Our 2015 Person of the Year

FINAL

Damn, Adrienne Barbeau tops our poll again! How does she do it year after year? Happy New Year, everybody!

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#SatMat Twitter Live Movie Tweet for Sat., Jan. 2: DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID (1982)

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First off, let’s get one thing straight — it was my idea, not the dame’s, okay?

Salome at BNoirDetour is adamant about providing Live Tweet movies on Twitter.com at no charge to her audience. But how could I present a hilarious film noir parody on #SatMat — even if it’s a movie that can only be rented — without getting the BNoirDetour stamp of co-approval?

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid stars Steve Martin (who co-wrote the movie with director Carl Reiner) as Rigby Reardon, a low-level private eye who might or might not be getting the wool pulled over his eyes by a fulsome femme fatale (the undeniably curvy Rachel Ward). Other than that, about the only thing you need to know about the movie is that, through the miracle of special effects, Martin nonchalantly acts alongside 1940’s versions of noir stars including Cary Grant, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and too many others to mention.

Even if you’re not thoroughly versed in the elements of noir, Martin’s early-career wackiness is enough to carry you for the movie. His mini-ballet on skinned knees, or his mouthing along to the movie’s scorchy score (by another noir veteran, Miklos Rozsa), are just a couple of the movie’s comedy highlights.

So please join us this Saturday at 4:30 p.m. EST at Twitter.com, and use the hashtag #SatMat to follow along and comment on the movie. You’ll need to pay a rental fee to YouTube ($2.99) or Amazon.com ($3.99) to watch the movie, but it’s a small price to pay for big laughs, so cough up the dough, ya mug!

A Christmas Eve Liebster Award

FINAL

Yesterday, Virginie at the blog The Wonderful World of Cinema nominated me for a Liebster Award. I hesitated to respond to it, as I have already received three such awards and have probably bored most of you to death with my Liebster talk. But you know what? It’s Christmas Eve, so this is my holiday gift to myself. (Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginie!)

However, I’m going to play a little fast and loose with this particular Liebster Award. The official Liebster rules are that each nominee is expected to:

  • Answer his or her nominator’s 11 questions.
  • Nominate 11 additional bloggers.
  • Ask 11 questions of your nominees.
  • Share 11 additional facts about yourself.

Well, to be frank, it’s been my experience that most of the bloggers whom I nominate do not respond to my nomination. So I’ll keep it real this time. I hereby nominate any blogger who would like to respond to this. For my 11 questions, I give you a choice. Either create and answer 11 questions about yourself (keep it clean!), or list your top favorite 11 movies of all time. (If you actually do this, please do link back to this blog and share them with me — I’d love to read your response.)

Also, I’ve already shared 33 facts about myself. I can’t think of anything else interesting about me, and I don’t think anyone else is that interested either. If you have suggestions, send them to me and I’ll be glad to respond to them.

As for the other Liebster obligations, here are Virginie’s questions and my answers.

1- If you had to “promote” a not too well known classic film, what will be your choice?

Cinema Paradiso. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film of 1988, and yet my wife and I hadn’t really heard of it until my sister-in-law recommended it to us a couple of years after it came out. I suspect it still, unfairly, suffers the same fate. I recently wrote about it here on my blog.

2- You are participating in the making of a film. What’s your job?

I’ve always thought I wanted to be an editor. Of course, a movie is nothing without writing, directing, and acting, but I’ve always thought the editing makes it all work. For confirmation of this theory, read the book When the Shooting Stops…The Cutting Begins, by Woody Allen’s early and long-time editor Ralph Rosenblum.

3- Do you share your birthday with one of your favourite movie stars? If yes, who?

About the only notable is Jack Klugman, whom I thoroughly enjoyed in TV’s “The Odd Couple” and 12 Angry Men.

4- What is your favourite movie score?

This is a cheat, but the one I’ve certainly listened to the most often is The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. After that, I refer you to my Christmas list of favorite scores.

5- How many films per week do you usually watch?

I’ll be honest with you. I hardly ever see any new movies. The last movie I saw in a theater was 2013’s The World’s End. The modern-day movie experience has gotten too overblown for me. Most of the movies I watch these days are oldies on TCM or campy stuff via Live Tweets on Twitter.com.

6- What do you think is the most CREATIVE movie ever made and why?

I hate “most” categories because why must I choose one great star out of all the gems in the galaxy? That said, for me, “creative” means a movie that makes me bolt up in my seat because I can’t wait to see what happens next. Movies that have done that to me include Citizen KaneYellow SubmarineGodfather II, and Steve Martin’s L.A. Story.

7- Do you have a child named after a certain movie star or movie character? Or are you planning this for your future kid (if you plan to have one, or many!). 

Sorry, my children are named Aline (after her maternal grandmother) and David. My wife had actually considered giving my son the middle name of “Kane” after the above-mentioned movie, but she got over it.

8- How much do classic films influence your everyday life?

Way too much. Frequently, my wife and I will be discussing some random situation, and I’ll always end up tying in some movie or pop-culture reference. My wife thinks movies have given people mistaken impressions about life (romance, relationships, etc.). I only wish that people had soaked up the smart parts of movies. Imagine if everyone spoke as intelligently or wittily as they do in a Preston Sturges movie or The Big Sleep.

