Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two More Weeks Until the Johh Huston Blogathon!

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.

Thank you.


  1. I'm really looking forward to this. It will be a nice reprieve from all of the horror films I've been watching. I'm still planning on doing UNDER THE VOLCANO and THE DEAD, and if I have time I want to do PRIZZI'S HONOR because I've never seen it.

    I'll pimp this on the blog next week.

  2. I think you'll like Prizzi's Honor. I don't know if I would say it's one of Huston's more masterful films, but as a tongue-in-cheek variation on Maltese and Asphalt Jungle it really, really delivers the goods. And it's got a lot of soul towards the end, when Nicholson is faced with a very tough dilemma by his mob bosses... but I won't spoil anything.

    Thanks, Kevin.

  3. Hi there,
    The translation of the mighty Maltese Falcon is almost complete and there are only some few details to work on. I will probably send it to you and you can post it here. Because i do not post in english and its already posted in my blog in Greek..
    keep up the good work

  4. Adam,

    I recently wrote two reviews on Huston, The Asphalt Jungle and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre over at my blog 24frames which can be contributed. They are probably covered already but they are available.

  5. I was thiking of doing THE DEAD, but Kevin has it pegged, and he will surely do a fantastic job with it. This is one blogathon I certainly have not forgotten, and I'm certain it will be a smashing hit!

  6. Chris, looking forward to your Maltese Falcon. A week before the blogathon begins I'll post my email address so that everybody who needs to can send me their stuff.

    John, thanks for the notice! I'll be sure to pull your Asphalt Jungle/Sierra Madre reviews for the blogathon.

    Sam, you can write on The Dead if you still want to--I can easily accept multiple reviews of the same Huston film. Now I need to start writing up my own contributions...

  7. I fear I would do your Blog-a-thon more harm than good were I to participate, but I did want to interject that you have one fine blog here; and not just by the sort of comparisons one could make. Salut!

  8. Tom, thanks for your kind remarks! You don't have to contribute any pieces to the blogathon if you don't want to, although I do encourage participation in the conversations. I can't wait to see where discussion on Huston will lead to; I rarely ever see serious talk about him.

    Actually, I'm wondering why nobody thought of this before. Apparently there was an attempt to launch a Huston blogathon over at Edward Copeland on Film back in 2007, but it doesn't look like anything ever happened in it aside from somebody posting a single Prizzi's Honor review. Pity. We'll just have to make up for lost time!

  9. You can count me in for this. Not sure what movie(s) I'm going to cover yet, but since Hutson had such an enormous, varied career, I'm sure I can find something interesting/unusual to talk about.

    Thanks for this tribute to an awesome (and underappreciated) director!

  10. We'll be looking forward to your contribution, Andrea. Only one more week!


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