Friday, December 5, 2008

Spreading the Word:
The 'Early Hawks Blog-a-thon'

At the risk of alienating a fellow blogger . . . and that is truly something I have no wish for . . . I'm going to do something that I may have been asked to do by mistake; namely use this blog, at this hour, as a vehicle of promotion.

Here's the story: A few days ago, I received an email from Ed Howard, proprietor and author of Only the Cinema, alerting me to his upcoming Blog-a-thon centered on the pre-1938 output of one Howard Hawks, and asking that word of it be cast from these pages, as far as it could go on its own steam. My immediate thought was that this had obviously been sent to me by mistake. Not only is this blog read by no more than a thimbleful of readers, at best, but my own track record along the blog-a-thon trail has, let us say, not been one that would cause other bloggers' hearts to soften with gladness at the prospect of my involvement in their projects (I may, in fact, be the only individual in the blogosphere who has been asked . . . on two separate occasions . . . not to participate in these clambakes). But then I saw that notice of Ed Howard's impending Hawks fiesta had been posted on a blog that I'm connected with peripherally (and believe me, they likes it peripheral), so I figured I would err on the side of the implausible, risk a possible Cease & Desist order and assume that the request for a plug was righteous and not a momentary lapse of reason.

All the relevant information on this Blog-a-thonic bacchanal can be found here, but essentially what we're looking at is an event set to transpire over the course of two weeks (January 12th to the 23rd), and focused exclusively on those films directed by Howard Hawks prior to his 1938 celebration of human chaos, Bringing Up Baby; films such as Today We Live and Tiger Shark and Barbary Coast (named here solely to link this post with the above image, taken during its production). And even though I know it's the Kiss of Death in some quarters, I heartily recommend that all film bloggers who read these words (one . . . two . . . three . . . ) participate, and do so with the greatest of relish.

Now, in order to ameliorate whatever damage my endorsement has wrought to the fortunes of this endeavor (for I genuinely wish it, and its host, well), I will at this moment solemnly vow to forego any intention I may or may not have had to explicate my pensées on the director of Trent's Last Case and his formative years of combat in the auteur arena. I will officially keep my mouth shut for the duration. Thus, it is hoped, will I have done my part in ensuring a more vast and better-affiliated body of contributions.


Ed Howard said...

Hey Tom, thanks for the link and announcement. I for one would be very excited to hear your opinions on Trent's Last Case, which I haven't been able to find to see for myself. I'll have to rely on other bloggers to cover most of the early silents, unfortunately, since they seem to be mostly MIA from online sources.

Tom Sutpen said...

I, uh, didn't say that I'd seen the Hawks version of Trent's Last Case . . . for the record, I have not . . . but it's precisely to insure that these other bloggers will have no qualms about participating in this blogathon that I will keep my nose out of it. Believe me, you will thank me in the end for doing so..