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

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6 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

But I think we have to examine why she didn't succeed with many TCM viewers.

We do?

 

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3 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

We do?

 We see evidence of our fellow posters examining her work on Essentials in this thread. 

I looked at the title of the thread. It's an innocent enough question. How long will she be hosting. But it's really that someone didn't want her to continue hosting and they wanted to start a discussion about why her hosting wasn't winning them over.

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32 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

 We see evidence of our fellow posters examining her work on Essentials in this thread. 

No, I just see the usual one-shot complainers, or those who generally **** and moan about every other thing on the channel, and then those who are put off by the first and second crowd.

This whole discussion is pointless anyway, since, as far as I know, DuVernay and the Essentials haven't been on in nearly two months, and she's not returning.

When (or if) the Essentials return with Brad Bird as they're slated to be, I doubt there will be much if any of the kind of films shown that generally bring out the whiner brigade. But they'll find something else to complain about, I'm sure.

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Maybe it's time to just retire The Essentials.  TCM could have a new series with different directors introducing films that inspired and influenced them.  Wasn't there something like this with Sydney Pollack, Peter Bogdanovich, and others on TCM years ago?  Was that the original version of The Essentials?

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4 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

No, I just see the usual one-shot complainers, or those who generally **** and moan about every other thing on the channel, and then those who are put off by the first and second crowd.

This whole discussion is pointless anyway, since, as far as I know, DuVernay and the Essentials haven't been on in nearly two months, and she's not returning.

When (or if) the Essentials return with Brad Bird as they're slated to be, I doubt there will be much if any of the kind of films shown that generally bring out the whiner brigade. But they'll find something else to complain about, I'm sure.

I don't consider the discussion to be pointless. I think the channel created these message boards to have ongoing feedback and dialogue related to the films it shows, and its weekly programming.

It's almost irrelevant if a host stopped airing. It's the fact that they did air and some (still) have an opinion about it.

As you know, there will always be people that complain or vent. And others will share positive comments. 

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5 minutes ago, Peebs said:

Maybe it's time to just retire The Essentials.  TCM could have a new series with different directors introducing films that inspired and influenced them.  Wasn't there something like this with Sydney Pollack, Peter Bogdanovich, and others on TCM years ago?

Not sure if doing away with Essentials is the answer. They just need to reset it...get back to what the series was designed to accomplish with a slate of films that engage and entertain the viewing audience. 

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11 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Not sure if doing away with Essentials is the answer. They just need to reset it...get back to what the series was designed to accomplish with a slate of films that engage and entertain the viewing audience. 

Maybe so.  What movies would you like to see? What about potential hosts?

Some co-hosts over the years have been better than others. David Letterman was memorably bad, I thought.  Drew Barrymore was another stinker, for me.  I liked the chemistry between Osborne and Alec Baldwin.  They didn't always agree with each other's picks. 

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38 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.

Here's the schedule.  As can be seen, most of them are standard TCM fare, including repeats.  Of some eighteen unique movies, as I count, five are what I see as pursuing an agenda.  That would be difficult to see as her hijacking the series and turning it into a vehicle for promoting her views. 

Any selection of movies is an agenda, either for continuity or change.  Ava Duvernay had the temerity to unapologetically challenge people's complacency and put forth her ideas of what is essential film making. 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Peebs said:

Maybe so.  What movies would you like to see? What about potential hosts?

I rather enjoyed Sally Field's commentaries, during Robert's last season doing Essentials. She seemed to do well at applying a film's themes to greater human needs and concerns. 

I liked Molly Haskell's commentaries too. Since she brought a scholarly yet sensible approach to analyzing classic film.

So if they brought either one of these ladies back, I'd be for it. 

As for films discussed I think they need to cover more genres. And look at essential B films. Even include some essential short films.

What would you like to see?

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I should host one time.  Shucks, I can put my glasses on and read a cue card with some production assistance so I don't come across as a squinting moron.  :P

"Hi, my name's TEX BUBBA.  Ahl be yer host fer this here evenin'!  Yessss, pleeze!  Mah friends call me 'Swamp Garbage' and AH LAHK the wahd-open spaces! 

Dern yer pretensions!  Ahm har to add some class to the show!  So lets us now begin with the real old-fashioned classic HOT SUMMER IN BAREFOOT COUNTY.  Followed by TRUCKERS WOMAN and HOT ROD HULLABALOO!  We ain't fulla ourselves here at Torner Classick Moovies!"  

 

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19 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

Here's the schedule.  As can be seen, most of them are standard TCM fare, including repeats.  Of some eighteen unique movies, as I count, five are what I see as pursuing an agenda.  That would be difficult to see as her hijacking the series and turning it into a vehicle for promoting her views. 

Any selection of movies is an agenda, either for continuity or change.  Ava Duvernay had the temerity to unapologetically challenge people's complacency and put forth her ideas of what is essential film making. 

 

Many of these are not regarded as Essential by some viewers, and therein lies the problem. 

I think the biggest mistake she made is that she was not color blind when making selections. Certain issues are wide-ranging and can be addressed in a film about people other than her own culture, but still cover issues faced by her culture. But it seemed as though she was often using the films to spotlight her culture and that was off-putting to people from other cultures. So ultimately we might say she was not inclusive enough. Maybe she didn't care about that, didn't want to be inclusive of all cultures?

Also it seemed like she was chosen to be a host to tick a few politically correct boxes then encouraged to make these selections to fit with those PC motives. In my view it was an experiment that went awry. I can see why viewers were unhappy and why this thread was originally created. It makes sense to me. It was not a properly conducted experiment in programming and in stretching the boundaries of what an Essential could be. It went too far left. It resulted in a backlash by a percentage of viewers that were not intolerant, as much as they were alienated by this entire approach.

