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

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I agree that TCM programming has left a lot to be desired the past year or so. Unsure if its due to budget or what. They seem to have money to hire multiple hosts, but not a lot seems to go into film programming. Get sick of seeing the same old films in rotation. How many times has How the West Was Won been aired in the last couple months?

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On 2/29/2020 at 7:44 AM, Ray Banacki said:

 

Her most dubious selectiom - "A VERY WARM DECEMBER".

Movies that sound like someone wet their pants are never good.

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3 hours ago, Sitar_Man said:

What is going on with TCM? 

In the many years since TCM began I have never had to change the channel and watch newer productions which I usually dislike! 

Granted I'm old and grew up watching the early years of late night television, not for the TV content but because they showed the best of the best films of the true golden age of film!

These young people today seem to think that just because a film is twenty five years old, that some how makes it is a classic... truly a ridiculous thought or concept!  As if a production has acquired some sort of story quality, prestige or stature simply by existing for a certain amount of time.  That kind of logic seems to prevail everywhere today. 

I actually met a few film pioneers like Billy Wilder and Raul Walsh who I had the pleasure of working on a production with, in the late 1970s.  Anyway none of that matters.  What does matter is that I have been on both sides of the fence working on films and watched what I call the classic films from the golden age of film and film noir more than anything else... and I have never had to change the channel to watch anything else so much before this last year or so! 

As far as I am concerned I own thousands of movies which I would rather watch over and over again and again until I have memorized them, rather than waist my time watching the Ava Duvenay or Jacqueline Stewart of Silent Sundays picks. 

I just get so bored I would rather do anything else...  Story is everything although some films are made for a male audience and some aim for a female audience and some may have some redeeming qualities, of some kind in every production, usually the story is the most defining part and the acting is second to that which makes films great. 

Unfortunately Awards and film festivals are more about promotional avenues than anything else.

I get that Ava and her picks for The Essentials might not be every person’s cup of tea, but Jacqueline Stewart is just fine. She introduces Silent Sunday Night and gives good commentary, but the selections are pretty middle of the road and most of them have been shown for years on TCM. 

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Man, Ava Duvernay's tenure on the Essentials ended more than a month ago and people are still complaining about her.  That's what you call having a lasting impact!

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I don't get what the big deal is/was, don't like it? Watch something else! It's 2-2.5 hours. 

I also like Jacqueline Stewart. I think she does a great job introducing her segment.

I find it interesting that a poster would simultaneously complain about newer films being shown on TCM while at the same time, bashing Silent films for showing on TCM.  I guess a movie can't be too new or too old. 

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23 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I don't get what the big deal is/was, don't like it? Watch something else! It's 2-2.5 hours. 

I also like Jacqueline Stewart. I think she does a great job introducing her segment.

I find it interesting that a poster would simultaneously complain about newer films being shown on TCM while at the same time, bashing Silent films for showing on TCM.  I guess a movie can't be too new or too old. 

I see it in terms of "contribution" vs. "impact".  (my apologies to David Lee Roth, but he had an absolute moment of genius in contrasting the two)

And I would consider Stewart (so far) to be more of a contributor than not.  Osborne was the ultimate contributor, the gold standard per se.

It seems the previous poster unwittingly let the air out of that tire.

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22 minutes ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

I see it in terms of "contribution" vs. "impact".  (my apologies to David Lee Roth, but he had an absolute moment of genius in contrasting the two)

And I would consider Stewart (so far) to be more of a contributor than not.  Osborne was the ultimate contributor, the gold standard per se.

It seems the previous poster unwittingly let the air out of that tire.

I don’t know if you’re referring to me as the previous poster or the noob, Sitar Man. Me thinks his complaints have little to do with the films these women selected.

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2 minutes ago, HelenBaby2 said:

I don’t know if you’re referring to me as the previous poster or the noob, Sitar Man. Me thinks his complaints have little to do with the films these women selected.

No, not you.

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3 hours ago, Feego said:

Man, Ava Duvernay's tenure on the Essentials ended more than a month ago and people are still complaining about her.  That's what you call having a lasting impact!

LMREO! Yeah, she left her mark!

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4 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I don't get what the big deal is/was, don't like it? Watch something else! It's 2-2.5 hours. 

