Friday, January 8, 2010

I'd Like to Thank the Blogosphere...

In particular I need to thank three stalwart bloggers who've passed awards on to me. The blessed Rev. Phantom of Midnight Confessions has selected Mondo 70 for the Kreativ Blogger award, while the learned Professor Brian O'Blivion, pastor over at The Cathode Ray Mission, and that "subterranean beatnik bastard" Jonny Metro of Midnite Media have both tapped me for the One Lovely Blog award. Take a look at my shiny new prizes!

With rewards come responsibilities. A Kreativ Blogger is supposed to pass the award on to seven other blogs and list seven interesting things about himself. Let's do the awarding first. Here I'll follow the Rev's precedent by saying that my bestowal of the award doesn't obligate these lucky seven bloggers to go through the whole routine. Here we go:

1. Antagony & Ecstasy. One of last fall's most impressive movie-blogging achievements was Tim's exhaustive survey of Disney's line-animation features. He's also found time to do a James Cameron survey and a 1939 survey while covering many of the latest releases. It's all brilliant stuff.

2. Cult Movie Reviews. dfordoom is a fairly regular commentator here, and "her" own blog is one after my own heart for its range of films, including some that I honestly hadn't heard of before but now want to see thanks to "her" reviews. Now that d informs me below of his masculinity, however, I hates him, I do! ;)

3. Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! is not my Tourette's outburst but Todd's consistently fascinating blog dedicated to "world pop cinema," which in recent weeks has ranged from Egyptian sci-fi from the Fifties to a Philippine Wonder Woman knockoff of sorts. As another fan of the Nikkatsu Noirs he deserves my support and I think he'll earn yours.

4. Giallo Fever. Keith Brown is several steps ahead of most of us in the hunt for cinema "off the beaten track," and comes back regularly with illuminating reviews of genre cinema from Italy and the rest of Europe. This is another blog where you'll discover films you hadn't heard of before, and Keith is a judicious guide to the virtues and vices.

5. Goodfella's Movie Blog. Last year Dave put himself on the movie-blogging map with a countdown of the best films of each year from 1930 through 2008, often surprising me with unexpected choices while making strong arguments for each choice. He's about to make his mark on 2010 with a Top 100 list of film noir, a genre he knows well, so consider this an invitation to get on board next week.

6. Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies. The Vicar of VHS and Duke of DVD were early friends of my humble blog and their enthusiasm for cult cinema is benignly infectious. Passionate champions of Paul Naschy, Coffin Joe and other worthies, and themselves expressing the spirit of the films they love, they're like the host characters of the movie mag that EC Comics never published, but should have.

7. The Mill Creek Massacre. This blog blinks in and out of existence but Aaron deserves some recognition for his reckless bravery, and encouragement to persevere in watching every film in Mill Creek Entertainment's 50-movie Chilling Classics box set. Any Mill Creek aficionado knows the risk Aaron's taking with his sanity with this project, and that's why I honor his effort here.

And now, seven things about me:

1. Born in 1766, I migrated from my New England birthplace to the rising industrial town of Troy, New York, where I established myself as a meatpacker. During the War of 1812 I supplied beef to the U.S. Army. Soldiers somehow knew that I supplied the stuff, for they started joking that the U.S. on the meat barrels stood for "Uncle Sam," not "United States." I got identified with the government so much that cartoonists started drawing pictures of me to represent the whole country, and in 1961 I was recognized by Congress as the original Uncle Sam. By then I'd been dead for 107 years.

2. On the 2ooth anniversary of my first birth I was reborn under another name in Troy.

3. I'm not sure of when I saw my first movie on a big screen, or which from those I remember was the first. I'm inclined to narrow it down to The Man Called Flintstone or a double feature of Cinderella and Charlie and the Angel. In those days we had two movie houses in Troy, an old Proctor's downtown and the Oxford uptown. By the end of the Seventies both were closed.

