Due to several deadlines and every appliance I have ever touched breaking down on the same day, there won’t be any Monster and the Ape this week. I hope it will resume next week, if time and work permits.
Arbogast on Film may or may not be open for the holidays! We all love Arbo and are glad he returns to us, even if it is only once a year.
My husband’s art blog The Fuzzy Skeletonian has launched his 2013 Octoberweenpaloozaganza: Crumple Mania, so stop on by! As always, his blog has gory content of an adult nature, so it is NSFW.
Most years, I post classic Hollywood Halloween photos on SBBN, but I have a busy month ahead, so I’ll be randomly posting a few Halloween photos (with quite a few reposts from previous SBBN years) over at my Tumblr. Note that my Tumblr can occasionally be NSFW, but I use the NSFW tag, even for manbutt, so I believe you can filter it easily.
I will be doing The Monster and the Ape for my new classic movie serial recap series, and these would usually go live on Thursdays, but my hands are not faring well after ten articles and posts in eight days, so give me a day to recover.
Some of my more recent posts elsewhere:
My review for A Single Shot (2013) starring Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo and William H. Macy at Spectrum.
I’ll be participating in two blogathons in October: The Hitchcock Halloween Blogathon over at Backlots, and my third (and hopefully finally successful) try at the terrific Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies Italian Horror Blogathon. Long-time SBBN readers will remember I had planned on doing Orgasmo in 2011, but got sick and couldn’t finish it. Then I tried again in 2012 and the power source on my computer went out. This year, as god is my witness, this post will get done.
The new SBBN layout is essentially done, though I plan on fiddling with things a bit. If you’re wondering how you navigate the new site, a few tips:
* The slideshow at the top of the main page has the last five posts, which can be seen either by clicking on the photo as it is shown in the slideshow, or scrolling down on the page.
* All my social media links can be found in the floaty-boxes thing on the right side: Twitter, Tumblr, Letterboxd, the RSS feed for the blog, and my Flickr.
* The blogroll and other parts of my sidebar don’t show up on the main page, but will be visible on the individual blog pages.
That’s basically it. Sorry this is so boring. Boring boring boring. I could really use some breakfast right now.
I’m in the middle of changing the layout of the blog, so please bear with whatever ugly look is goin’ on at the moment. Don’t worry, it’ll change to a different ugly look in a few minutes. If this was 2004 I’d put up a “construction” sign that said “PLEASE EXCUSE OUR DUST” which would be adorable because blogs aren’t really buildings — they can’t have dust! Ha ha, whimsy is neat.
Update 9/20/13: I attached a photo of the cast of Pink Flamingos to this post so I could have a nice large picture for the slideshow above. Why Pink Flamingos? Why not?
Also note that SBBN has been having some problems with spammers and other nasties, so if there is a slow loading time, try again in a few minutes. If this continues for a while, tweet at me @stacia_jones_ so I can investigate.
My piece on The Human Factor (1979) as an underrated gem is up at Spectrum Culture. This is now available on MOD DVD at Warner Archives, in a print that I absolutely adored, because the grain was kept — all that delicious, nutritious 1970s grain — and it looks gorgeous.
I don’t have Warner Archives Instant, but many of you do, so I thought I’d do a little browsing around and found a few things you might be interested in:
- Night Flight (1933) – Insane John Barrymore pre-Code that I’m not sure has even been on TCM before. An all-star cast and apparently a plot based on The Little Prince.
- Madam Satan (1930) – This one’s a no-brainer. If you haven’t seen it, and you have Warner Instant, go watch this now. Just… seriously, just stop everything you’re doing and go. Previous SBBN posts on Madam Satan can be found here and here.
- Simon (1980) – Available in high definition from Warner Instant. Just a few years ago you couldn’t even get a copy of this, now it’s on MOD DVD and Warner Instant. My Criminally Underrated post for Simon is here at Spectrum Culture.
