Archive for the ‘film’ category

The MadMen of TCM: A Greatest Hits Mix-Tape

Classic film fans have, over the past several years, embraced an emerging, and vibrant, niche community.  This is highly evident right here in the blogosphere where, if I do say so myself, the very finest blogs on the interwebs are those manned by classic film fans (Shameless plug for Hollywood Revue, Backyard Fence, Out of the Past, True Classics, MovieStar MakeoverSales on Film, Filmoria, and so many many many more amaaaaazing blogs  — all of these and many more will rock your black and white world.) But the unsurpassed leader  of this long-surpressed niche, is the cable network Turner Classic Movies.

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A History Lesson By Way of Franklin Pierce, Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln’s Really Great, Awesomely Bad Hair

So, there’s this obsession with the 16th president of the United States that I’ve had pretty much all my life. It hit me, all of a sudden, early in the 7th grade when for no reason at all I found myself crying because I was assigned to cover Franklin Pierce for our presidential reports instead of Lincoln. Our teacher assigned the presidents in alphabetical order and my surname came just two letters shy of “L”. And so the fate of Mr. Lincoln’s five page double-spaced, Times New Roman report was destined for a classmate who, bless his heart, was under the impression that every sentence ought to begin with a pronoun. (And, judging by his Facebook profile, this still appears to be the case. Not that I stalk old classmates on Facebook. Ever.)
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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 ►

A Baker’s Dozen of John Lennon

It doesn’t seem possible that 72 years ago, one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century was born. It was on a night the Nazi’s bombed Merseyside, and his Aunt risked the danger to run across town to be with her sister at the Green Street Hospital. (Her steely fearlessness would influence John in so many ways.)
There is something almost prophetic in the fact that his turbulent, angst-filled life began on such a night; things were never going to be normal for John Lennon.
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The Director’s Cut: Past, Present & Future

September 8, 2012blog, cinema, classic movies, film, movies

So. Chances are you’re here, reading these words, because you have some sort of affinity for classic films. Black, white, color, VistaVision, CinemaScope, 35mm, 70mm, cinerama and even smell-o-vision. And as a fan of celluloid cinema (something facing extinction with the onslaught of the now commonplace DCP and the possibly soon-to-be commonplace 48 FPS) you are probably familiar with the work of director Chuck Workman, even if you don’t know his name. In 1986, Workman created a short film entitled Precious Images, commissioned to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Director’s Guild of America. The film won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short in 1987, where it was screened during the Oscar ceremony. Classic film-lovers, however, possibly know it better for its second incarnation: 100 Years at the Movies. Read more ►