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2017 – Happy Belated New Year!!

09 Jan

34th_norwich_fireworks_10654750355I’m back!! It’s a good feeling to be back. I apologize for the slightly extended, unintended hiatus from blogging. I meant to blog a lot during the holidays, but did not feel well and decided to let everything slide. But I am very excited for this new year of 2017.

I was trying to think if I had any New Year’s resolutions for my blog this year, but I do not have anything specific. I have enjoyed blogging far more than I ever thought I would and what has been most rewarding by far is hearing from all of my readers. It has broadened my horizons, broadened my thoughts on these films and books,and shown how these things connect people and how they matter in all our lives. Thanks so much for all your contributions and sharing!! I’ve realized that the primary reason I blog is to share my passion and learn what other people think.

A Few Movie-Related Things That Happened in 2016

I was accepted as a member of the Classic Movie Blog Association (CMBA)!

Bought a new TV and a blu ray player. What a difference that has made. Of course, it has also meant that we needed to update a few of our movies. Most prominently: Charade. I popped in an old DVD and it was nearly unwatchable. Apparently, the old TV was so bad that I never realized how bad the DVD was. But Criterion’s blu ray edition is so worth it. Absolutely stunning. I never even knew she was eating green lettuce at the beginning of the film.

I’ve been teaching a class I call American History and Culture Through Film. It is once a week and it has been a wonderful opportunity to share (btw, one silent film that has received almost universal enthusiasm from my high school students is The Mark of Zorrowith Douglas Fairbanks). I am trying to highlight how much one can learn about America’s culture (the music, the books the films are based on, how people dress, the changing attitudes, racism and tolerance, what the different genres and stars says about the era they are set in). But I’ve also learned a lot. My TA last week blew my mind be observing – after hearing me try to describe the dynamic use of the camera in the last days of the silent era – that it seems like they used the camera much as music is used today, to set mood. I never thought of that before, but I think it’s true.

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Reading Goals for 2017

I did not read nearly as many books as I wanted last year, but have higher hopes for this year. My list includes:

The Divine Comedy – Dante

Random Harvest – James Hilton

Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

Black Narcissus – Rumer Godden

Othello – Shakespeare

Bring on the Girls – Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse

Paradise Lost – John Milton

I’m feeling a bit ambitious this year, but we’ll see how it goes.

Movie Watching Goals for 2017

I don’t actually have many movie watching goals for this year. I tend to watch as the spirit moves me. I want to see Black Narcissus after I read the book…and get my hands on a blu ray edition. My understanding is that Powell and Pressburger films particularly benefit from the clarity and vibrancy of blu ray. Also Red Shoes.

I would also like to see Cabin in the Sky12 Angry MenOn the Waterfront, and a few Marx Brothers films. But my biggest goal is to see many of the films that TCM and Fathom Events are presenting in select theaters: Singin in the Rain, An Affair to Remember, All About Eve, North by Northwest, The Godfather, Bonnie and Clyde, The Princess Bride, E.T., Casablanca

I’m seeing Singin in the Rain this weekend in theaters, which seems a fitting tribute in memory of Debbie Reynolds. I’m trying to talk as many people into coming with me as possible.

What are your goals for this coming year?

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13 Comments

Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Books, Movies

 

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13 responses to “2017 – Happy Belated New Year!!

  1. stephencwinter

    January 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I am delighted to see you back in the blogosphere! A happy new year to you as well. I am sorry that you were unwell during the holidays. I do hope that you are fully recovered now. I am glad to say that the only part of our family to be unwell has been my motor car! I am feeling a bit sore after being told the bill for making it better today!
    I enjoyed looking at your list of books and movies for 2017. I wish you well with your ambitions. I realise that I have never seen, On the Waterfront so that is definitely one for my list. As you know, I have a particular enthusiasm for film music and I love the score by Leonard Bernstein. On the matter of Bernstein I watched a great BBC film on the making of West Side Story that included a fascinating interview with Stephen Sondheim. What glorious talent there was in New York 50 years ago.
    Another film on my list for 2017 is The Umbrellas of Cherbourg that I have heard people speak of in relation to LaLa Land. That too has a great score by Michel LeGrand.
    As to books I want to re-read The Brothers Karamazov.
    I look forward to sharing discoveries with you in the coming year!

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • christinawehner

      January 9, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks so much for your New Year wishes! I’m sorry your car was unwell, but glad you and your family are in good health!

      That sounds like a wonderful film about West Side Story. I do not know much about the making, but love the music and dances from it! I’d heard that, too, about The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and am curious to see it. Have you seen La La Land? Did you like it? I have not seen it yet, but have been hearing very positive things.

      Brothers of Karamazov is another one on my list (though more like my two year list). My brother and sister both read it, so I feel left out. 🙂 But I also want to read Crime and Punishment again, because when I read it in high school I do not think I understood parts of it very well.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • stephencwinter

        January 10, 2017 at 3:18 am

        I haven’t seen LaLa Land yet but I hope to see it soon. It’s in a queue with Fantastic Beasts as we are a Harry Potter family. I think that he might be a family member!
        The more I read Dostoevsky the more I come to think that we are not intended to “understand” him. He deliberately takes extreme positions through his characters just to see what it looks like to see life through their eyes. In this he is totally different from Tolstoy who has a point that he wants to make.

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • christinawehner

          January 10, 2017 at 9:34 am

          That is very interesting about Dostoevsky! I’ll have to remember that when I read his books again. I tend to launch aggressively into trying to understand an author’s point, but as you point out, that doesn’t work for all authors.

          Liked by 1 person

           
    • thoughtsallsorts

      January 9, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      Ha ha…seems the cars are in a global plot to be unwell…mine ended the year with a bill…and started the year with an even higher one. Arrrghhhh….
      Happy New Year.

      Liked by 2 people

       
  2. FictionFan

    January 10, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Happy New year! Hope you’re back to full health now, and ready to enjoy meeting your goals! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

     
  3. Simoa

    January 10, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Best of luck with all your goals! Black Narcissus is a masterpiece of vibrant color. The Red Shoes as well! I also really enjoy Cabin in the Sky and 12 Angry Men. Looking forward to reading more of your great posts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • christinawehner

      January 10, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Thanks! When I saw Black Narcissus, it was on a bad TV and I can’t wait to see it in its full. vibrant glory! Really looking forward to seeing Cabin in the Sky, too. I’ve heard so much about Ethel Waters, I am looking forward to being able to see some of her work!

      Like

       
  4. The Animation Commendation

    January 10, 2017 at 8:06 am

    I’ve only seen one film on Blu-ray, but I guess they’re clearer than DVD’s.

    I can’t wait for you to watch 12 Angry Men!

    I’m not sure which classic film I’ll wanna watch this year.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • christinawehner

      January 10, 2017 at 9:33 am

      It seems like Blu ray works the best for films in Technicolor (at least in my small experience). Seems to bring out the color better. It hasn’t made as much difference to me when the films are in black and white, though.

      I’ve ordered 12 Angry Men from the library! Looking forward to it very much!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. Andrea Lundgren

    January 12, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I want to read The Divine Comedy and Madame Bovary, too. They’ve been on my list for some time but I’ve never gotten around to it. We should read it together and thus get through them at last. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • christinawehner

      January 12, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      We should! I actually have Madame Bovary on my to-read shelf right now. I’ve been fending Leandra off by giving her increasingly large nonfiction books to read, but she keeps eyeing it. We joke that she always reads the books I get from the library first and then somehow I never get to read them, so I am determined to read this one first! Or at least at the same time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

       

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