Tuesday, October 15, 2019

CMBA 10th Anniversary/Fall Blogathon


Welcome the CMBA's 10th Anniversary Blogathon! This blogathon is special! Ten years of the CMBA bringing classic film bloggers together to share and learn. Before we move on to this year's event, it seems fitting to provide a short history of the CMBA.

Rick Armstrong of the Classic Film and TV Café founded the Classic Movie Blog Association (CMBA) on October 31, 2009. Rick's goal was to form a nonprofit organization of classic movie bloggers to promote classic movies, support its bloggers, establish quality standards, and recognize classic movie blogging excellence. Rick set up a website and designed the CMBA logo the same day. On November 1st, he invited Rupert Alistair of Classic Movies Digest to become the CMBA's second member. 

Rupert was intrigued, but also had questions. In his first e-mails, he asked:  "How did this entity come about? What is the criteria for involvement? Regular posts to the site? How are votes for new members gathered?" Rupert's questions led Rick to write the CMBA Charter, which contained the provision that, unlike most blogging associations, the CMBA's current members would vote on accepting new members and elect a Board of Governors to manage the organization. The CMBA's first members approved the CMBA Charter on November 22, 2009.

  • In February 2010, the CMBA hosted its first blogathon, a celebration of Black History Month. Official CMBA blogathons continue to be hosted twice a year.
  • By June 2010, the group consisted of 21 members, enough to elect a Board of Governors.
  • In September 2010, the CMBA ended its first year by inaugurating the CiMBA Awards to recognize its members' best blog posts of the year. These awards of excellence continue to be given annually, though they are now simply known as the CMBA Awards.

Over the past 10 years, members have come and gone (life does sometimes get in the way of blogging), but the CMBA has endured and matured into a thriving organization with a social media presence and the respect of the world of classic film and its fans. Today, as the CMBA celebrates its 10th anniversary year with close to 90 members and counting, the future continues to be both promising and exciting for this group of impassioned classic movie bloggers.

Appropriately, this year's Fall Blogathon theme is Anniversaries. We have a great group of contributors joining in to celebrate. Links will be posted below as they become available.

The Contributors 

October 15th (Tuesday)
Caftan Woman: Stray Dog 70th Anniversary 
A Person in the Dark: "The Stars"  57 Years of Fascination
Critica Retro: The Spanish  Flu Pandemic and  how it affected the Film Industry - 100 Years
Make Mine Film Noir: Double Indemnity: Film Noir After Seventy-Five Years
Silver Screen Modes: 95th Anniversary of MGM
Stars and Letters: Dark Victory (80th Anniversary) 

October 16th (Wednesday)
The Movie Night Group: The Canterville Ghost (75 Yrs)  
Screen Dreams: 100th Anniversary of United Artists
Classic Film and TV Cafe: The Wild Bunch  (50th Anniversary)
Silver Screenings: All The King's Men (70th Anniversary)
4 Star Films: The Third Man (1949) 

October 17th (Thursday)
Old Hollywood Films: Ben-Hur (1959) 
Shadows and Satin: Top Five Film Noirs of 70 Years Ago
Once Upon A Screen:  85 Years of Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger
Backlots: Anniversary of Rita Hayworth's Birth 
Cinematic Scribblings: Little Women (1994) 25th Anniversary
Twenty Four Frames:  Easy Rider and The New Hollywood (1969) 

October 18th (Friday)
In The Good Old Days of  Classic Hollywood:  Northwest Frontier (40 Years)
Maddy Loves Her Classic Films:  1939 Turns Eighty
Strictly Vintage Hollywood: The Eyes of Youth (1919) 100th Anniversary
Hometowns to Hollywood: Glorifying the American Girl (1929)
Lady Eve's Reel Life: Bridging Old Hollywood and New: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)




Sunday, October 13, 2019

Congratulations to the 2019 CMBA Award Winners!


