TheVFM

How long is Ava Duvenay going to be on The Essentials?

146 posts in this topic

4 minutes ago, spence said:

do you also have demand?   TCM is free on it too

I don't have cable TV just internet, so I have Sling TV for TCM and On Demand, and other movie channels on Sling - HDNET, the Film Detective, Cinemoi, one or two others.

Other movie sources are:

Rare Films - The Cave Of Forgotten Film

Amazon Prime

Internet Archive

I also have Youtube finds that I can cast to the TV

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5 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

I'd rather spend $3.99 on something that you can't see anywhere else than watch the same ol' same ol'. It's cheaper than driving into town and taking a gambol on what the cineplex is dishing out.

So, did you mean this-----

gambol
verb [ I ]
 
 
to run and jump in a happy way:
 
Or THIS?

Definition of gamble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a: to play a game for money or property
b: to bet on an uncertain outcome
2: to stake something on a contingency (see CONTINGENCY sense 1) : take a chance
:unsure:
Sepiatone
 
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I know a lot of people here are bored or frustrated with The Essentials, and having read your posts, I completely get why. But I also think, speaking as a millennial who is (fairly) new to classic film, The Essentials is perfect for someone like me. In fact, looking through previous lists, there are a LOT of movies that I imagine people here would say are overplayed that I haven't yet seen and I'd love for an Essentials to be able to introduce me to those films and have a discussion about why they're so important or significant.

So I understand why people are so 'ugh' about this still being a regular feature on the network, but I think you have to look at it from the perspective of someone who is still new to 'classic cinema'. It's nice to have a curated collection of 'essential' films rather than waiting until that one movie happens to show up on the schedule.

That said, I'm also not a fan of Ava's picks and I think the list is kind of strange as a whole. Personally, I don't care if it's a subtitled or foreign film, nor do I care what race or nationality the actors or director is as long as it's a good movie. But the list is just odd. While some of the choices can be argued as true essentials (I personally think Rashomon is absolutely an 'essential', for example), a lot of them do feel better suited to a Spotlight on African-American cinema rather than being presented as an 'Essential'.

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On 9/20/2019 at 7:38 PM, Gershwin fan said:

,It's the most boring film about a prostitute anyone could ever make.

I think we have not seen everything by Mrs Akerman Hotel Monterey  tonight has a lot of promises  I found a synopsis.

'The film consists of a series of silent long takes shot in a hotel in New York City. Shots are meticulously staged to create visual patterns and optical illusions as the film slowly explores several different parts of the hotel, ranging from austere and claustrophobic basement corridors to busy skylines shot from the rooftop. '.Wow  I think I will record it and see it in fast forward, the film is 62 minutes,it should not be  in the Essentials, Silent Sunday  was a perfect match...incredibly  dreadful movies,terrible..

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5 hours ago, MiddleGround17 said:

I know a lot of people here are bored or frustrated with The Essentials, and having read your posts, I completely get why. But I also think, speaking as a millennial who is (fairly) new to classic film, The Essentials is perfect for someone like me. In fact, looking through previous lists, there are a LOT of movies that I imagine people here would say are overplayed that I haven't yet seen and I'd love for an Essentials to be able to introduce me to those films and have a discussion about why they're so important or significant.

So I understand why people are so 'ugh' about this still being a regular feature on the network, but I think you have to look at it from the perspective of someone who is still new to 'classic cinema'. It's nice to have a curated collection of 'essential' films rather than waiting until that one movie happens to show up on the schedule.

That said, I'm also not a fan of Ava's picks and I think the list is kind of strange as a whole. Personally, I don't care if it's a subtitled or foreign film, nor do I care what race or nationality the actors or director is as long as it's a good movie. But the list is just odd. While some of the choices can be argued as true essentials (I personally think Rashomon is absolutely an 'essential', for example), a lot of them do feel better suited to a Spotlight on African-American cinema rather than being presented as an 'Essential'.

Like how you worded this. Thank you.

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On 9/20/2019 at 6:09 PM, speedracer5 said:

Is there a middle ground between repetitive "Essentials" e.g. Casablanca and obscure "Essentials" e.g. lady cleaning her house in desolate Siberia (or whatever) movie ?

Perhaps the solution lies in re-naming the program "The Non-Essentials???"

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26 minutes ago, lydecker said:

Perhaps the solution lies in re-naming the program "The Non-Essentials???"

The "mildly-ssentials." :lol:

1 hour ago, nakano said:

I think we have not seen everything by Mrs Akerman Hotel Monterey  tonight has a lot of promises  I found a synopsis.

