Thursday, February 6, 2020

CMBA Profile: Maddy Loves Her Classic Films



CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with Maddy who blogs at Maddy Loves Her Classic Films. Maddy loves all genres but her go-to favorites are film noir and romance. 

 


What Sparked Your Interest in Classic Film?

A combination of things really. I grew up during the 1990’s and watched many of the Disney animated classics such as The Jungle Book, Aladdin, Bambi on video. Those Disney classics were my first foray into film. Classic musicals including Singin’ In The Rain, The King And I and South Pacific came next, and I loved every second of them.
I was very interested in dance when I was little and one day my mum and dad brought me the video of the documentary That’s Dancing. That documentary not only introduced me to Fred and Ginger and The Nicholas Brothers, but also to lots of other classic stars and films. This documentary was what really got me exploring the work of different actors and seeing more films from that era.
My dad is a big fan of John Wayne and he owned many of the Duke’s flicks on video. I would often sit and watch these films with him when I was little. El Dorado and True Grit have become great favourites of mine. In my teens and early twenties I started watching Hitchcock films, foreign language films and silent films. I’ve been a fan of the classics ever since. You can read my post about how I learnt to love Silent cinema here.  https://maddylovesherclassicfilms.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/learning-to-love-silent-films/

What film genre(s) do you favor?   

My regular followers already know how much I love Film Noir(yes I do consider it a genre rather than a style)and that it is my favourite/go to genre. I also really love romance, drama, thriller, comedy and horror. Check my post on Film Noir here. https://maddylovesherclassicfilms.wordpress.com/2019/11/02/noirvember-taking-a-walk-through-the-dark-alleys-of-film-noir/

You mention you are a big admirer of Sherlock Holmes. Which came first, the Arthur Conan Doyle stories or the films, and which actor is your favorite Holmes.

I do indeed! He’s such a fascinating character and is one of the few who has been taken to the hearts of readers and viewers and become a cultural icon. As someone who is on the Autistic Spectrum, I have also developed a great affection for Sherlock due to character traits and descriptions of him which seem to infer that he could well be on the spectrum himself.  I came to the stories and the Basil Rathbone film adaptations at more or less the same time actually. I love Basil in the role and he certainly looks the part. I thought that he was the definitive Holmes for some years, that is until I discovered the Jeremy Brett TV series and my opinion quickly changed. Jeremy IS Sherlock Holmes. He inhabited that role and brought the character to life in a way that I don’t think the other actors have ever managed to do. I recommend that series to all Holmes fans, although I have to say that I don’t think that the final season(The Memoirs)is anywhere near as good as the first three are.

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

It depends what I’m going through, but Some Like It Hot, or Audrey Hepburn films such as Roman Holiday or Paris When It Sizzles will usually do the trick. I’ll often watch old miniseries too. Anything with my beloved George Sanders and Cary Grant in can be guaranteed to raise a smile.

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

Doctor Zhivago – David Lean is my favourite director, but I’m afraid that I can’t stand this film. A rare dud from a master of his craft. Visually it’s stunning and beautiful, but I don’t care about any of the characters and think most of the performances come across as being quite wooden. There’s also no chemistry between Omar and Julie. David Lean was usually so good at getting the balance of intimate human drama and epic visuals just right, so that one didn’t overshadow the other. I don’t know what went wrong here.
Blow-Up - I think it’s so pretentious and it just leaves me cold.
Stage Fright - I love Hitchcock films, but I’m afraid that this one does nothing for me at all. I feel it lacks the suspense and edge of so much of the rest of his work.

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

For me a film is a classic if it is able to make an impact on viewers outside of the era it was made in. If generation after generation can enjoy a film and keep watching it then it is a classic. I also think that there are classics to be found in every decade of filmmaking, but the classic film era is called the classic era for a good reason. So many films that are classics were made in that era. I love all film periods, but I love the 1940’s the most. I think that was one of the greatest decades in film history, plus it gave us Film Noir! I also adore the Silent era because it’s where it all began. The artistry and innovation evident in the silent films is breathtaking. I have nothing but love for Pre-Code films too.

Why Should people care about “old” black and white movies? 

