Zowie, a beautiful YouTube clip from the inimitable Greg Ferrara on the Siren’s blog. She doesn’t do clips very often. And look at the banner, with beauteous Joan Bennett getting her fatale-ism on with dear Fritz Lang, the Siren’s favorite autocrat.
Something’s afoot. Monocle-shopping? A boudoir interior-design rethink chez Siren? Valentine’s Day reservations, perhaps?
Better than that, way better. It is time for us to band together once more to do our bit for film preservation. Yes, it is the Call for Posts for (crescendo)
For the Love of Film (Noir)
The concept is simple. This year as last, the Siren and the great Marilyn Ferdinand of Ferdy on Films are calling on bloggers to band together. Together we will urge people to donate in order to restore and preserve endangered film.
Donations this year go to the Film Noir Foundation, which marvelous organization, under the leadership of Eddie Muller, works to save movies in this beloved genre, movies from many eras and from many countries. Eddie is a gentleman, a wit and a scholar, a man with an incredible love for and dedication to film. Marilyn and I are proud to be helping the foundation to which he has devoted so much.
And this year, in a nifty plot twist, we know the film to be restored ahead of time--a fine and important noir called The Sound of Fury, aka Try and Get Me.
Fritz is gracing the banner for a reason; The Sound of Fury tells the same story as Lang’s celebrated 1936 Fury. Directed by Cy Endfield, who was fated to be blacklisted later on, The Sound of Fury stars Lloyd Bridges in as good a role as that fine actor ever got to play. When the Siren announced that this was the film to be restored, several of her distinguished, all-seeing commenters popped up to remark that they preferred this version to the Lang. As Marilyn noted before, when Lloyd’s sons--Jeff and Beau, you may have heard of them--saw the film, they were “blown away” by Lloyd’s performance. More from Marilyn:
A nitrate print of the film will be restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, using a reference print from Martin Scorsese’s personal collection to guide them and fill in any blanks. Paramount Pictures has agreed to help fund the restoration, but FNF is going to have to come up with significant funds to get the job done. That’s where we come in.
Our Facebook page is updated continuously with information about the blogathon, including ideas for posts, should you need any.
This year as last, we are offering raffle prizes to donors. The loot includes:
1. The brand-new deluxe DVD edition of The Prowler
2. A DVD documentary on Eddie Muller, The Czar of Noir, featuring his short film with Marsha Hunt, The Grand Inquisitor.
3. Illustrator Steve Brodner will be contributing a drawing of Lloyd Bridges as a raffle prize during the blogathon. Look in the photo album on the Facebook page for samples of his work.
4. A full set of all nine posters for the Film Noir Foundation’s NOIR CITY film festival, held each year in San Francisco since 2003.
5. A set of all three NOIR CITY SENTINEL annuals. Noir City is the Foundation’s flagship publication.
6. Programs from NOIR CITY 8 and 9
7. An autographed copy of Eddie Muller's first novel, The Distance.
Here are the Rules for Blogathon Participants, as elegantly simple as black-and-white:
1. Post on any topic related to film noir, at any time during the week of Feb. 14 through Feb. 21.
2. In your post, include the all-important donation link for the Film Noir Foundation.
3. Send the link to your post to Marilyn Ferdinand of Ferdy on Films (http://www.ferdyonfilms.com; email firstname.lastname@example.org) and to the Siren here (http://selfstyledsiren.blogspot.com/ or via email, email@example.com). We will be keeping track of the submissions and linking to them on our respective blogs.
4. Follow the links here and at Marilyn's site to read the contributions; remember too that nothing gladdens a blogger's heart like a nice comment.
And, most vital of all,
5. DONATE GENEROUSLY to the Film Noir Foundation, and urge your readers to do the same.
Our grand total last year was more than $30,000 in contributions and matching funds; those funds saved films through the National Film Preservation Foundation. One of the Siren’s great joys was seeing the spreadsheets and realizing that there were some large gifts, and also a great many people kicking in small donations, one after the other, until the numbers really began to add up. It all counts. It all helps.
This year, the Siren has received some queries about participation, and thought perhaps others might have similar concerns. Switch on the desk lamp, it's time for the Blogathon Q&A. If you have other questions, the Siren will be right here in comments.
1. I neglected to participate last year. I feel such torments of guilt, like Van Heflin in Act of Violence. Please, can I redeem myself by contributing a post this year?
We called off Robert Ryan. Come back. All is forgiven.
2. Can I post that week even if I don’t sign up now?
Sure, just let us know when you do.
3. I am a blogger based outside the U.S., and I would like to contribute a post.
Please do! We love the international character of the blogathon.
4. I love film and want to do my bit, but my blog is focused on food/mascara/politics etc. Can I still contribute?
Absolutely. To cite one example, last year Tinky Weisblat, at the time primarily a food blogger, did a wonderful post and included a recipe. Marilyn tried the recipe out and pronounced it delicious; the Siren was all set to cook it herself but then she ripped the lace on her apron and got depressed.
Anyway, the post itself should be about film noir, and the donation link should be there. If the topic of the post is “False Eyelashes in Film Noir,” that would be...completely awesome, actually. The Siren would read that. She might even post that herself.
5. I want to write about a new movie that I consider to be noir. Is that all right?
Knock yourself out, dollface. Although, if you are writing about a new movie because you secretly prefer new to old, for heaven’s sake don’t say so outright as the Siren will be deeply hurt.
6. I wrote a post a while back about film noir, and I don't like to brag, but it was great. This post got me a fan letter from my Cousin Millicent. It got me a date in a hot tub. It got me a paying critic job. Can I repost this inspired post for the blogathon?
All right, all right! If you haven't got anything shiny new we won't go all Veda Pierce on you. Please do freshen it up, however, with an appeal for donations and the all-important donation link.
Anyway, surely you get the general idea. This year as last, there is no obnoxious door policy at the For the Love of Film (Noir) blogathon. You may come as you are. And you don’t have to know what you will write about now; the promise to post is enough.
Tonight, the Siren plans to start updating this post with names of contributors, and Marilyn plans to do the same. Let us hear from you!