Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Our distinguished chairman has finally arrived at our reason for being here."



The fifth anniversary of the Siren’s blog came and went on April 19 with no noisemakers, no fetching cocktail dresses, no Gershwin and no one crying to the waitstaff “more champagne!” So the Siren wants to celebrate in her own way, by expressing overdue gratitude to some of the people who showed her kindness from the outset. If, like Margo Channing, you detest sentiment (whatever else this is, it ain’t cheap) you may switch off the radio and huddle in your mink until it’s over.

Lance Mannion popped up one day in the comments to a rather batty series of posts the Siren did on Perfume at the Movies, and gave me a link—-my first from a blogger I didn’t already know—-with praise that did my heart good, although he did say I’d drive a Netflix-queue obsessive crazy. (I still collect scent references, by the way. Great perfume counter in Has Anybody Seen My Gal?.)

Girish also swung by early on, adding his erudition and offering tips on movie-viewing in Toronto. We wound up going to the Cinematheque together a few times (Naruse!) considerably brightening a rather lonely time in Toronto.

Peter Nelhaus was the first person ever to respond to my plaint about a disk’s unavailability with a request for my mailing address—but far from the last. Michael Phillips, aka Goatdog, soon did the same. The Siren adores them both.

Filmbrain, otherwise known as Andrew Grant of Benten Films, was someone I got to know via Cinemarati, where he offered warm support and friendship to an insecure Siren.

And then there’s the mighty James Wolcott, aka the Traffic Santa Claus of Small-Time Bloggers, whose kind words sustain the Siren and whose continued links keep her Statcounter from dying of boredom.

Dave Hudson’s many links from his various perches around the web have been the happy source of treasured readers.

Ray Young, the gentleman known as Flickhead, was an early commenter and generous linker, urging me to see more Chabrol after I loved La Ceremonie, for all of which I am forever grateful.

Ivan G. Shreve, whose Thrilling Days of Yesteryear I had been lurking at for a long time before I blogged, was also an early and generous linker.

Dennis Cozzalio
is such a difficult, unforgiving sort of person that when I wrote at length of my disdain for his all-time favorite movie, he responded with a warm and funny email that cemented our mutual admiration for all time.

Lou Lumenick’s generous partnership for the Turner Classic Movies “Shadows of Russia” series has, among many tangible benefits, given my mother some happy hours of bragging privileges at the local bodega, church and coffee shop. Mom thanks him, and so do I.

Marilyn Ferdinand’
s extraordinary moxie and energy resulted in my single proudest moment as a blogger—helping her to raise more than $13,500 for film preservation.

Greg Ferrara (come back, Greg) did beautiful work on the blogathon icons and home blog, and I am also very grateful to him.

Glenn Kenny
, whose talent as a writer gives us all something to aim for, has the Siren’s deep gratitude for many kind words, technical advice, Region 2 DVDs, and for beng a good friend and invaluable sounding board.

David Cairns
I thank for Duvivier, The Eagle and the Hawk, Les Visiteurs du Soir, running a brilliant blog and being a great dinner companion.

Dan Callahan
I thank for friendship, hospitality, Constance Bennett, Naruse and for writing the best star profiles going.

Robert Avrech
I thank for his wise correspondence, his many great posts about early cinema, and for demonstrating that respect and friendship will always trump mere politics.

Annieytown of Blogdorf Goodman was my dear friend long before either one of us started blogging, but I still thank her for links and for her unerring eye for beauty.

Finally, others I am grateful to for their writing, their wisdom, their comments, their emails, their links, and their Internet comradeship: Gloria Porta, Tom Watson, Surlyh, Noel Vera, Karen Green, Yojimboen, Vanwall, X. Trapnel, Operator_99, Arthur S., David Ehrenstein, Tony Dayoub, Sheila O’Mallley, Alex aka Burritoboy, Raymond de Felitta, Kim Morgan, Larry Aydlette, Mrs. Henry Windle Vale, Gerard Jones, Phil Nugent, Dan Leo, Bob Westal, Dan Sallitt, Brian Herrera, Bill Wren, VP81955, Vertigo’s Psyche, Lee Tsiantis, Keith Uhlich, The Derelict, J.C. Loophole, Jacqueline T. Lynch, Dave Kehr, Jenny the Nipper, the Cinetrix, Trish, Tonio Kruger, Andy Horbal, Gareth, Brian Darr, Tom Carson, Nick Dawson, Jim Emerson, Ryan Kelly, Nathaniel R, Edward Copeland, John McElwee, David Bordwell, Michael Guillen, C. Parker, Raquelle Matos, Brenda Cullerton, Siobhan, Tom Sutpen, Richard Gibson, Richard Brody, Vadim Rizov, John Lichman, Laura, Shahn, Camorrista, Kathleen Maher, Chuck Tryon, Kevin Lee, Ed Howard, Dennis Lim and Maud Newton.