Because these films are some of the greatest and most enjoyable films of all time. Without them, film most likely wouldn’t even exist now! If people are only watching films from the present day(I pity them if they are, seeing as how so many films today are total dross)they are missing out on some of the best and most influential films to have ever been made. If you don’t go back to the late 1800’s and start at the very beginning of cinema, then how are you to have any appreciation, or understanding of how film began and how it has evolved and changed over the years? Don’t just stick with films from your own country either, branch out and explore foreign language classic era(and present day)films. Japan and India in particular offer a ridiculous amount of classic era cinematic riches for you to enjoy.
All film fans, and anyone who works in the film industry, owe the Silent pioneers and the classic film era a huge debt of gratitude in my opinion. I don’t know about any of you, but it makes me so sad to think there are people today who don’t know who Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock, Fayard and Harold Nicholas, Ida Lupino, Sidney Poitier, Claude Rains, John Ford, Billy Wilder, Jack Cardiff, Cary Grant, David Lean, Satyajit Ray, Cyd Charisse, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, James Wong Howe, Powell and Pressburger, Buster Keaton, Anna May Wong, Clara Bow, Setsuko Hara, Marlene Dietrich, Oscar Micheaux, Richard Conte, James Stewart, Edith Head, Adrian, Lon Chaney Sr, Taksahi Shimura, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Bogie and Bacall, Barbara Stanwyck, Deborah Kerr etc are.

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

I dabble in creative writing. I’m also passionate about radio and love coming across those old radio shows starring classic actors. I actually worked in radio myself for some years. I’ve always admired those who can paint and sculpt, and I wish I had that amazing gift myself.


Thursday, January 2, 2020

CMBA Profile: Silver Screen Classics




Blog post with titles like Food Means Murder: Symbolism of Food in ‘The Godfather,’ Hollywood and It’s Long History of Sexual Abuse, To Remake or Not to Remake? The Question on Rebooting Classic Film, and Death as Redemption in Film Noir, Paul Batters Silver Screen Classics does not just review films or gush over them, he dives in the meaning, the art, and more. His essays are thought-provoking, but I’ll let Paul speak for himself. 


What sparked your interest in classic film?

Classic film has always been in my life as far back as I can remember. I was always fascinated by the silvers and grey tones of classic film and it always looked like an art form to me. Perhaps the fact that until 1975, we didn’t have colour TV in Australia helped! In fact, the first colour TV we had at home was in 1976 and I can still remember watching The Wizard Of Oz for the first time and that magical transformation – I still tear up when it happens now as I remember seeing colour TV for the first time!

My grandmother certainly helped as she was a huge classic film fan and whenever I stayed there at her house (which was often), I was allowed to stay up late with her and enjoy so many films.  As a kid in the 70s and into the 80s, television was awash with classic films and so there was the opportunity to watch, learn and enjoy them, as well as become exposed to classic film. Today that is being lost.

My aunt had some fantastic books on classic film – some photography books but also a who’s who of Hollywood and one of my favourites Dennis Gifford’s A Pictorial History Of Horror Movies. I would pour over these books and the incredible images. The search for many films began in these books.

What film seduced you into the world of film noir?

I’m sure I had watched film noir for years but never had the sensitivity or understanding to fully appreciate what I was watching. However, there are two which stand out for me.

Sorry Wrong Number (1948) really showed me that something has been going on that I needed to get into. The shift in time frames to create back-story within a linear narrative was fascinating and drew me deep into the story. Barbara Stanwyck was outstanding (as always)! The psychological slant taken may look like poor pop-psychology today but it’s also a fascinating insight into how cinema in the 1940s looked at newly found and discussed issues.

Kiss Of Death (1947) was the other and far more violent but I was also taken by the thematic concerns of the film, particularly a man trying to find redemption and escape his previous life.

Who is the screen’s deadliest femme fatale?

Phyllis Dietrichson from Double Indemnity. She’s ‘rotten to the core’ as she acknowledges herself and her manipulation and subterfuge constantly surprises till the very end. Her eyes shine with danger and she’s an expert at surviving.

To someone not familiar with noir, what films would you recommend, and would you tell us some of your favourites?

