Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
KingoGondo

Zabriskie Point removed from schedule by TCM Standards & Practices

Recommended Posts

Could somebody explain this move to me?

 

A 38 year old art film, long out of print on home video, directed by one of the world's greatest filmmakers (Antonioni), was scheduled for a 2:15am showing on TCM in March. Then it disappeared from the schedule. As it turns out, TCM's standard and practices department had the film yanked, on the basis of sex and nudity.

 

Huh? Is this the same TCM that has shown films like Shampoo (more than once in this case) already? Or which currently has The Hunger on its May schedule--a film which (until Bound, at least) has the most famously hot lesbian sex scene in Hollywood history?

 

"Uncut and commercial free" presentation of classic films is TCM's avowed mission statement. Their conduct in this case is the farthest thing from it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KingoGondo -

 

Just curious. How do you know it was a S & P decision and not a print availablity issue?

 

Kyle In Hollywood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Marihuana was also removed from the {May} schedule."

 

That may be due to run-time/logistical issues for the planned "triple feature" of Reefer Madness, Marihuana and Cocaine Fiends[/b]. 'sweetsmellofsuccess' pointed that out yesterday in a different thread. Perhaps it wasn't possible to fit all three films into the alloted four-hour timeslot.

But I can't believe it is a content issue. If Reefer Madness is OK, there shouldn't be a problem with Marihuana. Just guessing though as I haven't seen either movie.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen Reefer Madness on IFC's Grindhouse (it's playing tonight as a matter of fact). The only offensive thing about it is just how bad it is as a film. From what I hear the others are no better or worse. And I'd also like to know KingGondo's source before commenting on TCM's censureship policies.

 

--

Terry Wallace

 

Message was edited by: Terry_W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry,

 

I'd wager that it was either a rights issue or an available print issue. Considering some of the films TCM has run in the past from the same era, it makes no sense for it to be a "standards and practises" issue.

 

I hope TCMProgrammr chimes in soon and gives the definitivel scoop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry,

 

I'd wager that it was either a rights issue or an available print issue. Considering some of the films TCM has run in the past from the same era, it makes no sense for it to be a "standards and practises" issue.

 

I hope TCMProgrammr chimes in soon and gives the definitive scoop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marihuana is a better movie than Reefer Madness. I actually own that title. It is actually pretty funny, esp if you smoke pot----cough cough----

 

Hahaha

 

Best part about seattle is the ______. You fill in the blank.

 

-

kpr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't imagine that TCM would yank a film because an illegal act was depicted. After all, look at all the murder films that get shown. Murder is pretty illegal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ZP info comes from a source inside TCM. I can't speak to Marihuana.

 

If TCM wants to call me a liar, that would be very illuminating, but I am not going to presume they will do that--let them respond.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KingoGondo -

 

I wasn't intimating you were anything but honest. And I don't think anyone in these Forums was thinking you were lying about your statement. I was just curious because the situation you described occurs very rarely - to my knowledge. In fact, the only instance of "meddling" by S&P at TCM that I - or anyone here - would be aware of happened last June when members were told certain films needed to be moved past 9pm Pacific Time. Otherwise, none of us here ever heard mention of S&P at TCM before.

 

If they choose to respond, I can't imagine that the Programming Dept wouldn't be forthright about the schedule change. From my understanding, S&P is part of a channel's Legal Department anyway - and not Programming - making them independent and "the last word" on such decisions. That's nothing for which the Programming Dept should be embarassed - or need to "spin" for public consumption.

 

But I don't understand how pulling a film for content reasons somehow violates the "Uncut and Commercial-Free" dictum of TCM.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My point is that ZP is precisely the type of film we (or at least I) would hope TCM would give a showing in the US. Their respone to the passing of Antonioni (and Bergman)--basically none--was disappointing enough; this compounds the insult.

 

ZP is far from Antonioni's greatest film, in most people's eye--but it is significant (falling between two of his greatest films (Blow-Up and The Passenger), and it is unavailable on home video. And it is in no way some sleazy exploitation flick or "porn".

 

(I am traveling so I am posting via cell phone--so please forgive any formatting or spelling errors. )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, for one, hope TCM sticks to high standards. No offense to anyone but this movie was a box office bomb and, to many who remember it, as I do, it was about counter culture nonsense.

 

TCM can better serve its viewing audience...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jake,

 

The film wasn't bouned on artistic merit, jusr on an apparently brainless application of "standards" not applied to numerous other films.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

King,

 

I don't hold myself out as an "expert" regarding great films but, imho, ZP is a BAD movie. It's

no classic. And yes there are objective standards we can go by to classify a great movie from

a bad one.

 

I don't like the movie Citizen Kane but it is a great movie..

 

Let's cut out the politically correct thought on great movies.

 

Now, I DO believe movies are subjective and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

But why would anyone think ZP should be classified as a classic?

 

And, in my opinion, only classics should be shown on TCM.

 

Respectfully,

 

Jake

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Actually, SEVERAL films have been pulled, including Fritz the Cat and The Last House on the Left.

 

Did those films actually make it to a published schedule? I never saw Fritz The Cat included in a Monthly listing. (Can't say for sure about The Last House On The Left.)

 

I know MGMWBRKO (it was MGMWBRKO, wasn't it?) wrote about a slew of films considered for "TCM Underground" that were rejected but my understanding was they were just that - considered.

But maybe I misunderstood.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was taken out of the schedule because of the strong content (standards & practices). As I think everyone knows, we don't edit the films that we play (unless the wrong version is mistakenly pulled from the library), which means some of the more contemporary titles need to be played late at night. And occasionally there are films that we aren't able to play at all because they go further than the network is comfortable with.

 

I'm sure people can come up with examples and arguments about why one film is better or worse than another (believe me, I do it all the time to try to make the case about allowing certain films to play in certain time periods). Sometimes it depends on the context of the festival as well - if there is a particularly important on-air event, and we can make the case that the film is vital to what we're doing, then we can get special approval.

 

But we do need to be aware the most of our distribution is on basic cable, and that we have one feed to cover the entire country (so midnight on the east coast is 9PM on the west coast). It's pretty infrequent, though, that there are films we can't play at all. For whatever reason (I don't remember why and I'm not in the office today) "Zabriskie Point" crossed the line. But it's only because we insist on playing the films uncut that we can't play it (and we, of course, remain commercial-free), so I'm not sure how our conduct in this case strays from our mission.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please--the topic at hand is TCM unwarranted self-censorship in this case. If you want to discuss artistic merit, there are zillion TCM films that are bad--how many "Maisey" films are worth a damn?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Please--the topic at hand is TCM unwarranted self-censorship in this case. If you want to discuss artistic merit, there are zillion TCM films that are bad--how many "Maisey" films are worth a damn?

 

I agree.

 

TCM is being downright RIDICULOUS.

 

TCM has shown The Exorcist.

 

TCM has shown Apocalypse Now.

 

TCM has shown Shampoo.

 

TCM has shown Equus.

 

TCM has shown The Hunger.

 

TCM has even shown Midnight Cowboy.

 

...but TCM can't show Zabriskie Point?

 

Message was edited by: Metropolisforever

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

© 2019 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...