And to those the Siren owes thanks, but also knows she omitted because damn it, she always forgets something: Please know that the next time the Siren sees your name, she’ll be smote to the heart and skedaddle back here to add it.

That’s all. Back to our regular menu of long-winded analysis, tributes, oddball anecdotes, digressive lists, occasional bilious nitpicking, hey-looky-here links, planned projects that get shelved due to househunting, house moving or a household down with stomach flu, George Sanders obsession, Joan Fontaine obsession, and meandering but wonderful comments threads that always land on either Frank Borzage, Dimitri Tiomkin, George Brent or Danielle Darrieux.

Most of all, I am grateful y’all keep coming back.

52 comments:

Andy said...

Happy belated birthday, Self-Styled Siren!

Dave said...

Congrats and a hearty handclasp. "Long-winded," my aunt Fanny. You remain the Dorothy Parker of the film-blogging set.

Kendra said...

Well done and congrats!

Yojimboen said...

Then in celebration, a perfume reference you may not have:

Peindre ou Faire L’Amour, which I watched the other night, begins with Sabine Azéma – a painter – setting up her easel at the edge of a beautiful, deserted field. Before she can begin, a lone figure appears in the distance; he (Sergi López) approaches, walking strangely, haltingly. He calls, “Is anyone there?” – we realize he is blind – he calls again, “Are you there, m’sieur?”

She answers, “I’m here, but I’m a woman.”

He comes closer, sniffing the air more and more deeply.
He smiles, “Ah, yes…”
He bows, “I apologize, Madame, the smell of your paints overwhelmed your fragrance.”

ladybug said...

Greetings Siren: You originally hooked me with your George Sanders obsession. But my thanks for broadening my horizons while still allowing me to keep the treasured Mr. Sanders near and dear. Admittedly some of the discussions are far beyond my ability to even vaguely understand, but you keep me trying. Congratulations and thanks again, Nora.

Raquelle said...

Thanks for mentioning me! And congrats on 5 years of splendid, top notch blogging. Reading your blog always seems like a privilege.

Peter Nellhaus said...

Congratulations. And thank you for mentioning me. You were one of the first people I started to read regularly before I started my own blog, just a couple months later.

The Siren said...

Yojimboen, I LOVE it.

msic said...

Felicitous 5th, Siren. In Vast Wasteland 2.0, you have been and always will be a class act. Wishing you many more!

Flickhead said...

Congrats and thanks, Siren. It's been a pleasure watching your blog evolve. For what it's worth, I felt rather kingly when you revealed your true identity to the rest of the world this past year... while I already knew who you were. Call it ego, call it absurd; it's the little things that turn me on.

Vanwall said...

Congrats on five, Siren! A better description of this wondrous place couldn't be imagined - your call keeps me coming back, and I'm even a little crazy sometimes, sorry, altho that isn't the call of the Siren, that's just me. Thanks for the mention, too. And thanks to all the others who post here or inspire. In keeping with the scent of movies, I'll even keep trying my "fruity soaps" - didn't hurt Finn none. ;-)

THE FUTURIST! said...

Siren:

THE FUTURIST! hopes he will impress you enough to be included in the 6th Anniversary. He did say you had the wit of George Sanders, remember?

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Oh, you sweet thang...you generously thanked me and that little self-aggrandizing online diary of mine that keeps me out of the pool halls. You can't even begin to visualize how many shades of red are being telecast across my face right now.

Happy fifth anniversary, your Sirenship. And many--oh, so many--more to come.

girish said...

Warm congratulations, O Siren. Toronto still misses you.

The Siren said...

