2022 Film Year in Review

2022 was the year that Korean dramas took over my life. I pretty much stopped watching anything else mid-year. I justify this new addiction by telling myself that I’ve spent years bingeing classic films so that I don’t feel too guilty.

However, in the first half of the year, I made the effort to watch some classic film series such as Maisie, Dr. Kildare and Lassie. The Lassie films were my favorites. And thanks to my discovery of the Kanopy and Film Struck streaming apps as well as Youtube, I was able to watch some harder to find classic titles. Then of course, there was my foray into Shakepeare adaptations courtesy of The Hollow Crown series. I’ve found that his plays make more sense when I see them performed rather than reading them. Altogether I watched 363 titles, including re-watches. which is much less than last year’s 500, but right on par with previous years. Continue reading “2022 Film Year in Review”

Book Review -Norma Shearer: A Biography by Gavin Lambert

Norma Shearer has long been a subject of interest for me.  I am an ardent admirer of her work, particularly since she successfully made the transition from silent pictures to become a film star in sound films, a feat many others couldn’t accomplish.

Then there is of course my fascination with the mythos behind Norma’s marriage to MGM wunderkind Irving Thalberg. She benefitted from this relationship but also had to fight for her place, not only has his partner but for the roles he didn’t think she could play.  I’ve also always wanted to know more about her life post Thalberg and MGM.

Thankfully, I finally had the chance to read the biography written by Gavin Lambert who was a screenwriter, novelist and who also wrote biographies on  Alla Nazimova and Natalie Wood. Lambert was able to meet Norma several times before she passed away, interviewed her son and some of her friends and was also granted access to personal papers owned by MGM, all of which help add personal knowledge and details that are vitally necessary in his tribute to a woman who rarely shared or even hinted at the inner Norma Shearer. Continue reading “Book Review -Norma Shearer: A Biography by Gavin Lambert”

July 2022 Quickie Reviews

july 2022 BREAKDOWN
  • 28 films/series total (not including Hallmark films)
  • 7 re-watches
  • 7 foreign film
  • 5 new classic films
  • 4 TV series

Biggest Disappointment: Hotel Portofino

Favorite Discovery: Well this is hard to choose, since I enjoyed almost all of the K-dramas I watched this month, but I think Doom At Your Service will remain one of the more memorable. Ooh, I also really loved Mr. Malcolm’s List. It was so nice to see a good period rom-com in the theater again! Continue reading “July 2022 Quickie Reviews”

Book Review – Miriam Hopkins: Life and Films of a Hollywood Rebel by Allan R Ellenberger

Apart from hardcore classic film fans, actress Miriam Hopkins is not often  mentioned, which is a great shame in my opinion. She was an electric screen presence who achieved her greatest film success during the Pre-Code era. As a fan of her work, I’ve always wanted to know more about her and after eyeballing her biography for several years, finally made the time.

Though I’ve never encountered any of Allan R Ellenberger’s work before, he has written a handful of books on other film celebrities. Using multiple source materials he fleshes out a full-bodied portrait of the actress that has been sorely needed. Right away he sets the tone for his subject in his title choice, naming Miriam the Hollywood rebel that she was. Allanberger paints a portrait of a cunningly intelligent, often appealing woman whose independence and determination helped her succeed in a difficult business while also occasionally alienating people along the way. Continue reading “Book Review – Miriam Hopkins: Life and Films of a Hollywood Rebel by Allan R Ellenberger”