For me, film noir is a style and mood rather than a genre, so I would encourage a range of films to highlight that point -including The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, The Big Combo, Detour, Out Of The Past, The Asphalt Jungle, Crime Wave and Raw Deal. All present different narrative approaches and characterizations – the private detective, the femme fatale, the ex-con trying to make good, the dame sticking by her man, the average guy getting caught in the web of deceit, crime and murder – and of course the thematic concerns which drew me into noir in the first place. All the films mentioned are not only masterpieces of film noir but certainly my favourites as well.

What directors do you admire?

Always been a massive fan of Billy Wilder, John Huston, Frank Capra, Fritz Lang, King Vidor and Alfred Hitchcock and also love the work of F.W Murnau, Frank Borzage and Erich Von Stroheim. European directors such as Ingmar Bergman and Francois Truffaut are stand-outs for me. A huge fan of Martin Scorsese as well!

There are so many other less famous directors such as Andre de Toth and Anthony Mann that I greatly admire.

What other genres do you favor?

Love the classic horror particularly the Universal horror cycle of the early to mid-30s. The gangster film, best exemplified for me by the classic gangster films of the 1930s, is also a favourite genre. 

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

Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Not a fan of Audrey Hepburn and it’s a film I’ve never warmed to and never will.

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers – Not a huge fan of musicals (though I do love Singin’ In The Rain) and this is one where the whole premise for story and musical numbers are ridiculous. Too saccharine for my tastes!

West Side Story – Again; a musical and again a ridiculous premise for the narrative and one which is, at best, a footnote in any study of the Bard.  I can’t believe it won so many Academy Awards but then so did Titanic.

What are your thoughts on today’s Hollywood films?

I understand and echo the recent concerns of directors such as Martin Scorsese. These concerns have existed for some time – and I think there is a sad lack of originality, creativity and imagination in the film industry. But there is hope with the standard of some films out there such as The Irishman, Knives Out and Parasite.

The truth is that cinema has always faced challenges, whether it was the arrival of sound, the Code, colour, any of the ‘screen stretchers’ (Panavision, Cinemascope, Cinerama), new technologies, TV, videos, etc. Despite times where the outlook for the future of film has looked bleak, there are always new approaches and exciting new auteurs that revolutionize the industry. They’re out there at the moment!

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

Writing is an art and I have worked on spec screenplays (obviously unsuccessful!), as well as short stories and creative writing.

Monday, December 2, 2019

CMBA Profile: Down These Mean Streets



If you love film noir as many of us do, Down These Mean Streets, is required reading. The Big Combo, Gun CrazyPark Row, Rear Window and Pickup on South Street are just a few of the films reviewed. Anke Lindner is a self-proclaimed film noir lover and it shows.

  1. What sparked your interest in classic film?

It’s hard to say exactly when, how and why I became a classic film fan. Neither my parents nor my grandparents were interested so I discovered them myself. I was probably around five and I assume some classic film came on TV and I was hooked. I loved history (still do) and somehow old movies were like a history lesson, a window into another world.
Growing up in Europe, I didn’t even have something like TCM, a channel dedicated to classics. Being a movie fan back then took real dedication because sometimes you had to stay up very late to catch these movies. I used to watch old movies on an old crappy television, before digital restoration, edited for TV, mutilated by commercials and bad dubbing…and still fell in love with them. Something just clicked with me, much more than it did with contemporary movies. 
Then I discovered that people actually wrote books about old films. Many film titles and stars I only knew by name from books but I promised myself that one day I would watch all these movies I had only seen photos of.

  1. What attracted you to the world of film noir?
First, I started to love old movies (not just Noir) because films have never looked as good again as they did in the 40s. The films were the pinnacle of American style with beautiful clothes, cars, hairstyles, architecture, interior design etc. The digital revolution in videography seems to have all but abandoned the art and power of cinematic lighting that illuminated the Golden Age of motion pictures. Back then every photo mattered.

Second, before I became drawn to the dark themes of Noir, as a child the first thing I noticed was that there were men in sharp-looking suits and dames in fabulous outfits. So different from the awful clothes people around me were wearing. They all dwelled pretty near the gutter, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t look glamorous while doing so. Eddie Muller called it "slumming with style”. 

Third, deadly dames, dingy dives, drunken barflies, dangerous hoods, crooked cops, flawed heroes, high heels on wet pavement,  neon light through Venetian blinds, the evil that men do. Noir is the "B" side of a 45 record, the depiction of life beyond the light. What’s not to love?

