Call for Shame Statements 2023

2023 doesn’t sound like a real year. It’s a title card on a science fiction movie, citing a far off year in the future. Hell, X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) took place in a dystopian 2023. The wasteland established in Terminator 2: Judgment Day is 2029!

What I’m trying to say is that a lot of movies predicted the 2020s for some type of apocalypse and if we’re going to get those long overdue movie watches checked off, we’re going to need to pick up the pace. Watch the movies! We’ll never reach the end of our lists, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

Push play.

Stop browsing your 27 streaming services for another limited series and make a conscious decision to watch a great movie.

Unwrap that Blu-ray. Check out the new Sight & Sound list, AFI, BFI. Open up a Danny Peary book and look for a movie you didn’t know about. Listen to podcasts like The Movies that Made Me or Pure Cinema and jot down their recommendations. (The Cinema Shame podcast talks about some good movies, too — I’m just saying.) Open up any movie book and see what shakes out! There are so many ways to approach your year in moviewatching that go beyond mindless scrolling.

Do me a favor.

Right now — go on Twitter or Facebook or Hive or into your neighborhood cafe or wherever you interact with other humans and ask people to tell you some movies they love. These are real humans sharing their love of cinema with you. Pick one of the titles they mention and just watch it. After you watch it, tell them what you thought. Tell that that you watched it. These are simple interactions, but ones that make real connections.

Tag us on your posts at @CinemaShame or #CinemaShame. We definitely want to hear about your adventures in cinema. And if you make the effort to write up your 2023 Shame Statement make that your January movie — your first assignment of the new year. You’ll definitely get a RT and perhaps a mention on the next episode of the Cinema Shame podcast.

To participate in the Shame Statement party, create your list of 12 and post it on your blog or favorite signpost. Cinema Shame will share it. Feel free to add some background details for your picks, such as why you are picking it or the reason you haven’t had to chance to view this particular film. When you watch them, maybe write about your experience. Maybe send a few tweets. Call and tell your mom.

And while you’re here, subscribe to the Cinema Shame podcast wherever podcasts are found: Apple Podcasts / Stitcher Radio / Spotify / Google Podcasts / Amazon Podcasts. This year will be a big year as we’re mixing up the format and adding some more permanent co-hosts. Kris Myers (@kris__myers) and Allan Mott (@houseofglib) will join James (@007hertzrumble) in the Shamequarters.

Take us along on your cinematic journeys — and may we avoid that coming apocalypse by watching great movies instead of plotting our own self-destruction.

The 2023 Penitent:

Taking Up Room:

30HertzRumble aka @007hertzrumble aka Cinema Shame (obvs)


2019 Shame Statement

Time for another year of penance. I know I haven’t been consistently writing, but I definitely am still consistently watching. One thing I try to do each year is expand my knowledge of a genre. Last year it was supposed to be westerns and I managed to get a few first time watches in. This year I’m going to move onto comedies.

The journey into comedies is inspired by my discovery and newfound love of screwball comedies after watching His Girl Friday for the first time in November 2018. I followed up with Bringing Up Baby and His Favorite Wife and wouldn’t you know? I liked something new that I had no idea I would. Hence 2019 will be exploring humor. Here’s gonna be some of them I certainly plan to watch:

The Naked Gun Trilogy – All I’ve seen of these films is the “that’s my policy” bit that spoofs Dirty Harry. That’s all I needed to see to decide it’s finally time to knock these off the list.

Joes vs The Volcano

Inspired by CinemaShame’s very own James Patrick, I hear about how much this film means to him, so I need to see what is going on. I like hearing when movies are special to people that aren’t the usual suspects.

Young Frankenstein

I’ve been working on my Mel Brooks watching for a while now. Yet I’ve still haven’t seen his magnum opus. I own it, so it should be one of the first I knock off this year.

That Thing You Do!

Some more Tom Hanks here.

Chasing Amy

One of many still unwatched Criterion disc. Also the one Kevin Smith film I was always genuinely interested in.

So this is the opening salvo. Obviously subject to change. Or not at all. Here’s to 2019 and all your first time viewing!

Getting on the Same Page: His Girl Friday and How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comedy

HIS GIRL FRIDAY is a film that I hadn’t seen and hadn’t sought because it was one that I thought I would never have had an interest in. I like comedy, but I never had an interest in classic Hollywood screwball comedy. That is until earlier in 2018 when I watched Greta Garbo in NINOTCHKA via FilmStruck (RIP’). I found myself rolling with laughter at deadpan humor exhibited by the amazing Garbo. Had I been wrong all these years? Can I, a man born in the 1980s find humor in classic cinema? I love classic cinema and was surprised that this was an area that I never broke into. I purchased HIS GIRL FRIDAY, during the July 2018 sale at Barnes and Noble. Since this was not only an unopened Criterion, it was a film I never saw as well and therefore was perfect for this November 2018 prompt.

In the supplemental features of the Criterion edition of HIS GIRL FRIDAY, film scholar David Bordwell discusses how the film is one of the most American films ever made. This wasn’t just in terms of the ideology or sensibilities portrayed on screen, but in the filmmaking process. Director Howard Hawks was considered to be one of the great American directors who is not a household name. I can see why this is. Hawks manages to keep your eyes strictly on what is on screen without you paying attention to how he sets up, blocks, lights and all those things related to the process of filming. This is the opposite of someone like Stanley Kubrick (one of my favorite directors), who has your eyes on screen and you notice how he puts it on screen. While both ways work perfectly, you can see why a defined visual style sticks in folks memory much longer. However with HIS GIRL FRIDAY, you don’t need a visual style. For this film, the viewers are given one of the fastest, snappiest and wittiest films ever.

HIS GIRL FRIDAY, is the second adaptation of the play The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. The first was directed by Lewis Milestone in 1931 under the same name. That film, also included on the Criterion, I felt had a bit more flourishes in regards to the direction as opposed to Hawks. It also felt like a filmed stage play. Yet while entertaining it lacks Rosalind Russell who outshines Cary Grant like the sun sitting next to a light bulb. Her breakneck delivery of the film’s razor sharp dialogue is one of the best performances I’ve seen. It’s also quite physical without becoming slapstick. This is where my eyes opened to classical Hollywood comedy. It was the delivery that made me laugh, even if the joke itself was outdated. I will say, the Ralph Bellamy bit was a fantastic piece of fourth wall breaking.

This film also doesn’t let you forget that it’s based around the world of newspapers and newspaper writing. The film’s humor never detracts from this premise and also manages to never go into parody no matter what left turns the story takes. Hawks excelled in keeping the whole thing balanced and none of the film’s strengths ever got so high that it felt it was covering up a weakness.

HIS GIRL FRIDAY, is a great piece of cinema comedy and engaging as a look into the journalism business. The back and forth humor was some of the best I’ve ever seen in a film and the world of classic Hollywood comedy is a bit broader to me now and something I seek to understand much more thoroughly.