A Little Sunshine To Brighten The Grey: Receiving The Liebster Award

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Recently I received the most pleasant and humbling surprise, when I found myself nominated for the Liebster Award by Erica at Poppity Talks Classic Film. Erica is a fellow classic film fan and blogger whose wonderful support has helped keep me inspired and connected to writing my own blog. Her own outstanding blog featuring exceptional writing and is a must to visit and follow for its’ high standards and highly intelligent insights into classic film. Most importantly, Erica’s passion and love for classic film is wonderfully infectious and best of all, one will always learn from her writing. I am deeply honoured and humbled to be nominated by someone who is an exceptional writer and comes at a time when my own personal doubts have taken their toll. Erica, your nomination will never be forgotten, and my thanks and appreciation are beyond words!

As bloggers may know (and using Erica’s own words), The Liebster Award is thought to have originated around 2011 and “is a way to be discovered but also to connect and support the blogging community.”

After receiving a nomination, you earn the award by following a series of steps.

They are as follows:

  1. Thank the nominator in your award post.
  2. Place the award logo somewhere on your blog.
  3. You must state 11 facts about yourself.
  4. Complete the 11 questions that your nominator provided.
  5. Nominate as many bloggers as you’d like (11 is the maximum).
  6. Ask your nominees a series of questions (11 is the maximum).

So as they say in classic comedy: ‘and away we go!’

11 Facts About Myself

1. I am a recovering chocaholic – whose habits have had to be curbed for health reasons. To say this is a personal tragedy is an understatement, in the pursuit of preventing a further and far greater tragedy (in my humble opinion).

2. Aside from watching classic film, a little slice of paradise for me is a breakfast on my own near the ocean where I grew up. Poached eggs on thick wholemeal toast with a side of crispy bacon, a cappuccino and the Sydney Morning Herald (an outstanding Australian newspaper). It’s also an integral aspect of my own personal mental health plan.

3. Books are one of my key vices and old books are my weakness. I struggle to part with them and need extensions to house the books waiting for a home. I mainly purchase books on classic literature, history, politics, biographies, music and of course, film.

4. I love a good cigar – my favourite is a Monte Cristo No.2. But I’m very partial to H. Upmann, Cohiba and Casa Torano. Accompanied by a Cles Des Duc Armagnac or a good port, and a good friend to share it and chat with is also a slice of paradise for me.

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Robert Donat Aiming a Muzzle-Loader Gun

5. My favourite exercise is swimming and outside of winter, I try to swim at least 1km a day.

6. As much as I loved playing basketball when I was young (and I mean loved), I see no point in being a spectator at a game. You may as well give each side 80 points and ten minutes to play. (I know that sounds bad).

7. As a child I had two major dreams – to become a fast bowler for the Australian Cricket Team (my hero was 70s/80s legendary Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee) and to become Ace Frehley, the lead guitarist for Kiss (my other hero). Preferably both consecutively. (Well, I was a kid…)

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8. On my bucket-list is attending the TCM Film Festival and finally getting a chance to meet some of the wonderful classic film fans I’ve met through blogging and social media.

9. My father was English and so I am a bit of an Anglophile. There was a steady television diet of British comedies and drama as I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s – and I still watch them.

10. My love for 1970s American cop shows borders on obsession with a growing DVD collection including Kojak, The Streets Of San Francisco, Starsky And Hutch, Police Woman and other titles.

11. A very embarrassing admittance: I cry like a baby when I hear The Way We Were by Barbara Streisand. (Look we all have our triggers!)

11 Questions Provided By Erica

1. What kind of toppings do you like putting on your pizza?

I used to be a multiple topping guy but these days I keep it plain and simple – ham and cheese with oregano. Or pepperoni.

2. Who was you first celebrity crush?

Kim Wilde (80s British singer). But I think I was also a little in love with Lyndsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman).

3. Name one classic film star, one contemporary film star and one modern film star who you find to be overrated. Why?

Classic Film Star – June Allyson. Never warmed to her and doesn’t have screen presence for me.

Contemporary Film Star – Julia Roberts. Just ugh!

Modern Film Star – Nicholas Cage. Looks permanently constipated and he just grates on me.

4. Have you ever flown first class?

Yes. From Chicago to L.A. I was upgraded and very surprised! I was flying from Montreal back to Australia and had to make three flight. Even if it was only a four hour flight from Chicago to L.A, I absolutely loved it and appreciated the break from Economy.

5. What is your favourite holiday to celebrate?

Christmas. Without a doubt! In Australia, it’s in the middle of summer and during our big school break, so it’s a wonderful time. I still get a fresh tree and refuse to go plastic. Sadly, television has become disgraceful and woeful in presenting classic film and television shows but I’ve made up for it. My kids all know and love the Rankin Bass Christmas shows (which I have on DVD) and a multitude of classic Christmas cartoons. As a family we all watch the familiar classic Christmas films such as Miracle On 34th Street (1944), A Christmas Carol (1938), It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) and so many others.

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6. Is there anyone in your close inner-circle who shares your passion of film?

I have a great work colleague whom I consider a close friend and future collaborator on various projects. We share a love for all things entertainment from classic film to Z-grade shlock horror.

7. If you have Twitter, have you had any meaningful exchanges with celebrities and/or people who you admire?

I have a strange love/hate relationship with Twitter. It actually makes me feel very alone and ignored! Yet when I do get notice, it’s from some very kind and wonderful people who are mainly fellow classic film fans and bloggers.

8. What is your most cherished box-set of films?

VERY hard to choose but I think it would go to the Marx Brothers Paramount movies box-set. It’s a beautifully presented set and the black-and-silver themed artwork is on point. For me, the best of the Brothers can be found in the Paramount films and the true essence of their comedy. A close second would The Thin Man boxset.

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9. What is your favourite kind of food to snack on while watching movies?

Popcorn and Coke No Sugar – both the size of Mt Everest if possible.

10. Which celebrity death affected you the most?

I was greatly saddened by the death of Prince whose music I loved. I saw him on tour in Australia in 1992 but missed out the last two times. What an absolute genius! However, every time I hear of the passing of a classic film or television star, I naturally feel a sense of loss.

11. If you had the choice to travel in a time machine with a 50/50 chance of being able to come back to the present, would you decide to go?

The temptation would be terribly great, but I think I would decline. I couldn’t leave my kids! Although the chance to visit the 1930s would be fantastic.

My nominees for the Liebler Award

Tynan at Four Star Films

Zoe at Hollywood Genes

Paul at Classic Film Journal

The Brannan Sisters at Pure Entertainment Preservation Society

Heather at Meet Me At The Soda Fountain

My 11 Questions For The Nominees

  1. If you could star with a classic film actor and classic film actress, who would they be and why?
  2. Who is your favourite director?
  3. London or Paris? Why?
  4. What has been the most challenging blog post you have had to write?
  5. What is the next book you plan to read from your reading list?
  6. Describe your perfect day (within the bounds of reality).
  7. Who had the greatest influence on your developing a love for classic film?
  8. What iconic car from a classic film would you love to own?
  9. List your favourite quote from a classic film and why you love it so much.
  10. Name a classic film villain you love to hate and why.
  11. If you could possess a super power, what would it be and why?

I truly hope the nominees will accept!

Paul Batters teaches secondary school History in the Illawarra region and also lectures at the University Of Wollongong. In a previous life, he was involved in community radio and independent publications. Looking to a career in writing, Paul also has a passion for film history.