The ballot has closed, the votes have been counted and the results of the 2019 CMBA Awards confirmed. And  the winners of this year's awards for excellence in blogging are:

Best Classic Film Review/Drama: Thoughts on the Son of the Sheik (1926) by Silent-ology
Best Classic Film Review/Comedy or Musical: His Girl Friday (1940) by Cinema Essentials
Best Profile: The Activism of Myrna Loy by Backlots
Best Classic Film Article: Irving Berlin at the Oscars by Caftan Woman
Best Classic Film series: Sheik Month by Silent-ology
Best Classic Film Event: The Vive la France! Blogathon hosted by Lady Eve's Reel Life and Silver Screen Modes

In addition, this year the CMBA Board of Governors has chosen to present a special award to the group's founding member and first Board Chair, Rick Armstrong of The Classic Film & TV Cafe. Rick founded the CMBA 10 years ago this month, on October 31, 2009. He developed the group's organizational structure as well as its charter and was instrumental in launching CMBA activities that continue today, including our annual blogathons and the CMBA Awards. To this day Rick continues to support and advise the Board whenever asked. And so, on this our 10th anniversary year, the Board is honoring Rick Armstrong with a special 2019 Board of Governors Award in recognition and appreciation of his efforts on behalf of the Classic Movie Blog Association and classic film blogging.

Congratulations, 2019 award winners and many thanks to all members who participated in the CMBA Awards this year. Well done!





Wednesday, October 2, 2019

CMBA Profile:: Cinematic Scribblings





CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with Erin Graybill who blogs at Cinematic Scribblings. Erin's blog focuses on European and Japanese cinema.



What sparked your interest in classic film?

When I was about eight, I was obsessed with Shirley Temple; I can't recall how that actually started, but AMC used to air one of her movies every Sunday around 11 AM, and I would always watch them. Around that time, I was also really into Martin and Lewis movies, and I remember watching a lot of Laurel and Hardy on AMC as well. After that, I was less into classic films for a while, but at some point in my teens my family came across Bringing Up Baby on TV -- I'm sure it was TCM -- and I loved it. From there, and especially in college, where I had easy access to the library's collection, I really delved into classic films.

I noticed you have written much about Francois Truffaut. What is it about his films that attract you?

Writing about Stolen Kisses (1968), he said, "When I started making movies I had the idea that there were things that were funny and others that were sad, so I would put funny things and sad things in my films. Then I tried to switch abruptly from something sad to something comical. In the course of making Stolen Kisses I came to feel that the best of all were the kind of situations that were funny and sad at once." That appeals to me, and so does his observation that "with me, one film out of two is romantic -- the other one tries to destroy this romanticism," although I think it's more complicated than that; the romanticism and anti-romanticism often seem to coexist in his films. Also, his love of cinema is infectious.

What other directors do you admire?

Yasujirô Ozu is probably my favorite director. I also love Federico Fellini, Michael Powell (particularly his work with Emeric Pressburger), Satyajit Ray... I could go on and on, but those are the directors at the top of my list, along with Truffaut.

What film genre(s) do you favor?

I don't know that I have a particular favorite genre, to be honest. I feel like I watch dramas and comedies in equal measure, and I don't really seek out or focus on more specific genres like westerns or sci-fi or musicals, although I hope I'm open to them.

Name three films that most classic film fans love, but you hate, and if you can tell us why?

"Hate" is a very strong word, but there have certainly been times when I've been disappointed or just failed to see what the big deal was about one film or another. I remember being let down -- not as amused as I hoped to be, I guess -- by Sullivan's Travels, for which I had very high expectations; that's one I should revisit and reevaluate. Sansho the Bailiff is another example (not that I was looking to be amused there). I'm never as blown away by Mizoguchi as other people seem to be, especially by his period pieces, which seem to get most of the attention and praise. (I do like his more contemporary films, Street of Shame above all, but also Osaka Elegy and Sisters of the Gion.) Blowup comes to mind as well. It was my first Antonioni and it left me a bit cold, but several years later, once I saw more of his movies -- many of which I like a lot -- I thought that I would be able to appreciate it more, being better attuned to his style and themes and so on and not expecting a typical "Swinging London" movie (whatever that would be). It didn't work -- same reaction the second time around.

What do you find is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

I really enjoy working out my thoughts on a given film and then hearing what other people think about it, and I appreciate the sense of community among classic film bloggers.

What movies would you recommend to someone who “hates” classic films?

That probably depends on the individual person and the sorts of modern films that they enjoy. I don't know that there's a one-size-fits-all answer.

Do you have interests in any other arts that you can share?

Literature -- I love to read, and my dream is to write novels. I also enjoy going to art museums and listening to music.