Yesterday, I had a very pleasant surprise. Paul Batters of Silver Screen Classics nominated us for the Liebster Award! This is the first time in our nearly three years of existence that PEPS has been nominated for this blogger award which is dedicated to connecting bloggers and promoting discovery of new blogs. I am so honored that Mr. Batters, whom I have always admired as a scholarly and intelligent film reviewer, included Rebekah and me in his list of the five bloggers he nominated for this award. Thank you so much for this recognition! It means a lot to me that other bloggers appreciate our writing. I proudly accept this award. To fulfill my obligations, I must first republish the rules:
- Thank the nominator in your award post.
- Place the award logo somewhere on your blog.
- You must state 11 facts about yourself.
- Complete the 11 questions that your nominator provided.
- Nominate as many bloggers as you’d like (11 is the maximum).
- Ask your nominees a series of questions (11 is the maximum).
Having fulfilled the first two duties, I will now proceed to the third, which is to state eleven facts about myself.
- T: I have never cut my hair in my whole life. I have only trimmed the edges. It is now below my knees! I hope to have it as my train at my wedding. Rebekah has never cut her hair, either.
- R: When I performed in my ballet studio’s production of Giselle, a famous ballet, this July, I learned the whole part of the title role, the leading lady, from watching videos on YouTube. Although I was just in the corps de ballet and had a small solo, I learned the whole role of Giselle from the experience.
- T: When I played Shazi in Aladdin and the Heart of Agrabah at the Indio Date Festival Pageant at age six in 2008, I was the youngest lead in the pageant’s 62 year history. I doubt the record has been broken since. The role I played was originally intended to be a boy, but they changed it to a girl for me.
- R: I played the violin for about a year when I was around age five. During that time, I wrote a little violin song called “Japanese Lullaby.”
- T: I started singing the role of Cleopatra in George Frideric Handel’s Giulio Cesare, a three-act Baroque opera, at age nine. I quickly got the score and learned all eight arias by the time I was ten. This soon became my favorite opera, which it remains to this day. It also started my fascination with Cleopatra.
- R: I am the official Disney expert at PEPS. Most of the movies I breen are Disney Renaissance films. I enjoy aspects of these films, so I like analyzing how they could have been better if they were Code movies.
- T: In January of 2018, I started taking a travel writing course. On April 2, my first article was published!
- R: I am writing a screenplay for a Disney cartoon version of The Phantom of the Opera. It would be something like Beauty and the Beast meets Yeston and Kopit’s Phantom. I am imaging my lyrics for original songs by Maury Yeston.
- T: My favorite color is Tiffany Blue. It’s partly because my first name is Tiffany, but it also is because I love all cyan colors.
- R: For my fifteenth birthday, I went to Disneyland dressed as Belle. I knew there was an age cutoff for wearing costumes, but I thought it was eighteen until I checked the website the day before the trip. I decided to try my luck and hope I could get in, since the costume was Belle’s first costume from Amazon, not a Disney store. The security guard let me in after only removing my white apron!
- T and R: We have both seen all the feature films Nelson Eddy ever made.
Paul Batters’ Questions for His Nominees and My Answers:
- If you could star with a classic film actor and classic film actress, who would they be and why?
I would star with Nelson Eddy and Rise Stevens. They were both such marvelous opera singers as well as talented actors. It would have been so thrilling to have performed alongside them!
- Who is your favourite director?
I really like Robert Z. Leonard. He directed some great musicals in the 1930s and 40s. He was very artistic, and he made a lot of really good Code films.
2. London or Paris? Why?
Paris. Ever since we watched the 1943 film Phantom of the Opera, Rebekah and I have loved the story about the Phantom of the Paris Opera. For this reason, I have a soft spot in my heart for Paris.
3. What has been the most challenging blog post you have had to write?
The most challenging blog post was my breening article of Some Like It Hot which I wrote for #AMonthWithoutTheCode65 this August. It was very difficult because it was very long and extremely detailed. I used to watch that movie all the time, before I was a Code aficionado, of course. When I actually decided to breen it, I hadn’t seen it in a long time, so I had to watch YouTube clips for some of the dialogue.
4. What is the next book you plan to read from your reading list?
I plan to read Play by Ear, Father Daniel Lord’s autobiography. I have had a copy of the book for a year and a half, but I have only looked at if for specific quotes. I look forward to reading the whole thing.