'The film consists of a series of silent long takes shot in a hotel in New York City. Shots are meticulously staged to create visual patterns and optical illusions as the film slowly explores several different parts of the hotel, ranging from austere and claustrophobic basement corridors to busy skylines shot from the rooftop. '.Wow  I think I will record it and see it in fast forward, the film is 62 minutes,it should not be  in the Essentials, Silent Sunday  was a perfect match...incredibly  dreadful movies,terrible..

This one sounds more tolerable because it's only an hour and the cinematography described here reminds me a bit of Koyaanisqatsi. I agree it should probably be on during the silent slot though.

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1 hour ago, Gershwin fan said:

The "mildly-ssentials." :lol:

This one sounds more tolerable because it's only an hour and the cinematography described here reminds me a bit of Koyaanisqatsi. I agree it should probably be on during the silent slot though.

I hope you are right...

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On 9/20/2019 at 8:56 AM, BingFan said:

That's the kind of thing I hope for from The Essentials, Silent Sundays, and, for that matter, Noir Alley -- that the hosts will occasionally show me a film that's new to me and becomes part of my personal canon.  I think it's worth the time to take a chance on that result.

This was the best post in this thread and no one responded to it (fortunately it was noticed by a few people.)  There are other ways to watch and engage with film.  If you’re not going to try, it’s not necessarily the film’s fault.  But it seems if less than 1% of a channel’s programming deviates from the norm it’s a huge problem for some people. 

That said, Cleopatra 1912 is a poor film...but it’s not like TCM hasn’t replayed that one before, or other mediocre to bad silent films like it.  Let’s blame the presenter instead and pretend that the schedule isn’t really running along like it usually is (Faust and Phantom Carriage are indisputable classics and have been on before.)

If you want a TCM issue that really needs some complaints to rectify it, how about the awful frame rate problems since April that afflict pretty much every film on the channel that isn’t from an HD master?  I can’t be the only person who sees this.

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5 hours ago, JonasEB said:

This was the best post in this thread and no one responded to it (fortunately it was noticed by a few people.)  There are other ways to watch and engage with film.  If you’re not going to try, it’s not necessarily the film’s fault.  But it seems if less than 1% of a channel’s programming deviates from the norm it’s a huge problem for some people. 

That said, Cleopatra 1912 is a poor film...but it’s not like TCM hasn’t replayed that one before, or other mediocre to bad silent films like it.  Let’s blame the presenter instead and pretend that the schedule isn’t really running along like it usually is (Faust and Phantom Carriage are indisputable classics and have been on before.)

If you want a TCM issue that really needs some complaints to rectify it, how about the awful frame rate problems since April that afflict pretty much every film on the channel that isn’t from an HD master?  I can’t be the only person who sees this.

Not sure what you mean about the frame rate, but that sounds interesting.  Could you go into some depth and describe a bit more?

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19 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

So, did you mean this-----

gambol
verb [ I ]
 
 
to run and jump in a happy way:
 
Or THIS?

Definition of gamble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a: to play a game for money or property
b: to bet on an uncertain outcome
2: to stake something on a contingency (see CONTINGENCY sense 1) : take a chance
:unsure:
Sepiatone
 

You know, to be honest i’ve Learned all sorts of things from this thread, and it seems to have brought some new posters with some fascinating insights out of the woodwork.

just wish the show itself could be 1/3 this interesting and informative.

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It seems like there are a few different interpretations of the criteria of an "Essential" Classic Film, but I like MiddleGround's personal perspective a few posts back. It seems to me "An Essential" implies a movie that is the best example of it's type, and this type being a classic film.

"Classic" film does not mean old, or black & white or any genre. Classic means universally enjoyed-by many cultures, people and time periods. When introducing someone into the fold, you want to expose them to the very best examples, right? So for the most part, there are limited choices of truly Essential films. Our old Chestnuts.

So the obvious choice for Essentials Phase Two, is to choose lesser known but still very excellent films, of which there are many. As classic film buffs, WE know them, but a newcomer won't. Everyone may be familiar with The Wizard of Oz or Singing In The Rain as excellent musicals while Cabin In The Sky and Funny Face may be good second tier examples.

This is the sort of film shown by the group I belong to & always a huge hit. I'm amazed how many people show up for Stalag 17 or Strawberry Blonde based on star name recognition-and never heard of the film! 

Then there are "Personal Essentials" which I think is what Ms Ava D has done with the franchise. That's OK, as long as she chooses movies that MOST will still enjoy. When you go off into "cult" films or films that may be a chore for most to watch, you're going to turn people off. 

I watched her once and wasn't impressed with her choice of movie, nor her commentary. Sorry.

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Well I caught LES RENDEZ-VOUS D'ANNA (1978) and HOTEL MONTERREY (1972) while waiting for Noir Alley.

