Tuesday, December 5, 2017

CMBA Profile: Second Sight Cinema

The CMBA profiles one of our classic movie blogs each month. This month we're featuring Lesley from Second Sight Cinema.

 “Second Sight Cinema” is a blog with an attitude. Its writer, Lesley Gaspar, isn’t afraid to tell you her opinions, and she has the erudition to back them up with facts. Don’t show up to her class if you haven’t done the reading! But, if you’re here to learn, her posts will give you detailed accounts of films and personalities you thought you already knew, and you’ll come away with new information (and sources!) that will give you plenty to chew on. When Lesley writes up a film, you can be sure she’s researched it thoroughly and deeply. With all of that sheer knowledge, her feelings and passion for the cinema come through strongly as well.

A great example of her writing can be seen in her post “Disembodied: Waldo Lydecker, the voice in the Dark in Laura (1944)” which was her contribution to the “Great Villain Blogathon” of 2016. While using the bad guy as its lens, the article is really an in-depth discussion of nearly every aspect of the film. She takes issue with one of the heavyweights of film criticism, Roger Ebert, and is so convincing it’s hard to believe anyone would disagree.

Friday, November 3, 2017


The Classic Movie Blog Association’s fall blogathon, Banned and Blacklisted, ran from November 15 -19. Participating CMBA members blogged on the broad ranging subject of banned films and blacklisted actors, writers, directors and others in the business of making movies. 

Contributing blogs are listed below on the dates their pieces posted.Please be sure to check out all their fine work - just click on entry titles (in bold) to go to each post:

Wed. November 15 


Friday, October 20, 2017

The Horrorathon Blogathon - Oct. 26th & 27th

Maddy of Maddy Loves Her Classic Movies is hosting The Horrorathon Blogathon on October 26th and 27th. As she writes in her announcement : 
In less than two weeks it will be Halloween; cue the scary music, flickering candles, screams, and people banging at your door thinking it’s fine to demand sweets. A perfect opportunity then for us to discuss those films that scare us.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

2017 CiMBA Awards Results

Congratulations to all of the winners of this year's annual CMBA Awards! Thank you to everyone who participated by submitting and to all who took the time to vote.

Best Film Review ( Drama ) :Self-Plagiarism is Style: Hitchcock, Grant and North by Northwest (1959) - ONCE UPON A SCREEN

Best Film Review ( Musical/Comedy ) :Me and My Pal (1933) - CAFTAN WOMAN

Best Classic Movie Article :A Government by Classic Movie Characters - ONCE UPON A SCREEN

Best Classic Movie Series :Crime Does Not Pay - THRILLING DAYS OF YESTERYEAR

Best Profile of a Classic Movie Performer :Louise Fazenda, Comic Venus - SILENTOLOGY

Best Classic Movie Event:What a Character! Blogathon - ONCE UPON A SCREEN

Best Blog Design :The Blonde at the Film

Sunday, October 15, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: Silentology

The CMBA profiles our classic movie blogs each month. Today we're featuring Lea from Silentology: https://silentology.wordpress.com/

Silentology is a personal favorite of our blogs. Lea takes a fun and fresh approach to movies that a lot of people – even classic movie fans – think are old and dull, or hard to follow. It’s refreshing to see someone so young who is interested in movies that are so old. But, somehow, it makes perfect sense. Lea’s enthusiasm for early film springs from her own sense of wonder at new experiences and reminds us that what is truly classic is timeless and speaks to all generations. Her playfulness can be seen right now in the “Halloween” banner at the top of Silentology, where a red-eyed and fanged Buster Keaton examines a reel of film. The seriousness with which she takes historical research can be verified in her article on the “Big Four” of comedy, in which she examines a thorny question among silent movie fans.

Monday, October 2, 2017

2017 CiMBA Award Nominees

The 2017 CiMBA Award nominees have been determined! There is an excellent selection of posts this year and it will be difficult voting to narrow down our winners.

Good luck to all of our nominees!