5. Describe your perfect day (within the bounds of reality).
My perfect day would begin with a noon performance by me of some songs and accompanying speaking and slides about Code movies at some beautiful old movie palace in Los Angeles. I would especially like it to be the Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway, which is my favorite old Los Angeles movie palace. I would like it to be in connection with some organization which is interested in old culture, like Turner Classic Movies, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, or the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation. After the vocal and narrative introduction about Code films, there would be a screening of the first Code film, The World Moves On from 1934. By the time all this was over, it would be about 3 PM. Then, the attendees would go to the space in the theatre which still can be used as functional restaurant space. They would be served a diner style lunch while my sister and I prepared for a show that evening. At 5 PM, in the same theatre, we would put on a full performance of our original classical ballet Phantom of the Opera: The Ballet. It is four acts long to classical music with original choreography by Rebekah and me. I would start by speaking to the audience about how we wrote this ballet, drawing our inspiration from the original novel by Gaston Leroux but especially from the 1943 film Phantom of the Opera with Claude Rains, which introduced us to the timeless story and inspired us to write our own version. Rebekah would dance the leading role of Christine while I would play a character part, Madame Giry. We hope to perform it thus with a middle-aged professional danseur as the Phantom and student dancers in the other roles. After the ballet was over, it would be about 7:30. Then, there would be a celebratory gala in the ballroom at the theatre. It would feature hors d’oevres and a live band, so there would be ballroom dancing. This whole day would be a sort of pure entertainment festival, showing how Code films can inspire us to live better and to make original entertainment along decent lines. I don’t know how based in reality it is for all these things to happen on one day, but I believe that these are all events which could and will happen for us.
6. Who had the greatest influence on your developing a love for classic film?
My parents. They appreciated classic films for years before I was born. I grew up watching nothing but classic films and a few later Disney movies. Thus, I never have really known anything else as my main entertainment.
7. What iconic car from a classic film would you love to own?
I love the limousine which the Setons have in Holiday from 1938. It is a beautiful Rolls-Royce limousine. What an elegant car! I would love to ride in a car like that, complete with a smartly dressed chauffeur.
8. List your favourite quote from a classic film and why you love it so much.
“They’re referring to it as a living emotion.” – John Barrymore as Nikolai Nazaroff in Maytime, 1937
John Barrymore’s Nikolai says this to his wife, opera singer Marcia Mornay (Jeanette MacDonald), after her climactic American debut in Czaritza, the French opera written just for her. They have been less than happily married for seven years. Then, she debuts in New York with baritone Paul Allison (Nelson Eddy) in this dramatic opera. When Nikolai arranged the casting, he had no idea that Marcia and Paul were sweethearts back in France. Now, they are reunited onstage in a passionate opera set to symphonic music by Tchaikovsky. The possessively jealous Nikolai watches in anguish as he sees much more emotion than that of the characters onstage between his wife and the handsome baritone. The feelings in this scene are three levels deep, between the characters in the opera, between the characters in the film, and between Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy themselves, the lovelorn sweethearts in real life. After the performance, Nikolai menacingly tells Marcia that people are referring to the feelings in her performance as “a living emotion.” It is hard to choose one favorite line, but I love that line, and I enjoy quoting it. This is one of my favorite movies, full of great music and great acting by brilliant actors. In addition, it is a perfect Code film!
9. Name a classic film villain you love to hate and why.
I know that technically she is the leading lady, but I think that Fanny Skeffington, Bette Davis’s character, is a real villain in Mr. Skeffington from 1944. For most of the film, I just love to hate her. She is so unkind to her husband, who is so kind to her. She just seems heartless to me.
10. If you could possess a super power, what would it be and why?
The superpower I would want to have is perfect memory. I think it would be wonderful to read or hear something once and permanently add it to my memory. I could learn so many new things if I had that power!
- Jenni from Rollamo of Portraits by Jenni
- Movie Critic of Movies Meet Their Match
- Sally Silverscreen of 18 Cinema Lane
- Michaela of Love Letters to Old Hollywood
- Rebecca Deniston of Taking Up Room
- Megan Chappie of The Pen and the Cross
- Ruth of Silver Screenings
- Phyllis of Phyllis Loves Classic Movies
- Maddy of Maddy Loves Her Classic Films
- Debra Vega of Moon in Gemini
- Mike of Mike’s Take on the Movies
My Questions for My Nominees:
- What famous, beloved, or iconic classic film leaves you cold, even though a lot of other people love it?
- What actors are your favorite classic film couple, even if they only made one movie together?
- What classic film genre is your least favorite?
- What type of classic movie musical do you prefer, one where people are constantly singing or one in which all the music is logical and in context with the story?
- What novel, book, or story do you really wish was made with certain actors in the Golden Era of Hollywood?
- What modern film can you most visualize as a classic film with particular actors in the lead roles?
- What is your least favorite performance from your favorite actor or actress? Why?
- What is your favorite performance from your least favorite actor or actress? Why?
- What is one movie that made you appreciate an actor or actress you didn’t think you liked before?
- Can you name a film adaption of a book that you think was better than the book?
- What is a remake which you like better than the original film? Why?
That concludes my duties for this award! It was a lot of fun. I want to thank Paul again for nominating me. In turn, I would like to invite all my nominees to join our blogathon next weekend, The Third Annual Great Breening Blogathon. I know that it is short notice, but I think that it will be a lot of fun. Some of them have participated in past years, and we are hoping that this year will be our biggest blogathon yet! Please join and make it a great success! We can really use your talent.
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