2016 has come and gone, and with the first day of 2017 almost done I feel it’s time to look closely at how the previous year went over at Journeys in Classic Film. As you’ve probably noticed I took a big step back from JCF this year. It’s not to say things weren’t happening, but there were more than a few weeks that were pretty lean on the site. Much of that was because I was actually getting paid to write about cinema, both classic and contemporary, which is fleeting in the current state of online criticism. Juggling so many projects led to a hefty dose of burnout which additionally kept me from writing over the last few months.
But, as I said already, this isn’t to say I’m not proud of the work I did this year. There were several wonderful Hollywood tomes that I read, reviewed and recommended. I started the popular Fridays With… series in January, highlighting actors, actresses and directors I wasn’t too familiar with. We started with a Harold Lloyd birthday celebration and went on to honor the work of Yvonne De Carlo, Errol Flynn and Mary Pickford. There’s a poll going on right now to see who will be the first Fridays With… participant of 2017 (Dearly Departed edition) so be sure to cast your vote. Regular series were limited, though I did a Kristen Recasts on The Thin Man which actually was brought up by a fan at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival.
Speaking of the TCM Classic Film Festival, I returned to cover the event for another year, again as a Social Producer. This year’s events saw me enjoying the company of fellow film friends as well as stars Keith Carradine, Nancy Olson (who sat next to me during a panel), Elliot Gould and Faye Dunaway. I also got to hang out, or at least say hi, to TCM regulars Ben Mankiewicz and Illeana Douglas. Speaking of TCM regulars, this year’s big interview was with new TCM host Tiffany Vazquez. She remains a source of contention within the TCM community, but Tiffany’s always been a doll and was kind enough to talk to me. I also got a chance to chat with silent film restorer Ben Model.
One of my main projects this year was taking my love of classic cinema beyond words. Podcasts of contemporary films are a dime a dozen but outside of the fantastic You Must Remember This, where are all the classic film podcasts? I started Ticklish Business back in July and I’m so proud of the fifteen episodes I’ve produced. My fantastic guests and I have enjoyed talking about the likes of Son of Frankenstein (1939) to charting our top three films noirs. I can’t wait to start off the new spate of 2017 episodes!
I also organized two classic film community events: the 2nd Annual TCM Summer Under the Stars blogathon and the 2nd Annual Classic Film Secret Santa Exchange. The former was such fun, though turnout was a taste muted due to the stars selected. Thanks goes out to Warner Archive and Kino for the wonderful contest prizes! The Secret Santa Exchange was so amazing with over 20 people sending classic film inspired gifts to each other! If you want to participate in either event in 2017 be on the lookout come July and November, respectively.
When you look at it all, 2016 may not have had as much writing from me, but what I did write was impressive. I hope to commit more fully to JCF in 2017 – I can’t stress enough how much being burned out has caused me to prioritize outside projects. The site has give me so many wondrous opportunities and a chance to interact with such brilliant people. Here’s to a fantastic 2017 everyone! I couldn’t do it without you!
A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.