Best Film Review (Drama)

Self-Plagiarism is Style: Hitchcock, Grant and North by Northwest (1959)  - ONCE UPON A SCREEN
Maedchen in Uniform (1931) - SILVER SCENES
Thirteen Women (1932) - CELLULOID CLUB
Nosferatu (1922) - SILENTOLOGY
Stella Dallas (1937) - CARY GRANT WON'T EAT YOU

Best Film Review ( Musical/Comedy )

Unfaithfully Yours" (1948) - LADY EVE'S REEL LIFE
Me and My Pal (1933) - CAFTAN WOMAN
It's a Great Feeling (1949) - THE BLONDE AT THE FILM
Get Your Man (1927) and the Importance of Film Preservation - BACKLOTS

Best Classic Movie Article

A Government by Classic Movie Characters - ONCE UPON A SCREEN
What I Learned from George Bailey - 4 STAR FILMS
The Legacy of Gone with the Wind - HOMETOWNS TO HOLLYWOOD
My Favorite Herbert Marshall Performances - CLASSIC FILM OBSERVATIONS & OBSESSIONS
Classic Movie Gift Guide - THE BLONDE AT THE FILM
A Rainbow of Silent Film - SILENTS, PLEASE!

Friday, September 15, 2017

CMBA Profile: Silver Screenings

The CMBA profiles our classic movie blogs each month. Today we're featuring Ruth from Silver Screenings.
CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
Silver Screenings: I’ve always had an interest in old movies, and I’m not sure where that came from. For instance, when I was a kid, I’d study the movie listings in our local television guide and try to memorize titles of older films. But as a teenager I discovered Laurel and Hardy, and they became my glorious introduction to old films. A local television station would air their shorts early Sunday mornings, and I fell in love: the comedy, the fashions, the vintage Los Angeles scenery and, of course, Laurel and Hardy themselves. Every Sunday morning I’d sneak downstairs to the family room and watch these films on mute so I wouldn’t wake the rest of the house. I had found gold.

CMBA: What makes a film a “classic” in your opinion?
Silver Screenings: I wonder if the word “classic” needs to be more sharply defined when it pertains to film. I’ve met a couple of people online who feel Hollywood’s best years were the 1980s, and they describe films from that decade as “classic”.

Monday, July 31, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: The Vintage Cameo

The Vintage Cameo

The CMBA profiles our classic movie blogs each month. Today we're featuring Emily from The Vintage Cameo.

The Vintage Cameo is a kind of "classic" example of a classic movie blog. With a clean look and a focus on the major stars, Emily also takes the time to seek out some lesser-known gems and comments on TCM's offerings and festivals as well as the vivid locations of "Hollywood Haunts." Located in Los Angeles and working in film studies at the University, she brings strong contextual detail to her discussions of the movies she reviews. More than reviews of the movies, her discussions can also be reviews of particular screenings, the conditions under which modern Los Angelinos are seeing the movies their forebears knew and worked on in original release. Reading her blog is almost like going to the movies with an old friend, one whose knowledge and passion for the movies makes the experience all the better. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: Stars and Letters

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month. Today we're featuring Janet from Stars and Letters.

Stars and Letters is a movie (and history) lover's dream.

The site provides letters written by Classic Hollywood filmmakers such as David O. Selznick, Marilyn Monroe and Richard Burton, among many others. With each letter (or note or telegram), Janet provides a transcript in case the image of the original is somewhat illegible.

These letters are gems, providing an intimate snapshot of contract negotiations, responses to fans and even celebrity life. For example, look at Greta Garbo's 1963 letter to Jackie Kennedy.

"Although Garbo's letter is just a very short thank-you to her hostess," says Janet, "I really like the story behind Garbo's letter, the fact that it solved the mystery of President Kennedy's missing 'tooth'."

You can read Greta's letter to Jackie HERE.

CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
Stars and Letters: Both my parents are classic film fans so I grew up watching old films. The films I saw during my childhood were mainly westerns, swashbucklers and MGM musicals, and most of them I initially watched dubbed in German. (I am Dutch, grew up without cable television and classic Hollywood films were mainly shown on German television.) Much later I discovered other films I liked, like film noirs and even later pre-codes. Although I also like a good modern film, I do have a strong preference for classic films. (And there are enough classic films I haven't seen yet to last me a lifetime!)

CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
Stars and Letters: I would call a Hollywood film a "classic" if it was made between the late 1920s and mid-1960s (my favourite decades being the 1930s and 1940s). Obviously, in a different sense, a "classic" is a film that has stood the test of time, that can be viewed over and over again and still be amazing, whether an old classic like Casablanca or a modern classic like The Shawshank Redemption. 
CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
Stars and Letters: I would simply recommend some of my personal favourites, such as Stage Door, His Girl Friday, The Apartment, The Adventures of Robin Hood (my favourite swashbuckler), Remember the Night (my favourite Christmas film)How can anyone not like these?!

CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?
Stars and Letters: Because they are so sophisticated and stylish, and not just because of the way they look (set design, cinematography, costumes, glamorous looking actors/actresses), but also because of the way people talked, the dialogue, without using the f*word all the time. And even with a bad classic film (and there are a lot of those), there is almost always something in it worthwhile. Also, classic Hollywood provided genres which have basically disappeared now. Screwball comedies, film-noir, westerns, swashbucklers, musicals and pre-codes (if you can call the latter a genre) – they are part of a bygone era and should all be cherished.

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Stars and Letters: My blog is different from other CMBA blogs. I post classic Hollywood correspondence along with related background information. I love searching the internet for letters and the stories behind them. And when I find something interesting or surprising, I can really get a kick out of that! That Clara Bow was a Marlon Brando fan, for example, I never knew before doing this blog.

CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
Stars and Letters: I rely on material I can find on the internet and while there is enough classic Hollywood correspondence to be found, it's not always easy to come up with something exciting. And because of the lack of time, I don't post as much as I want to.

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Stars and Letters: Pick a topic you like and write about that (whether it's reviews or something else). I think it's imperative that you love what you're doing, it should be fun and not feel like homework. Only when you enjoy doing your blog, it will be able to survive. And try to post on a regular basis (I should follow my own advice!). But even if you don't post regularly, if you love your blog you will always come back to it.

Thank you for joining us, Janet! You can visit Stars and Letters HERE.

Friday, June 30, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: An Ode to Dust

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month. Today we're featuring Nicole from An Ode to Dust.

You could say An Ode to Dust is an adventuresome blog.

In addition to film critique and Hollywood history, Nicole delves into many subjects on her site, such as book reviews, festival coverage and road trips to discover areas connected with classic film.

She has an appreciation for the legends, such as Audrey Hepburn and Buster Keaton, but she has a very special connection with Lon Chaney who, like Nicole, was a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults).

"I have been looking for ways to connect Deaf culture to film history," says Nicole, "and when I found out that Lon Chaney was also a fellow CODA, I was over the moon. Every so often, I try to share little bits of Deaf culture (along with my experiences as a CODA) through my writing, hoping to shed some light on a subject that is so unfamiliar to many."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: GlamAmor

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month. Today we're featuring Kimberly from GlamAmor.

Kimberly of GlamAmor is a true CMBA celebrity.

Not only is she the manager of marketing at Sony Pictures Television, she's a popular lecturer at the historic Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica with her series on "History of Fashion in Film".

Kimberly has spent her time in the trenches doing research on – and writing about – fashion and film history, and she acts as a consultant for several organizations including TCM, BBC Worldwide, Christie's Inc., and the Los Angeles Tourism Board.

GlamAmor is a fascinating site with articles, event coverage and taped interviews. One of her favorite interviews is with Monika Henreid, the daughter of an accomplished Hollywood actor.

"I thoroughly enjoyed doing my interview with Monika Henreid," says Kimberly. "It offered the opportunity to put a spotlight on costume designer Orry-Kelly as well as delve into the backstories of both Now, Voyager and Casablanca with the daughter of Paul Henreid. I also want to work more in front of the camera, so this was a great experience to both host and produce the project."

You can watch Kimberly's interview HERE.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: Speakeasy

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month. Today we're featuring Kristina from Speakeasy. 

As an enthusiastic supporter of classic movies, Kristina not only writes about film on her website, Speakeasy, and in The Dark Pages Newsletter, she co-hosts numerous blogathons including the annual Great Villains Blogathon and the O Canada! Blogathon.

She's introduced many well-known films to new classic movie fans, but you might say her speciality is discovering and promoting lesser-known gems. One such film is Highway 301.