Ivan, isn't "self-aggrandizing online diary" the dictionary definition of a blog? :D

The Futurist, that is true, you did. Nice work. See you next April. ;)

Victor Ozols said...

Congratulations and continued success!

Brian Doan said...

Happy blog birthday, Siren!

Tonio Kruger said...

Happy fifth anniversary, Madame Siren. I second the comment about you being the Dorothy Parker of the film-blogging set--though I sincerely hope you're enjoying life far more than the late Ms. Parker.

Jeff Overturf said...

Happy belated anniversary...this is a great blog, keep up the wonderful work.

cgeye said...

Thank you, Ms. Siren, for being here.

Arthur S. said...

It's great fun being here and the web didn't know it was missing something until this started along. The most fun I had in recent memory was the Film Preservation Blog-A-Thon which raised enough money for the restoration of one film.

Greg said...

I feel like Steve Martin in The Jerk, ecstatic that he's in the phone book, every time I get a mention from you. "I made the Siren's blog, I made the Siren's blog!"

Congratulations on both five years and having the wisdom to start such a venture on my birthday. All praise and reverence is richly deserved.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks for inviting me to the party, and many happy returns. Thanks for producing a consistently excellent blog.

Karen said...

Bon anniversaire, chere Sirene!

And I am even more excited to be in your acknowledgments than I was the first time I realized I was listed in your "Magnificent Fellow Obsessives." You really know how to share the rewards.

The greatest of which rewards, of course, is getting to read your thoughts on film, and being part of the sparkling salon of commentary you direct so effortlessly.

One name I missed--and have missed in the comments of late, as well--is that of Gerard Jones, whose friendship I first cultivated in these parts.

So a rousing huzzah for the coolest party on the web and, by the transitive property, the coolest hostess!

The Siren said...

Gerard! *clutches heart, skedaddles*

X. Trapnel said...

Siren, I first stumbled on your blog late one night while coursing through the dark, labyrinthine ways of my own Joan Fontaine obsession. All of sudden, light and air, splendor, splendor everywhere. I read ALL of your posts in one session (probably most of the comments too). Happy anniversary and even if it's only the 5th you deserve diamonds.

Rob Hunt said...

Congratulations! This has been and is still one of my favorite blogs, and one of a very small handful that has had a direct and obvious influence on my life (i.e. not just on my film-viewing habits, but on my perspective on 20thc culture in general). And to echo something one of your esteemed colleagues once said: SSS is a model of grace, wit, and elegance for all bloggers to aspire to.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Siren, I am so happy for all you've done to share your obsessions, make them accessible and be so damned insightful and entertaining about it all. You've done more to counter the prevailing conventional wisdom about the meager contributions and ill effects of online film writers than anyone I can think of, and you've done it simply by following your inner voice and writing about what moves you, not what's moving everybody else on the fan forums and lists of hot subjects. (Except when the cavemen tried to beat on Sirk with their clubs. That was fun!)

A dopey mutual friend of ours once recently commented, "Oh, Brando, you would have so much to say about blogs!" This friend's observations are always hilarious, but this one actually made me think. I bet Brando would have had plenty to say about this blog, and it would have all been golden.

Happy 5th! You are the best.

Gloria said...

Je vous souhaite un tres joyeux bloganniversaire, Madame la Sirene!!

But Margo doesn't always detest sentiment... at least not in her cups (or rather, her very dry martinis)

rudyfan1926 said...

Happy belated fifth anniversary Siren. I'm late to your party (just like the new Margo) but your blog is a real pleasure to read. I'm afraid some of the comments are well beyond my cinematic expertise, but I love reading it all the same. May you continue to gift us with your wonderful observations and ocassional crabby dissent. Any George Sanders posting is welcome, any time.

Tony Dayoub said...

Congratulations on your fifth anniversary, Siren. It's been a pleasure to read your blog despite the fact that it makes me feel woefully outclassed in respect to classic cinema.

I endeavor to sustain my own little corner of the blogosphere for at least as long as you have. And a lot of my traffic has been due to mentions from you.

You're my James Wolcott.

In any case, I hope this blog lives on for many more years. Say hi to Mr. N for me, and I hope to meet you both again when I visit the NYFF this year.

Bob Westal said...

Congratulations, oh wondrous Siren of cinema.

