About

Let me begin by saying, I loathe writing About pages. I tend to be self effacing and dismissive, especially where my own self is concerned. My first impulse is always to say something along the lines of, “Just another movie blog… but read it… you know, if you have the time.” It was my first impulse here, too. But… I love movies, with an unbridled passion. Even I cannot undercut my own love of the medium with something flip. So yes, I sit on my couch and watch movies, and then I sit in a chair and write about them. But that does not do justice to my feelings and thoughts about the movie as an art form, a vehicle for understanding the world around me, or even the sheer pleasure derived from watching classic movies.

Social media consultant, pet slave, and all around great gal. I sit on the couch and watch movies, then I sit in a chair and write about them. If you like movies, welcome. If you love movies, particularly silent ones or ones made before 1960, have a seat. If you like the movie Honey, get the hell off my lawn! – Myself, About page 1.0

Why movies? I  have a short answer and a long answer.  I have a million reasons and none at all. I love movies. I love to watch them, think about them, talk about them, and read about them. Writing about the films I love is an extension of those former things. At best, others will be interested in what I have to say and we can engage in the thinking and talking together. At worst, I’m talking to myself, shouting into the wind, but I do get to clarify my own thoughts.

I’m not a film snob… except when I am. If a movie is black and white, and made before, say, 1960, I’ll watch it. There are many contemporary films that I love and appreciate, but I become far more discriminating with my time. I came very late to movie-love. I grew up in a small town, devoid of a movie theater and mostly pre-VCR. My parent’s are not movie goers – I can probably count on two hands the number of times we went to the movies – and even when the super futuristic (and bulky) VCR made it’s appearance, there was no reliable source for movies within spitting distance. Movie-wise, my adolescence was defined by The Rocky Horror Picture Show (a pajama party fav, for some reason) and inexplicably obtained VHS copies of Pump Up the Volume and Heathers. I didn’t see any installments of Star Wars until I was 22 years old in 199-, er, sometime in the 90’s.

I’m an only child and I was a bookish kid. Stories were important to me, crucially important, but because I never saw many movies, I never quite wrapped my head around that particular flavor of narrative. It’s a shame to me, in hindsight… I can imagine the joy and excitement movies would have given me. That all changed when I was cajoled into going to a midnight screen of The Godfather at Manhattan’s magnificent Ziegfeld Theater. It was a sticky summer night in NYC, so sitting in a cool dark theater seemed like a fine idea. I was not prepared for revelatory experience of The Godfather. It filled my mind for days, maybe weeks. It so captured my imagination that I basically lived in it. And then I wanted to see more movies just like that one. Being more a than little inherently OCD, I set off on a crash course in film literacy.

And then the silents! Oh how I love silent movies! My entrance to the wonderful, weird, rich world of silent movies was, not surprisingly, Charlie Chaplin. From Chaplin to Keaton to Lloyd to Keystone Kops… I would argue that great silent comedies remain as accessible to audiences today as they were then. After all, comedy in its broadest form does not require dialogue and is even hampered by it, as the death of this kind of comedy at the hands of synchronized sound demonstrates.  Silent comedy led to curiosity about silent movies in general, and I was amazed what I found. I love silent movies first for what they are, in and of themselves. I love them second for the privilege of watching an art form being born. And I love them third for the bittersweet beauty of a form that was found, and then (largely) lost.

Take all of that together, and that’s what I’m About and what this blog is About. The love of movies, mostly “classic” ones, emphasizing, but not limited to, silent movies. I appreciate thought, comments, and debates. Correct me if I’m wrong, high-five me if I’m right, and yes, if you like Jessica Alba’s Honey, get the hell off my lawn!

  1. I have just under 6,000 DVDs. 90% are pre-1960. My special interest is the silent era & I have 700 silent era films. My favorite actress is Lillian Gish who I had the honor of knowing slightly. My favorite screen comedians are Keaton, Lloyd, Ray Griffith & Chaplin in that order. My favorite sound comedy is Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. My favorite sound film is “Night of the Hunter.” My favorite film of all time is “Broken Blossoms.” My favorite director is D. W. followed by F. W. Murnau, Lubitch, Hitch, Gance, in no particular order. My favorite comedy team is Stan & Ollie. My favorite singer is Jolson followed by Lanza.

  2. PCG,

    Go here to learn the REAL story of Inuit Sled Dogs (what some people refer to as ‘Canadian Eskimo Dogs” thefanhitch.org.

    I would like to know more about the person doing the documentary on dogs of the NWT.

  3. BALBOA BIRTHDAY BASH FEATURES HAROLD LLOYD AND GEORGE MELIES MARCH 4

    Sunday, March 4, 2012 Doors open at 6:45pm
    Show starts at 7:00

    The Balboa Theatre will celebrate its 86th Birthday on Sunday, March 4. Presented in association with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, a night at the movies circa 1926 will be the order of the day.

    Inspired by Martin Scorsese and Brian Selznick’s HUGO, the evening’s feature film will be Harold Lloyd’s silent classic SAFETY LAST with a 35mm print directly from his granddaughter Suzanne.

    It will be accompanied with an original score by pianist extraordinaire Frederick Hodges http://www.frederickhodges.com , preceded by a program of short subjects including films by George Melies http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2004/great-directors/melies/ (HUGO again).

    There will also be a live vaudeville show featuring George Melies himself performing some of his famous magic effects on our stage. Songstress Linda Kosut http://www.lindakosut.com/ will sing songs her mother sang.

    Author John Bengtson will offer an illustrated lecture exploring the locations Harold Lloyd used to make SAFETY LAST. Bengston will sign copies of his newest book, Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York through the Films of Harold Lloyd,
    http://silentlocations.wordpress.com/

    Everybody will get birthday prizes and the evening will conclude with a special birthday cake created by The Cake Lady, Diane Boate, served with liquid libations.

    Audience members are encouraged to dress in their best jazz age clothing as we recreate a night at the movies in 1926. Vintage cars will be in front of the Balboa.

    Advance tickets are on sale at the Balboa and online at http://www.BalboaMovies.com

    The Balboa Theatre is located at 3630 Balboa Street (@37th Avenue) in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

    For more information go to http://www.cinemasf.com/balboa/?page_id=928

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