4. That left us with the Cinema Art, which as you might guess from the name was a porno theater by the end of the Seventies. One day in 1990 I actually gathered up the courage to visit the place. The building dates back to the 1920s, but you can imagine what such a place, that had been X-rated for decades, was like by then. It ran triple-features in those days, but I was really interested in a particular film because it was said to have an unprecedented lesbian orgy scene in it. I remember nothing of the other films, but I remember having to use the men's room, to my chagrin. It had old school urinals that were built into the floor, and the filthiness of this facility was really more threatening to me than the other patrons, who were few in number. After the experience, though, I felt that I could wait for anything else to come out on video.

5. I taught a movie history course for one semester in the early Nineties. I used Robert Sklar's Movie-Made America as my text on the recommendation of a department head, and I got away with showing the class Birth of A Nation, along with Public Enemy, Meet John Doe, Force of Evil, Breathless, Easy Rider and others that I don't immediately remember. The object of the course was to make students understand how the movie business evolved over time and how that influenced the creative process. It was an uncomfortable experience that I took up on short notice, and I never shook the feeling that I wasn't really communicating with the students.

6. Some time later I went to graduate school, emerging with an advanced degree in American history. I taught some classes while in school (including the history of Islam!) and had that same feeling that I wasn't communicating or reaching out to them as I should. I'd like to blame that on students not being prepared for undergraduate work, but I faulted myself as well. I'm a pretty antisocial character face to face and I suspect that that came through when I tried to teach kids I didn't really want to know. In any event, after getting the degree I never taught another class.

7. In both movie and political blogging I think I've found a congenial mode of communicating my ideas to people, and I'm gratified when people respond to my writings. You guys are all great, but I sometimes feel like I'm giving in to a planned privatization of experience that's driving us all from the public sphere where we might bond with our neighbors and build a real community, but that feeling could be just as much my fault as it is any money-grubbing conspiracy. This is a labored way of saying that I have a lot of fun blogging but sometimes feel guilty about it.

* * *

So, am I done? Not quite, because the One Lovely Blog award obliges me to name fifteen equally deserving blogs. But as Jonny Metro noted upon getting the thing himself, a lot of the people you'd like to give it to have got it already. So to cut to the chase, all the bloggers who got the Kreativ may consider themselves Lovely Blogs as well. Congratulations! That's seven. And by now the band is starting to play the music and those statuesque escorts are closing in, so I'm just going to drop some names and let you discover how good they are yourselves.

Ferdy on Films
The Horror!?
Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies
Italian Film Review
Korova Theare Presents
Lost Video Archive
Ninja Dixon
Twenty-Four Frames

You're all beautiful, people! Thank you and good night.


Rev. Phantom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rev. Phantom said...

You're an interesting guy, Sammy. I always enjoy reading your blogs. I didn't know someone had a blog dedicated to Mill Creek films--I will be checking that out, as well as the others, ASAP.

Marilyn Ferdinand said...

Wow, thanks, Sam! This is a real honor.

Ninja Dixon said...

Thank you so much! It's my first blog-award ever, so now I'm extra, extra proud! :D

Nigel M said...

love point number 7!!! Now you ve got me feeling all guilty too. Oooh and Im absolutely chuffed to bits about the mention there

dfordoom said...

I'm actually a he, I'm just a mad Absolutely Fabulous fan, hence the icon! And all the horror-related icons I like seem to be of women as well!

Dave said...

Thanks for the recognition, Samuel... you're one of the best in the blogosphere and without your contributions at my place, it wouldn't be the same.

The Vicar of VHS said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Samuel! I'm really bad with passing on these award things, but it's always nice to be recognized, and even better to discover all these great blogs that somehow slipped under my radar.

If I had a nickel for every time I was told I'm "benignly infectious," I wouldn't need a day job. The cream helps, however.

Comment verification: "peepe." Just putting that out there.

Alex DeLarge said...

Thank you for the recommendation Unc! Keep up the great work and congratulations on the awards:)