1. What made you start blogging?
Stacia: For years I posted to Usenet movie groups, but Usenet was losing popularity and I was seeing much more compelling content on LiveJournal. LJ posts weren't technically blogs, but they were longer than Usenet posts and had photos, plus with nicer commenting threads that were easier to follow. Blogger was extremely popular at the time, so I started a Blogger blog that was going to be about both food and movies. I didn't do much with it, though I did use it for a charity event called "Blogathon," where you stay up 24 hours straight and take pledges from people to raise money for a charity. (That was before the word "blogathon" was used for any blog-hosted event like it is today.) After that "Blogathon," I realized I wanted to do more with my film writing, specifically to write an epic screen on the movie Myra Breckinridge, which I still haven't gotten around to doing. But that was the impetus to start She Blogged By Night, and I'm still there!
2. Who are your favorite classic film stars? Name as many as you wantStacia: Oh, I can't name all of them, we'd run out of room! My biggest faves are Bette Davis, Marie Prevost and El Brendel, of course, the ones I'm always gushing over. I do love Orson Welles, Deborah Kerr, Charles Laughton, Joan Crawford, Kay Francis, Judy Garland, Buster Keaton, Dana Andrews, James Mason, Jack Benny, and about a million more. Lately I've been really liking Richard Dix, who I avoided for ages because I wasn't keen on some of his silents, but his early talkies are quite good.
Me: You started off with Bette and it was all good! Some great choices there.
3. What are some of your favorite films?
Stacia: Again, we'd be here all day if I listed them all! Some silents: The Unknown, The Racket (1928), The General. Pre-codes: Island of Lost Souls, Our Betters, Trouble in Paradise. Foreign: Playtime, Peeping Tom, The Bad Sleep Well, Stalker. Horror: The Innocents, The Haunting, White Zombie, The Body Snatcher. Classic era: So Dark the Night, The Third Man, Touch of Evil, A Star is Born (1954, but I love 1937 too), The Letter, The Best Years of Our Lives, Out of the Past, The Killing, Johnny Guitar, Beat the Devil. More recent classics (after 1960): Lolita, The Wrong Box, Mulholland Dr., Quatermass and the Pit, Blade Runner. Ok, I'm going to stop now!
Me: Some great choices once again and you love Blade Runner too? Cool!
4. Describe your first classic movie experience. Like where and when..at a cinema, on TV, etc..
Stacia: My dad was 45 years old when I was born, so when I was growing up we watched a PBS show called "Matinee at the Bijou" all the time because he had seen those Westerns and serials on their original runs when he was a kid. When I was about 9 years old, I remember seeing a terrible print of The Devil Bat (1940) on "Matinee at the Bijou." I was very confused, partly because I didn't realize it was a spoof and the big fake bats on strings looked terrible, but partly because the sound was so awful I thought they were saying "the DENVER bat" for most of the movie! At about the same time, a TV station in Springfield, Missouri (probably KOZK) was running a fundraiser by selling 3D glasses, which you'd use to watch a special showing of a vintage 3D movie. Unfortunately, the movie was Gorilla at Large (1954), and my parents weren't willing to watch THAT movie all the way 'til the end. With first classic film experiences like that, it's a wonder I ever watched another classic film again.
Me: Haha! Cool story!
5. What films upon first viewing did you not like, then later on when re-watching them, loved them?
Stacia: The most embarrassing would be The Raven (1963), which I rented when I was in my early 20s. I couldn't figure out why it wasn't scary at all, why it had nothing to do with the Poe poem and why people were doing such silly things. Finally my husband had to sit me down and say, "Stacia, it had Peter Lorre in a bird suit. It was a comedy." I had no idea!
Me: Well good that your husband pointed that out for you....
6. Describe the perfect way for you to watch a classic film.
Stacia: Alone! For years, no one I knew in real life likes old movies; in fact, many actively scoff at silents or black and white films. So I got used to watching alone, even though now I know a couple people who like classics, and I prefer to be alone when I watch. My favorite thing is to find a lesser-known film from 1949 or earlier, then sit down by myself in the evenings when I have the house to myself. Usually a cat snuggles up, though my youngest cat has no patience with movies and will wander off after 20 minutes or so. He's a dilettante.
Me: And you have a great sense of humor to boot...
7. How many friends, family member or co-workers share your love of classic films?
Stacia: Guess I already answered that: Almost none. My husband has learned to like them, but I remember when I started really getting into classic films while at university, I would rent movies like Double Indemnity and Three on a Match and watch them alone, sound turned almost all the way down so it didn't disturb anyone else in the apartment.
Me: Same way here as my wife doesn't care for them too much. She has started watching some of them with me, mainly the comedies though. That's about all she can handle.
8. What is your favorite time period: the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's or 60's?
Stacia: I'd have to say the 1930s, but I'm really coming around to the 1960s.
Me: the 30's are my fave era too thanks to the screwball comedies being at their peak and then it would be the 60's next.
9. What are some of your favorite film quotes?
"Remind me to tell you about the time I looked into the heart of an artichoke."
"A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows: His own.”
10. What classic films have you yet to see for one reason or another?
I can't really think of many I haven't seen. I'm pretty sure I haven't seen I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, and I know I haven't seen Red River or Snow White yet. It's really just a matter of time, I'm not avoiding any of them.
Me: That's funny you mentioned Star Wars as one of my friends stated the fact she has never seen none of those films either.
11. What is your favorite genre?
Stacia: It's a toss-up between pre-code and film noir.
12. If you threw a movie theme party, describe how you would do it. The costumes, decorations, food, etc.
Stacia: Hmm, that's a hard one. I don't generally do theme parties, but I'd probably skip costumes and just use film posters on the walls for decoration. I'd have out appetizers like stuffed mushrooms and cheeses, some wines, and we'd watch movies. For a party I'd probably go with campy movies, pre-codes like Island of Lost Souls or 1960s movies like Skidoo or Head.
Me: Sounds great. Let me know when you have one and please send me an invite.
13. What are some films that are widely loved that you couldn't care less about?
Stacia: I really don't care for An American in Paris, and I actively hate The Quiet Man.This probably makes me evil, or at least very suspicious.
Me: Hey, I can't stand An American in Paris either. But I do like The Quiet Man.
14. Who’s the biggest film fanatic that you know? Besides yourself of course.
Stacia: Over the years I've run into so many bloggers, critics and film fans who watch and love so many films that my own film habit looks like a quaint hobby. It's hard to name just one fanatic, but right now though, I guess I'd say Ronan Doyle, who I've been following on Twitter. I don't think he sleeps. I think he just watches 400 movies a day and writes about them -- and writes well -- then eats a bag of coffee beans and does it all over again.
Me: Ronan sounds awesome. Have to meet him!
15. And finally who are some of your favorite film characters?
Stacia: Margo Channing, of course. I model some of my worst social behavior on her. I also love General Jack T. Ripper, Vienna (Johnny Guitar), Esther Blodgett, Arthur Jensen (Network), Velda (Kiss Me Deadly), and J.F. Sebastian (Blade Runner).
Me: Ahhhhh..Margo Channing...nice!
Stacia: Thank you for asking me to participate in this month's Be My Guest! It's been a blast, and I just hope you can forgive me for the lengthy answers.
Me: Oh I should be thanking you Stacia for being my guest and bringing your wonderful style and humor to my blog. We must do this again.