Apr 24, 2012

Guest Classic Links: Matthew of Movietone News

I was introduced to Matthew through his blog Movietone News, which I have always appreciated for giving me a strong UK perspective on classic movie love, among other things (he’s been doing a great series about Titanic movies lately). I’m particularly fond of his Movietone Cameos, where he writes excellent mini reviews of what he is currently watching. Other than that, I was not aware until recently just how many blogs this man has been maintaining. There’s Carfax Abbey (to which Laura linked in her guest post last week), The Tentative Oenophile, The Marx Brothers Council of Britain, Unsystematics, The Dennis Wheatley Project, Hammer and Beyond and his personal blog, appropriately titled Matthew Coniam. That’s impressive! Thanks for agreeing to guest link Matthew! 


Thank you, KC, for the honour and responsibility of selecting today’s classic links. I found it a more demanding task than I was expecting. There was so much I would have loved to include, and winnowing my choices down to the final short list was not easy.

First up, I crave your indulgence. Flipping through a recent issue of The New Yorker I came across the story of Quentin Rowan, aka Q. R. Markham, spy novelist and plagiarist. It’s the most stunning and compulsive true story I’ve read all year and I’m sure you’ll be gripped by it too. True, it’s not about cinema as such… but it would make a terrific movie. The New Yorker

You probably don’t need me to tell you that Mykal Banta’s Radiation Cinema is the best blog on the block if you like 1950s science fiction. But this post on The Andy Griffith Show was a delightful left-field surprise. 

I Thank You might be my favourite movie blog of all. Excellent writing, with an emphasis on the silents, it’s original and observant. And the fact that the author is often discussing films just seen for the first time makes it read more like a road trip than a lecture with slides. Here’s the whole site rather than a specific post. Dip in anywhere.

At my horror blog Carfax Abbey I never miss a chance to make the case for the Poverty Row studios PRC and Monogram. Despite or because of their low budgets and overnight turnover rate, they produced films that were just as unique, intoxicating and worthy of celebration as those of Fellini or Andy Warhol or Ray Dennis Steckler. They can also be just as bewildering. I loved reading Karl La Fong’s very personal encounter with Boris Karloff’s Mr Wong films at The House of Cobwebs.

It was through a shared love of Monogram and PRC that I first crossed paths with Eric Kuersten, whose blog Acidemic is a one-of-a-kind mix of the arcane and the passionate. He’s crazy and he’s sane, and he’s never saner than when he’s at his craziest. He might even be, as Bela Lugosi describes himself in The Raven, “the sanest man who ever lived”. Or he might just be crazy, which is, after all, the consensus view of Lugosi in The Raven. I do know that only he could come up with the idea of contrasting Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and Jim Carrey’s Liar Liar – and then make it so genuinely insightful. Acidemic

I wish more people remembered Leslie Halliwell. Like thousands of others, his mammoth Film Guide and Filmgoer’s Companion were my gateway into film appreciation, and I still remember the excitement of meeting him shortly afterwards. He knew everything worth knowing about movies, and his unyielding conviction that the industry had been in terminal decline since the late 1940s delighted me, and infuriated exactly the kind of people that I wanted to see infuriated. Sadly, he died before his time. Get to know him a little better here.

And lastly, the Case of the Missing Mustard, a vintage classic from Silver Screen Suppers .


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Matthew! Thanks for guesting. I loved your picks. I still have my old copy of Halliwell's Film Guide. It's satisfying to flip through. That's something you can't do on the IMDB!

  2. KC, I always enjoy when you host the "Guest Classic Link" series. I always find a new blog to follow, or.. a new article to read..

  3. Thanks Dawn. I've been enjoying all these great finds myself. I love seeing how bloggers I admire approach the links!

  4. Thanks Matthew - again! A gentleman, a scholar and a very generous person all round!

    Movietone News is one of my favourite blogs also and I've no idea how you maintain so many!

    Something in the spar water in Bath?