Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Only The Cinema Hawks Blog-A-Thon Announcement

Here's an announcement from Ed Howard at Only The Cinema. I'm interested...are you? You should be! If you want to contact Ed, those links are up at his site and I encourage everyone to be regular readers there. It's one of the best blogs out there.


This is an announcement for an upcoming two-week event here at Only The Cinema, and an invitation for others to participate along with me. The Early Hawks Blog-a-Thon will run from Monday, January 12 through Friday, January 23, nearly two weeks of exclusive focus on a classic Hollywood master's early career. Of late, I've been delving further into the work of Howard Hawks, a filmmaker who I've long loved, and who has been worming his way ever deeper into my mind with each further film I see by him. My appreciation of his work began with the moody, evocative Only Angels Have Wings, still one of my favorite Hollywood movies, and each subsequent Hawks film I've watched has confirmed his particular virtues as an artist.

The purpose of this blog-a-thon is to take the next logical step and delve into Hawks' earlier career, which for the purposes of this venture I'm somewhat arbitrarily defining as the films he made before Bringing Up Baby, his first widely famous screwball comedy. I won't be tackling his early silent films myself (except for A Girl In Every Port), but if anyone else would like to write about those films, I'd welcome the contributions. My own work on the blog-a-thon will mostly be limited to the films made between 1930 and 1936, including codirectional efforts where Hawks replaced another director or was himself replaced by studio meddling. I probably won't be revisiting the two films from this period I've already seen, but again any writing from others about either Scarface or Twentieth Century will be very much appreciated.

In general, I'd like this blog-a-thon to be a broad and varied appraisal of Hawks' early work, with reviews of the individual films as well as essays that attempt to put the early period in context as a whole and in relation to the later, better-known films. I suspect there are enough Hawksians out there to generate a lively and prolific blog-a-thon, and I hope to see a lot of cross-talk, debate, and discussion involved in this project. Among other things, I would like to see participants take up the questions and ideas of other contributors as starting points for their own writing. If you'd like to participate, let me know either here or by e-mail, or just write a post on some of these films between January 12-23 and send me the link so I can post it here.

I am announcing this far in advance to give people a chance to locate and see these films, most of which (including all of the silents) are not available on DVD in any form. Of the early 30s films, only Scarface, Twentieth Century, Barbary Coast, and Come and Get It can be found on Region 1 DVD (with links below). All the rest of the sound films (and maybe one or two silents) can be seen via varying but mostly surprisingly good quality bootlegs, available for download in various places. If you have any questions about acquiring these films, please contact me privately.

Below is the list of the films that will be officially considered a part of the blog-a-thon. The films for which I cannot find sources are marked with asterisks (***) following their years, and if anyone can point me to a source for any of these films, it will be greatly appreciated.

The Road To Glory (1926) ***
Fig Leaves (1926) ***
The Cradle Snatchers (1927) ***
Paid To Love (1927) ***
A Girl In Every Port (1928)
Fazil (1928) ***
The Air Circus (1928, w/ Lewis Seiler) ***
Trent's Last Case (1929) ***

The Dawn Patrol (1930)
The Criminal Code (1931)
Scarface (1932)
The Crowd Roars (1932)
Tiger Shark (1932)
Today We Live (1933)
The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933, w/ W.S. Van Dyke) ***
Viva Villa! (1934, w/ Jack Conway, William Wellman)
Twentieth Century (1934)
Barbary Coast (1935, w/ William Wyler)
Ceiling Zero (1936)
The Road to Glory (1936)
Come and Get It (1936, w/ Richard Rosson, William Wyler)


Anonymous said...

I wish I had a blog; I'd love to give a write-up (or two) over Hawks' criminally underappreciated silent films.

(one of these days... oh, one of these days, maybe I'll throw my hat into the ring, er, "blogosphere")

I am particularly excited about the write-up on A Girl In Every Port, if only because I'm madly in love with everything related to Louise Brooks (and this was the film that Pabst himself saw and fell in love too!).

Ed Howard said...

Hey Chuck,

If you don't have a blog and still want to write something, you can always just send it to me and I'll post it as a guest post credited to you. Just get in touch with me - sevenarts@gmail.com

And James, thanks for posting the announcement, I appreciate it!