LUCKY ME! For the third consecutive year I get to take part in a special blogging event and with two of my favorite bloggers. Fritzi of Movies, Silently and Ruth of Silver Screenings have asked me to join them as co-host of The Classic Movie History Project 2016. Here’s hoping some of their class rubs off!
The first time we tackled this project we divided the history of film into individual years with each blogger claiming one year to cover. Last year we zoned in on eras of film – the Silent Era, the Golden Age and Swinging into Modern Times – which generated lots of buzz and resulted in a terrific array of entries. What we’ve come up with this year is even more exciting!
The Classic Movie History Project Blogathon (2016)
The Classic Movie History Project 2016 will run for six days, from August 5 through August 10, with two topics available for discussion each day. Each host will oversee four topics with each topic adhering to the same overarching theme – Fritzi’s topics are all related to “The System,” Ruth’s are related to “The Movies” and mine are related to “The People.” After a bit of necessary business you’ll get to the meat of this post, the list that includes the host and blog, the day, the topics and a brief introduction to each in case you have questions as to what we mean. I’ve no doubt you will find one or more irresistible so write to your heart’s desire! But first…
If you’re interested in submitting an entry to the blogathon, here are some guidelines, rules, regulations, must-dos, please-dos and other tidbits…
- Posts can cover people and topics from the dawn of cinema until 1975.
- This is an international event, posts on both Hollywood and foreign cinema are most welcome.
- We accept no duplicates. No aceptamos duplicados. Nous acceptons pas de doublons. Wir akzeptieren keine Duplikate.
- We’d be forever grateful if you’d leave your comments and or chosen topic and the category it belongs in on the corresponding host blog. And link to that blog in your post to keep thing orderly. We’ll see how that goes! FYI – the category and topic you choose determine the date to post by.
- Feel free to be imaginative – pictorials, videos, podcasts and other multimedia items are A-OK with us.
- To join us in this historical endeavor simply contact any one of your friendly hosts and we will add you to the roster. Please be sure to include the address of your blog, the section and topic you have chosen and the title or general nature of your topic.
- You’ll notice a fabulous event banner designed by Fritzi as the featured image (above) and an array at the end of this post. Please include any one of them on your blog and in your submission to help us promote the event.
- HAVE FUN!
Dates, Hosts, Topics & Participants
Day 1: THE SYSTEMS
August 5 – Hosted by Fritzi at Movies, Silently
MGM musicals. Warner gangsters. Toho monsters. The studios of the classic film era were responsible for artistic triumphs, trash and tragedy. The Studios is all about the house style of longstanding and respected industry players like Fox, Warner Brothers and MGM. It also covers foreign powerhouses like Gaumont, Ufa and Mosfilm. Poverty row and independent producers will get their day in the sun as well with coverage of Selznick, Goldwyn and the cowboys of Gower Gulch.
Movies Silently – Albatros Studios
Silver Screenings – Why the Studio System Worked In Spite of Itself
Once Upon a Screen – Censorship Before The Code
Caftan Woman – Hal Roach’s Lot of Fun
Big V Riot Squad – Theaters of the 1910s
Old Hollywood Films – The Star Machine
The Publicity Department
Hoopla, hullabaloo and just a touch of carnival barker: that was the winning formula for film publicity. We’ll be covering posters, trailers, tie-ins and soundtracks, as well as publicity stunts, staged scandals and the anything-goes attitude of film advertising. From the tasteful posters of the classic era to the mad stunts of William Castle, The Publicity Department is all about getting rear ends into theater seats.
Cinema Crossroads – Hitchcock’s Marketing of Psycho (1960)
Day 2: THE FILMS
August 6 – Hosted by Ruth at Silver Screenings
The Production Code
The Production Code put an end to explicit naughtiness in movies, but filmmakers continually tried to find ways to work around it. The Production Code will look at the main architects of – and detractors from – the Code. We’ll look at the goals of the Code, notable exemptions, and how it changed the films themselves.
Silver Screenings – A Half-baked Defense of the Code
Cinema Gadfly – Design for Living (1933)
Shadows and Satin – Pre-Code Scandals
The Magic of Animation
They say the Golden Age of Animation was 1928 to the early 1960s, but animation has been around since the early 1900s. The Magic of Animation will explore different types of film animation, such as traditional 2D, stop-motion, mechanical, puppetry, claymation, etc. We’ll also pay tribute to animation pioneers.
Movies Silently – Review of The Original Movie (1922)
Noirish – The Fleischers
Define Dancing – Disney from Silent Era to Snow White
F for Films – Animation of Winsor McCay
Christina Wehner – Willis O’Brien and Stop Motion Animation
Phyllis Loves Classic Movies – Mary Blair, Disney Concept Artist
Way Too Damn Lazy to Write a Blog – Charley Bowers, Stop-Motion Animator
Love Letters to Old Hollywood – Karel Zeman
Day 3: THE PEOPLE
August 7 – Hosted by Aurora at Once Upon A Screen
“The openers” is how John Steinbeck referred to them in “East of Eden.” These people who ventured forth into uncharted territory were often naïve, learned hard lessons, made mistakes and persevered. In doing so they permanently changed our culture by changing movie history and this topic is for them. With trailblazing energy they set standards that stand to this day. The groundbreakers – not with shovel or cement in hand, but with a camera, with a microphone, with gestures and words they paved the way and we want to know how they did it.
