Sunday, November 3, 2019

Remembering Gary Loggins of Cracked Rear Viewer


CMBA remembers and honors member Gary Loggins whose blog was Cracked Rear Viewer. Gary, who passed away unexpectedly early in October, was passionate about horror, B-movies and pre-code films and blogged about his movie love with enthusiasm. He also enjoyed classic rock music, concerts and New England sports teams and his career involved working with and helping the homeless. Gary's CMBA blogger profile was published last January, click here to learn more about him and his very special blog. For those who would like to pay further tribute to Gary, memorial donations should be made to www.steppingstoneinc.org/donate.

Rest in peace, Gary. 

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 are posted below to all participating blogs.

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 Rogers 
Twenty Four Frames:  Easy Rider and The New Hollywood (1969)

October 18th (Friday)
Maddy Loves Her Classic Films:  1939 Turns Eighty
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.



Friday, August 30, 2019

New CMBA EBook: Femme/Homme Fatales of Film Noir

The latest CMBA eBook, Femme/Homme Fatales of Film Noir, compiled by Annette Bochenek, is now available at Smashwords for free! It is also available at Amazon for .99 cents with proceeds going to Film Preservation.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

CMBA 2019 FALL BLOGATHON





Hello Everyone,

It's still summer, but the fall season is coming soon and with it comes the CMBA Fall Blogathon. This year is special as we celebrate the organization’s 10th anniversary! The CMBA is the brainchild of founding father Rick Armstrong (thank you, Rick!). In celebration, our subject this time around is anniversaries. Anniversaries of all kinds: Wedding, job, film directors, film anniversaries, for example, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Pulp Fiction (in five-year increments only 15, 20, 25, 30, etc.). Another example would be the anniversary of acting teams: Gable and Lombard, Laurel and Hardy, etc. (any anniversary year is acceptable). Be creative. If you’re not sure, ask!

Just a few rules. Only one film, acting team, director, etc. If a film is taken or an acting team you will be notified to make another selection.  

Join us for The Anniversary Blogathon. The dates are Oct. 15th through Oct 18th

Provide me with your selection and the date that you would like. Date selected may be subject to change if we need to balance out the activity.



The Contributors So Far...


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)  
Twenty Four Frames:  Easy Rider and The New Hollywood (1969)
Screen Dreams: 100th Anniversary of United Artists
Classic Film and TV Cafe: The Wild Bunch  (50th Anniversay)
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: The Gay Divorcee 85th Anniversary 
Backlots: Anniversary of Rita Hayworth's Birth 
Cinematic Scribblings: Little Women (1994) 25th Anniversary


October 18th (Friday)
In The Good Old Days of  Classic Hollywood:  140 Years of Ethel Barrymore: An Enduring Legacy
Maddy Loves Her Classic Films:  4 Films Celebrating 40 Years
Strictly Vintage Hollywood: The Eyes of Youth (1919) 100th Anniversary
Hometowns to Hollywood: Glorifying the American Girl (1929)









Friday, August 2, 2019

CMBA Profile: Anybody Got A Match?






CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with Alex WIndley whose home base is the Anybody Got a Match? blog. Alex covers a wide variety of genres but admittedly favors musicals and... well I let the lady speak for herself.



What sparked your interest in classic film?

Well, in high school, my English professor offered a Film Appreciation class where she showed us all the classic films. From Casablanca, to Singin In the Rain, I slowly developed an interest for the golden age of Hollywood.

What film genre(s) do you favor?

Oof. That’s a tough one, personally, I absolutely adore musicals and the occasional film noir when I’m feeling angsty!

I very much like your categories, particularly Musings and My Obsession With. They both look like a combination of your love of film, history and personal musings. How did you come up with this concept?

Musings was an idea I had when I wanted to write about Paul Newman’s character in Cool Hand Luke but didn’t necessarily want to review the movie. It’s great to share your classic movie thoughts that you have lingering in your heart. My Obsession is exactly what the title says, I’ll thank Audrey Hepburn for that one! Ha-ha.

