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

George Pal has a few movies today on TCM but not my favorite, War of the Worlds, which he produced while Byron Haskin directed.   I’ve always loved War of the Worlds, in both book form and both major movie adaptations, 1953 and 2005, as well as that certain radio adaptation in 1938.  In fact, […]

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Since the movies began, special effects have been a part of their existence. Georges Méliès was one of the early geniuses of special effects cinema and using matte paintings, time-lapse photography, overlapping multiple exposures, and more, he created worlds never before seen in the realm of theater.  Characters would disappear in a puff of smoke […]

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Later tonight on TCM, Mysterious Intruder (article by yours truly here) airs, an installment in the Whistler series of the forties.   As I write in my article, the Whistler serial was a proto-anthology series, along the lines of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone, because they tell a different story each time, with different […]

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This month at TCM is doing things a little differently with its Star of the Month.  Instead of one, it’s selected Silent Stars as the Star of the Month and its an honorable choice.  Silent film is so different than sound film, and now so much older than the majority of films available (excluding hold-outs […]

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Shall We Dance is the morning movie today at TCM and if you go to the website’s schedule listing, you will find, as on practically all movies showing on TCM, a short blurb from the staff of Leonard Maltin’s reviews.  That blurb says, “Lesser Astaire-Rogers is still top musical, with Gershwin’s ‘Let’s Call the Whole […]

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The Most Dangerous Game airs today on TCM and the 1932 action/adventure movie stands in sharp contrast to another action movie I recently watched, though not for the reasons one might suppose.  That other movie was Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which I liked, and while it contains plenty of action, there’s also more than […]

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Whenever someone asks me “What’s your favorite genre,” it seems like an odd question.   It seems odd because my favorite genres often don’t match up with my favorite movies.  The movies I consider personal favorites spread across a wide spectrum of genres.  I often list movies I write about here as personal favorites, and they […]

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Today, Planet of the Apes airs on TCM and it’s a movie that I saw, honestly, dozens of times in the seventies and eighties.  I watched it and its sequels over and over again, even giving the lousy television show a chance, and buying anything associated with the franchise, from lunchboxes to Viewfinder slides.  POTA, […]

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Later tonight, as in tomorrow morning on the east coast, TCM airs The Fog, the 1980 John Carpenter movie that, like a lot of John Carpenter movies, opened to middling reviews only to be heartily welcomed into the horror canon later.  This also happened with his 1982 remake of The Thing from Another World, this time […]

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I recently wrote up Safari for TCM (it can be found here on the main site) and it airs later tonight, much later, so here’s my chance to elaborate on a few things I put in the article but couldn’t flesh out.  First off, I liked Safari a good deal when I saw it but it […]

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