gregferrara
gregferrara

It was in grade school that I starting going out of my way to see whatever movies I could from the Golden Era of Hollywood, movies I had read about in the "Motion Pictures" entry in the encyclopedia. I'd stay up late or convince my mom to take me to whatever revival in whatever town I could find. It was with my mom that I saw the double feature of "Creature from the Black Lagoon/It Came from Outer Space," both in their original 3-D, complete with the red and blue glasses, and even though she wanted to leave after the first feature, I convinced her to stay for the whole thing.

It was around this time that my middle school library got a brand new book, just published! And it was about film! That didn't happen often, I can tell you. The book, published in 1976, was "Silents to Sound: A History of the Movies" by Juliet P. Schoen, an author I'd not heard of before and have not heard of since but it was she who introduced me to the movies in a real way. Oh sure, the book was general knowledge, just like the encyclopedia, but it had so much more detail, so many wonderful stories. I read it every week in the library until, one day, quite absent-mindedly, I put it in my backpack and walked out. I didn't mean to and promised myself I'd return it just as soon as I read it a couple more times. Then a little more. Then just a little more. Okay, just one more time!

I've still got it today.

Though it no longer holds anything for me in the way of film knowledge or analysis, I can't get rid of it and the school doesn't even exist anymore anyway. When I started writing online in 2007 I named my blog "Cinema Styles: From Silents to Sound." By 2009 I had dropped the "From Silents to Sound" part but the love remained, the film studies continued and the reception of so much joy, of spiritual fulfillment, taken from the cinema daily is something that remains powerful to this day.

Posts by gregferrara

Later on tonight, TCM airs the 1966 Oscar winner,  A Man for All Seasons, a movie that, on the whole, I’m not too wild about.  But I like plenty of its separate elements.  I love the performances, for instance, by Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, and Robert Shaw, especially.  I love the music more than a […]

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As we head into Memorial Day, TCM airs some of the greatest war movies ever made, one after another, for the whole weekend.  That means today will have plenty of great ones on hand, many of them my all time favorites.  There have been plenty of war movies I’ve loved while never really considering it […]

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Today on TCM, three of the all-time great hams grace your tv screen all day.  There’s Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, and Charles Laughton, three actors who would have been comfortable walking around with slices of pineapple on their backs and a cherry glaze on their head because they seriously knew how go for broke when […]

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Today on TCM, there’s a short movie running between the other movies and it’s about the making of Westworld, the 1973 sci-fi mediocrity about androids that go berserk and start killing the guests of the futuristic resort they occupy.  It’s a great idea, poorly executed.  Michael Crichton wasn’t much of a director but he did […]

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TCM celebrates Mother’s Day by offering up a selection of cinematic mothers who reinforce the ideals upheld by most of us when thinking of great mothers.  Barbara Stanwyck’s Stella Dallas is a classless, gaudy, hoot of a mama who, once she discovers the embarrassment and distinct lack of social climbing she offers her daughter, voluntarily […]

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Anyone who knows classic Hollywood knows that there have been many occasions where the name under the “directed by” credit isn’t the actual person who directed the picture.  One of those happens to be on tonight, Journey Into Fear, nominally directed by Norman Foster, but mapped out in its entirety by Orson Welles.  Other famous […]

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May 6th, 2015 is the one hundredth birthday of the great Orson Welles, and tonight, even though it’s not quite his birthday yet, TCM is airing Citizen Kane and Magnificent Ambersons back to back.  After that it’s Orson in Jane Eyre and then Too Much Johnson, his short from 1938.  Fellow Morlock Kimberly Lindbergs gave us a […]

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Today on TCM, the 1942 classic Pride of the Yankees runs, the fictionalized account of Lou Gehrig and his all too young departure from this world due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that eventually took his name, so associated with him it became.   Like many sports dramas, the real drama comes not from […]

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Today TCM airs Being There, the 1979 movie starring Peter Sellers, Melvin Douglas, and Shirley MacLaine that satirizes the culture of political celebrity in America.   In it, Sellers plays Chance, the gardener, who is put out of work, and home, when the wealthy owner of the Washington, DC townhouse where he resides dies.  He […]

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It was fifty years ago that the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music, debuted on the silver screen.  Adapted from the successful stage production, which debuted six years earlier, in 1959, on Broadway, and went on to win five Tony Awards, it quickly became one of the all-time box office giants and one […]

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Streamline is the official blog of FilmStruck, a new subscription service that offers film aficionados a comprehensive library of films including an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic art house, indie, foreign and cult films.