Tag Archives: Blogging

2017 – Happy Belated New Year!!

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.


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?


Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Books, Movies


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Announcing the “Characters in Costume Blogfest: Fiction and Film”

bride-6“Appearance, Accuracy, Description, Makeup, Casting, Costumes & More.”

It all started with corsets. My friend Andrea – of Into the Writer Lea – and I were discussing how films frequently get undergarments wrong and it planted a seed in our minds that grew into the Characters in Costume Blogfest, devoted to all things related to a character’s appearance, whether on film or in fiction.

How is a character described in a story? Does the actor cast in the film match your image of the character in the story? Who is responsible for the makeup of Frankenstein in 1931? How has the appearance of Frankenstein changed throughout film history? What is the history of Captain America’s uniform? How does an author convey what a character looks like? Who designed the gowns for Gone With the Wind? Are those costumes in Pride and Prejudice really accurate?

These are the sorts of questions we seek to consider. We’re quite excited and hope to encompass a wide range of topics, from cinema to literature.


October 28th, 29th, and 30th of 2016


To participate, simply fill out the sign-up sheet below. On the day of the blogfest, you can post the links to your article via the comments section of either of our blogs or via twitter (@_cwehner or @AndreaWriterlea). At the end of each day of the blogfest, we will publish a recap of all the day’s posts.

Duplicate topics are most welcome and topics can be drawn from movies, short stories, TV shows and novels. We are looking at fictional characters, but also the people who created the fictional characters or their appearance (like authors or costume designers).

Please feel free to use any of the posters found below. We look forward to seeing you all in October!


The complete roster of participants can be viewed, here.










Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Books, Movies


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Blogging, Cats and Ragtime

Sometimes I just have one of those Fridays…you know, the kind of Friday were absolutely no inspiration strikes. So I thought I would cheat and share a video I found on youtube, demonstrating the hazards of working at home (or blogging) with a cat around.

My cat’s not quite this active, but she definitely makes her presence known. I’ll be sitting in intense thought, typing something up, when I’ll feel something knock against my chair. That is the preliminary “head bonk,” the initial signaling of her presence. Then she meows and gets up on her back paws and pats me on the arm. Next is the jumping up on the desk and walking over my keyboard, sometimes going so far as to plop herself on my lap and purr intensely. She also likes to roll on her stomach and look as cute as possible so that she can distract me and possibly lure me into playing with her. She’s like a femme fatale, using her cuteness as a weapon. She’s even stolen my chair and reduced me to sitting on the floor while I work.

Incidentally, the music that accompanies the video is called “Fig Leaf Rag,” written by Scott Joplin in 1908, though it does seem to be played a little fast. My piano teacher told me years ago that rag is often played too fast nowadays. Most people I know (including myself) tend to associate rag with very fast, fun loving music, but that’s not entirely accurate. Rag can also be poignant, sad, dreamy, many things.

And actually Scott Joplin did not intend his music to be taken as light entertainment. He considered himself a serious composer who was conversant with classical music and wanted his music to be taken as seriously as classical music. Unlike previous ragtime composers, he meant for his music to be played exactly as he wrote them, without improvisation, like any other classical work.

Here is an example of the same song, “Fig Leaf Rag,” played at a slower pace by Joshua Rifkin, who helped to re-popularize ragtime in the 1970s (following the success of the film The Sting, which employed a lot of ragtime in the soundtrack).


Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Music


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