9- What are you planning to do to honour Olivia de Havilland’s on her centennial next July? 😉

Nothing in particular — not a big fan. Let the brickbats begin.

10- What do you enjoy the most about blogging?

Here’s my answer to this question from my second Liebster Award response: I really like the cameraderie and the sense of community. I’ve met so many like-minded bloggers whose work is fun to read and who appreciate the kind of opinions that used to get me sneered at when I’d try to share them back in high school.

11- Do you have any advice or suggestions for future bloggers?

It’s the same advice I have about anything creative: As long as you’re not hurting anybody, do what you want, and don’t let anyone discourage you. If you’re doing it from the heart, you’ll be surprised at how many hardcore fans you get.

Let me end by wishing happy holidays and a blessed new year to Virginie, all of my fellow bloggers, and my readers and subscribers! Keep on soaking in all the great things the world has to offer!

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Guest-hosting the #BNoirDetour film for 12/27: KISS OF DEATH

 

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This holiday season, Salome at BNoirDetour has bestowed upon me the gift of guest-hosting (for which many thanks, Salome)! The only proper response is to gift you with one of the classic films-noir, 1947’s Kiss of Death.

Victor Mature plays Nick Bianco, an imprisoned gang leader who starts spouting names to get out of prison when he finds out that his nuclear family in the “outside world” is falling apart. Unfortunately, one of the names provided by Nick is that of Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark in a hair-raising film debut). Udo does not take lightly to being double-crossed, as evidenced in a famous scene where he confronts a wheelchair-bound mother of a gang member. (No spoiler here — just hold onto something and watch.)

It’s an alternately touching and sizzling movie worthy of the BNoirDetour imprimatur, and it will be Live Tweeted at the usual time, Sunday at 9 p.m. EST. All I ask is that you “follow” me on Twitter at @MovieMovieBlogB on Sunday evening so that I can respond to your comments; you can always “unfollow” me after the Live Tweet. Happy holidays, and enjoy the movie!

Final wrap-up of A MOVIE GIFT TO YOU BLOGATHON

For this blogathon, at least, Santa’s work is done. So let’s be sure to give credit where credit is due as we present

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We definitely finished our movie-gifting blogathon in style! If you happened to miss the entries, click on the individual blog names to link to them, and click on “Day 1” or “Day 2” to read entries from those days of the blogathon.

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To his favorite Anglophile rock-music fan, A Shroud of Thoughts presents Yellow Submarine, the animated film with soundtrack by and “starring” The Beatles.

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Moon in Gemini presents Ratatouille, a Pixar cartoon with themes of food and cooking, to her late father, a self-styled chef.

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And Silent-ology decided that the best Christmas gift for a silent-film lover would be Three’s a Crowd, Harry Langdon’s directing debut, in which the legendary silent comic takes a deserted wife and baby into his humble home during the holiday season.

Day 1  *  Day 2

First, I want to thank my blog’s readers who have checked back over the weekend to enjoy the full fruits of this blogathon.

Most of all, I want to thank the bloggers who took the time and effort to provide such fascinating and often touching entries to this blogathon. You provided me and my readers with holiday gifts that, as the great Dr. Seuss put it, can’t be bought in a store. I’m so grateful for your heartfelt entries!

To everyone, happy holidays and best wishes for a prosperous new year!

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Day 2 Recap – A MOVIE GIFT TO YOU BLOGATHON

On the second day of our blogathon, our true bloggers kept giving to us! See what we mean in our

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Our blogathon entrants continue to amaze and delight as they share their accounts of their most special movies and the people to whom they would “gift” them. (If you’ve missed reading any of the entries, click on Day 2’s blog names to link to their entries, or click on “Day 1” to link to the entries for the first day of our blogathon.)

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Thoughts All Sorts shares the adventure of The Last of the Mohicans with his spirited daughter.

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And Old Hollywood Films gives the world’s most passionate cinephiles the ultimate Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.

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Day 1 Recap

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Keep checking back with us through the end of this weekend, as we still have one more day in our blogathon and plenty of entries to come. This is one holiday blogathon that truly has legs!

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Day 1 Recap – A MOVIE GIFT TO YOU BLOGATHON

The cinematic presents are already piling up under the tree! Join us as we rattle the boxes and examine bloggers’ film choices in the

DayOne

The theme of this blogathon is special movies being gifted to special people, and our bloggers would do Santa proud! (If you have missed reading any of the blogathon entries, click on the individual blog names below to link to their entries.)

B Noir Detour wishes the modern-day film noir Bound upon the late, great noir actress Barbara Stanwyck.

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Serendipitous Anachronisms thanks her blog’s readers by gifting them with the French romantic comedy Amélie – The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain.

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Spontaneous Whimsy shares An Affair to Remember with her husband in memory of her grandmother, recounting the surprising parallels between her own life and those of the movie’s characters.

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And lastly, yours truly shares with that lucky soul, the first-time moviegoer, the valentine to movies known as Cinema Paradiso.

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Our nifty gifting blogathon still has two days to go, so keep checking back for more entries. You never know what surprises are in store!

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