Each month, the CMBA profiles a classic movie blog. This month, we’re featuring David Cairns, who writes at Shadowplay.
CMBA: What makes a film a “classic” in your opinion?
Shadowplay: I’m interested in films generally. I find some old bad movies entertaining as well as good ones, and I love finding obscurities and oddities. But a classic is simply a film whose qualities still shine after the passage of a decade or more. It’s interesting to me when movies that everyone’s excited about suddenly seem forgotten. Looking at old movies, if they have a reputation, they’re more likely to be of interest than the latest hit.
CMBA: Why should people care about “old” black-and-white films?
Shadowplay: I wouldn’t dictate to people what they should care about, but if you're interested in films per se, and not just in what’s fashionable, then you should be interested in the development of the form, and in the work of film artists from any era.
CMBA: Is there a classic and/or silent film that you find yourself watching again and again?
Shadowplay: Quite a few! I don’t get tired of Chaplin and Keaton, I love pre-codes, thirties horror films, French cinema . . .
CMBA: What classic and/or silent films do you recommend to people who may not have seen many older films?
Shadowplay: Can't go far wrong with Casablanca. In general, I’d try to fit the recommendation to the person.
CMBA: What is most rewarding about blogging for you?Shadowplay: It amuses me. I like interacting with readers, but mostly it’s just a way for me to crystallize my responses to whatever I’ve watched recently.