Archive for the ‘Feature Articles’ category

The Kitty Corner: An Interview With Raquel Stecher of “Out of the Past”

The Kitty Packard Pictorial is pleased to be back with another installment of “The Kitty Corner,” a series spotlighting some of the very best film blogs on the web, and the masterminds behind them. Today, The Pictorial sits down with Raquel Stecher of “Out Of The Past.”A book industry professional based out of Boston, Stecher’s blog has chronicled her growth as a film fan–a fascinating, insightful journey that she’s been sharing with readers for over six years. Stecher sat down with the Pictorial to discuss the impact classic films have had on her life

THE KITTY PACKARD PICTORIAL
Let’s start off with a bit of background. Anyone who follows your blog knows that you’ve been running the classic film blog “Out of the Past” for over six years now. Would you care to tell us about how and why you decided to take your love of film to blogging?

RAQUEL STECHER
I started my blog years ago out of a desperate need to talk about classic movies to someone—anyone. I had so much to say and only one person to talk to, my coworker Frank. And I was already talking his ear off. I needed an outlet and “Out of the Past” was born.

KP
So then classic movies, up that point, had been pretty much an isolated experience for you?

RS
Yes. I get really passionate about my interests and if I can’t find many people to share those interests with, I’m OK with that. But there was something about classic movies. I needed to watch them and talk about them. I really wanted to find other people who shared my interest and would listen to me. Read more ►

Swing Heil! ’90s Movies and Why I Love Swing Music

The further we get from the 1990s, the more I believe we are coming to realize that it was probably the last great decade of truly original, creative product from Hollywood. (Unless of course the 2010s do an abrupt about-face and prove me wrong.) Sure, there were franchises, but only a handful, and not every film produced with a moderately successful sales return was re-purposed for sequels of the exponential kind. Of course, the ’90s wasn’t without its share of extraordinarily mind-blowing bombs. (Cool As Ice, anyone? Suburban Commando? Wow.) But looking back, it is quite clear that good films of the 1990s were the result of a Hollywood system that was still willing to take risks on solidly good storytelling.

It was a renaissance for independent filmmakers as well, its golden age, and an all-around great decade to be a teenager who loved movies. Like me.

It was also a great decade for swing music. Read more ►

ARGO: The Hollywood Machine

Who’d have thought that Argo, a political thriller about the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979, would turn out to be the most quintessentially “Hollywood” film of the year.

It is a story that most American’s know, and remember, vividly: In 1979, the U.S. Embassy was besieged by a group of 500 strong Iranian Revolutionaries in protest of America’s support of Mohammed Reza, Iran’s deposed Shah. Fifty-two Americans were held hostage for a shocking 444 days. Six American diplomats escaped the coup, and were ushered into underground sanctuary by the Canadian embassy. The question, obviously, was how the hell to get them out of the country. Read more ►

For Your Consideration: The Year Classic Film Made a Comeback

“Awards! All this town does is give awards! Best Fascist Dictator, Adolf Hitler!” – Woody Allen, Annie Hall

If by chance you are unfamiliar with how the Awards season works, here’s a brief outline: Studios tend to release their real Oscar contenders (i.e., films with any sort of non-mainstream artistic merit) until the year’s final Quarter when, badda bing badda boom, theatres find themselves gorged with posters fairly grafittied by four stars and gratuitous praise– all of which prominently feature the words BEST FILM OF THE YEAR in bolded Times New Roman.  Courting the attentions of voting members of the Academy and industry guilds, these films bottleneck around Thanksgiving, just in time for the first in a long slew of awards nominations. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association unofficially kicks off the Oscar race with the Golden Globes, followed in quick succession by the major industry guild awards, The PGA, DGA and SAG, all of which have a heavy influence on the Oscar outcome (the DGA has failed to predict the best director Oscar only 7 times in the past 60 years). The BAFTAs roll around in early February and, by then, the hotly contended Oscar race has been wined and dined until the Academy members’ votes have been more or less… secured.  If this sounds like a well-oiled political machine, that’s because it is. By the time Oscar night rolls around, the odds are so firmly fixed that there are few, if any, surprises. Read more ►

Sound and Vision: Charlie Chaplin and the Sound of Silence

First things first: this post is in conjunction with the Park Circus Charlie Chaplin Blogathon … for which I am shamefully late. The blogathon wrapped two days ago, but I absolutely HAD to contribute. Park Circus does amazing work: a UK-based organization dedicated to bringing classic films back to their home on the big screen. Not being a part of their Chaplin blogathon would be unforgivable!

So. That being said…

I thought it would be fun to explore Chaplin’s fascinating love/hate relationship with a little thing called … sound. Chaplin may have been the one filmmaker to hold out the longest against sound, but he also happened to be one of the earliest filmmakers to embrace it. A fitting contradiction given Chaplin was a man of so many contradictions. Read more ►