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.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

CMBA Blogger Profile: Caftan Woman


The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month, on the 1st and the 15th. Today we're paying tribute to Patricia from Caftan Woman.

Remember when you were a kid and you had that one relative who really understood you? When it came to special occasions, that relative always gave you gifts you couldn't wait to show your friends.

Patricia from Caftan Woman is just like that relative. Her blog covers many films that don't receive a lot of love these days, and her reviews make you want to watch these films and immediately show them to others. This is because her well-researched posts shine with a passion for classic film.

"John Ford is my religion," she writes in her profile, and says she has a "particular fondness" for westerns, screwball comedies, musicals, B mysteries and film noir.

An example of Patricia's fondness for film noir – that is also an example of her shrewd powers of observation – can be found in this post on Claire Trevor's fashion decline in Born to Kill (1947).



CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
Caftan Woman: Bonding moments with my movie buff dad and three younger sisters.  TVOntario's (public television) Saturday Night at the Movies hosted by Elwy Yost, produced by Rise Schuman. A double bill each Saturday of uncut, commercial free classic films with interviews and an educational component. It made reverence for the films acceptable. Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide and other books which inspired a personal stewardship toward the movies I loved.


CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
Caftan Woman: A classic film is a window into the artistry of its creators and the heart of the viewer.

CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
Caftan Woman: I have had success introducing "haters" to 12 Angry Men, The Set-Up and Winchester '73


CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?
Caftan Woman: I have found that most people who don't care about classic film also don't care about history. A civilization that forgets its history is shallow.

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Caftan Woman: Sharing my love of classic film and learning from and being inspired by fellow film bloggers.


CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
Caftan Woman: My biggest challenge is being lazy, and I overcome that by signing up for the imaginative blogathons that come our way.

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Caftan Woman: Don't wear yourself out.  Write about what moves you passionately.  Don't compare yourself to others.


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