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Posts posted by annsblyth

  1. On 6/3/2018 at 10:51 AM, kino said:

    Have you tried your local library? That's where I'm getting most of the films because I don't have FilmStruck or TCM at the moment.


    1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

    Have you tried looking to see if the TCM Eleanor Powell collection is available at the library? That has Born to Dance in it and three of the Broadway Melodies (not the 1929 one though).  Just an idea.

    I somehow own three copies of Born to Dance through various purchases I've made over the years. 

    I just moved a few weeks ago and haven't had the chance to even see if there's a library near me, much less go to one. I was more suggesting that TCM and Ball State keep FilmStruck in mind when making their viewing recommendations.

  2. Good morning, fellow musical lovers! This will be the third course that I've taken from TCM and Ball State University, and I'm more excited about this topic than any other so far! ? I just couldn't wait to start looking at the modules and the film recommendations for the first week, but I have to admit that I was disappointed that only one of this week's four suggested films is currently available on FilmStruck, Top Hat. ? Luckily I own Wizard of Oz as well, but I don't have access to TCM, so I'm going to have to rent Broadway Melody and I'm out of luck with Born to Dance because I haven't been able to find it anywhere. This is really unfortunate because those are also the two that I haven't seen. I couldn't be more thrilled that this course is finally up and running, and I'm a lot more optimistic that more of the following weeks' recommended films will be on FilmStruck (especially because Gene Kelly is the newest Star of the Week), but in the future it would be really nice for FilmStruck to have all of the recommended movies, especially now that both are in partnership with TCM.

    • Like 4
  3. I think the main four musicals that I always come back to are Cover Girl, On An Island With You, Singin' in the Rain, and High Society, though there are many, many others! I'm trying to think of a theme that connects the four and one that would explain why I keep watching them again and again, and I think it's because they're all visually appealing, are beautifully shot in Technicolor, have talented stars and inspirational songs that help lift my spirits, and have a steady romance that I always end up rooting for. I think you could say that about most musicals, though! ?

    • Like 15
  4. I was just looking to start a Philadelphia chapter as I found out (after putting all of the effort into starting a chapter where I am now) that I'm moving to West Goshen in a couple of weeks for work reasons. I still don't know the area well, but I'd love to step up as president if need be and gather everyone together! I would also be very interested in a West Chester chapter as that's even closer to where I'll be.

  5. I am ecstatic to announce that we only need one more member in order to be recognized as an official TCM Backlot chapter! If you live in Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Sarasota, Largo, Clearwater, or any surrounding area in central Florida, please consider joining us and message me privately if you're interested! I'm in the process of planning fun events nearby like games, screenings, and movie-themed dinners in my home, so let's get that last member and LET'S MOVIE!

  6. Hi! I'm in the process of recruiting new members for a TCM Backlot Chapter for the Tampa/Saint Petersburg, FL area. I hope to step up as president if we get enough members, but I'm wondering if there's anything that I should know about forming a chapter in addition to what's on this page. I've read it thoroughly, but it doesn't answer some of my questions. Is there a list of rules for how to organize or run a chapter that I should know about? Specifically, I was also wondering if it would be allowed or appropriate to host events or screenings in my home for the chapter. There are few classic film related events in the area, and I have a copy of TCM Scene It? as well as a decent DVD collection that I thought would be fun to bring out in between screenings of the Big Screen Classics. It's also a hobby of mine to cook personal recipes of classic movie stars, so maybe I'd host a themed dinner as well? These are just a few ideas that I'm thinking of doing for the group, but I want to make sure that I'm not breaking any rules. Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! :)

  7. Hi, everyone! After months of deliberation as to whether I should invest in TCM Backlot or not, my family made my decision for me and got me Backlot for Christmas! I've noticed that the closest chapter to me is in Miami which is still pretty far, so I wondered if there would be any interest in a central Florida chapter, specifically Tampa and Saint Petersburg. I would love to step up as president and do what I can for the group like plan events nearby and host fun games, screenings, and movie-themed dinners in my home (if that's allowed). Let me know if you're interested and live in the area!

  8. Hi, everyone!

    I've been debating for a while whether TCM Backlot was really worth it for me, and while the contests and archive footage both sound great to me, I had decided that I wasn't going to invest in it because the subscription wouldn't really affect my life on a daily basis. However, I just found out that apparently there are different classic film loving chapters all around the US that schedule events? I live in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL area and I think it would be really fun to connect with other old Hollywood fans, and I think that it would make the price of the subscription worth it.

    My question is, is there any way to find out where the closest TCM Backlot Chapter is and to find out what they do and how active they are before I actually subscribe? I tried looking on social media and the closest I found was in Miami, which is still pretty far from me.


    • Thanks 1

    1. I first want to mention how much I applaud Hitchcock for including such an inventive shot in the scene. I feel that it evokes a sense of dread and builds suspense (especially without any sound), and the slow pace of the dolly also makes the walk from the door to the headmaster’s desk feel like a mile.


    I think Hitchcock wanted the audience to feel a sense of panic, like they’re really a student that’s about to be scolded by the headmaster, on top of the emotions the shot gives off as I mentioned above.


    I still haven’t had the chance to see all of the films (I plan to before the week is out), but between this scene and The Pleasure Garden I mostly notice how Hitchcock deals with the complexity of human relationships. In the span of only a few moments the characters make decisions that alter the rest of the films as well as the rest of their lives.


    • Like 2
  10. My list is pretty tentative too, I have five favorites but it's hard to put them in order!

