Friday, January 4, 2019

CMBA Profile: Cracked Rear Viewer



Gary Loggins' Cracked  Rear Viewer is a treasure chest filled with pop culture: movies, television, books, music, comic, etc. Exploring Cracked View Mirror is trip worth taking no matter what you are in the mood for. There's something there for everyone.


What sparked your interest in classic film? 

Being a “Monster Kid” of the 1960’s, my first love has always been horror movies. I’d catch the classic Universal Horrors on TV, and low-budget spectacles like “War of the Colossal Beast” and “Bride of the Monster”, things I’d read about in Forry Ackerman’s Famous Mosters magazine. The Three Stooges shorts sparked an interest in early comedy teams like Laurel & Hardy, and from there it was an easy leap to the films of Bogart, Cagney, Harlow, and Flynn.  

What film genre(s) do you favor? 

– Besides those monster movies and classic comedies, Westerns have always been a favorite. I really think
 it gets neglected in the classic film conversation, and have tried to put the spotlight on sagebrush sagas as much as possible on my blog. Then there’s gangster films, noir, war movies, fantasy… I’ll watch just about anything!

What makes a film “classic” in your opinion? 

– There’s definitely a distinction between a “classic” and an old movie. For me, a film is truly classic if it has believable acting, solid script and direction, innovative camerawork, and a story that engrosses the viewer. It has to stand the test of time, not just fall into the category of being made during the studio era. “Stagecoach” is a classic film; “The Outlaw” is not.

Your blog began as a film blog, but you quickly expanded your horizons covering a wide variety of pop culture: TV, books, music, and more. Was this planned or organic?: 

 I think it just evolved as a natural progression to write about things that interest me, and hopefully the reader, too. TV and films are linked for me, because that’s where I discovered the world of classic movies. I received good feedback, and began initiating some semi-regular series on things other than film: ‘Confessions of a TV Addict’ and ‘One Hit Wonders’. I also began a series called ‘Rockin’ in the Film World’, where I explore the marriage of movies and rock’n’roll. It’s just things I like, and I find my readers have been very receptive, although my main focus remains movies from the 1930’s to the 80’s.

One non-film question. Since you write about books and music, would you tell us who are a few of your favorite authors and musicians?

Mystery and crime novels have always been my go-to reads. I discovered the hard-boiled books of Mickey Spillane, Ed McBain, and Raymond Chandler early on, and today my favorite is James Lee Burke, who in my opinion is the best living American writer today. I also follow Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, Michael Connelly, and John Sandford. As for music, I have pretty diverse tastes: rock, blues, jazz, big band, country, Americana. But if you put me in a corner and demanded I name my favorite, it would undoubtedly be The Rolling Stones (with Stevie Ray Vaughn a close second!).  

What do you find the most rewarding thing about blogging? 

The interaction between readers and myself. It’s going on four years, and I still can’t believe people are reading my stuff – and liking it! It gives me a sense of validation as a writer, even though (like many writers, I suppose) I’m never quite satisfied with the finished product. It blows my mind that people take the time out of their day to read ‘Cracked Rear Viewer’, and I’m very grateful to all of them.