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traditionalgal

Saving Private Ryan and Other Modern Films

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I really wish TCM would not show films from any decade later than the 1960s. No where on television can you see movies from the 1930s to the 1950s on a regular basis. Why can't they keep that focus? Modern films have quite a few other networks. Can't they leave TCM alone? I hope TCM isn't slowly going the way of AMC. I remember the days of Bob Dorian and old movies. I hate the modern focus on modern films and modern directors.

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I agree. This trend is causing me to watch other channels more often, and to watch DVDs.

 

I saw "Saving Private Ryan" years ago on some other channel. The experimental color film used was Eastman EXR 200T 5293, which was terrible color, and it was shot with a high shutter speed, which makes the action scenes look odd.

 

I pay extra for TCM for the old movies. The new ones get shown on other channels anyway, plus their DVDs are easy to find and to rent.

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The faded color was less a product of the film stock than it was manipulating in the post-production timing. In any case, it, and the herky-jerky motion, were deliberate creative choices on Spielberg's part to make the film look as though it had been shot in hand-held 16mm by a combat photographer. Anyone familiar with World War II combat footage, such as John Ford's BATTLE OF MIDWAY, would recognize the "style," though those films have, if anything, oversaturated color thanks to the Kodachrome reversal stock shot, and Technicolor prints.

 

The real problems with SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is that it makes little sense, either dramatically or militarily. It's pretentious rubbish whose drama was subordinated to the typically sentimental conclusions its maker had already reached before he started making it. That sort of cart-before-the-horse approach usually results in bad movies.

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We'll hear soon about the big tent that is TCM, and how TCM always played films from across the decades.

Without disputing that in any way, I just generally feel that this promotional idea was a bad one, which I stated as soon as I saw June's schedule posted. We already have Oscar's month and SUTS, I feel that's enough of that sort of thing in a 12 month period. Hopefully this month is an aberration and won't appear again outside of a 15 year anniversary period.

There are some gems in the lineup, and I'll admit enjoying the Capra films in prime-time earlier this week, but TCM airs those same films a lot in other contexts, without this particular type of month-long programming theme. Friday night was particularly poor. (BTW, I tried to respond to this much earlier, but of course problems with posting).

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> {quote:title=CineSage_jr wrote:}{quote}

> The faded color was less a product of the film stock than it was manipulating in the post-production timing. In any case, it, and the herky-jerky motion, were deliberate creative choices on Spielberg's part to make the film look as though it had been shot in hand-held 16mm by a combat photographer.

 

No, that?s not what I?m talking about. That is due to the camera being hand-held.

 

What I?m talking about is the high shutter speed of the film camera, caused by a narrow-wedge opening in the disc shutter. This causes each frame of the hand-held scenes to have no blur. This is abnormal for film and abnormal for the human eye.

 

Normally, film cameras have shutter speeds from about 1/40 to maybe 1/100 of a second. Battle cameras had shutter speeds of as much as 1/200 of a second. But Private Ryan looked like it had a shutter speed of 1/1000 or more. That eliminated all blur on individual frames, and that is visually abnormal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0WBZab8SWE&

 

That technique was a fad back in the 1990s, but it is generally no longer used in films.

 

Here is military/news film of D-Day. Notice the blurs of the running soldiers in each frame.

 

 

The weird color of Private Ryan was due to it having been shot on Eastman EXR 200T 5293, which is no longer manufactured today.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> No, thats not what Im talking about. That is due to the camera being hand-held.

>

> What Im talking about is the high shutter speed of the film camera, caused by a narrow-wedge opening in the disc shutter. This causes each frame of the hand-held scenes to have no blur. This is abnormal for film and abnormal for the human eye.

>

> Normally, film cameras have shutter speeds from about 1/40 to maybe 1/100 of a second. Battle cameras had shutter speeds of as much as 1/200 of a second. But Private Ryan looked like it had a shutter speed of 1/1000 or more. That eliminated all blur on individual frames, and that is visually abnormal.

> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0WBZab8SWE&

>

> That technique was a fad back in the 1990s, but it is generally no longer used in films.

>

> Here is military/news film of D-Day. Notice the blurs of the running soldiers in each frame.

>

>

> The weird color of Private Ryan was due to it having been shot on Eastman EXR 200T 5293, which is no longer manufactured today.

