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About BingFan

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  1. BingFan

    TCM via cable vs satellite providers

    There's a whole "captive" audience for satellite service -- I'm one of them -- who don't have access to any cable TV service or to wired broadband Internet service sufficient for streaming. Although I have no inside knowledge, I seriously doubt that AT&T will dump its DirecTV satellite service and lose all of those captive customers to DISH Network, the other main satellite video provider. Although close to a major city, where I work every day, we live a semi-rural area where there is no cable service and no wired broadband service. We get our video from one of the two major satellite services and our Internet service from a separate satellite company. (We have two satellite dishes on our roof -- something I never would have expected when we bought the house 25 years ago.) Our satellite Internet service, while greatly superior to the old dial-up service that we previously relied on, is not consistently fast enough for reliable streaming, with even short videos interrupted constantly by buffering. I once had to download some software when we bought a new computer, and it took all night -- no exaggeration. One time (the only time), I purchased a live concert recording from one of my favorite musical acts, and again, the download literally took all night. I wish we had the option of streaming, but it's just not in the cards right now. One of the major wired Internet/cable/phone providers terminated its fiber line within sight of our house, but told us that they had no plans to extend it to our house or our many neighbors up the road. So we're all stuck with satellite Internet service or, for some folks whose houses aren't blocked by hills, microwave Internet service. It's great living out in the country. But Internet service wasn't even a consideration when we bought our house in the early 90s, although we knew we were giving up cable TV when we moved there. (It was like stepping back into the 60s -- we didn't have satellite TV available for the first few years we lived there, so we relied completely on a half dozen over-the-air broadcast stations.) I wonder if we'd make the decision to move there today. To sum up, satellite service has a fairly large captive audience right now. So I don't see satellite service going away.
  2. As part of the TCM series, I've seen Singin' in the Rain, The Birds, White Christmas, and an excellent double feature of A Christmas Carol (1938) and Christmas In Connecticut. Every one was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, after the latter holiday movies, our local theater multiplex stopped participating in the TCM series. I couldn't figure it out. Every one of the movies we saw in the TCM series had packed houses, with very enthusiastic audiences. This usually isn't the case at this multiplex on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings, when we saw the TCM movies. So it's somewhat hard to believe that the multiplex had more profitable uses for the one theater (out of 12) that they used for the TCM series. There are a few other theaters in our large metropolitan area that feature the TCM series, but they're all an hour or more away from where we live. So we've skipped the TCM series, not because we don't want to see the movies, but because there isn't a "local" theater playing them. It's too bad. Even though we could easily watch most of the TCM-series movies at home, seeing them on the big screen is a very different experience that we love!
  3. The petition to save Hot Jazz Saturday Night now has over 3,500 signatures as of 10:30am on June 11. Thanks to everyone who has supported this worthy effort. if you haven’t signed yet, but would like to, the petition is at: It only takes a minute! Thanks!
  4. BingFan

