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Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Dec 3, 2019

“Oh, God, make me a good movie actor! Make me one of the best! For Jesus’sake, amen!” —Merton of the Movies (Wilson 29) The story of Merton Gill has resonated with audiences of many generations and has roused iterations of and expansions upon the tale on film, radio, and the stage. While read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Dec 2, 2019

“In the ’20s, you were a face. And that was enough. In the ’30s, you also had to be a voice. And your voice had to match your face, if you can imagine that. Jimmy Cagney and Eddie Robinson had voices that were as important as the characters they played. You knew what you were gett read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Nov 26, 2019

My third and final day of Noir City Chicago 2019 ended with a transition in hosts and a film screening. After a busy start to the festival–and with the festival going on with its merriment without me for a few days–I was happy to revisit the festival and catch one more double feature wh read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Nov 25, 2019

“In dreams only they had ever met And at dawn he’d awake Oh so lonely for his Juliet And then he would take His little sack and hit the road A-picking rags at each abode Poor little Ragamuffin Romeo” –Harry De Costa When viewing the restored The King of Jazz (1930) fil read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Nov 13, 2019

“There are five stages in the life of an actor: Who’s Mary Astor? Get me Mary Astor. Get me a Mary Astor Type. Get me a young Mary Astor. Who’s Mary Astor?” –Mary Astor Mary Astor is an actress who overcame many personal and professional challenges. From a turbulent ch read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Nov 12, 2019

After an exciting opening night and a wonderful double feature, it was time to experience the second day of Noir City Chicago. This day included a special meet and greet with TCM Host Eddie Muller, in addition to a screening of the Film Noir Foundation’s latest restoration–Trapped (1949 read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Nov 4, 2019

“LeRoy wasn’t any better-looking than Astaire, and his acting was pretty much aw-gee. But he was personable.” –Brian Seibert on Hal Le Roy The Golden Age of Hollywood boasted many wonderful dancers, with some remembered more than others. While often overlooked, Hal Le Roy wa read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 29, 2019

With Halloween just two days away, I have been enjoying getting into the “spirit” of the season this month and viewing some beloved spooky films. This month, I was able to introduce The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and The Cat and the Canary (1927) in a 1920s movie house, in addition read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 28, 2019

“I don’t want to be a star. If you have to label me anything, I’m an actor – I guess. A journeyman actor. I think “star” is what you call actors who can’t act.” –Paul Muni Paul Muni is known for many powerful performances, especially in his appe read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 25, 2019

Being a fan of classic cinema and musicals, I also highly enjoy the Great American Songbook. The Great American Songbook is the backbone of many of my beloved film musicals and stage plays and is basically the only type of music I enjoy in my leisure. Pianist Michael Feinstein has dedicated himself read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 23, 2019

After attending one film at Noir City Chicago 2018, I made it a personal mission to catch more of these films during the next iteration of the festival. During my initial sampling of the festival in 2018, I delighted in the “classy As and trashy Bs” format in addition to its focus on no read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 22, 2019

Gene Kelly is easily one of the most iconic actors in cinema. In addition to his triple-threat talents and a prestigious output of films, Kelly was skilled in working in front of the camera and behind it. He also happened to star in Singin’ in the Rain (1952), which is arguably the best film read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 21, 2019

  The Library of Congress (LOC) is known as the de facto national library of the United States, standing as the oldest federal cultural institution in the country. In addition to being housed in buildings atop Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., it also maintains the Audio-Visual Conservation Ce read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 21, 2019

With the TCM Film Festival in full swing, I made it my mission to see as many “new to me” films as possible throughout the duration of the event. The third day of the festival continued this trend for me, with me continuing to attend films that I was seeing for the first time. Not only read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 19, 2019

Of the many musicals that MGM released, Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) is one that has certainly withstood the test of time and remains a beloved classic. Focusing upon the Smith family’s anticipation of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition–or St. Louis World’s Fair–and spann read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 19, 2019

In reflecting upon the many wonderful talents at the heart of The Wizard of Oz (1939), I am especially fond of Jack Haley and his portrayal of the Tin Man. He is, of course, Dorothy’s comrade who is in search of a heart. According to the Tin Man, the tinsmith who transformed him neglected to read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 18, 2019

Each year, close to Buster Keaton‘s birthday in October, the International Buster Keaton Society (IBKS) holds a convention to honor its beloved star. While Keaton was born in Kansas, the small town of Muskegon, Michigan, is the locale that he called home. Since he traveled all over the countr read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 11, 2019

Due to the fact that I became acquainted with Eli Wallach’s work from his later years, I am especially intrigued by viewing his earlier output. Wallach worked in the film industry for significant portion of his life, working all the way up to his passing in 2015. Portraying characters through read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 10, 2019

It is of no surprise that Orson Welles is considered a prolific figure in cinema. His creative output spanned across a broad array of mediums and genres, with him contributing to work both in front of and behind the camera as a master. In the late 1950s, Welles added to his filmography by writing, read more

Hometowns to Hollywood Posted by Annette Bochenek on Oct 9, 2019

As of 2019, the latest Film Noir Foundation-funded restoration project was Trapped (1949). A film noir and semidocumentary directed by Richard Fleischer, the film portrays the story of the U.S. Treasury Department working to end a counterfeiting ring. The film stars Lloyd Bridges, Barbara Payton, a read more
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