Sunday, January 31, 2016

CMBA Blogger Profile: A Person in the Dark

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month, on the 1st and the 15th. Today we're celebrating Marsha from A Person in the Dark, who is also our current CMBA Chairperson.

Classic movie bloggers have a great sense of humour, and no one demonstrates that more than Marsha of A Person in the Dark.

Marsha's blog will make you laugh out loud, but she also writes with great empathy about some of classic Hollywood's tragic figures. One example is this profile of actress Alma Rubens.

"I do not consider myself a critic, only a fan," says Marsha. "I love the movies and I love the stars of old Hollywood. I especially like to write about them from a fan's perspective and am always happy if I can collar a convert along the way."

Marsha's twin passions for classic film and Cary Grant is evident in this post HERE. She's sharing it because, she jokes, "the restraining order has expired."

CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
A Person in the Dark: At around age 11 or 12, I was too lazy to get up and change the channel after a showing of the Bowery Boys on NY WNEW on a Sunday afternoon and was seduced by James Cagney in The Public Enemy. Who was this man? Who were these people? I had to know. From there, it was endless trips to the library and endless viewings of whatever might be showing all week on WOR’s Million Dollar Movie.

CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
A Person in the Dark: I think a classic film is one that speaks the same language to many hearts, no matter what the era.

CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
A Person in the Dark: I have never known anyone NOT to enjoy Singin’ in the Rain, Double Indemnity or Casablanca.  And – if you can get someone to give silent films a try, City Lights usually gets thumbs up from even the most resistant viewer.

CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?
A Person in the Dark: Did Woodrow Wilson really say that Birth of a Nation was like writing history with lightening? Probably not, but the cultural and historical significance of film is precious. Watching a film from the early 20th century is our only way to see, in motion, how people looked and lived, and what our country actually looked like so long ago. Watching films from the 30s and 40s not only shows us the styles of the time, but it gives us the slang, the lingo and trend factors of the day. All of these reflect the basis for our shared dreams and fantasies. Sometimes it is fun, sometimes it is frivolous, and sometimes it is art.

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
A Person in the Dark: You know, if you are passionate about football, chances are there are lots of people in your life you can share that with. But finding people to share an interest in classic film with is not so easy. The very best thing about blogging is discovering a community that shares my love of film and finding a way to express that passion.

CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
A Person in the Dark: I think most bloggers would agree that finding new topics and new angles after you’ve exhausted your repertoire is a challenge. It’s very hard to write something fresh about a great film that has been analyzed and reviewed by tip top writers.
Sometimes it helps to just take a breath and step back. Conversely, it also helps to sign up for blogathons, because they force you to meet a deadline and stop fooling around.

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
A Person in the Dark: Write your passion and be generous with your comments and praise to other writers. Getting to know other bloggers and forming a mutual admiration society is a great thing.

Thank you for joining us, Marsha! You can visit her blog by clicking HERE.


  1. Marsha's writing is what I share when I want to show people who don't follow great movie bloggers what they are missing.

    1. CW - you make me proud. Many thanks for the kind words and support.

  2. I've always enjoyed Marsha's blog posts and she has been a great supporter to me as a newer member of CMBA. It's fun and inspiring to read her posts and she is what makes CMBA such a great group to belong to.

    1. Thank you, Christian. I guess we belong to a mutual admiration society. I have learned so much from your blog.

  3. I probably sound like a broken record already, but A Person in the Dark is another favorite! When I'm having one of those days and need a chuckle with the classic flavor Marsha is who I turn to. We have an issue with Cary Grant as her sanity in regards to him seems to teeter on the brink, but I choose to forego that and remain her fan.

    Once Upon a Screen

    1. As Mr. Gleason would say, Baby, you're the greatest!

  4. Terrific interview on a great blog. Informative and fun.

    1. Thanks, John, and many, many thanks for Ruth for doing such a great job on these interviews.

  5. Marsha, I love your point about film's role in history, as a reflection of what the world looked like at that time through the lens of a filmmaker. And your blog is a regular stop for me!

  6. Well, what can I say about our FlickChick? She is not really a person in the dark -- she has a beautiful spotlight right on her, and she always shines!

  7. Thanks, Rick. Without you it would all not be possible!

  8. This interview so well reflects the wit and wisdom of Marsha and her "Person in the Dark," one of the very best classic film blogs in the universe.