 

I knew exactly what you were talking about; I simply didn't address it, but what I did write still applied: that it was all done to simulate the look of WWII-era combat photography. But the hish shutter speed was only used for the Omaha Beach sequence, and for various other points during the film, not for the whole thing. Whether one thinks it was an appropriate creative decision by Spielberg is, of course, a matter of personal taste.

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TCM really cares about the history of film and that's why they show films from all decades and from each generation. You can't get that on other channels. Saving Private Ryan is an important moment in film from a very important filmmaker in history.

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Your sentiments are shared by a number of viewers and members of these Message Boards.

 

In a month devoted to Great Directors, it is perfectly reasonable to have an evening set aside to salute Steven Speilberg. The same goes for Woody Allen (June 12) and Martin Scorsese (June 19). But it would be a glaring omission to not acknowledge the man whose films have grossed more money world-wide than any other director.

 

But over the entire month, there are so few "contemporary" films scheduled that a showing of *Saving Private Ryan* really shouldn't be cause for concern. Not when there are entire _days_ devoted to William Wyler, Michael Curtiz and Mervyn LeRoy. And half-days commemorating lesser names like Sam Wood, George Sidney and W.S. Van Dyke.

 

As to *Saving Private Ryan*, I'll take the "blame" for it being on TCM. The last time TCM set aside an evening to salute Steven Speilberg, I wrote in here how tired I was seeing the same-old titles like *Jaws* and *Close Encounters...* surrounded by the Richard Schickel documentary. I don't think I was very "nice" about it. Maybe I touched a nerve in Atlanta and got them thinking too hard. They even showed a made-for-TV movie yesterday on Speilberg night.

 

So don't blame TCM and just carry me to the pillory instead.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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> {quote:title=hlywdkjk wrote:}{quote}

> They even showed a made-for-TV movie yesterday on Speilberg night.

 

Yes, ?Duel? was made for TV in 1971. In 1972 it received a Goble Globe Nomination as ?Best Movie Made for TV?.

 

A couple of weeks ago, TCM aired another made-for-TV movie (made for PBS) that was shot in 16 mm and it was so dark and fuzzy it was unwatchable.

 

I think TCM is drifting away from Ted Turner?s original concept for the channel and away from the original reason I have been paying extra to receive it.

 

These movies aren't from "The Golden age of Hollywood". They aren't even from "The Golden Age of TV".

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But "Duel" was released theatrically in Europe.

 

Also, the MGM documentary "When the Lion Roars" was made for TV (TNT, to be exact) as well, and I don't think there's been much complaints about that airing on TCM before, no?

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> {quote:title=Kubrickbuff wrote:}{quote}

> Of course Saving Private Ryan belongs on TCM because it's a great film.

 

You ought to become a member of the Motion Picture Academy. I can't count the times the voters have been conned into believing a pretentious and illogical film deserved an Oscar merely because it wore its "noble" intentions on its sleeve. Crikey.

 

 

> {quote:title=araner1973 wrote:}{quote}

> Also, the MGM documentary "When the Lion Roars" was made for TV (TNT, to be exact) as well, and I don't think there's been much complaints about that airing on TCM before, no?

 

"M-G-M: When the Lion Roared" was a multi-part documentary about the movie business during its Golden Age; as such, one cannot imagine anything more appropriate for TCM to show. It makes no difference for whom it was produced, as long as it's accurate.

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I sure wish I had a dime for every single time this topic is brought up in a thread around here. TCM has always shown "modern" films. Since day one!

 

As for *Saving Private Ryan*, it's an awful film. Just a drawn out episode of the television show, *Combat*, only not as good. The ridiculous beginning, has nothing to do with the paltry narrative that follows.

 

Finally, a made for television movie, is still a movie. What the hell difference does it make what venue shows it?! Anyone who discounts made-for-TV films, obviously never watches them. Many are excellent. As for *Duel*, it's among the three films of Speilberg that I actually like! I wish TCM would show a lot more of them. They are truly the lost films. Not shown on any other station and not availabe on home video.

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*"A couple of weeks ago, TCM aired another made-for-TV movie (made for PBS) that was shot in 16 mm and it was so dark and fuzzy it was unwatchable."* - FCD

 

Are you referring to *Little Dorrit* ?

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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Any film made after the mid-60s that is A) available for rental; B) available for purchase; and C) available on other cable channels does _not_ belong on TCM.

