Howdy!

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One year on! Shadowplay first hit the cyber-streets on December 1st, 2007. We’ve climbed from about 4 hits a day to up to 1,000. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Thanks to all the regular and irregular commenters who have turned this from an online magazine to a discussion board, really taking advantage of the one virtue online publications have over printed ones — their ability to accommodate instant feedback and host debate. Very often on any blog an article will serve as a mere trigger to get people talking — the comments can offer more illumination and entertainment than the piece itself. So I’m delighted to have such great friends chipping in with comments and information and insights.

So this is a big thank-you to regular commenters, and also an invitation to everyone else to declare themselves. You don’t have to say anything big or clever, just hello will do — it’s nice to hear from all you wonderful people out there in the dark. One thing we can do is use this as a request spot for future articles (which I will then forget to write) and I’m sure it will, in the usual fashion, turn into a lively discussion about anything and everything.

Part Two:

See Previous post for Part One.

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31 Responses to “Howdy!”

  1. Ahh on this momentus occasion I’d like to leave a completely random comment as I normally do… saw an ocean liner go under Sydney Harbour Bridge today with a tiny tug bobbing behind it…

    And saw Quantum of Solace last week – I love my popcorn movies…

    well done on your blogaversiry… and 1000 visitors!

  2. Shouldn’t the tug have been in front, tugging?

    I’ve resisted the Bond, purely because of the title (and a bad feeling about Marc Forster which isn’t really based on anything).

  3. It’s based on a lack of talent.

    A Quantum of Solace. Would you like fries with that?

    Congrats to Shadowplayers everywhere.

  4. A Quantum of Solace, and hold the mayo.

    Yeah, I had this distinct impression that Forster was lousy, but then I realised I hadn’t seen any of his films. And I don’t really want to, but that means that, as a critic, I guess I kind of have to shut up about him.

    I’m almost tempted to watch one of his movies so I can have a go.

    That’s unbelievably perverse. And I’m now afraid I might like them, which is worse.

    Back to Ruiz, and then Good News!

  5. Congratulations! Thanks for bringing us such good reading.

  6. i am also avoiding james bond because of the title

    they should have called it licence to view her majesty’s golden pussy

  7. Oh Quantum’s alright, pretty damn good Bond movie overall and nothing more (despite what Foster would have you believe in interviews-stuff yer themes Marc! ). I prefer it to all Foster’s other more typical middlebrow productions, which always took themselves far too seriously (especially the Will Ferrell one). The whole Bond thing seems to have had good effect on him-His next film is a zombie movie based ona book by Mel Brooks’ son-“World War Z”

    Anyways Congratulations on a year David. I came here in March because I’d just seen Seance on a Wet Afternoon. This blog expressed what I liked about it far better than I ever could, and it’s been doing so, with other films. ever since! Thanks for helping me stay sane through my dissertation (On Borzage) and my finals (on “Celebrity Death Week” as I recall). Thanks for introducing me to so many films. and thanks for helping me see others in different ways.

  8. Wish I could’ve been here at the beginning. I thoroughly enjoy the spirit of Willful Eccentricity you bring to this blog of yours. All the twists and turns you make in presenting us with some very off-the-wall subject matter, interspersed with that which isn’t. Can’t say that I’m in tune with all of your posts, but that’s what impresses me, you seem to find something for everyone on a fairly regular basis. And you have a great sense of humor. More Ernest Thesiger! and Conrad Veidt too.

  9. Compound Bonds! “You Only Finger the Ball With Love.”

    Thanks everyone!

    Casino Royale got a lot of praise as a “modern Bond”, yet the idea of an international group of high-stakes poker players gambling with the fate of nations becomes irretrievably 1950s when you have one of the top guys have a twitchy eye that goes off whenever he’s bluffing. “It’s what’s known as ‘a tell’.” So I was dubious about this one.

  10. I just mentioned Veidt in an upcoming post, but I need to get Hands Of Orlac or Different From the Others. Oh, but I just got Secrets of FP1, that’ll be good. Conrad Veidt on a floating aerodrome: two of the staples of entertainment in one film!

  11. Happy Birthday! Keep on doing what you’re doing.

    I’d like to hear your thoughts on FACE OF THE SCREAMING WEREWOLF, though. It’s the best “they unwrap the mummy to discover it’s a werewolf” film ever made!

  12. Brilliant. It’s also the greatest title ever. Will get to it as soon as I can. Already frame-grabbed the title because I definitely want to use that somewhere.

  13. Happy birthday!

  14. And it’s set in Pasadena!

    As the headwaiter said to Norman Maine as he eyed a starletin A Star is Born, “Pasadena, leave it alone.”

  15. Happy birthday to Shadowplay, and congratulations to its inspirational host: Comrade Cairns!

    I’ll let Joy Division sing us out…

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FzTw4PYfROU

  16. Thanks for the links! It’s quite good if you make them all play at once.

  17. As someone who was born in Pasadena I should be deeply, deeply offended by these comments. But somehow I’m not. I’m too busy being glad for the presence of Shadowplay, a place where one can discuss both Raul Ruiz and Jerry Warren.