And, finally, my Oeuvre post for Vincente Minnelli’s The Pirate. Warning: I talk about Gene Kelly’s butt.
Around the web:
- From February, a terrific post at Movie Morlocks by Susan Doll on one of my favorite actors, Sam Rockwell.
- Joan Crawford in a grocery store promotional from 1969. Bizarre and delightful.
- From Reverse Shot issue #33, Twenty Shots to Be Henceforth Retired From Film Vocabulary.
- The Polaroids of Andrei Tarkovsky.
- And an adorable dog.
Several months ago, I was given the incredible opportunity to write for ClassicFlix, the classic movie rental site. Though their site is still in beta, I am pleased to announce some of our articles have been going live over the last few weeks. My first article for ClassicFlix is “Pre-Code Obsession: Introduction to Pre-Code Cinema,” with more to come in the near future. I’ll be listing them in the sidebar.
And finally, a quick note about the blog: I’ll be updating the header and sidebar soon, so if the blog ever looks really strange, that’s why. No need to panic, unless it disappears completely, then you can panic a little.
With any luck, a couple of posts for Warner Archive releases will go up this week before Labor Day. Have a good one!
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 feel guilty about it and come back to add their names in later, I’m sure) in the elusive Mr. Lemon of Orange. Thus, I have, for the first time on record, mentioned El Brendel and Lester Bangs in the same article. It’s a proud moment for me.
The Twitter widget I was so fond of on the SBBN sidebar is gone, probably for the duration of time as we know and can ever possibly comprehend it. Twitter changed their API for a blog widget and the result is… well, nothing available right now is even remotely acceptable for any webpage that wants to look professional. If you want to read my Twitter, you’ll have to do it the hard way.
And finally, the standard blah-blah-blahness applies to content on SBBN. I’ve been in a state of blergh (that’s the scientific term) for a while which I think I’m slowly coming out of, maybe, but this blergh (seriously I have a prescription and everything) is manifesting itself as reading and watching and consuming but not really producing that much. Also, work for Spectrum and a second outlet which hasn’t gone live yet always come first, but I love my blog and want to stop neglecting it, and if health and time and luck permits, I’ll do so.
I also love you guys, which I don’t say enough, or when I do say it no one believes me because I can only verbalize my thoughts through sarcasm or “Futurama” quotes, but I mean it. Thank you all for reading, and for the great comments I’ve gotten recently, and everything else. You’re wonderful.
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 been several people who wanted more than what I posted on SBBN and essentially demanded I give them all my research. They also often claim I have no copyright on what I’ve written and posted to SBBN. All are men, all have acted as though I would be swooning in delight at their attentions, all propose situations where I do all the work and they get all the credit and money in exchange for a “thanks” somewhere in their book. This seems natural to them, apparently. I have been bullied, physically threatened, called names, insulted, lied to, all manner of things from people who want more from me than the blog posts I already published.
What’s worse, or at least as bad, is that much of what I wrote in those old posts is incorrect, and I’ve said so for over a year but none of the bullies care.
Now, I wrote everything in the SBBN Marie Prevost Project posts in good faith at the time, but usually with only moderate research online and after reading a few books. Once I started doing my own primary research and had the help of a couple of exceptional researchers, I realized so much found online or in those books is wrong; therefore, what I posted was often wrong, too.
There are other serious issues with researching Marie that I won’t even go into, because I no longer give out any information that might help people do research on Marie. Everyone is on their own.
A full length, comprehensive and factual book about Marie Prevost will take the kind of time and money I don’t have right now, and I would bet none of the bullies who has emailed me has that kind of time or money, either. If they’re the kind of people who think everything they read on blogs is true, that everything women do can be appropriated by men, that a little online research is all one needs for a proper bio, then no, they have no idea what they’re doing. They just don’t.
