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."

You can read Amanda's post on The Grapes of Wrath HERE

CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
Old Hollywood Films: I've loved classic movies since I was a child. The local PBS station used to air a rotation of classic movies every Saturday night that included Maytime, Wuthering Heights, West Side Story, Summer Stock, Citizen Kane, The Third Man, and An American in Paris. My dad also had a collection of home videos that included most of the best John Ford films.

CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
Old Hollywood Films: For the purposes of my blog, I consider a "classic" movie anything made between roughly 1927-1970. I mostly write about sound films made within the old Hollywood studio system, but I do sometimes write about silent movies and foreign films. Of course, the quality of these "classic" films vary, but, because of the manner in which the studio system operated, most of the movies are well-made and entertaining. Even the B pictures are better than some of the Hollywood product released today.

CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
Old Hollywood Films: His Girl Friday because it's fast-paced and has modern gender roles and The Spiral Staircase for horror/suspense fans. For those who don't like black-and-white movies, I would pick late fifties Hitchcock (To Catch a Thief, The Man Who Knew Too Much, North by Northwest).

CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?
Old Hollywood Films: No. 1, classic movies are an art form. In my opinion, the movies of the old Hollywood studio system represent one of the greatest artistic achievements in history, right up there with the painters of the Italian Renaissance and the 19th century English novel (I know that sounds grandiose, but I think it stands up to scrutiny). Second, the movies are a living history of the 20th century from World War I right through to the atomic age. If you want to learn about Prohibition watch the gangster movies of the thirties, or if you want to understand nuclear paranoia watch the sci-fi movies of the 1950s.

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Old Hollywood Films: I enjoy the creative process of writing the articles, but the best part is when people say that my articles have encouraged them to watch a classic movie.

CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
Old Hollywood Films: I never have enough time to write all the articles I want. I haven't figured out a solution to time management yet, but that's life.

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Old Hollywood Films: First, watch as many movies as you can and pay attention to the films while you are watching them. You will learn so much by simply being observant to camera placement, dialogue, style, etc. Second, go to the library and read as many books about classic movies as you can. There's a treasure trove of material out there about classic movies.

Thank you for joining us, Amanda! You can visit Old Hollywood Films HERE.

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to Amanda's interesting and informative posts that reflect her affection for the movies she highlights.