The big deal is/was speedracer5 is that Ava Duvernay is African American, and she was socially activist in her comments and movie selections.  Thus she has become a target for agitators who ply the internet to sow discord and division in the American populace.  You will notice that most of the bait tossers are new accounts.  You will also notice the OP and Sitar_Man both misspell Miss Duvernay's name the same way.  Jacqueline Stewart comes up for criticism because she, too, is African American and makes it a part of her tenure at TCM to bring people's attention to the role women and African Americans played in the silent film era developing the art and science of moviemaking.

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26 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

The big deal is/was speedracer5 is that Ava Duvernay is African American, and she was socially activist in her comments and movie selections.  Thus she has become a target for agitators who ply the internet to sow discord and division in the American populace.  You will notice that most of the bait tossers are new accounts.  You will also notice the OP and Sitar_Man both misspell Miss Duvernay's name the same way.  Jacqueline Stewart comes up for criticism because she, too, is African American and makes it a part of her tenure at TCM to bring people's attention to the role women and African Americans played in the silent film era developing the art and science of moviemaking.

Good summary of what drives all this negative passion.    It should be noted that when TCM had Dennis Miller as a guest host there was some push-back from newbies that didn't wish for TCM to give Miller what they call a platform (but nothing close to what we see when TCM features an African American, especially one with an agenda (which Duvernay clearly has if one follows her).

 

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I don't have a problem with anybody of a particular ilk, or with a particular bent being a guest on TCM for anything.  And I won't criticize them for a lack of knowledge, expertise, or insight because of it.  Even if it gets a little tiring getting past their platform to the movies themselves.  This is true for hosts and guests whose views I appreciate as well as those I disagree with.

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either rebrand the title "essentials" or get a programmer who knows something about films!

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4 minutes ago, majeda said:

either rebrand the title "essentials" or get a programmer who knows something about films!

1) I believe that the Essentials are gone, at least for the time being.

2) I don't mean this in a confrontational way, but it's unusual that you've had an account for over 13 years, and this was the first comment you ever made.

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it's the only time i felt strongly about something. i don't particularly care for some of the other new hosts either, but they're not hosting "the essentials".

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1 hour ago, majeda said:

either rebrand the title "essentials" or get a programmer who knows something about films!

So because someone chooses movie you don't like, they know nothing about them.  Thus you are the grand authority on movies.

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I feel like there was a lot of misinterpretation of the intent here, and I'm unsure how many of the intros/outros all the critics on here actually watched. I didn't particularly care most of DuVernay's selections, either, and I only actually watched a couple of them, but I watched a lot of the before/after segments, and I don't in any way think it was vanity or that she didn't know anything. Time and time again, her theme was "this is an important film, and you should watch it, and here are the clear reasons why I think you should watch it, and if you think it's too boring or too foreign or not famous enough or too black, well, that's a reflection of you being closed-minded and probably prejudiced." Seems like a lot of you saw that as haughty and resent being lectured to, and I understand that, but also I saw a woman who was jazzed and fired up to talk about these particular films. She didn't particularly win me over, but I appreciated her earnestness and her passion. It doesn't appear she had the snowball effect of enthusiasm she was hoping for among most of the people who posted on this thread, anyway, but I'm sort of disappointed in all the outright hostility and contempt.

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On 3/17/2020 at 8:28 AM, Sitar_Man said:

I own thousands of movies which I would rather watch over and over again and again until I have memorized them

Do so, ergo, no point making the post. 

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21 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

I feel like there was a lot of misinterpretation of the intent here, and I'm unsure how many of the intros/outros all the critics on here actually watched. I didn't particularly care most of DuVernay's selections, either, and I only actually watched a couple of them, but I watched a lot of the before/after segments, and I don't in any way think it was vanity or that she didn't know anything. Time and time again, her theme was "this is an important film, and you should watch it, and here are the clear reasons why I think you should watch it, and if you think it's too boring or too foreign or not famous enough or too black, well, that's a reflection of you being closed-minded and probably prejudiced." Seems like a lot of you saw that as haughty and resent being lectured to, and I understand that, but also I saw a woman who was jazzed and fired up to talk about these particular films. She didn't particularly win me over, but I appreciated her earnestness and her passion. It doesn't appear she had the snowball effect of enthusiasm she was hoping for among most of the people who posted on this thread, anyway, but I'm sort of disappointed in all the outright hostility and contempt.