Movies Silently – The Big Swallow (1921)
Cinematic Scribblings – French New Wave topic
Cinematic Catharsis – Nanook of the North: Influence on Documentaries
Cinema Cities – Olivia de Havilland and the de Havilland Law
Cary Grant Won’t Eat You – Mae West’s Entrance Into Film
Girls Do Film – Frances Marion
Realweegiemidget Movie Reviews – One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest
Once Upon a Screen – Dottie Ponedel
Silent-ology – Forgotten Comedians of the Silent Era
Sister Celluloid – Auntie Joan (Crawford) Explains It All For You
Before They Were Stars
W.C. Fields made his Broadway debut in an aptly titled musical comedy, “The Ham Tree.” Norma Shearer won a beauty contest at the age of fourteen. Buster Keaton nearly suffocated at a few months old after being accidentally shut in a costume trunk off stage while his mother and father performed. You get the picture. We want to know the highs, the lows and the in-betweens of those whose faces would someday adorn the silver screen.
Movies Silently – Looking for William Boyd: A Paramount Pictorial
An Ode to Dust – Lon Chaney
Midnite Drive-In – John Wayne
Day 4: THE SYSTEMS
August 8 – Hosted by Fritzi at Movies, Silently
The Technical Department
Directors and stars get all the attention but what about the brilliant craftspeople who made the movies possible? We’re going to be giving these hardworking editors, special effects wizards, sound engineers, production designers and makeup artists their day in the sun, examining the craft that made classic films so gorgeous.
Movies Silently – Ballroom Scene in Michael Strogoff
The Last Drive-In – Jerry Goldsmith
Phyllis Loves Classic Movies – It’s Snowing! Making Celluloid Winter Wonderlands
The Wardrobe Department
That Hollywood look! Or is it Berlin? In any case, movies have always showcased virtuoso fashion design and the stars have always tried to look their very best for their fans. The Costume Department is all about virtuoso fashion design onscreen and off and we’ll be discussing the very best in costuming and red carpet fashion.
Cinema Cities – Partnership between Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn
Meredy’s Place – Jean Louis
Day 5: THE FILMS
August 9 – Hosted by Ruth at Silver Screenings
Sometimes making movies is difficult, whether it’s the bickering between the director and lead actor, or the harsh conditions while filming on location. Then there are the box-office bombs that keep studio executives awake at night. Movie Disasters is a no-holds-barred look at Hollywood, uh, “missteps”.
Little Bits of Classics – Difficulties in Shooting Chaplin’s The Circus
Moon in Gemini – The Magnificent Ambersons
Century Film Project – Intolerance: Fact & Fiction
Midnite Drive-In – The Conqueror
Cinema Crossroads – To Be or Not To Be (1942)
The Wonderful World of Color
Color has been used in film for well over 100 years. The Wonderful World of Color celebrates color innovators, along with larger-than-life color films. We’ll also examine different color techniques, such as tinting, hand-coloring, two and three-color film processes, and glorious Technicolor.
Back to Golden Days – Trail of Lonesome Pine and 3-Strip Technicolor
Movies Silently – Review of The Black Pirate (1926)
The Last Drive-In – 50’s Sci-Fi
Realweegiemidget Movie Reviews – The Sound of Music
Lonely Critic – Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard
Day 6: THE PEOPLE
August 10 – Hosted by Aurora at Once Upon A Screen
The Family Business
Some of the most interesting stories in Hollywood through the decades have been born of family strife and pressures mixed with the art and business of motion pictures. Some acting families have made a brief appearance in the movies and are forgotten while others like The Barrymores remain popular – whether by truth or legend – generation after generation. Acting “dynasties” are connected to controversy, have won major awards, starred in countless films and directed eternal classics. They’ve also owned major Hollywood studios and passed them down to the next generation and by doing so irrevocably changed the course of history. The Laemmles, The Hustons, The Fondas. Spotlighted here are Hollywood family dynamics.
SallyBlane.com – The Young Acting Family (Loretta, Polly Ann, Georgie Belzer, and Sally Blane)
Prince of Hollywood – The Fairbanks
Silents and Talkies – The Mills Family ((John, Juliet and Hayley)
Classic Film Observations & Obsessions – The Carey Family (Harry Carey Sr., Jr., and Olive)
A Foreign Affair
Hollywood would not have been Hollywood without the talent of foreigners who came to call her their own. From countries the world over foreign talents added a distinct and unforgettable flavor to countless classic movies. The “Such much?” exchange in Curtiz’s Casablanca comes to mind instantly, but that’s just one example and these extraordinary people were legion. The choice is yours and we can’t wait to see who you want to focus on! By the way – if you prefer to write about American stars abroad that’s great too!
B Noir Detour – Fritz Lang
Critica Retro – Alberto Cavalcanti: Brazilian by birth, citizen of the world through the movies
Mildred’s Fatburgers – Hugo Haas and his B-Movie Mantrap oeuvre
Phyllis Loves Classic Movies – Simone Simon
A Small Press Life – Ossi Oswalda German silents I Don’t Want to Be Man & The Doll
Bubblegum Aesthetics – The Bicycle Thief, Changing History
There you have it. If you have questions ASK and they shall be answered. We hope you’re as excited to join us as we are to see what you choose to write about. Also, follow and use #MovieHistoryProject during the blogathon to see if we can get a conversation going.