Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Blogathon That Never Was

When Arbogast on Film died (apparently burning in Hell) so did a blogathon.  Years ago, Arbo and I discussed doing a blogathon that went against the grain of most blogathons.  We were tired of all the blogathons about big time directors, actors and/or movies.  How about a blogathon about an actor who got, at best, bit parts, a couple of failed tv shows and years of good, quality, reliable, steady work?  How about a blogathon about Lawrence Pressman?

No, seriously.

It started when I brought up Ladies Man, a failed sitcom Pressman starred in that lasted one season in 1980, in a comment thread whose attached post I can no longer remember.  I watched Ladies Man and, yes, I liked it, or rather, I liked Pressman in it.  I liked him in 9 to 5, too.  Other parts got mentioned:  His role as Dr. Hellstrom in The Hellstrom Chronicles (he had the lead!) was mentioned by Marilyn Ferdinand and a few others chimed in to mention other small parts where Pressman stood out in their memory.

Arbo e-mailed me and said we should do a whole blogathon and if only a few people posted, who cares?  I tried to make it something bigger ("How about a blogathon for all bit players?!") but Arbo thought that defeated the purpose.  He was right.  We never did the blogathon.

The point of all this is not that I want to go ahead and do that blogathon now - the moment is past and the momentum is gone - but that the very idea of it inspired me to start doing The Wanderers, posts on actors without Oscars (or even nominations) and barely any name recognition.  It was that blogathon that got me to thinking, "Would I rather talk up the same classics and heroes of cinema or bring some under-appreciated and under-known artists into the limelight?"  The answer was obvious.  Illumination is more enticing than elaboration.  So thanks, Arbo, for guiding me, in your small way, towards the true spirit of the film blogger:  A personal journey through the history of film that acknowledges the classics but spends more time shedding light on those players in the shadows that enriched our cinematic history without ever getting the recognition they deserved.