by Sam Juliano
Irene’s bark was worse than her bite. What was initially seen as a monster hurricane as menacing as any in well over a hundred years, was downgraded to a tropical storm, that was mainly notable for it’s eight-to-ten inch rain, and a wind display that was no worse than medium-strength noreasters. But those of us living in the NYC area aren’t gloating by a long-shot. We’re actually grateful the prognosticators overplayed their hand, rather than the other way around, especially as the most dire forecasters had envisioned downed power lines, falling trees and flooded homes. A little bit of each did occur in a number of areas, but thankfully not in Northeast New Jersey and in the city, where Maurizio Roca, Joel Bocko and Bob Clark are presently residing. Here in Fairview, New Jersey, power stayed on all through Saturday night, into Sunday, and only a nagging house leak in our first floor bedroom was a reminder of the storm’s wrath. As I pen this part of the diary, the storm is practically gone, heading in a diminished state to New England, leaving behind dampness and overcast skies. Monday and Tuesday will be sunny days according to weathermen. But the harrowing experience made everyone wiser to cope with nature’s surprises and threats to our way of life. It’s an episode that brings to mind what was recently, suffered by our friends in Tokyo and New Orleans, and how everything must truly be placed in the proper context. I’d like to thank my dear friend Dee Dee, and so many others who asked for updates during the night and offered their well-wishes: dear people like Laurie Buchanan, Terrill Welch, Pierre de Plume, Michael Harford, Maurizio Roca, John Greco, Tony d’Ambra, Jamie Uhler, Joel Bocko, Craig Kennedy, Sachin Gandhi, Pat Perry, Judy Geater, Jaime Grijalba, Jim Clark, Jon Warner, Jason Marshall, R.D. Finch, Roderick Heath, my very good friend Alan Hardy at the Film Forum, Branko C., and of course Alan Fish, and several others. I beg everyone’s indulgence too for the incessant updates, which I could well understand coming off as redundant and a supreme annoyance.
The musical countdown is well underway, and the comments are flying in fast and furious. It’s been great to have Dee Dee’s remarkable sidebar contributions, which have unearthed some amazing foreign posters of the selections, and links to some of the more renowned clips, and essays from guest writers Brandie Ashe, Kevin Deany and Brian (a.k.a. Classic Film Boy) as well as Judy Geater’s stellar piece on Guys and Dolls, which inspired one of the site’s all-time monter threads. The site remains deeply indebted to Richard “R.D.” Finch, of The Movie Projector for his spectacular work in promoting the project, finding writers, and offering up his usual brand of incomparable thread comments that get right to the heart of every film and essay presented. His work for WitD deserves a medal. He’s been a long-time friend, and his own site writing has been exceedingly first-rate, but only now have we seen the true breath of his kindness and unwavering support. His inspiration and ceaseless energy will never be forgotten, and are prime reasons why the countdown has gotten off to such an extraordinary start. Today’s selection is a repeat of an Allan Fish review that originally appeared in the still-running pre-code series of the delightful Roman Scandals, which I recently saw at the Film Forum’s “Pre-Code” Festival. (more…)
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