Wednesday, November 30, 2016

CMBA Blog Profile: Shadows and Satin

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month, on the 1st and 15th of the month. Today we're featuring Karen from Shadows and Satin.

Shadows and Satin is one of those can’t-wait-to-see-what’s-happening-next blogs.

Karen’s site is dedicated to films noir and noir filmmakers, as well as pre-Code flicks, and she packs each post with juicy history and insightful commentary. As editor of The Dark Pages, she has an expert knowledge of film noir, even the more obscure films and actors in this genre.

As a pre-Code fan, she shares her infectious enthusiasm and considerable research with her readers.  One example is her essay on actress Lilyan Tashman.

I discovered Lilyan Tashman by sheer happenstance,” says Karen. “I was watching an extra on a DVD (she wasn't even in the movie!) when I saw Tashman and her husband, Edmund Lowe. And there was just something about her that captivated me. It took me several months to research and write the post; the more I learned about her, the more fascinated I became. I was really proud of the outcome – and one of the comments I received was from the granddaughter of Tashman’s cousin! That was the icing on the cake.”

You can read about Ms. Tashman HERE.

CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
Shadows and Satin: I wish I had a really cool story to tell – like, my great-grandmother's favorite movie was Miracle on 34th Street, and I fell in love old movies after she took me to see it one Christmas, or I was at home sick with the mumps and was totally mesmerized when 42nd Street came on TV after Bozo's Circus went off. But I don't. I've simply loved classic movies for as long as I can remember.

CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
Shadows and Satin: Generally speaking, I believe that two characteristics make a movie a classic: passage of time and continued interest. More specifically, a significant amount of time has to have passed since the film's release, and it has to continue to foster interest and appreciation in ensuing generations.

CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
Shadows and Satin: I don't actually know anyone who's ever said they "hate" old movies, but my niece's exposure to classic films is woefully lacking, and I recently showed her Leave Her to Heaven. She was quite taken with it.

CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?
Shadows and Satin: Classic films are just like any other part of history – we should care about them because they are us

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Shadows and Satin: For me, the most rewarding thing about blogging is the idea that someone out there might have derived as much pleasure from reading my words as I do writing them.

CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
Shadows and Satin: My only challenge is dealing with the tendency of real life to interfere with my writing time. I try to overcome this challenge by signing up for blogathons and the annual month-long "Noirvember" event – these activities help keep me on my toes and force me to carve out the much-needed time to settle down in front of my computer. 

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Shadows and Satin: Keep a small notebook with you and whenever you get an idea, jot it down.
Thank you for joining us, Karen! You can visit Satin and Shadows by clicking HERE.


  1. Another interesting interview. Karen's blog is a must read for noir lovers.

  2. I love that Karen has loved classic movies as long as she can remember. She is the best at sharing and educating other classic movie fans. We are very lucky.

  3. Nice to read about your back story Karen. It's always great when it started with a family connection, something to look back on fondly in later years. How did you get hooked on film noir? I don't really know how I did come to think of it. Perhaps something for a blogathon to explore or The Dark Pages. I've always enjoyed Lilyan Tashman too the few times I've seen her. Thanks for sharing your experience.