In 2019, I decided to post a series of interviews with members of both the genealogical and old Hollywood communities, hoping to find common ground between the two and learn more about some people whose online presence I truly enjoy. Welcome to the Hollywood/GenesCrossover Interview series! For the original post in this series and to see the complete list of interviewees, click here.
Amanda, a learning technologist and film noir enthusiast, is one of my favorite film lovers to check in with on Twitter. She is highly skilled in the art of the film synopsis, to the point where my must-see list just keeps getting bigger and bigger as I read her posts (especially coming off of #Noirvember). I had a lot of fun reading her answers to these questions; I hope you do, too!
What is your earliest memory of watching a classic film? What did it do for you? Why do you remember it?
I was 7 years old, and at Grandma’s house. The Greatest Show on Earthwas on TV. I was mesmerized. It was the most beautiful thing I had seen. Beautiful people, a compelling story and the company of Grandma. That was it. I was hooked on the classics. It was also something to share with Grandma, while my Mom and brother hate the classics and refuse to watch. I also found a love of US history that I share with my dad.
Who are your top 3 favorite old Hollywood stars and why (1900s-1960s)?
Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, and Joan Crawford – and everyone else. Not too many I don’t like.
What are your top 3 favorite classic films and why?
I LOVE lots of films and don’t really rank them. I love Film Noir, so I’ll pick Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce and The Letter.
How does classic film feature in your life today?
I don’t have cable TV otherwise I would watch TCM on repeat. I follow the #TCMParty hashtag and will sometimes go online and watch along just to have the community viewing experience. I love watching films with others.
I host Film Noir viewings in my home. I introduce classic films like The Killers, Notorious, & Double Indemnityto my friends. We have a movie screen and projector in our home so lots of movie parties. I always prepare a talk for before and after viewing.
We also have local cinemas that show classic films. I saw Roman Holidayon the big screen a couple weeks ago. I also took a film class on Film Noir. I do have a blog where I write fiction set in a Noir-like world. I take creative writing courses from time to time.
I read classic film fiction, non-fiction, and biographies. I worked in a library in high school where I would search out biographies on Jimmy Stewart, Gene Tierney, Cary Grant, and others. I love reading a book of a favorite film. This summer I read An American Tragedy and In a Lonely Place.
What is your favorite website(s) dedicated to old Hollywood? Why do you find it so enjoyable or useful?
I watch copies of classic movies online… so those “free” sites that post all those films that in the US are hard to find.
I’m more of a podcast gal so I listen to podcasts about movies. You Must Remember This and Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir, along with many other podcasts are my go-to for info.
Do you have a family (or personal) connection to old Hollywood? How so?
I’m from the midwest, a small town. I dreamed of being Robert Osbourne when I was kid. I wanted to come to the magical place called Hollywood. I went to Graduate School in Malibu and now I live in San Diego, which is a perfect fit for a shy gal who loves the sun. 🙂
Which film star are you most often compared to or you think you look the most like? Does anyone else in your family (parents/grandparents) have an old Hollywood doppelganger?
We all know that classic film fans appreciate characters with moxie. Who is your most moxie filled family member or ancestor and why?
My Grandmas and my aunts. Strong women that take no shit. Probably why I love Bette Davis, Joan Crawford & Barbara Stanwyck. My idols!!
Which is your favorite (fictional) film family and why?
As a kid I devoured Father Knows Best. Jim & Margaret were my ideal parents and I wanted to be Betty or Kitten and live in that beautiful house. As a child of divorce and a single mom house-hold, I’d use my imagination and get lost in the Anderson world.
Where can you find Amanda online?
Twitter = aschulze2001