    1. Rebecca (1940)
    2. North by Northwest (1959)
    3. Marnie (1964)
    4. Rear Window (1954)
    5. Dial M for Murder (1954)

    That was actually way harder than I thought it would be! I should also mention that The Birds (1963) is probably tied for at least one of those spots, and Rope (1948) and Suspicion (1941) are gems in my book but I simply haven't seen them as many times as the others, at least not enough to put them on my list. I actually hope that this changes as I learn more about Hitchcock and become more familiar with his films!

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    1. I would say that even in such a short clip I saw examples of how Hitchcock set the standard for many of the films that he would make thereafter. What stood out to me the most was the long, sweeping camera movement over the audience which captured each individual face and unique reaction in the crowd. Many of Hitch's other films have similar shots, as the Royal Albert Hall climax of The Man Who Knew too Much (1956), the audience for Mr. Memory's act in The 39 Steps (1935), and the crowd for the tennis match in Strangers on a Train (1951) all come to mind.
    2. As others have mentioned, I can't say that I'm an expert, but I do agree that I saw quite a few trademarks in this clip of Hitchcock's early work that I recognize from some of the films that I have seen.
    3. I think for the most part there's nothing left to be desired from the dialogue, and I've always felt that silent films do a good job of giving the viewer the gist of the action in the narration and dialogue cards. However, I do wish I could have heard the tone and delivery of Virginia Valli's lines, as I found them very witty and I'm sure they would have sounded even better spoken by her.

    This was a fun clip, and I can't wait to watch the rest of the film this evening so I can look for "the Hitchcockian touch"!  :)

    • Like 3
  11. You are correct, it has to do with fitting a longer course around a 4 week festival. I thought I was doing a better job this year with that, but please provide any suggestions you might have - it is hard to prioritize viewing any films this week as the TCM festival doesn't start till next week.


    This year, the opening week is dedicated to the silent film period of Hitchcock's career, so the key film this week is The Lodger, followed by The Ring and Downhill. Next week, the British Sound Era, I will focus on 4 films: Blackmail, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes. If I only showed two out of those four films in an actual film class, I would like have chosen Blackmail and The 39 Steps, because they are the most representative of the period and Hitchcock's experimentation. Hope this helps. 


    Best, Rich (Instructor, 50 Years of Hitchcock)

    Yes, this helps very much! I'm fairly familiar with Hitchcock's films from the forties and fifties onward, so the silents and thirties films were the ones I was having trouble with. I'll definitely be watching those silents this week and the sound films next week! Thank you so much!

    • Like 3
  12. That is what stumps me most about the timing. Why start the course on the 26th of June and not the following week to put it closer to the airdate? Unlike the later films, they have to figure that most of their audience probably doesn't have access (except on YouTube) to most of Hitch's silent features.

    They have to structure it this way unforunately, as they did with the slapstick course, because they have to fit a seven-week course into a month of programming (as themes on TCM usually only last one month). I just wish that the course was more aware of this and gave suggestions as to which films would be relevant to the lessons and a good idea to view each week.

  13. One that I'm definitely going to be checking out is The Pleasure Garden (1925), as it was Hitchcock's solo directorial debut and has already been mentioned in the course. Thankfully a lot of the silent films are available on Openculture, and I hope that their quality will be better than what I would find elsewhere online. Interestingly enough, White Shadows (1924) is one that I wanted to see after poking around Hitchcock's IMDB and seeing how deeply involved he was with the film (he's credited as a writer, set decorator, production designer, editor, art director, and assistant director), but the film was considered lost until 2011 when the first three reels were discovered in a garden shed in New Zealand. The New Zealand Film Archive is apparently still working on its restoration, so it's not available to view.


    In general, I really wish that there would be a list of recommended films to watch posted each week along with the new lessons. Of course I plan to follow along on TCM, but Hitch's silent films aren't playing until July 5 while the course will already be looking into the 1930s by that time, and I want to watch his work on my own as I'm learning about each era of his career. I think they did that with the Slapstick course, but here I'm not sure where to begin with Hitch.


    I'm sorry about Under Capricorn (1949) too, as I've been wanting to watch more of Ingrid Bergman's films and I've heard good things about it. The fact that they aren't playing To Catch A Thief (1955) baffles me, but I own it on DVD and I'm not a huge fan of it anyway in comparison to Hitch's other two films with Grace Kelly, so I'm not all that bothered.

  14. I truly adored the video lecture! It made me feel like I was watching a sports replay, but it was far more interesting! I also found it so intriguing that Chaplin was one of now many comedians to do the 'slip on a banana peel' bit. It's thought of as a cheap laugh today, but was likely considered cutting edge comedy back in 1915. What was truly shocking to me was when I heard that such a simple comedic gag in By the Sea (1915) and something so complex as the scene in A Dog's Life (1918) were filmed only three years apart, and were it not for the film style I would have guessed that A Dog's Life (1918) was filmed much later. It really shows Chaplin's proficiency in filmmaking once he was able to get behind the camera and write as well as perform his own material.

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  15. Before this course I was certainly aware that films were being produced in the late 19th century, but I had no idea that slapstick films stretched so far back! I really admired L'Arroseur Arrosé, and it made me think about the cause-and-effect patten that was shown in this and later slapstick films. First a set-up that is devoid of humor is performed, like the boy stepping on the hose, and then the humorous punchline comes in, like the gardener being sprayed. I'm surprised that this recipe for comedy is so prevalent in such an early film, as there are countless examples of the set-up and punchline even today.

    • Like 1
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