Saturday, August 31, 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 ond 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!

I understand you want to become a film historian, that’s great. Do you want to focus on a particular genre, decade, etc. or take a more overall approach? 

I feel like my genre has chosen itself, really. My main area of interest lies with Hollywood stars from the 1930s through the 1960s, whether that’s an interest in their personal or professional lives. I always find myself fascinated by what a star wore or ate or accomplished, so naturally that’s what I gravitate towards: opening each of their worlds for myself and for others to see and step into. I still consider that a very broad area, especially when my own feelings about a star’s work factor into my reviews of their movies, so I guess you could say that’s taking an overall approach.

Is there a particular film genre that you favor?

When I’m asked this question, I usually use the blanket term of “Romance”, but it’s much deeper than that. I love movies with an unlikely romantic pairing that still manages to convince me why the two leads can and should make things work. For example, take my favorite film of all time, Jewel Robbery with William Powell and Kay Francis. These are two people from completely different worlds. The thief starts out by literally trying to rob this woman, who becomes interested in him just because she’s bored with her life. In an hour in eight minutes, their chemistry on top of the film’s expertly written dialogue perfectly convinces us that these two belong together. The same goes with the Astaire and Rogers movies. In most of them, Ginger’s character loathes Fred’s at first. While some of her distaste in these movies is due to harmless coincidences, Fred literally costs Ginger her job in Follow the Fleet, right in the middle of the Depression. It should be tragic, but somehow it’s not, and it’s still so satisfying when they work out their differences and find their way to each other by the end of the picture. To me, that’s nothing short of movie magic.

Would you tell what some of your favorite films are and a few films considered classic that you absolutely hate?

Asking me to choose my favorites is next to impossible, but I’ll give it a shot! Aside from the films I’ve already mentioned, I couldn’t begin a list of favorite films without including my favorite film from my favorite actor, Tyrone Power: Love is News. I’m also incredibly fond of Cover Girl, My Man Godfrey, High Society, Come Live with Me, and Rebecca, to name a few. It takes a lot for me to absolutely hate anything. In fact, I can’t really recall any movies that I absolutely hate off the top of my head. I don’t enjoy making generalizations based on a star, but I just cannot stand Bette Davis or her films, so I avoid them like the plague on my blog and beyond (shameful, I know!). As far as specific films go, I really disliked Sunset Blvd. at first, which is saying a lot because Billy Wilder is probably my favorite director. The whole relationship between Joe and Norma came off as incredibly awkward to me, not to mention strange. I gave it another try at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival, and since that initial weirdness had faded, I enjoyed it a lot more.

What do you hope your followers visiting your blog leave with, and what do you find most rewarding about blogging?

My real hope is that someone who leaves my blog feels compelled to learn about a film or a star that I’ve discussed. There are so many people and blogs who allowed me to discover some of the movies and performers who are closest to my heart today, so if I end up doing the same for someone else, I consider my work done. There are so many aspects of blogging that I find rewarding, but being able to reflect on my work and my own classic movie journey is something that I’ll always be grateful for. I find it astounding when I look back and realize how much work my writing needed or when I find a review of a new-to-me movie that’s since become one that I treasure. More than that, it’s so incredible when I attend classic movie events and get recognized for my work, especially by people I also admire in return. When someone tells me that they’ve tried one of the recipes I’ve made or watched a film because of my review, that’s the best feeling in the world.

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

My philosophy is that there’s a classic film out there for everyone. If you think you hate classic movies, but you like Michael Bay flicks with tons of explosions and action, check out something like Captain Blood or The Longest Day. If you have a kid who thinks black-and-white movies are the worst, have them try something like The General or the color version of The Little Princess. If you think binging on Law & Order is better than watching something made over fifty years ago, movies like Witness for the Prosecution, 12 Angry Men, and Anatomy of a Murder will be your cup of tea. If we’re speaking in a more general sense, I would say that if you don’t enjoy (or at least appreciate) Singin’ in the Rain or The Apartment, classic movies might not be for you.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of film blogs these days. What makes your blog unique?

I feel like I dive deeper than some other blogs might, really bringing out a magnifying glass and examining what makes a particular film or star so great both in their own time and today, adding cultural context whenever I can. When I review a movie, I’ll tell my readers what it’s about (usually without spoilers), share some interesting trivia, and share my thoughts and feelings about it, all in one post. I also choose the subjects of my posts very carefully, making sure that my review topic is a movie or a person who I feel doesn’t get enough buzz from the rest of the classic film community. I’ll stand on my soapbox for stars like Tyrone Power, Luise Rainer, and Mary Carlisle any day of the week, because I know that few other blogs will do the same and because I know that their stories need to be shared with the world in order to preserve their legacies. I admit that I also have my specific decades that I focus on and try my best not to deviate from, unlike other film blogs who I follow for classic film content who soon become distracted by the next big thing and throw in modern movies and people into the mix. I simply write about topics that I would want to read about, and that’s classic movies and stars 100% of the time.