What is you “go to” film when you need something to lift up your spirits?

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers hands down. It was the first classic movie I bought on DVD and I just adore it whenever it comes on TCM.

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

Hmm, ok let’s see. Well, to be fair, I really don’t like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Due to the strict code film makers had to abide by, a lot of the original content from the book didn’t make it into the movie. I also feel the same way about Rebel Without a Cause and James Dean for that matter.

What makes a film "classic" in your opinion? Do you have a favorite period?

It must have been made before 1965, after 1965 I don’t really consider it to be a part of the Golden Age. As for my favorite period I really enjoy the late 40s early 50s when it comes to film. It’s a very interesting era in terms of film!

Many “classic” film lovers do not like modern day movies. What are your thoughts and where do you stand?

I think it’s hit or miss really. I enjoy documentaries a ton, and there’s a lot of modern films that I would consider my favorites. I think you must compartmentalize ‘modern films’ and ‘classic films.’ I separate them, so it doesn’t cross over too much.

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

Yes! I do love watching soccer and photography. I’m also an avid foodie, although I’m lactose intolerant ha-ha.



Sunday, July 14, 2019

Vive la France! Blogathon | August 25


Bonne Fête Nationale! It is Bastille Day, France’s more-or-less equivalent of our Independence Day. Could there be a better time to announce the upcoming blogathon, Vive la France!, to be hosted by CMBA members Lady Eve’s Reel Life and Silver Screen Modes? We think not. 

The Details

Date 
Sunday, August 25

Time 
All day and into the night

Topic 

  • Classic films made in France, classic films made in Hollywood (or elsewhere, if you like) that are set in France (fully or partially).
  • Profiles of the stars of French films (like Jean Gabin, Danielle Darrieux, Alain Delon, Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, etc.) and profiles of French-born stars who had significant Hollywood careers (like Charles Boyer, Claudette Colbert, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan, Simone Signoret, etc.).
  • Articles and profiles on significant French writers, directors, producers, and the same for French-born Hollywood behind-the-camera folk.
  • Basically, the focus is France and French, with broad application. Any questions, contact us as listed below – we are open to suggestion.
 Parameters:

1) No duplicate posts on films or on profiles of individuals.
2) It’s OK to post on different films by the same star or profile subject.
3) This is an open blogathon, CMBA membership is not required.


Please RSVP by comment here or email to ladyevesidwich@gmail.com or c1esquevin@gmail.com. For updated information on blogathon status/progress, please visit Lady Eve's Reel Life and Silver Screen Modes.

Banners below, feel free to copy.



Tuesday, July 2, 2019

CMBA Profile: The Old Hollywood Garden






CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with London based Carol Saint-Martin's The Old Hollywood Garden. The title says it all. Carol focuses on the Hollywood of old taking fascinating looks at screenwriters, comedy, film noir and much more. Carol recently published an article in the online Noir City Magazine on character actor Neville Brand, and also began a Facebook page for London based film bloggers. 


What sparked your interest in classic film?

Honesty, it was Madonna's song Vogue! There's that rap in the middle where she talks about all those movie stars and so I decided to look them up. Then my first classic film was Gilda, which is still one of my favorites to this day.

What film genre(s) do you favor?

My favorite is film noir, followed by screwball comedy and Pre-Code.

What is you “go to” film when you need something to lift up your spirits?

Hum, there are a few, but I'd say Some Like it Hot and The Philadelphia Story.

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

Not a big fan of His Girl Friday (I know, I know!), and the thing is, I can't really put my fnger on it, but I've been meaning to watch it again because I really want to change my mind about it. Street Scene hasn't aged very well, I don't think, but I don't hate it necessarily. And Kiss of Death is just a little too slow, but I do love Richard Widmark's performance!

What makes a film "classic" in your opinion?

I think there's a distinction between classic and from the Golden Age of Hollywood. A film can be a classic even if it was made in the 80s or 90s, but I just use the word 'old' when talking about classic films to make it easier to differentiate. But strictly speaking, I'd say if people are still watching it years after its release and it's still widely beloved for the most part, that's a classic.