    Do let me, however, share a bit of humor with a tangential connection to the Gance. It’s a New Yorker cartoon which, for some reason, has stuck with me over the decades and, I now find, has had the same effect on at least one other blogger.

    Quoting The Moron’s Euroblog & Almanac:
    “One of my favorites [of the cartoons] featured two men on a pier gazing disinterestedly after a man drowning in the distant surf. ‘Au secours, au secours!’ cries the drowning man. Says one of the bored gentlemen to the other: ‘Either he’s French or he’s a terrible snob.’ “

  18. Lovely! Ties in nicely with my viewing of Good News, too.

    “Quelle fromage!”

  19. Congrats on the 1-year anniversary. Bear in mind that the traditional first anniversary gift is paper, so may I suggest you waft an old issue of Cahiers du Cinema, Sight & Sound, or Psychotronic in front of your keyboard. Shadowplay will surely appreciate the thought!

    Which gets me thinking: when does a blog finally subsume the personality of its creator? I’m thinking about Hugo the ventriloquist’s dummy here…David, should we expect Shadowplay to start making appearances at film festivals in your stead? Will it be directing your next film on your behalf, whilst you quietly make tea in the background? Or has this already happened?

  20. I’m pretty sure it’s already happened.

    In my more deleriously optimistic moments, I wonder what will become of the blog if I get a lot of directing work suddenly (I know what happens if I get a lot of writing work — it doesn’t get written), but I guess it’ll mutate partway into a making-of documentary. But since I like to see films while I work, I think it could continue not too much changed.

    The real danger is that as I continue to upload my brain onto the internet, as Graham Linehan kindly put it, what’s left walking the earth is a hollow husk. But Fiona will warn me if that’s happening, I hope.

  21. I couldn’t understand why the tug was behind either but nobody around who looked like they knew about boats – only a stupid German tourist taking photographs of the sydney harbour bridge with a flash. Not going to ask HER for any any explanation !

  22. After having loaned Hands of Orlac to a friend, I finally got it back, and watched it a second time last night. A film immersed in substantial amounts of shadow, much of it takes place in large spaces. Interesting to see the confrontation scene between Veidt and Fritz Kortner, and how it compares to Clive and Lorre’s mutual encounter in Mad Love. Kortner had small parts in a couple of noirs in the late Forties, Berlin Express and Somewhere in the Night. A great character actor, with an interesting face. Still gotta get Pandora’s Box.

  23. Mary, do you think people just forget to switch off their flash, or do they really think it will help them take a picture of, say, a fireworks display?

    Guy, Kortner is also in The Brasher Doubloon, but Somewhere in the Night is my favourite, an amazing performance in a pretty good film. I blogged about it somewheres.

    Been meaning to download Orlac but it’s a massive file. But it’s one that appears in the Pictorial History of Horror Movies, so I have to see it for that reason, among many others.

  24. You know, I’ve seen this book of which you so often speak, this Pictorial History by Gifford, floating around the half dozen used bookstores here in the Detroit area, but not lately. I know it’s your mission, you and Fiona’s, to see every film mentioned, or depicted, in it, can’t remember which. For that reason alone I’m curious as to what’s inside. But that yellow/green cover, it’s something you don’t forget.

  25. It’s a straightforward text grouping together the different themes of horror movies through the ages, and lots of stills, not all of which have much to do with the text. as kids it opened our eyes to the vast array of weird stuff that wasn’t showing on our TVs.

  26. Many many happy returns. David and thanks for Au Secors. It’s like a live action Ub Iwerks only better. And worse. The plaster self-repairing once the handheld guns retreat: wow! and huh?
    I’d resisted Smidgen of Consolation because he doesn’t smoke. Then it occurred to me I couldn’t remember when I’d last seen Bond smoke in a film, so went. All the terrible jokes and Asquithed romantic dialogue have been mercifully excised (Casino Royale’s “There could be nothing left of you, James, but your mouth and little finger and you’d still be more of a man than anyone I’ve met.”-“That’s because you know what I can do with my little finger” might possibly be the worst sexy banter ever committed to whatever it is they shoot film in) and actually I loved it. It’s short. It looks good. You might find something in it to enjoy. Many thanks for this meantime (And one of these days I hope to find out what you have against Winterbottom.)
    All the best

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gL8IFZVA-kU

  27. “Laugh at his hilarious antics! Laugh, I command you, laugh!”

    I will no doubt see Nugget of Comfort sometime, but probably on DVD. Short is good, though.

  28. Personally I think they don’t turn off the flash because most people are incredibly DIM AND STUPID and shouldn’t be given any kind technology to be in charge of. Even a pencil in many cases is going too far… Gurr just wait until I am the Empress of the North. This will be an exiling to a remote part of … wester hailes for this crime!

  29. At Linder’s antics? Or Bond’s?
    Or Winterbottom’s?

  30. Oh, of course. Sorry. As you were. Ping pang pong.

  31. I’d like to laugh at Winterbottom’s hilarious antics, but they’re not that funny.

    Due to some kind of traumatic association, I am now going to picture that Puss character whenever I imagine Winterbottom.

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