    Most Intelligent Actors in Films

    Let's not forget Jimmy Stewart, who graduated from Princeton, where he studied architecture. His work was sufficiently impressive to earn him a scholarship for graduate studies, but he decided to focus on acting instead. Definitely an intelligent person and great actor. Robert Vaughn (The Man From Uncle) had a Ph.D and a master's degree. His Ph.D dissertation was published as a book, Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting. Sheila Kuehl, who played the very intelligent Zelda Gilroy on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, graduated from Harvard Law School and has had a very successful career in California local and state politics.
  5. The petition to save Hot Jazz Saturday Night now has over 3,000 signatures as of 2:30pm on June 8. Thanks to everyone who has supported this worthy effort. if you haven’t signed yet, but would like to, the petition is at: It only takes a minute! Thanks!
  6. The petition to save Hot Jazz Saturday Night now has over 2,700 signatures as of 10am on June 7. Thanks to everyone who has supported this worthy effort. if you haven’t signed yet, but would like to, the petition is at: It only takes a minute! Thanks!
  7. The petition to save Hot Jazz Saturday Night now has over 2,200 signatures. Thanks to everyone who has supported this worthy effort. if you haven’t signed yet, but would like to, the petition is at: Thanks!
  8. The petition to save Hot Jazz Saturday Night is up to over 1300 signatures so far. Please consider signing if you haven't already -- your support could help get this petition up to a persuasive number of signatures! It only takes a minute!
  9. That's exactly the experience here in Washington, DC, where WAMU, the public radio producer of Hot Jazz Saturday Night, is located. My wife and I have joined many other listeners who volunteer their time to help the station, with some of our fundraising efforts focused specifically on the Hot Jazz show. Unfortunately, the current station management doesn't seem to value participation by the station's listeners. In the past few years, it has diminished its longstanding volunteer program, instead hiring commercial call centers to take donations for the station. (I know this because they stopped calling for volunteers.) In addition, even though Hot Jazz has a very strong following that it has built during 38 years on the air, the station management has cancelled it so that it can instead feature re-runs of programs that are already featured elsewhere on the station's schedule, as well as bringing in more redundant news programming. I like news programming as much as the next person -- I find it essential, in fact -- but it's not all that I want from this station. The Hot Jazz program has provided welcome cultural programming that's almost impossible to find elsewhere, even in the Nation's Capital. Unfortunately, the station's management seems to think that the public will benefit more from re-runs of a popular NPR quiz show than from explorations of jazz by an acknowledged expert on the subject. As you can probably tell, I feel pretty strongly about this subject. Anyway, thanks for your support. And thanks very much to anyone who has signed the Hot Jazz petition at:
  10. Would you be interested in helping to keep some great old music on the radio by signing a petition? (The petition is at: This is music that you might easily hear in a movie on TCM. WAMU in Washington, DC, just announced that they’re cancelling Hot Jazz Saturday Night, a weekly three-hour show that has been on the station for 38 years. The show features music from the 1920s through the 1940s. TCM is sometimes mentioned on the show. It's not just a guy playing a bunch of old records. Far from it. In most shows, the very knowledgeable host, Rob Bamberger, focuses on a particular musician or band (e.g., Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, among others, including more obscure musicians) and tells you the story of the music he's playing -- the background of the musicians, who wrote the songs, what other music influenced them, what was going on in the world when the music was recorded. He also explores historical themes. For example, several years ago, when the World War II Memorial in DC was being dedicated, he devoted a whole show to the music of the World War II years. The show wasn’t just the music – he also found and played radio news clips from throughout the war and public service announcements about rationing and scrap drives, among other things. By the end of the show, you had heard a brief history of the whole war. (You can hear the most recent HJSN show at this page.) The station management hasn’t offered much of a reason for the cancellation of Hot Jazz Saturday Night – they’re simply using most of the time slot for a different show that they were already running elsewhere on the schedule. If you’d like to join the effort to preserve this great radio show, there’s a petition at the following link that only takes a minute to complete: Thanks for your help!!
  11. I don't know if all of the links will work, but I'll try cutting/pasting the entire message into this space: June 2018 View this email in your browser This newsletter includes programming highlights, this month's crossword puzzle, how to become a musicals expert and new items in the TCM Shop. PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS View Your Monthly Highlights Calendar View Alphabetical List of Films Playing in June Don't Miss Your Chance to Enroll in Our FREE Course Now! View June Programming Schedule PICKS FROM TCM HOSTS & FRIENDS BEN MANKIEWICZ Our TCM host discusses the work of controversial director Edward Dmytryk after his blacklisting, featured on June 8th at 8pm ET. SCORSESE SCREENS Martin Scorsese dives into the evolution and adaptations of the Hollywood musical from the late 1920s into the 1970s. FILM COMMENT PICKS TCM and Film Comment are proud to partner and bring you the top picks from this praised magazine. This month's pick is Man in the Wilderness, the basis of which is the same as 2015's The Revenant. MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Meet Dean Cantu from Elmwood, IL. Dean's favorite movie subject is... death! "Some of my favorite films in this genre include Death Takes a Holiday, On Borrowed Time and The Seventh Seal," he says. MORE FROM TCM IN JUNE It's the final week to enter our TCM in Your Hometown contest! Buffalo, NY won a screening with special guests last year. Tell us what's special about your city and you may be chosen to host next. See the 50th anniversary screening of The Producers in theaters nationwide, featuring a special conversation between Mel Brooks and TCM host Ben Mankiewicz from the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival. Get your tickets today! Shop to the tune of your favorite classic musicals, with inspired apparel, housewares and collectibles. Visit the TCM Shop all month long to find a collection of merchandise that draws inspiration from the movies featured in Mad About Musicals!, TCM’s free online course. FUN AND GAMES This Month's Crossword (Click crossword to download and print) TM & © 2018 TCM Interactive Group, Inc., All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Use Please do not reply to this message. Replies are routed to an unmonitored mailbox. This message was sent to you at You have received this email newsletter because you provided your email at TCM's website, or when signing up for the Now Playing Guide. TCM's use of your information will be consistent with its Privacy Policy. Our mailing address is: TCM Interactive Group, Inc. 1050 Techwood Drive Atlanta, Ga 30318 USA Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list
  12. BingFan