Do you have interest in other pop culture arts?

Honestly, my interest in classic film basically overtakes my interest in anything else, but I do my best to keep up with current pop culture. I listen to the latest Top 40 music, and my sister and I have an ongoing competition to see who learns about the latest entertainment headlines first. I also have a recent fascination with death and true crime, which I’ve found a way to tie in with classic film in a number of ways. For one thing, I always make a point to visit a different cemetery whenever I’m in LA, and I’ve been working to mark the graves of classic movie stars for over a year, which I honestly consider my proudest achievement as a classic film fan and an aspiring film historian. Nothing preserves the memory of a person in the entertainment industry than having a plaque that immortalizes that person’s life. It gives fans a place to visit and appreciate that person rather than just a patch of grass that people would pass by without thinking.

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

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


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









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. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

CMBA Profile: Make Mine Film Noir Redux




If this interview is familiar, that's because I somehow (Sticky Fingers?) deleted the original post while posting about our Spring Blogathon.  Therefore, this month I am reposting Marianne L'Abbate's Make Mine Film Noir. The interview is worth a second look especially if you are into Film Noir.


What sparked your interest in classic film?
My mother’s influence likely sparked my interest in classic film. Two of our local television stations showed a weekday afternoon movie every day of the school week, and my mother would watch them the way some people watched soaps. I soon picked up the habit, too. When I got to high school, I would get up in the middle of the night if I knew that a Gene Kelly movie would be showing in the early morning hours on television. One of the reasons that I don’t have cable is because I would do the same thing today if I had movies to watch twenty-four hours a day!

Your blog specializes in Film Noir. What attracted you to the dark world of noir?
I always say that film noir shows you what not to do. Noir provides a way to experience a situation vicariously so that you can avoid inviting it into your own life. And I guess it is a mixture of horror and fascination without any of the repercussions.

I remember seeing Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte on television on a school day afternoon. It is Bruce Dern’s first film, and his hand is chopped off in the family gazebo one night during Charlotte’s debut into genteel Southern society, during her debutante ball. I remember that scene to this day, so maybe that started my fascination with the darker side of films.

Can you tell us a few of your favorite film noirs and others?
It’s so hard to pick favorites. One film I can see again and again is The Dark Corner, with Lucille Ball and Mark Stevens. It has the right mix of pessimism and humor. And it also happens to be the first film, my first post, in my blog. Too Late for Tears, starring Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea, is another good one. I’m partial to it because it reminds me of those school afternoons when I was probably watching it on television instead of doing my homework. Born to Kill, starring Lawrence Tierney and Claire Trevor, is one of the best examples of a film that describes what not to do. Both Tierney and Trevor give ferocious performances in that film.

I also love most Gene Kelly musicals and Jack Lemmon movies. I still laugh when I see The Odd Couple and The Out-of-Towners.

How do you explain noir to someone unfamiliar with that cinematically stylish world and what film(s) would you recommend?
I think part of the reason that people may find film noir intimidating is that describing it as a genre is open to so much debate. As a genre or category, it has a lot of fuzzy edges, and many fans are passionate (dare I say, opinionated!) about what constitutes film noir. It is one of the reasons that I am not a huge fan of categories, although they can be helpful for discussion.

For people who want to learn about film noir, it may help to read some pulp and detective novels from the 1930s and 1940s because so many films noir are based on them. And one can always jump right in and see as many films as possible. Once you start defining film noir for yourself and have seen films that you enjoy, I think you start feeling comfortable with the genre.

For those who have never seen a film noir, I would suggest starting with detective films. People cannot go wrong with films based on those pulp and detective novels published in the 1930s and 1940s. Examples of authors of these novels are James M. Cain and Dashiell Hammett. Movies based on their work include Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and The Postman Always Rings Twice, based on Cain’s work, and The Maltese Falcon, based on Hammett’s novel.

I noticed you read and review the world of noir/hard-boiled literature (David Goodis, Dorothy Hughes, James M. Cain). Which came first for you, film or books, and what authors are favorites?
My love of books came first. My mother said that I went to school in the second grade one day and came home that afternoon reading. I remember what it was like to realize that the letters on the blackboard and on the page represented something.

