Lots of items on the agenda today, cartooners…but the main order of business is a profuse apology I need to extend to the winners of two recent TDOY giveaways, the Phil Harris-Alice Faye Private Lives collection and the book written by Mrs. Francis Albert Sinatra (aka Barbara) herself, Lady Blue Eyes. I swear I will get these out by Saturday; I have no other excuse as to why I’ve been so tardy in getting them to you except that I suffer from a debilitating condition known in the Latin as Bonius Lazius. Well, that’s a large percentage of it…we’ve also been a regular beehive of activity around Castle Yesteryear, so I thank all of you for your patience and I’m really going to take care of this before the week is out. Scout’s honor.
Speaking of giveaways (smooth as glass, I tells ya) I got quite a surprise the other night when Jill at Sittin’ On a Backyard Fence e-mailed me to let me know that I was a winner in her March-in-March giveaway—the prize being my choice between a DVD or Blu-Ray of the newly remastered Kino release (yes, I know they’re Kino Lorber now but I refuse to call them that) of the Academy Award-winning A Star is Born (1937), one of four films in the company’s The Selznick Collection (the others being Bird of Paradise, A Farewell to Arms and another Fredric March vehicle, Nothing Sacred). I’m really looking forward to getting a gander at this one, since the source material comes from “an original nitrate 35mm Technicolor print, preserved by the George Eastman House Motion Picture Department”; I can still remember watching this one on my first VHS recorder and being slightly discouraged but I’m sure a great print will make all the difference. (Oh…I went with the DVD, btw.) So I want to thank Jill for hosting both the giveaway and blogathon—my shock at learning that I won stems from the fact that I’m not usually this lucky when it comes to giveaways…all the stuff I’ve won in the past has been due to the large amount of trivia that has taken residence in my grey matter since high school.
So let me keep the segueways going with some blogathon news. This week, the Lost Video Archive is hosting…wait for it…
…that’s right! The Week of Hong! A week-long tribute to one of the most dependable character actors of our time, James Hong, whose work includes memorable appearances in such films as The In-Laws (1979) and Big Trouble in Little China (1986). Most of the work by Hong that is being discussed on the participating blogs is of a modern-day cult bent, with cult classics like Bloodsport II and Bloodsport III…not to mention a little number Hong directed entitled Teen Lust (I had no idea Mr. Hong was quite the auteur!). But since my BBFF Stacia has kicked in with a Hong appearance in 1957’s The Seventh Sin, I e-mailed Lost Video’s proprietor The Goodkind and asked him if I had time to climb aboard before the train left the station. He assured me that it was fine and dandy, so what I’m planning to do is scour the dusty Thrilling Days of Yesteryear archives for some classic TV programmage featuring Mr. Hong—and there’ll be a few surprises in some of the shows, which I will have up on the blog this Saturday. I want to thank Mr. G for being so gracious in allowing me to get in on the fun…he was very enthusiastically supportive when I told him of my evil scheme..er, not-evil-in-the-slightest plan.
There are quite a few blogathons on the schedule in the coming months…and the first one I want to give a shout-out is my chum Page at My Love of Old Hollywood. Page, inspired by a recent “dogathon” at the Classic Film and TV Café, will be hosting a “horseathon” this coming May—tentatively scheduled from May 25-27, to be precise. (Page has noted that the schedule may be expanded, depending on the number of blogs who participate.) Naturally, a “horseathon” is pretty self-explanatory—movies featuring a large amount of equine content, and I think it was Immortal Ephemera’s Cliff who joked on Twitter that this sort of thing should be right up my alley, what with TDOY’s regular B-Western Wednesdays and all. I was sorely tempted to go there (I have two Roy Rogers films in the archives that would have been ideal) but instead my entry is going to be the 1951 Bowery Boys vehicle Crazy Over Horses. (Great title, huh?) If you’ve got a blog (which comprises about 99% of the online population) and would like to participate, skate on over to Page’s for more info. (And it is her first blogathon, so…please…be gentle.)