Dialogue. Did I mention dialogue? If more people talked as if they were in a Noir, life would be a lot more fun.

  1. What makes a film “noirish?”
Eddie Muller phrased it like this: “there is something darker than night in these films". The depths of fear, loneliness, anxiety, alienation and futility of hope are existential. They seem to express the very core of human pain and suffering.

Also, Noir cannot do without moral ambiguity, it needs shades of gray. It can’t have a protagonist who’s without blemish or fail. Ambiguity creates tension and that tension comes from the moral struggle of the protagonist(s).

Noir doesn’t need a femme fatale, but it does need a dame.

  1. Would you tell us your five top noir films and directors?
I don’t do lists so these are in no particular order, but one of my favorite directors (not just for Noir) is Sam Fuller. Pickup on South Street ranks very high in my opinion.
Clearly, Robert Siodmak has to be on the list. The man just defines Noir and his output in it is unparalleled. Also Fritz Lang for the bleakest of them all, Scarlet Street, and many more.
Phil Karlson deserves mention for 99 River Street, Kansas City Confidential and Scandal Sheet, and so does Richard Fleischer for The Narrow Margin and the underrated Follow Me Quietly


  1. To someone not familiar with Film Noir what films would you recommend?
I think you can’t go wrong with any Bogart/Bacall movie. They’re just iconic, and even people who don’t know any classic films do know who Bogart is.
I’d also say Double Indemnity, The Third Man and This Gun For Hire.


  1. What other film genre(s) do you favor?
Westerns are my second favorite genre. I also love gangster movies, pre-codes and have lately developed a real love for melodrama. Especially with Davis, Crawford, and Stanwyck.


  1. Name three films that most classic film fans love, but you hate, and if you can tell us why?
The Sound of Music, it. drives. me. nuts. To say I hate this movie would be an understatement. I despise it. Cliche piled on cliche, the unbearably annoying, I mean cute children, an unattractive nun with the ugliest hairstyle ever (some guy ditches his girlfriend for her?) and those songs which warrant their own entry in the Geneva Convention.
There is a scene in Wilder’s One Two Three (a movie I love) where Otto Piffl is “tortured” by having to listen to Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini. They would just have to change the soundtrack to The Sound of Music for me.

Doctor Zhivago. The schmaltzy Lara’s theme is nauseating. And Omar Sharif reminds me of a depressed basset hound.

James Dean in East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause. Dean was the original whiny snowflake and crybaby.

There’s a reason I don’t review films I don’t like. It’s too easy to go on a rant. I like to be snarky, but not really mean. Taking apart movies I really hate seems counter-productive to me.


  1. Do you have interests in any other arts that you can share?
I’m interested in (interior) design and architecture, especially Midcentury Modern. It was such a great era for design. I don’t know if that counts as art, but I’m a really good cook. 

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. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

CMBA Profile: Musings of a Classic Film Addict





CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with Samantha Ellis who blogs at Musings of a Classic Film Addict. Sammatha attends as many film classes as he can and hopes one day have a degree. 

What sparked your interest in classic film and was there anyone film that you remember being the one to change it all?

I guess you could say that my interest really started in the third grade. My music teacher showed us the “Make ‘Em Laugh” scene from Singin’ in the Rain and I had that “Aha!” moment like, “Wait, these movies were actually good?” I also watched Brigadoon and West Side Story in that class, both of which are still near and dear to my heart, but I ultimately shelved that interest until my middle and high school years, which were spent growing up in Palm Springs, CA with my grandmother. She was never particularly a classic movie fan, but she loves teaching the history of the town. It was where nearly all of the classic movie stars lived and mingled, so it was hard for her not to capture my interest when we would pass by a hotel and she’d say, “Oh, Ginger Rogers got married there”, when we’d drive down streets named after stars, or when we’d pass by Bob Hope’s gorgeous home, situated high on the top of a mountain. It was like a castle, and all the stars she would tell me about were kings and queens. Around that same time, I had a lot of health issues as well, which led to me staying home from school often. She didn’t allow me to use the internet on these days, but she would let me watch movies, so I started going through her classic movie VHS tapes and consuming the films of all the stars that she had told me about. The rest is history, and she still thinks I’m weird for enjoying movies that are older than she is, even though she’s largely responsible for it!

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)