Dashiell Hammett is a favorite noir author. So is Dorothy Hughes, specifically her novel In a Lonely Place. The film based on it, starring Humphry Bogart and Gloria Grahame, is very different from the book, and both are excellent. Steve Fisher wrote the book I Wake up Screaming, on which the film starring Victor Mature and Betty Grable is based; both the book and the film are favorites of mine. Fisher has many film and book credits, but he is probably the least known of the writers I mention here.

More modern favorites are William Faulkner, Louise Erdrich, Michael Ondaatje, and Isabel Allende. Ondaatje’s latest novel, Warlight, is worth a look. I want to read it again.

What other film genre(s) do you favor?
Romantic comedies. They seem like the exact opposite genre compared to film noir, and maybe that’s why I enjoy them. A romantic comedy that’s offbeat enough to have some “noir-ish tendencies” is Lars and the Real Girl. I am a big fan of the Bridget Jones movies. I hope a fourth one is in the works.

What film(s) considered a classic do you absolutely hate?
This is the toughest question, even tougher than picking favorite films and authors. But I have to confess that I have never really liked Out of the Past, starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer. It is considered a quintessential film noir, maybe the quintessential film noir, but I have never liked the ending. In general, though, I like films so much that I can almost always find something good in a film, even Out of the Past; after all, Robert Mitchum is worth watching in that film. . . . I may have to get back to you on this question.

What is the most rewarding thing for you about blogging?
Blogging about film is a way to delve into films a little more deeply, to enjoy them a little bit more. When I write about a film that I think I don’t like all that much, I find myself liking it, sometimes quite a bit, by the time I am finished writing about it. I like working with language. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than writing about a topic I enjoy as much as film. What’s not to like! Hearing from other film fans who are inspired to see a film after reading one of my posts is always satisfying, too.

Thank you, by the way, for giving me this chance to talk about classic film and film noir.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

CMBA Spring Blogathon




The CMBA Spring Blogathon is a wrap and the lineup of members who participated this time around was outstanding.

This year we took a look at the world of Femmes and Hommes Fatale of Film Noir. Attractive, seductive and deadly-dangerous women and men who bring disastrous consequences to the hapless saps with whom they come into contact, especially those they...seduce. Think Jane Greer in Out of the Past, Alain Delon in Purple Noon or Gloria Grahame in just about anything.

Here are links, by date of posting, to contributing bloggers:

April 16th (Tuesday)
Caftan Woman: Stanton Carlisle in Nightmare Alley 
The Movie Night Group: Claude Rains in The Unsuspected
Make Mine Film Noir: Marilyn Monroe in Don't Bother to Knock
Silver Screen Modes: Ava Gardner in The Killers
The Old Hollywood Garden: Steve Cochran in Private Hell 36
Cary Grant Won't Eat You: Gloria Grahame in In A Lonely Place 


 April 17th (Wednesday)
Hometowns to Hollywood: Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven
Silver Screenings: John Bromfield in The Big Bluff
Critica Retro: Jean Harlow in The Beast of the City
Second Sight Cinema: Dennis O'Keefe in Raw Deal
Anybody Got a Match?: Rita Haywoth in Gilda
Stardust and Shadows: Marie Windsor in The Narrow Margin
Poppity Talks Classic Film: Zachary Scott and Lucille Bremer in Ruthless
Silent-ology: The Musketeers of Pig Alley 

April 18th (Thursday)
A Person in the Dark: Lily Tomlin in The Late Show
Classic Film and TV Cafe: Peggy Cummins in Gun Crazy 
Maddy Loves Her Classic Films: Rita Hayworth in The Lady From Shanghai
Cinematic Scribblings: Jean Seberg in Breathless
Old Hollywood Films: Jack Palace and Gloria Grahame in Sudden Fear
Film Noir Archive: Linda Darnell in Fallen Angel
Another Old Movie Blog: Alan Ladd in The Blue Dahlia

April 19th (Friday) 
Twenty Four Frames: Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity
Once Upon A Screen: Gloria Grahame in The Big Heat.
Shadows and Satin: Lawrence Tierney in Born to Kill
Pale Writer: Dirk Bogarde in Cast a Dark Shadow
Classic Film Observations and Obsessions: Lana Turner in Johnny Eager 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

CMBA Profile: Stardust and Shadows


CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Terry Sherwood who blogs at Stardust and Shadows.