I’ve mentioned the For the Love of Film III film preservation blogathon here on the blog in the past (an event that I will only be too happy to participate in, since film preservation is a very big thing here as you might have surmised); it will take place from May 13-18 and is being hosted by the incomparable Self-Styled Siren, Ferdy on Films and This Island Rod. Since the goal of the blogathon is raising the necessary fundage ($15,000) to allow people to see what remains of the 1924 silent feature The White Shadow, a film on which Sir Alfred Hitchcock served as assistant director; For the Love of Film III will feature the Master of Suspense as the focus of the ‘thon. (Which reminds me…I need to start brainstorming on what I’m going to write about…and as you know, anything in my brain is a storm…nyuk nyuk nyuk.)
But my CMBA pals Dor (I call her “Dor” because she said I could) at Tales of the Easily Distracted and ClassicBecky from ClassicBecky’s Brain Food (“Brains!”) have decided to host a blogathon of their own, one that Beckers is facetiously calling The Hitch-NOT Blogathon…but its official title is The Best Hitchcock Films Hitchcock Never Made. The event will run from July 7-12, and after some initial confusion—I was mistaken for the "Ivan" who blogs at The United Provinces of Ivanlandia…a natural mistake, since the guy is practically my doppelganger—as to which film I planned to do, I’m going to go with Cape Fear (1962).
I need to point out something else about this blogathon. Becky—you gotta love her—has been tweaking me for some time now about my heavy blogathon participation, hinting that I have difficulty saying “no” to people (according to her, I’m the male Ado Annie) as far as ‘thons are concerned. So I briefly considered sitting this one out, just to make her stew…but I couldn’t do that to Dor, so I accepted without hesitation. I’m on board, and I think this one is going to be a lot of fun—if you’re interested in joining us, here are the deets.
August will mark the centennial birthday of multi-show business hyphenate Gene Kelly (actor, singer, dancer, director, choreographer, craft services worker, etc.) and to commemorate the event The Classic Movie Blog Association is going to fete our Pam’s favorite with a blogathon from August 20-25. The schedule of films that will be covered can be found here; you’ll notice that I grabbed Christmas Holiday (1944) and that my review will be featured here at TDOY on the 24th. There are still a few Gene Kelly vehicles not spoken for, so if you’re a CMBA member who just happens to be perusing this announcement here and would like to throw in (you racier blogs will have to wait until I can sneak some shrimp puffs out to you in the parking lot), e-mail wilsonkjm(at)yahoo(dot)com for all the pertinent info. The e-mail belongs to frequent TDOY commenter KimWilson, who blogs at 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die; she is the person who is coordinating the event and is doing such a superb job I’m thinking of turning over any future blogathons we do here over to her.
One other blogathon that I’ll mention only in passing because she hasn’t completely worked out the kinks…and yes, Caroline at Garbo Laughs used that joke when I asked her on Twitter about The Queer Film Blogathon she’s going to host again this year (she coordinated last year’s event, which was a tremendous success, and so she was inspired to do a sequel, Part Deux: The Queerening—even though she has refused to take my and Stacia’s suggestion that it be called Queer Film Blogathon II: Texas Blood Money). She’s put up a “teeny post” at GL that says the ‘thon will be tentatively scheduled June 18-22; further details (and banner) will be forthcoming but she’s currently kicking up her heels at the TCM Classic Film Festival. (I reviewed Caged for last year's event, and I think this year I'm going to go with Different for Girls.)
On a reflective note—this past March 31 marked the last guest contribution of mine at Edward Copeland on Film…and More (you’ll recall I wrote an 80th anniversary tribute to the 1932 gangster classic Scarface). Now, before you get hold of that new Kitty Kelley bio of Mr. Copeland and start reading the passage about the breakup*, let me set the record straight—it was a mutual parting of the ways; Ed has decided to revamp his blog into a one-man show, and with the acquisition of a major outside project here in the House of Yesteryear I wasn’t so certain I was going to be able to juggle the assignments that I spoke for in addition to keeping this scow sailing a true course in the Blogtopian Sea. Let me just say this—I enjoyed the hell out of my three-year association with his blog; its prestige is such that it always spurred me to do my best work, and I have left the door wide open if he should need to call on me for any projects in the future. If you’ve never taken time to visit his little space in the Blogosphere, now would be as good a time as any because we’re all out of time. And now…a word from our sponsors!
*Yes, I made this up.