Entries tagged with “Dave Drazin”.


I can’t get over the feeling that this is some elaborate prank. But here is the Booklist edition the review appears in.

The following review of Hollywood On Lake Michigan, 2nd Edition appears in the May 1, 2013 issue of Booklist, the official publication of the American Library Association (their online site has a pay wall so I have just pasted in the whole darn thing):

Film lovers and Windy City fans will cherish this updated guide. Film historian Bernstein, who wrote the first edition, “brushed up the silent section,” but the heavy lifting here is done by Corcoran, for 10 years a tour guide whose Chicago cinema excursions are his most popular offerings. Bernstein’s “The Silent Era” traces South Side black filmmakers, including Oscar Micheaux, as well as more familiar North Side figures like Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson at Essanay, spotlights early movie palaces, profiles silent film accompanist David Drazin, and traces the real murder mystery behind Call Northside 777. Corcoran shifts from history to geography, exploring the Loop and nearby areas, and then Chicago’s North, West, and South Sides and their respective suburbs. Each chapter mixes nuggets for self-guided tours, tales from the making of specific films, and chats with such Chicago-area film folk as Tim Kazurinsky, the Hoop Dreams and Barbershop teams, Harold Ramis, Joe Mantegna, and Irma Hall. A list of more than 1,250 movies, mainstream and indie, filmed at least partly in Chicago or its suburbs is included. 

Whoooooooooooooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG OMG OMG!!!!

Sorry, had to get that off my chest. This is the first official review of HOLM 2, and I have been waiting a long time for any recognition at all for my efforts, much less such a glowing recommendation.

Booklist is a publication beloved and respected by librarians and bibliophiles the world over, so this is huge in so many respects. First off, these folks live and breathe the printed word, so to get such a positive review from them provides a little more cachet than one from a regular entertainment publication (although that would be awesome too). Secondly, this is where librarians go to make decisions about what books to order for their collections; and aside from the extra copies a Booklist review can sell, it just gives me SUCH a huge thrill to think that a book I wrote is going to be available in Public Libraries— a place where I spent some of the happiest hours of my childhood.

Perhaps some dorky, lonely kid in a small town somewhere will come across it on his Library shelf and be inspired to become a writer or filmmaker— or at least be entertained for a few hours.

Thanks much to Booklist, Arnie Bernstein, Chicago Review Press, and everyone else who has helped me along this long and twisted path. I do believe I will go and have a little Happy Cry right now.

There's great fun to be had for the whole family at the Chicago Film Archives' Home Movie Day!

There's great fun to be had for the whole family at the Chicago Film Archives' Home Movie Day!

One of the newer film-related organizations in the city, the Chicago Film Archives has quickly grown into an important resource for all of the Midwest. Like many worthwhile non-profit endeavors, the Chicago Film Archives was created for a specific purpose, and then expanded its mission in order to fill a larger need. Started at the end of 2003 to save and preserve approximately 5,000 16 MM films that the Chicago Public Library was letting go, they originally set up shop in a donated space on LaSalle Street, but soon grew out of it. After a long search, they found their current home in a renovated industrial warehouse right on the river at 329 W 18th Street.

With climate controlled storage facilities, roomy freight elevators, and plenty of room to grow; the CFA almost immediately began looking to collect and preserve as many other old films as possible. Executive Director Nancy Watrous elaborates, “We started talking about the mission of the organization and what we should be doing, aside from just taking care of this collection from the CPL, and it quickly became clear to all of us that this part of the country needed a regional film archive. There simply was no existing place to take in, track, and try to save the films that represent [the heritage of] the Midwest. So slowly but surely we morphed into a regional film archive.” They worked out an expanded mission, “We take in films that either reflect in their content the Midwest, or that are made by Midwest filmmakers,” and other donated films began pouring in, expanding the collection to over 7,000 items.

A major part of the CFA’s mission is to select the rarest and/or most important films and submit grants on their behalf to the National Film Preservation Foundation for preservation as part of our national cultural heritage. Those films which receive grants are then sent to labs which specialize in restoration and preservation of old films.

One of the most fascinating and unexpected aspects of the CFA’s mission is the collecting of home movies, which are considered by film archivists and a growing segment of the public to be an important part of our shared cultural heritage. This has led to a fascinating outreach activity known as “Home Movie Day”, where CFA technicians and archivists set up inside a location (such as the Chicago Cultural Center) for a day long celebration of home movies. During the afternoon, interested persons may bring in their old home movies for inspection and evaluation by professionals and/or to donate films to the archive (they can also arrange to make use of the CFA’s transfer and repair services, which are done for a fee). Then later that night, the movies that are most interesting or in the best condition are then shown to large crowds which gather for a taste of Midwestern home (movie) cooking.

Which brings us to the fact that the CFA is sponsoring another Home Movie Day on Saturday, October 17 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington Street (Michigan Avenue between Washington and Randolph across from Millennium Park).

3:00pm to 6:00pm:
Interested persons can check in their films and make an appointment to meet with a CFA archivist who will inspect their film and talk about home movie care.

6:00pm to 9:00pm
Those who brought in films can see their home movies up on the big screen in front of a live audience!  David Drazin (a noted silent film musical accompanist who is also interviewed in Hollywood On Lake Michigan, 2nd Edition) will be playing piano behind the films for the full “movie palace effect.” (Which will really provide a dramatic context for that footage of Uncle Morty passing out in his mashed potatoes during Thanksgiving Dinner in 1961).

From those who bring in their footage, to the curators and experts who evaluate it, to the folks who just come to enjoy the screening in the evening; Home Movie Day is great fun for all involved. And it’s completely free!!! [although people can arrange for paid services to restore their damaged treasures]

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a CFA archivist call 773-478-3799 or 312-243-1808.  Ask for Anne or Nancy.