I sort of agree with Ray's previous post that it was a vanity showcase. Not vanity as in "look at me" but vanity as in "I have a political and cultural agenda choosing these films and I am going to use airtime and this platform to get these points across."

More often than not, she seemed to put her own goals ahead of the franchise itself. And in my opinion, I think that is what caused the backlash against her.

If she had mixed in a few films just for entertainment sake, without always trying to make some sort of 'profound' heavy-handed point, then she might have won more people over. You need to balance the so-called lecturing with a need to have fun with the films. 

She probably won't be the only one who fails. All of the on-air hosts feel some sort of pressure to come across intelligently, to be engaging and to be film-literate. But the key is to just be a natural presenter and like Robert Osborne did consistently, to be a film historian. That does not necessarily mean being a revisionist historian.

The Essentials franchise is one of TCM's cornerstone series. It should be safeguarded by TCM execs and kept from becoming an experimental playground.

My views. Take them for what they're worth. Thanks.

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If I am not mistaken, most of the movies shown by Ava and Ben were standard TCM fare.  Only a few were what I could see as open to interpretation as serving an agenda on her part.  It is the intolerance for her particular agenda which has resulted in the mischaracterization of the season of Essentials with her.

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5 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

If I am not mistaken, most of the movies shown by Ava and Ben were standard TCM fare.  Only a few were what I could see as open to interpretation as serving an agenda on her part.  It is the intolerance for her particular agenda which has resulted in the mischaracterization of the season of Essentials with her.

I tried to find a listing of them all, but couldn't. I'm not sure if there were any premieres, even among the lesser known titles shown. 

Some people do not want to see any foreign-language or low-budget independent films, especially on "The Essentials", which many viewers seem to regard as programming that should only be movies they like.

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5 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

If I am not mistaken, most of the movies shown by Ava and Ben were standard TCM fare.  Only a few were what I could see as open to interpretation as serving an agenda on her part.  It is the intolerance for her particular agenda which has resulted in the mischaracterization of the season of Essentials with her.

I don't think it's intolerance for her agenda. As I stated in my very first post on page one of the thread, she would have been excellent as the host of a special multicultural series. She could have had a very specific agenda or crusade with that.

But plunking her down in the middle of the Essentials venue, her agenda was at odds with what this franchise was created to achieve.

It's sort of like getting the wrong actress for the role. She was basically "miscast" as an Essentials co-host. It has nothing to do with intolerance towards what she personally wanted to accomplish. More power to her. But it has to be the correct sort of venue for what she brings to the audience.

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3 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I tried to find a listing of them all, but couldn't. I'm not sure if there were any premieres, even among the lesser known titles shown. 

Some people do not want to see any foreign-language or low-budget independent films, especially on "The Essentials", which many viewers seem to regard as programming that should only be movies they like.

Personally I think the Essentials series should showcase at least one or two animation films each season, at least one nonfiction documentary film and at least one non-English language feature. There are what we call essentials in a variety of genres or filmic styles.

And I have not seen comments where people complained about her choosing films that were premieres or where people griped she had selected seldom played titles in TCM's library. It was the content of those films and if they fit viewers' ideas of classic filmmaking. She was continually at odds with that. You can't just say here is Random Movie X, I happen to think it's a classic, if I play it here then we can call it a classic. No, that is not how it works.

Just my opinion here. I believe in respectfulness and fairness. But I think we have to examine why she didn't succeed with many TCM viewers. This thread would have quickly dropped to page 50 in General Discussions. However, we have posters (often new posters that just signed up) doing a search of her name, finding this thread then resurrecting and continue this discussion. It is because she did not succeed like she could have and people are still frustrated and venting about it.

I don't even blame her specifically. I believe the issue is that the channel's management used her as a way to tick a few politically correct boxes. And it backfired. In a way, she is caught in the crossfire.

This happened previously with Tiffany Vasquez. Another on-air personality that TCM management did not sell properly to the audience.

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