Your article on the low-budget film Detour is particularly fascinating.  You seem to have a love for noir. Can you tell some of your other favorite noir films and stars?

Thank you so much!! My all-time favorite is Double Indemnity, then Laura, The Big Combo, Out of the Past, Sunset Boulevard, The Killers, The Asphalt Jungle, Where the Sidewalk Ends, T-Men, among many others. As for stars, I love Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Gloria Grahame, Robert Mitchum, Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis O'Keefe, Lizabeth Scott, Charles McGraw... and so many more!

You have written various articles on screen writers. How important do you think the screenplay to a movie?

It's where it all starts! There's no movie without the screenplay. The screenwriter is literally the person who comes up with it in the first place.

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

I love music, television, theatre, writing and literature.





Monday, June 3, 2019

CMBA Profile: Vitaphone Dreamer




CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with Meredith's Riggs Vitaphone Dreamer.

If you love musicals, if your love movie fashions there is plenty for you to see. But wait, there's more! Vitagraph Dreamer, while focusing on the classuc era, covers films from just about every decade. It's a must stop on the film blog highway.


What sparked your interest in classic film?

I grew up watching a lot of classic films as child, especially musicals like Meet Me in St. Louis (my favorite film to this day), The Sound of MusicOklahoma!Singin' in the Rain, and Fiddler on the Roof. Sometime in my elementary school years, I pretty much stopped watching old movies; for some reason I just kind of lost interest. But when I took a film class in high school, we watched a lot of old movies and by the time we got around to watching Singin' in the Rain, I was smitten. I've never lost that love; it only grows.


What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?

At this point, I think a classic film is one that was released in the early '70s or earlier.

What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?

Fortunately, I don't think I've had anyone tell me that they hate old movies, but I'm used to being met with indifference toward watching them. I like to recommend classic films to some of my friends who haven't seen many of them. I've actually introduced several to Gold Diggers of 1933 and have received mostly really positive reactions. It might be an odd choice to show someone who hasn't delved into the really old stuff, but I get excited about exposing them to Busy Berkeley's amazing musical numbers and the witty dialogue, which is full of Pre-Code greatness. (I really get a kick out of seeing their reactions to the "Shadow Waltz" number when the violins light up.) I also enjoy showing people Meet Me in St. Louis and have shown a couple of non-cinephile friends The Women, which they really enjoyed.

Why should people care about classic film?

I think people should care about classic film because a lot of the films that were made in the early and mid 20th century were entertaining in a way that most films aren't anymore. Film also makes up a huge part of culture worldwide, and has for over a century, and we can learn so much about various eras in history by watching old movies.

What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

The most rewarding thing about blogging, for me, is having the ability to write and publish anything I want and share it with a potentially large crowd. Something that gives me a great amount of joy is interacting with people who comment on my blog posts. For example, I actually met a man who was an extra in a lot great films, including The Apartment and East of Eden. We ended up corresponding by email for a brief period beginning in 2015; he sadly passed away in early 2016. Now I make sure to spot him in the films he appeared in.

What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?

Consistency is my biggest challenge. I can't tell you how many posts I've started that end up in my draft folder for eons. I'm working on that, though. It's tough to write a lot when you've constantly got a full schedule, but it's possible. I just have to find quiet time. 

What advice would you give to a new blogger?

I would say this: Write about what you're passionate about...subjects that you're excited to share with others. People will love reading what you're passionate about the most. Also, unless you dislike socializing on social media, try to make friends and connections with people in the online classic film community. There are a lot of classic film buffs on Twitter and Facebook, etc. who are active and great to engage with.  

What is one blog post that you would like to share on your profile – and why?

This one. I spent a good amount of time digging for as much information as I could find for this post; there's not a lot of information about Robert Williams out there, but there was enough to make a tiny biographical post. I fortunately learned more about a man who intrigues me and I wanted to share my findings with people who read my blog.