"The 1950 crime movie Highway 301 is a good example of all the reasons I do this," says Kristina. "It's the excitement of discovering a new favourite, of seeing some memorable technique and style, spotting connections to iconic and modern films, and the fun of highlighting underrated and overlooked people and movies."

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Underseen and Underrated, the CMBA Spring Blogathon!

The Classic Movie Blog Association is proud to present its spring blogathon, Underseen and Underrated, running from May 15th through 19th. Please tune into the blogs below on the dates listed to read some writers stumping for a few hidden gems!

May 15th 

·         24 Frames – Between the Lines ( 1977 )
·         A Person in the Dark – Carrie ( 1952 ) 

May 16th 

May 17th

May 18th 

·         Caftan Woman – Simon and Laura ( 1955 ) 

May 19th 

·         Pre-Code.Com – Rafter Romance ( 1933 ) 
·         Second Sight Cinema – Peter Ibbetson ( 1935 ) 
·         Backlots – The Dark Mirror ( 1946 ) 

And here are other banners for members to choose from:

This page will be updated as we get closer to the date.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: Old Hollywood Films

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month. Today we're featuring Amanda from Old Hollywood Films.

Amanda at Old Hollywood Films brings a clear-eyed, journalistic approach to classic film.

Like any good journalist, Amanda concentrates on the important or most interesting aspects of a film she's reviewing. Her posts are lively and informative.

In addition to film reviews, she presents a weekly TCM Viewer's Guide that includes celebrity birthdays, TCM daily highlights, and a helpful feature entitled "Best Day to DVR".

Old Hollywood Films provides historical context with film reviews, which reflects Amanda's interest in history. One example is The Grapes of Wrath (1940).

"I think this film is a good illustration of films depicting history (in this case the Great Depression)," she says. In her review she notes, "[N]o one experienced more misery than those Americans who survived the Dust Bowl, which was one of the worst environmental disasters in American history."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Five Stars Blogathon - Celebrate National Classic Movie Day

Celebrate National Classic Movie Day with the Five Stars Blogathon! 

For the third consecutive year, the Classic Film & TV Café will celebrate National Classic Movie Day on May 16th by hosting a blogathon. This year, it will shine the spotlight on those actors and actresses that made the Golden Days of Hollywood glitter brightly.

The Five Stars Blogathon invites bloggers to list their five favorite movie stars and explain why you love them. It's that simple.

If you want to participate, click here for more information and leave a comment with your blog's name and URL.

You can also just send the information to: rick@classicfilmtvcafe.com.

Friday, April 14, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: The Blonde At the Film

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month. Today we're featuring Cameron from The Blonde at the Film.

Cameron from The Blonde at the Film is like a gemologist who examines precious stones and determines their worth.

Her site evaluates a film and, much like a jeweler, places it in a setting to show us its unique characteristics.

Cameron provides an impressive amount of research, which helps readers see why so many classic films are noteworthy. Her research also highlights social conventions that reflect the times in which these films were made.

She's enthusiastic about classic Hollywood films and actors, especially when it comes to Esther Williams.

"With classic films," she says, "context is key, and this is especially true with a star like Esther Williams who was so 'of her time' and whose movies can seem dated and only 'classic' in the academic sense (though I disagree, of course!). I tried to make Williams and her movies more accessible and relevant by showing what a talented athlete she was and that it wasn’t so crazy for MGM to come calling."

Friday, March 31, 2017

CMBA Blog Profile: Silver Scenes

The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month. Today we're featuring Constance from Silver Scenes.
Silver Scenes is like a treasure hunter, uncovering little-known jewels overlooked by popular culture.

"Our focus is on underrated films, British classics, and rare television shows," says Constance, who curates the site with her sister, Diana.

This engaging site offers more than film reviews. Constance and Diana feature books, mini biographies and a new series entitled "Did You Know...?" that uncovers little-known facts about classic movie celebrities, such as Jane Russell and her singing quartet.

Yet, Silver Scenes has an overriding passion for lesser-known films, such as Above Suspicion (1943).

"This is a perfect example of the type of film I love to write about most: underrated gems," says Constance. "This MGM production often gets mixed reactions from critics, but since I rarely pay attention to critics, I just wrote about how entertaining Diana and I found the film to be."

You can read the review of Above Suspicion HERE.