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stlgal38

Our new host...

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I was curious to know if anyone had an opinion on our new weekend host on TCM, Ben Mankiewicz? I caught him yesterday and found him to be informative, direct, and even a bit intense in his introductions - and of course, good-looking to boot!

Naturally, I absolutely love Robert Osborne - his nostalgic trivia, personal anecdotes, and laid-back whimsy have made him a welcome guest in my living room. But it is good to have such a refreshing addition to my favorite channel.

(I could do without the bizarre, choppy editing and "artsy" camera angles, tho.)

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I understand that someone at Turner Classic Movies wants to appeal to the "hip" crowd with Ben, the new host, and the silly MTV style hiphop intro of the careless guy running through the street with the film falling out of the can is "cool".... but PLEASE stop with second camera views of Ben's face in close-up when he is not looking into the camera. Those, if properly done, should be in grainy black and white 8mm film to clue us in that this is a more "personal shot"... and instead looks like the director doesn't know what he is doing and Ben doesn't realize the other camera is on him. I give Ben high points for being friendly, pleasant looking and clear in his speaking... the set looks like a mock antique bottle collector's shop in SOHO (not sure what that has to do with classic film), and the montage intro a one on a scale of 10...... more because it has nothing to do with the "high style" of TCMs other beautifully produced intros and monthly montages.... this all looks very low tech and budget constrained. Keep Ben... but can the rest.

 

P.S. How about a "mid-century moderne" 50s style with Ben in a Hawaiian shirt and chinos.... okay.. well, at least it would be FUN!

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I agree. The camera shots with him not looking at the camera are annoying.

 

As for the opening sequence, I found it remarkably unremarkable. I noted your quotes around "cool" :).

 

Cool is passe. Cool is amateurish. I can't wait for it to peak and be replaced again by class.

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Oh yes, it looks as if he doesn't know which camera to look at. And what about what's going on around him? That miserable decor? TCM shouldn't be so concerned with trying to raise the 'hiptitude' factor.

 

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I still adore AMC's Bob Dorian who vanished off the radar a few years ago. Bob Obsborne is okay but he always seemed slightly nervous and "tight" and not very spontaneous. I would suggest having a group of rotating hosts and hostesses, perhaps having some of the really young film buffs--but, this might not seem possible. When I met with a group of bright-eyed young kids at New York's Film School last spring, I was in shock over what they DIDN't know about film history. The names Bette Davis, Michael Curtiz, King Vidor, Clara barely registered. One film major actually asked me if Bette Davis was the Mrs. Olson character from the Folger Coffee ads! As for Gloria Swanson, they all asked: "Uh, Gloria who?" But--they knew every frame of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999)and PULP FICTION (1996).

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Oh Paty I must disagree about Robert Osborne! His Hollywood journalism history and film competence comes across loud and clear, and in a casual delivery.

I compare Ben and him like the "powerful, breaking-news anchor" and the "lighthearted weatherman" respectively, if you know what I mean.

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Sorry to hear that about the ignorance of those film students, but it confirms what I always thought and makes me rather proud of my self-teaching method.

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I too am dismayed by Paty's findings at the New York Film School - Yes, "Pulp Fiction" is a landmark, first rate film, but learn your film history! Sometimes I think I'm the only 24 year old out there that has any idea of what a "classic" film is.

 

Anyway, onto the new host. I think he's ok, but honestly he didn't impress me much. And I agree about the camera angles. At first I thought it was a mistake that he didn't look into the camera that was on him. But it is nice to see a new face, and of course he does have quite a Hollywood pedigree. Hopefully he will share some anecdotes with us regarding his famous family.

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Though it may simply be due to familiarity, I think Robert Osborne is a great host. If they felt they would ever need more hosts they should have looked into the possibility of cloning Mr. Osborne years ago.

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The new host might turn out to be O.K., but I really enjoy Robert Osborne. I'd also like to see the old AMC hosts Bob Dorian, Nick Clooney, and that other soft-spoken old guy. I wish TCM would hire them, maybe for the daytime and late-night. I sometimes just watch the introductions because I've seen the film so many times. I'd also like to see Osborne co-host his introductions with celebrities or their children, grandchildren.