    Junior Miss

    Junior Miss is a very enjoyable comedy. TCM would do well to feature it, perhaps during the upcoming Christmas season, since the story is set during the year-end holidays. I discovered Junior Miss because someone here on the TCM message boards mentioned it several years ago. I promptly found the Fox DVD, and my wife and I liked it so much that we've made it one of our regular holiday films, watching it each year. It's a real favorite, with a funny script and great cast. Peggy Ann Garner is outstanding as Judy, the main character, a young teenager who's trying to grow up and gets in hot water when her good intentions sometimes go awry. Her best friend and downstairs neighbor in their NY apartment building, Fuffy, is played by Barbara Whiting (sister of singer Margaret, daughter of songwriter Richard). Fuffy is hilarious, partly by being slightly annoying to Judy's parents, played by Allyn Joslyn and Sylvia Field, who see way too much of Fuffy. Also featured are Mona Freeman (Dear Ruth) as Judy's impatient older sister, Lois; John Alexander (Uncle Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace) as their dad's blowhard boss; and a very young Mel Torme as one of Lois's boyfriends. The director is George Seaton (Miracle on 34th Street, Apartment for Peggy), and the screenplay is based on New Yorker stories by Sally Benson, who also wrote the stories that were the basis for Meet Me In St. Louis and who wrote the screenplay for the Elvis film Viva Las Vegas. You really can't go wrong with Junior Miss -- it's a very, very good movie that deserves to be better known.
  13. I watched the documentary yesterday, and it was fascinating, as is this debate. Here's a question for the folks who doubt Hedy's role in the development of frequency-hopping technology: why do you doubt her role but implicitly accept that composer George Antheil then must have been entirely responsible for the technology that was patented? There were only two names on the patent: Hedy's and George's. One or both, therefore, must have invented the technology that was patented. As far as I've been able to learn, Antheil had no more technical training or education than Hedy did. (I'd be very interested to hear about it if he did have such an education.) Similar to Hedy, who said that she had a fascination with science and how things worked from an early age, Antheil had an interest in mechanical things, like the player pianos that he featured in one of his most famous compositions. But with both of them, this fascination was mostly a personal interest, not one that came from formal education or professional work in a scientific or technical field. The extensive recorded interview that's featured in Bombshell makes it clear that Hedy was an intelligent, articulate person, even in old age. From that, and from the other information presented in the film, there seemed to be no reason to doubt that she (and Antheil) could have developed the idea for frequency-hopping technology. (Among other things, the implementation of the idea involved using player piano roles.) One of the acknowledged later developers in the field himself acknowledged Hedy's role in writing. (As for the accusation that she simply stole the idea from her first husband's armaments business, which supplied Germany: if the technology already existed, why weren't the Germans using it during World War II? Even if a nub of the idea did already exist, it seems fairly obvious that her husband's company and the Germans must not have known what to do with it -- something that Hedy and Antheil were able to figure out.)
  14. Update: The next movie, Torchy Blane in Panama, is in the correct 4:3 aspect ratio. Thank you, TCM. (I'm guessing that they didn't need my urging, above, to get it right.)
  15. Unfortunately, the film that's on right now, Blondes at Work (featuring Torchy Blane), is being shown in the wrong aspect ratio, which really ruins the viewing experience for me. They've expanded the picture to fill a wide screen, cutting off the top and bottom of the picture. This is not a widescreen movie and shouldn't be shown that way. Almost every movie made before 1954 (with very few exceptions) was in the 4:3 aspect ratio. They should not be shown in widescreen format, any more than widescreen movies from the later era should be shown in the terrible pan-and-scan format. PLEASE BE MORE CAREFUL, TCM!

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