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

Today on TCM, one of my favorite movies of all time comes on, Out of the Past.  It was released in 1947 and 36 years later was remade as Against All Odds.  Jeff Bridges stepped into the shoes of Robert Mitchum, James Woods into the shoes of Kirk Douglas, and Rachel Ward into the shoes […]

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Today is Father’s Day and, as such, TCM is showing lots of movies with dads, from The Courtship of Eddie’s Father to Life with Father to, well, lots of other movies with the word “Father” in the title but there’s one movie that they’re not showing and it’s too bad, really.  It’s one of the […]

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Late tonight, TCM plays the early seventies gangster classic, Get Carter, with Michael Caine in an absolutely brilliant performance as the cold, deadly Carter of the title.  One of the reasons Michael Caine has long been a favorite of mine is his natural ability to play comedy and drama, light and heavy, with equal aptitude. […]

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In my last post, When We Start Seeing the Movie Differently, I covered movies that I once loved but, either through fatigue with the director’s style, or my own growth away from the content or subject matter, I now only merely liked or didn’t like much at all.  In the comments, George suggested, seconded by Autist, […]

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Tonight, in prime time, TCM airs the 1977 Steven Spielberg classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  It’s a movie I excitedly saw on opening weekend in 1977 and still remember how much I liked it.  In fact, I remember liking the whole experience.  For instance, I have vivid memories of standing in line, for […]

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Earlier this morning, TCM ran one of the greatest of all the early sound films, and one of the greatest of all films, period, M.  It stars Peter Lorre in a performance that, during his climactic witness box tirade, is as powerful and awe-inspiring as any performance you’re likely to see in the history of […]

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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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