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I've only sort of recently began watching TCM, the main host at this moment being my good old buddy, Robert Osborne. The new guy seems like he knows his stuff, and is competant and all that, but I can't say I'm a fan. I think the set looks pretty crummy too.

I suppose it's just because I'm used to Robert Osborne and I find him warm and inviting, and when I see the introductions to the movies, I usually don't turn them off.

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WOW! There's a pinball machine on the set! That'll really bring in the youngster's! Remember, the more that the younger people tune in, the more the classics fade away!

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Age really isn't the best indicator for personal movie tastes; I find it disheartening that some members on this board seem to think that all young people are ignorant when it comes to the true classics.

I share an apartment with my 73 year old grandmother. She is crazy for the current movies with stars like Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts. She knows suprisingly little about the films that play on TCM and complains about movies that are in black and white. I, on the other hand, love classic and foreign film (some might say to the point of obsession) and TCM is my absolute favorite channel. Oh, and I'm also in film school, studying film historiography and criticism (not everyone goes to film school to make the next "Pulp Fiction").

I know that there are many young classic film fans(like me and others on the TCM message board), just as there are older people who would rather watch the latest blockbusters (like my grandma).

Robert Osborne will always be my "boyfriend", but I think Ben Mankiewicz makes an interesting weekend host. It doesn't matter to me how old he is or what the set looks like.

 

 

 

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I haven't seen the new host in action yet, so I can't comment on that specifically, but I must respond to the comment "...Remember, the more that the younger people tune in, the more the classics fade away!" from a previous post. Possibly I'm misinterpreting the comment, but I'm 34, and have been fascinated with classic movies since I was probably eleven or twelve. I doubt a pinball machine on a set will be the downfall of TCM, and introducing new generations to the foundation of movies is crucial to their survival and preservation. I do whatever I can to encourage people of any age to watch these gems of the screen, I don't need anything "jazzed up", and I love Robert Osborne but perhaps he needed a break, he's a busy man. I welcome a new perspective, and I'm grateful to TCM for making these films available, instead of leaving them in a vault somewhere!

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I'd like to see a TCM contest for a viewer to be a "guest" host for one evening with comments pertaining to the classic movies that they would be able to choose. I've been recieving TCM for about 2 years now so I don't know if this has ever been considered before. Also brand new to the board so I'm also in the dark as to it being a topic for consideration before. Thanks!

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C'mon, classicfilmnut are you going to tell me that if TCM receives huge ratings for their airing of Austin Powers (younger viewers) they won't hesitate to air movies likes Trading Places, Caddyshack, Stripes, stuff like that in prime-time. And once something like that occurs it doesn't leave too much room for classics (in prime-time) when most of us tune in.

 

 

 

 

 

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I love seeing Robert Osbourne introduce the films. He really seems to enjoy what he does and doesn't come across as being better than the viewer because he knows more, or has people research it for him. I saw the new host briefly one weekend and thought he was fine. I'm just used to seeing Mr. Osbourne.

 

That's really sad that those students in NY didn't know who those actors and actresses were. I'm a film student right now in S. California and sadly, I see that very same problem at my school. I'm trying to spread my love and knowledge of Classic Movies though through my club that I recently started. Not all youngsters are ignorant of the "real" classics; I'm not thanks to my mom.

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I really cannot stand Ben Mankiewicz. It is so obvious that he is just reading from a cue card. Also whenever you hear or read something about Ben all they refer to is his Grandfather and his Father's work in the film industry. I really think he was only hired for his name and family history.

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Unfortunately, this is nothing new. There could be a whole topic here (maybe there already is one?) about sons and daughters who got a chance to work in Hollywood because of their famous fathers or mothers, yet exhibit no particular talent (at least, on screen;-) when given the chance. One that comes to mind immediately is Charlie Sheen, however I'd then have to admit that Martin Sheen is actually talented;-)

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I liked Martin Sheen - he just had so many made-for-tv things. I rule out "Apocolypse Now" but as for "The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane" he was lusciously sinister. And that one where he took Linda Blair hostage --- should be in the AFI's Top 40!

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I haven't caught a lot of the intros lately, but the last one I saw didn't have the annoying looking away from the camera shot. Do you think the negative feedback actually made TCM change?

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