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April 2018 Recap

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April has essentially followed the same pattern as December: I finish my courses, do my final exams, and prepare for a nice, relaxing break, only for a big movie to come out and suddenly I have 8-hour shifts every day and I can barely stay awake from sheer exhaustion when I finally do get some free time at home. While all of this business is excellent for my theater, I am looking forward to things quieting down so I can finally get that much-needed break. In the meantime, I have been watching a lot of movies; I mentioned, also back in December, that I was making my way through old recordings on my DVR, and that process is still ongoing. Much of the backlog was recordings from TCM Imports, so I have been watching a lot of subtitled, black-and-white films from the 1950s and 60s, which has been a lot more fun and enlightening than one might expect. Again, it was very difficult to narrow down my highlights list to five, and I had to skip some truly excellent films, including the very sma…

March 2018 Recap

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I am pretty sure that I have never been so busy in my life as I have been in the first three months of this year; certainly, the time has never seemed to pass by so quickly. Despite all of my schoolwork and work at the theater, my movie-watching actually went up this month, and I saw a lot of really fantastic films—so many that it was much more difficult than usual to narrow the list down to 5 favorites to talk about. I saw some really excellent films in my foreign film class, including the Canadian films Atanarjuat: The Long Runner and Water; I saw the adorable  Love, Simon and the brutal Red Sparrow at the theater; I saw the great Vincent Price movies House of Wax and The Tingler, and re-watched my inexplicable new favorite film The Monster Club, which was just as good the second time; I watched some fantastic pre-Codes with the underrated The Maltese Falcon, Waterloo Bridge, and The Old Dark House; and, most significantly, I finished the Audrey Hepburn marathon I began all th…

February 2018 Recap

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Despite having a number of assignments and exams to do in February, and my spring break getting eaten up by too many shifts at work, I somehow managed to watch more movies this month than last without dropping the ball on anything else. Even better, the quality of the movies I saw increased greatly; while January seemed like a good month for movies looking back at it, February is definitely even better. I had a best picture double feature at my theater with The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (my first ever double feature at a movie theater, actually); I re-watched the incredible In the Mood for Love in my foreign film class and wrote my exam essay on it, two events that re-affirmed my love for this incredible film; I got my Vincent Price fix with While the City Sleeps and The Monster Club; and I went to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which actually turned out to be a really fun time at the movies. Read on to see a breakdown of my month and my five f…

January 2018 Recap

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I thought January was going to be a return to normal, or at least as normal as you could call the past few months, but yet again I was in for a surprise. I started taking my first university-level English classes this semester, one focused on literature and the other on academic writing, and they have proven to be much more work than any of the classes I took in the fall. I am definitely learning a lot, but the clear drawback is yet another reduction in my free time. I watched a lot less movies than is typical for me, less than 1 a day, and I often found myself missing my routine of winding down to a movie at the end of each day. Despite the reduction, I did still find the time to watch some great stuff: I continued to work my way through those DVR recordings from 2016, which resulted in watching 3 films each from two of my favorite classic actors, Norma Shearer and Charles Laughton; I watched the silent film Where Are My Children? from 1916, which now stands as the oldest feature-le…

Top 10 Under-Seen Clark Gable Films

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One of the exciting things about classic film stars is just how many films they all made. While it was undeniably hard on them to be producing films non-stop, and no doubt the industry is better off now that actors have the option of cool-down periods between films, it does mean that many of these golden age stars have incredible filmographies that very few modern actors can match. Clark Gable is just such an actor, with 66 films under his belt--and a jaw-dropping 25 of those having been released between 1931 and 1934, the first 4 years of his career.

As amazing as these filmographies are, however, the inevitable result is a lot of films flying under the radar. Today, Clark Gable is known for only a handful of his most popular films, leaving the majority of his work forgotten and unappreciated. For Love Letters to Old Hollywood's wonderful Clark Gable blogathon, I will be counting down my top 10 under-seen Clark Gable films.


Before I move on to the list, I want to make a quick bu…

December 2017 Recap

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I am going to give up on writing out my hopes for this blog, because I always fail to live up to my expectations for myself. I will simply write when I can and hopefully that turns out to be more frequent than not, but if the first two weeks of this semester are any indication, I think the summer holidays are going to be the best bet for a more rigorous posting schedule. We shall see. As far as December goes, it was not a banner month for me. I had several exams and they all went well, but right as I was prepared to give myself a much-needed break and spend my free time writing and watching lots of movies, I got very sick. I initially woke up sick on Christmas Day, and proceeded to miss most of my shifts at the movie theater for the remainder of the week. Rather than spend that free time enjoying the holidays, I had to stay in bed and sleep—and when I was not asleep, I was too miserable to do anything fun or productive with my time. Then when I woke up on New Year’s Eve, the coughing …

Good Will Hunting's Sean Maguire: My Hero

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Of all of the actors I was introduced to as a child, one sticks out in my mind above all of the others as having had the greatest impact on me: Robin Williams. Aladdin, Jumanji, and Mrs. Doubtfire were all staples in my childhood viewing rotation, and every time I watched them I was impressed by his tremendous talent and the sense of warmth he exuded in each one of his roles. I have a distinct memory from when I was around 8 or 9 of watching the previews on one of my VHS tapes, one of which was for Patch Adams. The trailer ended with a shot of Robin Williams walking away, with credits playing over the screen. In that moment, I was hit with the thought that as a reasonably healthy young person, I was inevitably going to outlive Robin Williams. This thought brought me great sadness, and in that moment I wished for a long and happy life for this great actor, because I did not want to live in a world without him in it.
In August of 2014, the tragic day arrived when I found out that Robin…