Recently, someone wanted all the research I had not yet blogged about for free because they “just didn’t have time” to read books. He hadn’t even heard of Marie Prevost until last year, and refused to do research unless it was all online. I didn’t give him any of my research. Ultimately, he used SBBN posts and other webpages about Marie for a biography which is now being published by a house infamous for its inaccurate and cheap bios. He, of course, wanted more free stuff from me once he inked a deal with the publishing house — free info from me for a book he is making money off of. When I pointed this out to him, he acted as though I was stepping on his dreams, then complained that he wouldn’t make much money anyway because Marie wasn’t famous enough.
Prior to that, a newly published author emailed me claiming a very well-known biographer — you would recognize her name instantly — had told him since there was no book on Marie Prevost, he should take my blog posts and write his own. He thought I was a rube who didn’t know better, and said he’d give me a “thanks” in his book in exchange for the info I had on Marie. I said no, objected to his condescension, and reminded him he couldn’t just cut and paste huge swaths of my blog for himself. He could use anything from the blog as a source, and would have to properly credit SBBN in footnotes or the bibliography.
In return, he threatened me, called me names, repeatedly stated that because I was a woman in Kansas I was worthless, especially compared to a man living in L.A. like he was. He also made a veiled religious reference (he was better than me because he was Catholic, apparently), then outlined (twice!) how he was going to steal my blog posts and pass them off as his own anyway, with his publishing house and the big-name female biographer friend of his both legally backing him up.
All because I demanded the bare minimum of human respect. All because I want SBBN to be credited properly in a bibliography, when applicable.
Honestly, I don’t want to stop anyone doing a book on Marie. That said, it would be nice if people who refuse to actually do research didn’t publish books on her life, because that’s disrespectful to her, and, to be selfish for a moment, it’s just going to make my job harder in the future. Check out Larry Harnisch’s series on Ted Healy’s death; Larry’s intense, exceptional research wasn’t enough to get Wikipedia to remove an obviously false, salacious claim on Healy’s pages, because the false claim was published in a book. Therefore, to Wikipedia editors, it’s a source, who cares if it’s an obvious lie or not.
That’s going to happen again to Marie, you know. The exact thing I was trying to combat with my SBBN Marie Prevost Project posts ended up encouraging multiple people to write half-assed books with very little research, and probably with quite a few errors, which will be perpetuated as fact.
I guess the final elephant in the room is whether I’ll be writing my own book on Marie. I might, but I am not going to half-ass a book, so if I write anything it will (a) not be discussed nor published on the blog, and (b) be years down the line, if at all. Much of my frustration here is that I know I am not ready to write the kind of book Marie deserves, both in research — there is so much to do — and in my own writing abilities, and it boggles my mind that people who can’t even do proper research think they’re ready. I suspect they’re thinking of themselves rather than of the full implications of what they’re doing, and can always say “But I heard Marie was a Satanist on Bob’s Blog Bonanza, so it has a source, stupid. Besides, you’re just jealous.” And people will back them up, and classic film buffs on certain forums will cheer that “finally” there’s a biography on this lesser-known actress, and their relatives will give them 5-star ratings on Amazon, and Wikipedia will quote it, and 193 new Tumblr posts with pictures of Marie’s corpse will circulate through the internet, and life will continue as usual.
To sum up:
1. Yes, SBBN posts can be used as research for your projects, but you must credit them appropriately.
2. SBBN posts may have errors. You should do your own research instead of reading my blog. I mean this.
3. You can’t just copy and paste things from my blog (from any blog) and use them as your own. Blogs are sources. Know the difference between sourcing info and copyright infringement.
4. I will not help you do more research on Marie Prevost.
5. I will no longer respond to emails about your own projects on Marie Prevost. I’ve been through enough over the last few years.
6. I will, however, be paying attention to any and all Marie Prevost books or projects that show up, for reasons that should be apparent to anyone who has read this far.
7. Seriously, just do your own damn research. Why are you even doing a book on Marie Prevost if you don’t care enough to do your own research on her? Please, you owe it to yourself and to Marie to do real, honest work on your project. Many of us already are, actually, and you lazy jerks need to catch up with the rest of us.