But seriously, thank you, Farran, as well for encouragement and the links early on. I'm sure lots of others can say exactly the same thing but it sure meant a lot to me -- as well as for your kind consultation when I turned to you for informational back-up during my Fosse-fest thing. And thanks also for all the outstanding writing and doing more than your bit to keep classic films current, they way they need to be.

DavidEhrenstein said...

They say it's ypur Birthday!

Yojimboen said...

Another kind of milestone - not completely on-topic, but a milestone nonetheless. Let’s raise a glass some other Sirens.

Simon said...

Happy birthday, then! I trust further posts of the next half-century will be long and plentiful.

Fear not. Gershwin is probably wrapping up a tasteful fruit basket as we speak. Or a lovely composition, provided that we're talking about the same Gershwin.

The Siren said...

Next half-century? Damn, you do plan ahead Simon. I can't even tell you what I'll write about next week.

Simon said...

I meant half-decade. Damn, I'm not good with year-cluster-lingo.

You've been linked, by the way.

Robert said...

Siren:

Happy anniversary. Thanks so much for the kind words and for your friendship. Your wise and generous blog is a light into the classics of the silver screen. You have become one of my essentials.

The Derelict said...

Yay for a fifth anniversary!

Siren, you are the best. We might as well shut down the internet if you ever stop blogging. I'm serious. Don't ever stop. :)

Congratulations!

Maya said...

Wow. Five years and still going strong! Congratulations.

x.allgrum said...

If I may be so bold as to speak on behalf of all your dedicated readers who don't regularly comment on your posts, or at least on behalf of one of them, myself, thanks for the five excellent years of writing. Your site is one I've relied on for great writing and interesting conversations over the past few years and I hope for many more to come.

Laura said...

Happy anniversary, and may you and your blog have many more!

With sincere good wishes,
Laura

J.C. Loophole said...

Happy Anniversary to one of my all time favorite authors and advocate of cinema! May many more bon mots, excellent articles, cinema confessions and (among my favorite posts) hollywood anecdotes spring forth from your computer for years to come.

Deb T said...

Happy anniversary. I love your blog. I discovered SS Siren through James Wolcott's blog.

Goose said...

Siren,

Congratulations!

One of the go-to blogs. Keep it coming.

Gerard Jones said...

Happy birthday, Siren! I'm sorry I missed the day itself, but thanks to our friend Karen, who snapped me out of my fog and told me to get over here, at least I'm only a couple of days late.

I just can't believe it's been five years already...although I suppose that's mostly because I only discovered your blog about a year-and-a-half ago. But I did go back and read all your previous posts, all the way back to the days when they were about lipstick and politics as much as movies, so I feel like I've been here for the journey.

Thank you for your continued wonderfulness. And I am still reading, even though I haven't said anything for a while. I'm struggling to finish a long and overdue project, and one of the time-management vows I had to make was to stay out of blog conversations until it's done. It hasn't been easy, especially when you opened the curtain at last, and I had to resist gushing about how gorgeous you are. (Not that you would have noticed, in the gushing sea that inundated your comments for days.)

I'll now go read your newest post, riveted as ever by your siren song.

surly hack said...

Oops! Late again. Happy anniversary, Siren!

Yojimboen said...

Welcome back, GJ (if only for this visit) – wondered where the hell you’d been. We figured you were working on sump’n big, and didn’t bug you. But this project better be real, real good, or you’re gonna have some splainin’ to do. ;-)

Trish said...

Siren, as in the paraphrased words of Jack Nicholson, you make me want to be a better film fan. You completely sold me with your 'Ten Melos the Siren Would Watch Instead of Mad Men'. Happy Anniversary from lonely Toronto!

Vertigo's Psycho said...

Now that you've gotten your feet wet, here's to another 50 years of rewarding work. Long live the Siren and her self-styledness!

Gerard Jones said...

Don't say that, Yojimboen...you're gonna freeze me up!

Oh, but I finally watched Stavisky and liked it a lot. My opinion of Resnais took a big jump, and it was wonderful to get so much Boyer I hadn't seen. Thanks for that!

D Cairns said...

Well gosh. Thanks for running a great place, and being a pretty superb dinner companion yourself. Hope to visit again soon!

And congratulations on your anniversary!