This was my first time attending a real film festival that I was able to make it for more than a couple of movies, even though it was still a virtual fest with all the screenings online. Better than nothing these days, right? Big thanks to my friend Neil Calderone for putting this on my radar because over six days, I’ve watched nine features and eight short films and found no disappointments in any of them. Sure, there were some I enjoyed more than others, but they were still all very entertaining and I’m glad I got to see them.Continue reading
Chicago’s Music Box Theatre has been hosting these 24-hour marathons since 2005, and I have been at every one of them. There were a few times I was just there as a fan to watch the movies, but usually I’m there as a vendor. When I am set up as a vendor, part of me always regrets not just coming as a fan and being able to enjoy watching the films instead of staying behind my table. Sure, with my wife Dawn there, I could always sneak out to catch a film or two, but I usually feel bad about leaving her there to watch the table alone. Plus, I always feel I might miss something. We also usually pack and leave somewhere around 2am, figuring sales are usually low or non-existent by then. But this time out, things were a little different. Continue reading
With just a little over a month away, the Music Box has announced the rest of the titles that will be screening at this year’s Music Box of Horrors. With only 3 out of the 12 titles being screened from a DCP, the rest will all be from 35mm. Previously announced titles were Lord of Illusions (1995), Child’s Play (1988), Freddy vs Jason (2003), Body Melt (1993), Wicked Wicked (1973), and Goke, Bodysnatcher from Hell (1968). But now posted on the theater’s website, we have the rest of the titles in the lineup. They are:
The Lodger (1927) – Alfred Hitchcock’s original version of this tale of Jack the Ripper. This will have a live score from False Gods Trio, and screened from a DCP format.
Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy
Published by McFarland, 2018. 329 pages
By Gregory William Mank
The reading goal that I have set for myself is to get through at least one book per month, and for the last couple of years, I’ve happily gone a little past that goal. But thanks to the wonderfully talented Mr. Mank, my average for this year just went up. It usually takes me 3-4 weeks to get through a book, mainly because I have to steal away time to read. But once I started this latest volume, on the actor Laird Cregar, I went through the first half of it in the first two days, finishing it off within a week. I just couldn’t put it down.
I have been a fan of Cregar’s since the very first time I watched The Lodger (1944). I was just amazed at not only how effective and well made the picture was, but also the amazing talent of Cregar. I immediately started to seek out other of his films, especially Hangover Square (1945), again being mesmerized by his performance. I started to read up on this seemingly unknown (to me at least) actor and his life in various books and online, only be to be depressed on how this brilliant performer was treated in his life, by others as well as how he treated himself. A couple of years ago, while talking to Mank at a Monster Bash conference, he mentioned Cregar was going to be the subject of an upcoming book, which I knew I would get the minute it came out. Which I did.