its second member. My wife and Rupert asked lots of questions about the CMBA. In response, I wrote the CMBA Charter and defined the CMBA's mission as to: promote classic movies; support fellow classic movie bloggers; establish and maintain quality blogging standards;  and recognize classic movie blogging excellence. 
By the way, did you know there's a Classic TV Blog Association, too?
CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
Classic Film & TV Cafe: It must have an enduring appeal or message. It bothers me when fellow classic film fans try to define "classic" by a decade. I first saw Casablanca in the 1960s and it was already a classic, even though it was barely 20 years old.
I also don't buy it when people say there aren't any classic stars like in the "old days." I think today's stars, such as Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep, will be remembered as screen icons.

CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
Classic Film & TV Cafe: Well, it depends on the viewer's age. I have shown The Court Jester, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad to many young viewers and have delighted in watching the joy on their faces. For my adult friends, I typically introduce them to classic cinema via Rear Window, Laura, Lover Come Back, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Bringing Up Baby, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Black Narcissus, Curse of the Demon, and The List of Adrian Messenger.

CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?
Classic Film & TV Cafe: If you truly love movies, you need to embrace all of cinema. You need to sample films from different eras (e.g., silent, pre-code). You need to explore different genres (e.g., film noir, the adult Western of the 1960s, Hammer's horror films, Laurel and Hardy's physical comedy). You need to expand your horizons beyond classic Hollywood and branch into the foreign-language films of Renoir, Lang, Bergman, Fellini, and Kurosawa. You may not like some of it, but you'll never know until you try.

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Classic Film & TV Cafe: Sharing my love of classic movies and learning from other classic film and TV fans. I do a monthly quiz in which I'll often list two actors connected by a common thread (e.g., Michael Caine and Basil Rathbone both starred in films called Dressed to Kill). I'm always surprised – and delighted – by people who provide a different answer than mine – which is also correct. (Did you know Caine and Rathbone both played Scrooge?)

CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
Classic Film & TV Cafe: Unpleasant people have stolen my copyrighted content and posted it as their own. I have filed formal complaints and requested my content be removed, but so far without much success.
CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Classic Film & TV Cafe: Try to make your blog different from existing blogs. Consider creating a niche blog. Or, write about different classic films; for example, there are dozens of reviews of The Awful Truth, but very few about Bunny Lake Is Missing. Finally, try to write well (my wife is my editor!) and publish posts on a regular basis. If you stop blogging for a long period, many readers will stop visiting your blog.

 Thank you for joining us, Rick! You can visit his blog by clicking HERE.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Coming Soon: Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage Blogathon 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September 15 and ends on October 15.  In celebration, Once Upon a Screen presents the Hollywood’s Hispanic Heritage Blogathon to commemorate the impact Hispanics have made on Hollywood.


Posts celebrating Hispanic Heritage in Hollywood that focus on actors, filmmakers or films that celebrate, depict or examine aspects of Hispanic culture are welcome.  Or, you may also choose to discuss the treatment of a Hispanic Hollywood player or players in general on-screen or behind the scenes.  The possibilities are endless.  While this blogathon’s focus is primarily “classic” Hollywood cinema, Hispanics are making an impact in films today so if you’re burning to write about a contemporary Latin American actor, filmmaker or film, that’s fine, too.
For more details on this blogathon, click HERE.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Winners of the 2015 CMBA Awards

Congratulations to all of the winners! Also, a special thanks to all of the bloggers who submitted articles, read the articles, and voted. 

Best Film Review

Queen Christina ( 1933 ) -

Best Film Review ( Musical/Comedy )

In Defense of Lina Lamont - The Vintage Cameo

Best Film Article

Real-life Society "Honor Slaying" Inspires Two Movies - Immortal Ephemera

Best Classic Movie Series

History Through Hollywood: or, What I Learned from Classic Movies - The Blonde at the Film

Best Profile of a Classic Movie Performer or Filmmaker

CMBA Forgotten Stars Blogathon : Eddie Cantor - Once Upon a Screen

Best Classic Movie Event

The Great Villain Blogathon April 13-17, 2015 Hosted by Speakeasy. Co-hosted by Shadows and Satin • Silver Screenings

Best Classic Movie Blog Design

Silver Scenes 

Shadows and Satin

Now stop hanging about this blog and go out and celebrate! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Week of the CMBA Awards!

The official nominees for the 2015 CMBA awards have been decided. Congratulations to all of these fine bloggers! Below you will find the links to all of their posts. If you did not yet make time to read them, now is the time to do so. When you are ready to vote then check your inbox for the email marked "The 2015 CMBA Awards" and you will find a link to the survey. Vote for only one nominee in each category!

The ballot for the CMBA Awards will be open until September 16th.

If you have any questions about the awards, this year's submissions, or the voting process, you can leave a comment in the box below or send us an email here.

Good luck to all of our nominees!

2015 CMBA Nominees


Queen Christina -
Captain's Courageous - Immortal Ephemera
The Adventure of Robin Hood - Silver Scenes
The Helen Morgan Story - Another Old Movie Blog
Double Indemnity - The Blonde at the Film


Dames -
In Defense of Lina Lamont - The Vintage Cameo
The General - Second Sight Cinema
The Rules of the Game - Speakeasy
Ear-way Innay the UNNA-May - Mildred's Fatburgers


Real Life Society Honor Slaying Inspires Two 1932 Films - Immortal Ephemera 
Newsreels of the Early 1930s - Second Sight Cinema
Paramount in Paris - The Blonde at the Film
How I "Met" James Cagney - Hometowns to Hollywood
*Tie*  - Summer Reading Challenge - Shadows and Satin
         - Antonio Moreno and the Story of Spanish-Language Hollywood - Once Upon a Screen
         - Random Harvest of Thoughts - Now Voyaging


Film Noir of the Week - Old Hollywood Films
Classic Movie Blog Tips - Java's Journey
History Through Hollywood - The Blonde at the Film

(Note : Biopic Theater was dropped after one day when the blogger asked to have an article added in a different category in its place )


Helen Twelvetrees - Immortal Ephemera
Robert Montgomery - Caftan Woman
Eddie Cantor - Once Upon a Screen
The Year of Ann Blyth - Another Old Movie Blog
Notes on Peter Lorre - Second Sight Cinema


The Beach Party Blogathon - Silver Screenings
The Great Villain Blogathon - Speakeasy
The 2015 TCM Summer Under the Stars Blogathon - Journeys in Classic Film


Silver Scenes 
Once Upon a Screen
The Blonde at the Film
Shadows and Satin
The Vintage Cameo

Alas, we won't be holding a banquet after the awards...I just thought this was a cool photo.