Celebrating six years, Terry Sherwood's Stardust and Shadows is filled with film reviews, book reviews and more. He grew up on movies, thanks to his film loving Dad. As a kid, like many, he loved horror movies, and still does, but his blog much more: westerns, noir, and more. Terry has a second blog, Nitrate Visions, and also host two Youtube podcast shows. But instead of me telling you, let's here from Terry.

What sparked your interest in classic film? 

My Father was a huge fan when he was growing up. He once told me that when he was young he made a movie studio out of little card board boxes, cut faces from fan magazines and put them onto figures that he moved around. He would take me to film in the movies houses later one; the first film I remember seeing was with him was BILLY BUDD. Got interested in Theatre for  what reason I have no idea. Got myself a Degree in Theatre Arts.   Read Flynn’s book that  my father gave to me MY WICKED WICKED WAYS many times which triggered more  reading   acquiring  and other  things in those pre-internet days. 

You are a big horror film fan. Correct me if I am wrong, but you love for the horror genre spans more than just movies but also books and comics. Was the horror genre your introduction to the world of pop culture? 

Yes it was.  I was and still am a ‘Monster Kid”.  Big fan of TV shows like THE MUNSTERS.  I still have my issues of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILM LAND magazine.  I also read graphic story magazines such as CREEPY, EERIE and MONSTERS UNLIMITED which had funny captions by Stan Lee when I could find them.  I went to local triple bills at Rialto theatre on Saturday afternoons when I was allowed to those of Hammer Studios and Amicus releases.  Then came our version of SHOCK THEATER on local TV which was called HORROR HOUSE which ran the Universal films, Inner Sanctums etc. I would record the soundtrack on cassette and listen to them over and over. I read Edgar Poe, and other authors not really getting an appreciation or  understanding  What really got me was  Ballantine Books comic paperback adaptation of  DRACULA which I read till it fell apart.  I also had an LP record which I still have   AN EVENING WITH BORIS KARLOFF AND HIS FRIENDS which had  audio excerpts and  narration. Outside of Horror genre.  I was around for  the Adam West/ Burt Ward Batman series. Lot of influences not  knowing why. 

Your blog is much more than horror films. Can you tell us what other film genres you favor and write about? 

Honestly it’s whatever moves me to write and strikes me as interesting. STARDUST AND SHADOWS is about many things in film mostly it’s about the wonder of a good story, strong acting and being human.  Try to give things a different spin in a conversational style.  Genre wise:  we go to Film Noir, Westerns,  Pre-code film,  those ‘Women’s Pictures,” even  youth exploitation for the sheer fun, longer  articles on people like  Warren William, Max Factor,  Jeffery Lynn. I also try to show Canadians in  Classic Hollywood like Norma Shearer, Walter  Pidgeon,  and Yvonne De Carlo when I can, so many of them, and  I am Canadian. 

What makes a “classic” film in your opinion? 

A Classic film to me is timeless feeling that an individual has when watching something that many reoccur in your mind. 

You have a second blog dedicated to the world of horror (Nitrate Visions).  Can you tell us a little about that? 

NITRATE VISIONS is the companion site to STARDUST AND SHADOWS on the Horror or  as I prefer to say  the Nightmare genre.   It contains short reviews which I call SILVER BULLETS covering some  film of  today and yesterday that interest me.  I also get quite a few  screeners  from Indie film makers mostly from Europe which seem  more open for  review.  NITRATE VISIONS also has literary reviews mostly small press from the genre which I receive as active member of worldwide recognized organization HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION. 

You also host a Youtube podcast series. Can you tell us about that? 

There are actually two shows on Youtube.

SINISTER INCLINATIONS is a Horror Youtube series with James Saito and myself in which we  talk very informally and  totally off the cuff  about what  we  watched, read or think about the  genre. We do have guests that we interview like film people, Ghost hunters, musicians in the  Horror  rock and roll scene.   It is not scripted except  who is  coming on  or  a particular film  both James and  I watched  and  will speak on.    We also make fun of ourselves quite a bit yet punctuate it with some challenging remarks.
SINISTER INQUISTIONS is the companion show which features video interviews with film makers or anyone that we record from Zoom or Skype. Chat about them, their work  career,  recent  work etc. in more in depth format  Gives them a boost and  we   make contacts. 

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

Every film, book, comic that I review, comment on I view so its finding the time so I set up an informal schedule on days off  sometimes three a  night into early morn.  Writing is best for me in early evening.  I also am a musician and have a full time job plus a home life.  I am so lucky for support, help and understanding from my family.  This isn’t work.  Its magic time.