Hello and Welcome!
I’m Allison West, the owner, founder, writer and designer of CelluloidandLipstick.com, a celebration of classic film and cinema style.
What made me want to create a movie blog?
My love for movies began very early in life.
As a child growing up in New York’s Hudson Valley, surrounded by hay fields and dairy farms, I didn’t have access to a wide variety of television channels.
We only had a few TV networks, a public television channel and one local station that continuously broadcast old classic movies, mostly from the 30s…
I became enchanted by classic film and British drama and comedies.
Those influences of PBS, Masterpiece Theatre and classic cinema expanded my world, offering a glimmer of the possibilities beyond my rural area.
I became aware of universes way outside my limited scope of experience. My eyes were opened to glamour, romance, sophistication, culture and storytelling.
And the handsome, dashing, larger-than-life actors! And the amazing actresses too…
I fell in love with the performers I was introduced to during those lazy days watching old black and white movies beamed into my family’s living room. It was a real education about life, love, acting and what a woman could be.
Those early years spent enthralled by movies, and the vast creative influence of my mother, sister and grandmother had a huge impact on me as an artist, writer and performer.
As I got older and ventured beyond the Valley to the Big Apple, I drifted away from classic movies.
They became harder to find on television, crowded out by reality TV and repeats of the latest blockbuster. Life seemed so hectic and increasingly technological. Hours spent in front of the silver screen seemed like a luxury with the lure of the internet so strong. These days, who has time for celluloid with everything going digital?
A few years ago, steeped in nostalgia and yearning to revisit the pastimes of my girlhood, I started paying attention to what was playing on movie channels like TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and digging out some of my old DVDs and videotapes.
It felt like a spiritual homecoming on my journey to explore and excavate my authentic self. How could I have given up on old movies? It felt like I had forsaken some essential part of my soul.
I began to watch films from the old days, viewing them as an adult this time, falling in love with them all over again and finding some new favorite movies. I discovered some incredibly talented performers and revisited the work of my favorite actors and actresses. It’s been interesting to see how my thoughts and opinions have changed over the years since I first became spellbound by film.
Celluloid and Lipstick shares my perspective about movies. I’m fascinated by how movies shape style and mass culture and how style and culture influence film. I’ve also been quite interested in the way films portray women and reflect cultural attitudes. It’s always inspiring when brave and innovative performers, directors, screenwriters and filmmakers step out of the box to present authentic women’s lives in a whole new light.
About the Blog
The goal of the blog is to help you find a good movie to watch. In this high-tech, fast-paced era full of digital devices competing for our attention, it’s hard to find time to sit down, relax and enjoy a movie.
So I’ve done the heavy lifting for you.
I’ve weeded out the flops, duds and stinkers and curated a list of films I think you’ll enjoy–modern movies destined to be classics as well as those high-quality, classic movie gems that meant so much to me in my youth.
Some of these films feature actors and actresses I feel are a bit underrated; some of the movies are a little unusual, offbeat or overlooked. My reviews focus on films that are good, very good, or the best and all of the movies I present here are thought provoking, entertaining, and definitely worth a look.
I’ll also post about topics like cinema style, fashion trends, vintage, photography, book reviews, actors and actresses, TV, jewelry and collecting, travels and other miscellaneous musings.
A Final Note
This blog isn’t a dry, academic analysis of movies; it’s all about my passion for film. When the actors, the story and the audience connect in a personal way and something starts to click, in my opinion, that’s when the magic happens. The intersection of those three elements is the heart and soul of my movie reviews.
All original content (all articles, blog posts and photographs taken by Allison West) is copyright Allison West. All rights reserved.
So that’s Celluloid and Lipstick. I’m so glad to have you here and I hope you’ll stop by again and have a look around as we continue to grow and evolve.
If you are curious about film, especially classic film, and you’re looking for a great movie to watch, then this could be the blog for you! I’m just like you, a personal in the dark, who loves the history and lore of film. I hope you’ll share your popcorn with me!