Monday, February 29, 2016

CMBA Blogger Profile: Tales of the Easily Distracted

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month, on the 1st and the 15th. Today we're featuring Dorian from Tales of the Easily Distracted.

If you like witty commentary with insightful reviews of classic film, Dorian from Tales of the Easily Distracted has created the perfect website. Dorian's playful enthusiasm is infectious; she has a way of "selling" a movie, whether it's a Marx Brothers comedy or an Alfred Hitchcock film.

"For me," writes Dorian, "my fascination with Alfred Hitchcock first started with my sister having the flu. My big brother let me stay up with him to watch Strangers on a Trainhalf of it anyway, once Mom put me back to bed. But it was like a 'gateway drug' for movie fans, and the biggest score of all was North by Northwest!"

You can read Dorian's post HERE.

CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
Tales of the Easily Distracted: A late-night viewing of Strangers on a Train opened my eyes to decades of films that were literally Before My Time.

CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?

Tales of the Easily Distracted: More than simply being old, a film has to be a cut above the average to be more than just a Great Old Film.
CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
Tales of the Easily Distracted: Well, Star Wars is 40 years old, and not too many people say they hate it…

CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?

Tales of the Easily Distracted: The same reason they should care about Shakespeare or old books epic poems – people have told amazing stories, amazingly well, for decades in film, and for centuries in other media.  And some are better than we’ll ever see again, for many reasons.
CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

Tales of the Easily Distracted: Getting a real audience for my work. Time was I was in various APAs and fanzines where no more than a few dozen people could ever see my writing – now there’s a nearly limitless potential audience, and a lot of them are actively looking for people who write stuff just like you do.

CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
Tales of the Easily Distracted: Time – I’m always convinced I’m not working hard, or long enough on my posts.
CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?

Tales of the Easily Distracted: Write about what you like, not what you think people want to read about.

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

Monday, February 22, 2016

Coming Soon - The CMBA Spring 2016 Blogathon!

Good news, everyone! The subject has been selected for the 2015 CMBA Spring Blogathon, open to all members: Words! Words Words!. This blogathon covers movies about writers, books, librarians, publishers, and even screenwriters. Expect a lot of writing about writing!

The blogathon will run from April 11th through the 15th.

(If you're a member of CMBA and wish to participate, please email with your subject by March 31st. Any eBook entries should be turned in by that date as well.)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

CMBA Blogger Profile: Twenty Four Frames

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month, on the 1st and the 15th. Today we're toasting John from Twenty Four Frames.

Twenty Four Frames is the hipster of the classic movie blog crowd.

Because he's a photographer and a classic film blogger, John of Twenty Four Frames brings a unique perspective to his blog. He covers a wide variety of films, including foreign classics, short films, and a few current releases.

In his reviews, he often discusses what was significant about the film to audiences of the day, but in doing so, he shows us why they're pertinent today.

"I like to find films that may be 30 or 40 or more years old and yet they say something about our lives today," he explains. "An example, which I will use, is Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives. As most know, it's about returning soldiers trying to readjust to civilian life after the horrors of war. The film addresses the situation after World War II, but with war sadly an ongoing part of our lives today, it's just as relevant today. I like to tie that kind of thread into what I write when I can. Does not happen always, but its a great discovery when it does happen."

You can find John's review HERE.

CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?

Twenty Four Frames: As far back as I can remember, I always liked movies. As a kid, I watched Abbott & Costello movies which were on TV every weekend along with The Three Stooges, The Bowery Boys and others. Sunday afternoons were a treasure chest of movies on TV in New York City. One station always showed Warner Brothers films, and I discovered Bogart, Cagney and others. In movie theaters I discovered then-current actors like Newman, Lemmon and Peter Sellers. It was around this same time that I started, unintentionally at first, paying attention to a film's credits. I noticed some films that I liked were always directed by the same filmmaker. Names like Blake Edwards, Billy Wilder and Hitchcock. I began paying attention to who directed the film. At the time, I didn't quite understand what a director did (lol), but there was this correlation between the director and what I liked. From there I began to read books about making films, books about directors and serious film criticism from the likes of writers like Andrew Sarris, Pauline Kael and others.

CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?

Twenty Four Frames: That's a tough question. Everyone seems to have a different thought, which is fine. For me, not every film, just because it's from a certain period, is "classic." The Hollywood studio system put out a lot of garbage. Classic films can come from anywhere and any time period: England, Italy, France Poland, Japan, etc. A film, like wine, may have to age a bit, but there are films from later periods that are "classic." For example, the Coen Brothers' Fargo or Scorsese's Goodfellas just to name two. I like films from all time periods and places. 

CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?

Twenty Four Frames: If it's a silent film I would go with Chaplin, either The Gold Rush or City Lights. Otherwise, I would suggest White Heat, Hitchcock (Psycho, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Notorious), The Maltese Falcon, Some Like it Hot, Double Indemnity and His Girl Friday.

CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?

Twenty Four Frames: Because at their best, they are art, and life without any art is emptiness.

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Twenty Four Frames: Getting to 'meet' so many people with a passion or love for film. There were times I felt I was the only one out there. 

CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?

Twenty Four Frames: It's always what to write next and how to make it stand out. Surprisingly, something always comes to mind and then you just hope others will find it interesting enough to read.

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?

Twenty Four Frames: Write about the films you like at first, but at some point challenge yourself to write about films that you are not crazy about.  

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