Blogger, classic film enthusiast and student of culture Margaret Perry is conducting a social media campaign/experiment and I’m thrilled to contribute this entry for the greater good. The premise is simple – as part of Margaret’s Cultural Heritage Management Course at the University of York she has put together what she calls a Flash Blogathon to connect the public with a sense of heritage and is asking that people share images across social media using the hashtag #CurateMyLife. Knowing that our community has a proclivity toward classic movies she has “filmified” this endeavor by creating a list of criteria on which the participants can base their curated images.
I chose to participate in Margaret’s #CurateMyLife project by sharing the images that follow under each category as she dictates. In fact, I believe in this project so strongly that I even share pictures of myself, which I normally don’t like to do. It’d be great if you too took the time to #CurateMyLife and you don’t need to have a blog to take part. Margaret outlines the details on her ‘flash blogathon’ announcement post, but basically all you need to do is share images across social media by tagging each post with #CurateMyLife and including @curatemylife and @MargaretPerryKH with a notation about the number of the criterion it meets. If you prefer to publish the #CurateMyLife entry on your blog be sure to include the project banner (above).
So…here we go. You’ll note her criteria make up a sort of scavenger hunt, as Margaret describes it. This was fun to do and I hope I didn’t push the limit of each as I tried to match every single entry to show the role classic film plays in my life, which is Margaret’s intention with this project.
- DVD/Bluray collection
The bulk of my movie collection is housed in this set of bookshelves. There are several other drawers and a small, rotating shelf gadget that hold (probably) an additional 200 titles. I’m getting ready to purge the collection again to make space with TV collections the likely victims since I can access them on streaming services. In my one-bedroom apartment my movie collection is prominently displayed and may well tell more about me than anything else.
2. VHS collection
Before DVDs my collection consisted of hundreds of VHS tapes, but I got rid of the vast majority of them during one of my moves because by that time I had replaced many with DVDs and simply didn’t have the room for both formats in large numbers. There are only a few that I simply couldn’t get rid of for one reason or another and here they are:
A set of Oscar winners from 1972 through 2002, Greatest Oscar Moments, a Barbra Streisand TV Specials set plus the A Happening in Central Park concert, Elvis on Tour and the 2000 Subway Series between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. I no longer have a VHS player, but I still can’t toss these.
3. Favorite DVD/Bluray
I added ‘bluray’ to this notation because my movie collection now includes many in this format. It’s difficult to come up with favorites when I own so many, but I have to say some of the Criterion releases are heads above others. I’ll go with two of those – Fritz Lang’s M and Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter. Both of those Criterion plus were among the first I purchased and they remain tops on my list. The films look extraordinary in these releases and the extra features are superb.
You can take a look at My Criterion collection here.
4. Favourite VHS
I saved the only other VHS I kept for this category:
The Wizard of Oz 50th Anniversary VHS, which includes a special booklet.
5. Classic film related wall art
A poster you can’t refuse…
I have many classic film posters put away until the day when I have the extra room to display them and the funds to have them all professionally framed. Of those the majority are smaller (17 x 20 I believe) posters of my favorite MGM musicals.
6. Classic film related household product (i.e. mug, dish towel, picture frame, etc.)
These coasters I got as a gift…
And this Gone With the Wind plate I adore…
(You’ve probably noticed by now the quality of these images is not good. I took these on my iPhone and am purposefully sharing them “as is” because that too is who I am. No frills.)
7. Classic film movie ticket
Had this one handy…
8. Picture of you and friends/family enjoying a classic movie experience
This is an odd, but somewhat enjoyable image of a group of diehards at the 2014 TCMFF prior to the midnight showing of David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977). That particular screening will forever top my list of worst experiences ever as far as movies go, but the company was a lot of fun. And no, I have no idea why I thought I was being arrested. Chalk it up to exhaustion.
9. Picture of fan art
I admit I had to search for this one. If this requires an image of a piece of fan art we own then I don’t have any. But I found this beautiful homage to Bela Lugosi by Don Marquez that’s right up my alley.
10. Classic movie related souvenir
I keep most movie tickets, programs, etc. that I deem “important” or memorable. There are many of those I could share here, but I decided to include an image of my one “win” at a movie memorabilia auction. I should tell you the “win” happened in error as I partook in the Profiles in History Debbie Reynolds – The Finale Auction held on May 17, 2014 for fun, just to see what it was like when suddenly a “YOU WON” flashed on my screen. The purchase was expensive (for my budget) and perhaps not worth the effort, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t thrilling. So, as an example of a movie related souvenir here is Lot 174 – a set of 75+ studio fan photographs of actresses from the golden age.
11. Object that once belonged to a classic film star
I don’t think I have anything that belonged to a classic film star, but the following belonged to a classic TV star – a sketch by Art Carney that a friend gave me years ago.
12. Picture of yourself with a classic film star
With Margaret O’Brien at TCMFF 2014
13. Selfie from TCM Film Festival
At TCMFF 2015
14. Selfie with Robert Osborne (of which I will be INSANELY jealous)
Please just look at Mr. Osborne only. This is not a selfie, but a memorable moment in my classic movie #CurateMyLife. To be honest, the only way I would ever take a selfie with Mr. Osborne is if he was in the background, unaware that I was taking one. Too classy for selfies he is. Don’t you think? Anyway, this was taken during the inaugural TCM Classic Film Tour in New York City in August 2013.
15. Classic film book collection
Similar to my situation with the movie collection my movie books are in desperate need of a permanent home. I offer this picture of a messy pile that I refer to often. Another 50 or so are kept in what should be used as a dresser.
16. Favourite movie star biography/autobiography
I must admit that my “to read” list in the Hollywood biography category is a lot longer than my “already read” list. That said, I’ve read several I’ve really enjoyed including “Swanson on Swanson,” which I’m about half-way through with now. Since I can’t choose just one favorite, here are four Highly recommend:
17. Misc. – anything missing from this list that you feel is part of your classic film curated life. Be creative!
There’s a lot I could mention here, but I’m going with absolutes in my “reel life.” As a life-long fan of classic movies I’ve had many varying influencers through the years. But these three ramped up and enhanced my love of film because through them I’ve been introduced to new films and classic-related experiences I would otherwise not have been exposed to. Perhaps these are not creative, but they’re essentials.
TCM – needless to say having a network at my disposal where classic film is presented 24 hours a day in its original format goes a long way in feeding my obsession.
Once Upon a Screen – this blog has played a major part in my continuing classic film conversation. It was created to simply allow me a forum to share thoughts on the movies and movie stars I love. I now can’t imagine not having it at my fingertips as a hobby and escape.
TCMparty – from the day the #TCMparty hashtag was created I “met” like-minded fans many of whom have become friends. These people – as we’ve discovered at TCMFF and various local screenings and meet-ups – are often the only ones we can share hours of classic film talk with. By now there is rarely a day when I don’t share a comment on a film I’m watching by way of this hashtag. #TCMParty is imbedded in #MyCuratedLife.
Although not every classic fan who participates in #TCMparty on a regular basis is in this picture it is the most comprehensive gathering we’ve had to date. From TCMFF 2015…
That’s #MyCuratedLife #ClassicMovies
I hope you too take part in this enjoyable endeavor. Again, all you need to do is share images across social media by tagging each post with #CurateMyLife and including @curatemylife and @MargaretPerryKH on your posts.
Best of luck to Margaret Perry on this project and THANK YOU for inviting me to participate!