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> {quote:title=HollywoodGolightly wrote:}{quote}

> Kyle,

> I think he's probably referring to The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, which was actually filmed in Super 16mm.

 

Yes, correct.

 

The Alec Guinness version of ?Little Dorrit? that we saw on TCM was shot for and released to theaters.

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> {quote:title=hlywdkjk wrote:}{quote}

> Your sentiments are shared by a number of viewers and members of these Message Boards.

>

> In a month devoted to Great Directors, it is perfectly reasonable to have an evening set aside to salute Steven Speilberg. The same goes for Woody Allen (June 12) and Martin Scorsese (June 19). But it would be a glaring omission to not acknowledge the man whose films have grossed more money world-wide than any other director.

>

> But over the entire month, there are so few "contemporary" films scheduled that a showing of *Saving Private Ryan* really shouldn't be cause for concern. Not when there are entire _days_ devoted to William Wyler, Michael Curtiz and Mervyn LeRoy. And half-days commemorating lesser names like Sam Wood, George Sidney and W.S. Van Dyke.

>

> As to *Saving Private Ryan*, I'll take the "blame" for it being on TCM. The last time TCM set aside an evening to salute Steven Speilberg, I wrote in here how tired I was seeing the same-old titles like *Jaws* and *Close Encounters...* surrounded by the Richard Schickel documentary. I don't think I was very "nice" about it. Maybe I touched a nerve in Atlanta and got them thinking too hard. They even showed a made-for-TV movie yesterday on Speilberg night.

>

> So don't blame TCM and just carry me to the pillory instead.

>

> Kyle In Hollywood

 

Consider yourself pilloried! ;)

 

I will try to be as adamant in my view that this promotional idea, while a nice try, is just too much. Perhaps entire weekends, or weekends plus a couple evenings a week, but 24/7 over the entire month, it's just too much. Not only are there quite a few more modern films, as well as "mainstream/often aired films, than usual, there is little or no room for B films, and for pre-codes. There are a few, and there have been a few gems, don't get me wrong, but most of those could have (and often have) shown up in other contexts than this one.

 

I think Oscar's month, and to a somewhat lesser extend, SUTS, is quite enough for this type of thing. I would advocate NOT returning to this particular promotion again. I thought the noir promotion a few summers ago was MUCH better, but that was more "normal" 2 or 3 nights a week I think.

 

"Stickin' to my guns" Mark

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I will add that July, OTOH, is a better than average month, with lots of series films, B's, pre-codes and lesser known movies. So kudos there. Then we have SUTS, which as usual, is very hot/cold for me. Hopefully Sept will rock the house!

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I think you are right, "Saving Private Ryan" is simply too recent of a movie to show on TCM, better for it to air on AMC. I do beleive that with the test of time "Saving Private Ryan" will be a *classic* (some beleives its already so). My goodnes its 11 years old *already?* Time needs to slow down a little!

 

I do like the movie very much, watched it 3 times so far on other premium channels. I won't watch it edited though. Last night I watched "The Children's Hour" for the first time (missed a few scenes though) can't avoid the phone and nature calling.

 

There was a neat documantary on The History Channel last night, "D-Day, The Lost Evidence". I've been noticing that some of these new documentaries are getting as good as a run of the mill movie itself like "Patton". Yep, I've been watching "Patton 360" as well. I've learned more from that then from the movie!

 

For a humorous sidenote has anyone seen the parody to the movie "Saving Ryan's Privates"?

 

You know it had to happen sooner or later, lol.

 

Message was edited by: hamradio

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> {quote:title=mongo wrote:}{quote}

>

>

> Here! Here!

 

The problem is that we haven't seen a film like this in prime time very often on TCM, so it does break some new ground. Ground I'm not happy is broken.

Friday night sucked and it sort of is a bummer after a hard week of work I come home to that. I think much frustration from many, including the OP, is borne of that sort of thing.

The weekend has been generally better, though I agree with Prince that it's odd that only one pre-code appears in today's Curtiz lineup (backing up my argument that this type of promotion should not be re-visited again).

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I will add that I enjoyed DUEL. I think someone mentioned in another thread that it was like having TCM Underground on Friday night, and I would agree with that. It's probably my favorite Spielberg film, and I don't happen to like him that much.

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