They were both what I'd call art films, some interesting photography in both but I wouldn't call them essential to anything except possibly to Ava Duvenay. Obviously they were super low budget, the first had essentially a camera shooting out the window of a train then cutting to the star and her various relationships and interactions with people she meets, then back out the window, sometimes the window is a car nor taxi window you certainly got the somber mood and loneliness that the director was conveying. 

The second film - shots of a hotel from various locations, was reminiscent of what I've heard about Andy Warhol's EMPIRE (1964) a single shot of the Empire State Building from early evening until nearly 3 am the next day. It runs 8h 5min. 

 

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You could probably break The Essentials down into various genres if you were inclined to do so, Essential Westerns, Essential Art Films, Essential Documentaries.... Experimental, Horror, Crime, Drama.... it can be interpreted as a wide open subject, rather than narrowly defined.

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28 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Well I caught LES RENDEZ-VOUS D'ANNA (1978) and HOTEL MONTERREY (1972) while waiting for Noir Alley.

They were both what I'd call art films, some interesting photography in both but I wouldn't call them essential to anything except possibly to Ava Duvernay. 

 

I did the same but I used fast forward for Hotel Monterey,i hoped to see Greta Garbo coming out the elevator dressed as a bag lady going for her walk...

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1 minute ago, nakano said:

I did the same but I used fast forward for Hotel Monterey,i hoped to see Greta Garbo coming out the elevator dressed as a bag lady going for her walk...

I was watching the end of another film on the laptop and glance up at the TV screen every so often when the camera changed positions. 😄

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On 9/20/2019 at 9:46 PM, nakano said:

But by Akerman it would be mesmerizing...

It's too bad Akerman didn't live long enough to make a three-hour version of Carmencita.

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39 minutes ago, nakano said:

I did the same but I used fast forward for Hotel Monterey,i hoped to see Greta Garbo coming out the elevator dressed as a bag lady going for her walk...

On her unending quest for that perfect black turtleneck...

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1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

The second film - shots of a hotel from various locations, was reminiscent of what I've heard about Andy Warhol's EMPIRE (1964) a single shot of the Empire State Building from early evening until nearly 3 am the next day. It runs 8h 5min. 

 

Now there's one I'd like to see on the Essentials. You could go to bed and wake up and the movie is still playing! :lol: 

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41 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

Now there's one I'd like to see on the Essentials. You could go to bed and wake up and the movie is still playing! :lol: 

Like one of those 10 hour YouTube videos of ocean waves or thunderstorms....

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1 hour ago, Gershwin fan said:

Now there's one I'd like to see on the Essentials. You could go to bed and wake up and the movie is still playing! :lol: 

And if you take in enough caffeine, yu could tack it on the end of a "binge watch" of the 1966 four part Russian version of WAR AND PEACE.   And before too much more discussion, let's see what Merriam-Webster has to say...

DEFINITION OF ESSENTIAL:

1: of, relating to, or constituting essence : INHERENT
2a: of the utmost importance : BASIC, INDISPENSABLE, NECESSARYan essential requirement for admission to college
 
Sepiatone

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I've generally been indifferent to the Essentials series mostly because TCM chooses guest programmers who are usually dilettantes. Most have little knowledge but they do have a horn to toot or an ax to grind. I couldn't stomach Drew Barrymore's endless and pointless babbling. Most of the others (including the current guest host) are no exception. I also get tired of seeing line-ups of the usual suspects. There are other great films from the classic era that could be considered essential but haven’t been done to death. I enjoyed listening to Molly Haskell and Alec Baldwin who were always interesting - they were spontaneous and Robert was always relaxed with them and not afraid to disagree. My advice would be to get Molly Haskell and come up with some new old films. I think, with the current guest host, we're seeing the Criterionization of TCM. I didn't think the close relationship forged between TCM and The Criterion Collection was good for either TCM or Criterion - there have been way too many cult indies on TCM, and Criterion has been grabbing from the TCM greatest hits playlist (Now Voyager has been announced, for instance) instead of looking for obscure gems from the classic era.  

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I agree that it seems like there are more Criterion titles now on the channel than there used to be. It seems like most of the imports now are boring Criterion "art films" (Akerman, Weerasethakul, etc.) instead of the fun titles like A Quiet Place in the Country or other giallo horror films that used to be programmed.

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Ava DuVernay says her Netflix series is ‘the biggest thing I’ve ever done’

  •  

NBC’s Lester Holt sits down with director Ava DuVernay to talk about her unique career trajectory, how she feels about accomplishing so many “firsts” and her new Netflix series “When They See Us.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/ava-duvernay-says-her-netflix-series-is-the-biggest-thing-i-ve-ever-done-59614277887

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