Hey, kids! The summer has been going by so fast that I had almost forgotten, but I just realized that the John Huston Blogathon is only two weeks away! Remember, it begins on August 5 and ends on August 12. It's going to be one whole week of sheer Hustonian madness.
For those of you planning on contributing, would you mind putting this banner into your sidebars in order to express awareness for any more curious bloggers? I would very much appreciate it:
Also, if the above banner is too big, Ivan J. Shreve Jr. has provided a banner of his own that is relatively smaller:
So far, Kevin J. Olson, Carson Lund, Drew McIntosh, Sam Juliano, Alexander Coleman, Ryan Kelly, Chris Z. (writing all the way from Greece!), Judy of Movie Classics, Stacia of She Blogged By Night, Tom Hyland, Bryce Wilson, Tom of Motion Picture Gems and Adam of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Film have all expressed interest in contributing. Don't worry; there's still time to join in if you haven't already.
One thing to keep in mind for those planning on contributing: this would be the appropriate time to start watching the Huston film(s) you're going to be writing about. Myself, I don't know how many films I'm going to write about---maybe three or four. Some of them will be Huston titles that are already well-recognized, and maybe one or two will be on titles not as well known.
Yesterday I received Huston's 1980 autobiography, An Open Book, in the mail. I started reading it late last night, and am already quite caught up in it. You've never really gotten a grasp of who Huston was until you've read his thoughts about his own films, as well as the film industry. So far, my favorite chapter in the book focuses on his rage during the McCarthy Era--his description of the evil that went on during that time is so delightfully cynical, and he even disses some of his filmmaking colleagues. More on that come blogathon time.
Another book that has helped me understand Huston a little better is Lesley Brill's John Huston's Filmmaking, which goes to great pains in essaying about a dozen Huston films in a fascinating (and, in my opinion, successful) attempt to justify Huston's often-dubious stance as an auteur.
That reminds me--this is going to be the prime focus of the blogathon's mission. Was Huston an auteur? Or just a studio director who left us with some great films? When the blogathon begins, it will be interesting to see what kind of discussions this controversy will spark.
TCM will also be airing Key Largo (1948) on July 24, for anyone interested.
As always, I'm so grateful for the support of everybody in the blogosphere. Like I said back in June, I've never headed a blogathon before, but I think that we are all going to make this one unforgettable.