State of the Blog: Summertime Edition

Welcome to a long overdue State of the Blog. What’s new for SBBN? Glad you asked. The thought of doing another serial right now gives me the kind of headache Robert Urich used to talk about on the TV machine. However, I do have a plan for a new Thursday series, not recaps of a serial but a classic film series, which I hope you will enjoy. Er, look, let me be honest with you: I hope I enjoy it first, and secondarily, I hope you will, too. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on the Tumblr at Flashbulb Moment. It’s the same Tumblr I had before, repurposed into a random mishmash of all manner of things I like with a very vague Lester Bangs theme. There’s still some Old Hollywood posted over there, but also music, comic books, quotes, cheesecake, NSFW naughtiness, pretty much everything you can think of. It’s heavy on the Mountain Goats content right now because… guys, I think you’re old enough to know this about me: I get obsessed with things. Frequently. And whatever I’m obsessed with ends up on Flashbulb Moment. Check it out if you don’t mind the occasional nudity (not related to the Mountain Goats, probably) and randomness and Neil Diamond, because I am really starting to get my Neil Diamond on over there. The picture to the up and to the over-there is El Brendel and a couple of people I was too lazy to look up (but I’ll … Continue reading

TSPDT1K Update

We’re past the halfway point of 2013, and I figured it was time to see how far I had gotten in my goal of watching all 1000 films on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? 1000 Greatest Films list, as well as the “bonus” list of Martin Scorsese’s Film School: The 85 Films You Need To See To Know Anything About Film. Folks, I did not do well: I watched only eight films on the TSPDT1K list (that I hadn’t already seen) and one on the Scorsese list (which I had already seen, but just forgot to mark down on the list). I am doing this only for myself and no one is holding me responsible, yet I feel more than a little pang of embarrassment. I have no excuse; a good 25 of these films are on DVDs sitting right here. In my home. Right now. It’s clear I need to bring more game to my game. TSPDT1K Watched: 17. ATALANTE, L’ (Jean Vigo / 1934 / France / 89m / BW) 31. AVVENTURA, L’ (Michelangelo Antonioni / 1960 / Italy, France / 145m / BW) 121. SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, THE (Victor Erice / 1973 / Spain / 95m / Col) 184. MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (Robert Altman / 1971 / USA / 121m / Col) 256. LIFE OF OHARU, THE (Kenji Mizoguchi / 1952 / Japan / 146m / BW) 433. FITZCARRALDO (Werner Herzog / 1982 / West Germany / 157m / Col) 773. POSTO, IL (Ermanno … Continue reading

Dynamic Duos in Classic Films Blogathon: Bela and Boris

This is the SBBN entry for the Dynamic Duos in Classic Film blogathon, hosted by the Classic Movie Hub and Once Upon a Screen. Read all of the first day’s entries here at Classic Movie Hub and the second day’s entries here! *** Boris Karloff never minded being typecast in horror films. Honing his craft in a touring stock company and relying on the approval of “unsophisticated” audiences, Karloff learned quickly what audiences responded to in a series of melodramas and murder mysteries performed in theatres across Canada and the United States. By the time he began to appear regularly in Hollywood silents, he was grateful for the work, no matter how small the role or how much makeup it required. Bela Lugosi railed against the Hollywood system that would force him into horror films. He began his career on the Hungarian stage in a variety of roles, both featured and supporting. After moving to the United States and continuing his solid stage career, Bela originated the role of Dracula in the 1927 Broadway production of Bram Stoker’s novel. It was a hit, and Universal bought the rights for a cinematic version. Eventually settling on Bela for the lead — because of his Hungarian accent, the studios were reluctant to cast him — the film became a terrific hit. Bela Lugosi was catapulted into instant stardom, and expected a plethora of lead roles to follow. One of these roles was as the Monster in Frankenstein, but Bela balked at the … Continue reading

State of the Blog: The Final Word on the Marie Prevost Project

This post is my detailed explanation of the brief notice I now have at the top of all my Marie Prevost Project posts. I continue to have problems with people wanting more info about Marie Prevost from me, and as much as I want to, I cannot delete my posts or even correct the mistakes in them — on the off chance there is a copyright issue in the future, I need a strong internet trail of where my posts were published and when, including leaving them as they were originally, which means keeping all my errors. Because the posts have to stay up, I decided a short blurb at the top of them would be the best, with a link leading here. The subject matter here will not be new to most SBBN regulars or anyone following me on Twitter, by the way. *** Over the years, I have received about 15 emails from people doing their own projects on Marie Prevost. Several of them have been very nice; these people are working on a documentary, some fictionalized accounts of her life, fanfic, school projects, books, and other awesome projects I fully support and wish those people the best of luck in. A couple of people sent me scans of their own stuff just to say thanks for what I had put on the blog. This is great stuff. If you fall into this category, my post here is not talking about you, please know that. The problem has … Continue reading