My view.

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The problem with some 'Essentials' is that I've seen them before.  And more than once.  And some movies that are very good films however do not lend themselves to repeat viewing.  Just not the kind of movies you wanna watch over and over (and over) again.  Seemingly endless repetition of certain films on a schedule is tiresome stuff so I don't watch.

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Many of these are not regarded as Essential by some viewers, and therein lies the problem. 

I think the biggest mistake she made is that she was not color blind when making selections. Certain issues are wide-ranging and can be addressed in a film about people other than her own culture, but still cover issues faced by her culture. But it seemed as though she was often using the films to spotlight her culture and that was off-putting to people from other cultures. So ultimately we might say she was not inclusive enough. Maybe she didn't care about that, didn't want to be inclusive of all cultures?

Also it seemed like she was chosen to be a host to tick a few politically correct boxes then encouraged to make these selections to fit with those PC motives. In my view it was an experiment that went awry. I can see why viewers were unhappy and why this thread was originally created. It makes sense to me. It was not a properly conducted experiment in programming and in stretching the boundaries of what an Essential could be. It went too far left. It resulted in a backlash by a percentage of viewers that were not intolerant, as much as they were alienated by this entire approach.

My view.

One could make the same observation/accusation about any other host and their movies.  The only difference would be the boxes ticked.  I think she was completely aware of how off-putting she would be, and intended it to be so.  Perhaps she was sending a message that previous selections were just as off-putting to other viewers. 

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10 hours ago, slaytonf said:

One could make the same observation/accusation about any other host and their movies.  The only difference would be the boxes ticked.  I think she was completely aware of how off-putting she would be, and intended it to be so.  Perhaps she was sending a message that previous selections were just as off-putting to other viewers. 

Well if that was the case then she definitely lacked respect towards Robert Osborne and the previous hosts since they didn't select "better" more "woke" films. But I think you're giving her too much credit. She was merely someone that was recruited to tick specific boxes, the way Tiffany Vasquez had been, and she was encouraged to make specific selections. They probably had considered other people for this role and I doubt that she was entirely unique here. In her excitement or enthusiasm, she may not have been aware of how this would pan out. She seems to have been without the wisdom or prudence to make more balanced selections. The agenda was transparent in the most off-putting way possible.

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11 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

The problem with some 'Essentials' is that I've seen them before.  And more than once.  And some movies that are very good films however do not lend themselves to repeat viewing.  Just not the kind of movies you wanna watch over and over (and over) again.  Seemingly endless repetition of certain films on a schedule is tiresome stuff so I don't watch.

I don't think repetition is necessarily a bad thing. But yes, there are a lot of Essential films that have not been chosen as part of TCM's series and they've been doing this for almost a thousand years now.

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This whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.  IMO, there's no such thing as an "essential" movie.  One person's "essential" is another's "Meh".  To her, supposedly, these movies were important.  If they're not to you, watch something else.  That's all there is to it.

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14 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Well if that was the case then she definitely lacked respect towards Robert Osborne and the previous hosts since they didn't select "better" more "woke" films. But I think you're giving her too much credit. She was merely someone that was recruited to tick specific boxes, the way Tiffany Vasquez had been, and she was encouraged to make specific selections. They probably had considered other people for this role and I doubt that she was entirely unique here. In her excitement or enthusiasm, she may not have been aware of how this would pan out. She seems to have been without the wisdom or prudence to make more balanced selections. The agenda was transparent in the most off-putting way possible.

That's a lot of idle speculation, which serves no purpose.  It is disappointing to see people disparage another person's abilities because they disagree with their positions.  As has been mentioned repeatedly, and repeatedly ignored, Ava Duvernay is an accomplished filmmaker, producer, and director.  In her conversations with Ben Mankiewicz , she displayed a mastery of her craft.  To portray her as not knowing her own mind, or a pawn of the programmers at TCM, is a rhetorical ploy to discredit her without addressing the substance of her commentary.  People use this unworthy tactic when they know they can't refute the assertions of others, but still persist in opposition based on other factors.  Which brings me back to my earlier statement that objection was raised to her because she was African American, and a woman, and she was unapologetically making comments striking at people's complacency, and the way they think.

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As much as I detest Rob Reiner’s politics I feel he was the best host for The Essentials way back in the day. Reiner managed to present the films without putting a political or race baiting spin on them. Rob presented the films solo without a co-host to bounce ideals off of and I feel that this is what is needed for a successful host of The Essentials.

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On 3/22/2020 at 9:01 PM, TopBilled said:

I rather enjoyed Sally Field's commentaries, during Robert's last season doing Essentials. She seemed to do well at applying a film's themes to greater human needs and concerns. 

I liked Molly Haskell's commentaries too. Since she brought a scholarly yet sensible approach to analyzing classic film.

So if they brought either one of these ladies back, I'd be for it. 

As for films discussed I think they need to cover more genres. And look at essential B films. Even include some essential short films.

What would you like to see?

The Essentials has been too long,we even had the Essentials JR a few years ago for the summer I think,if they want to inform the new subscribers and reach to the  classic film veterans they should show documentaries presented by M Haskell,Jeanine Basinger,Scott Heyman etcthere is many,many good documentaries available. enough for a first season or 2 as a try out. Anything but the essentials please.

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5 hours ago, nakano said:

The Essentials has been too long,we even had the Essentials JR a few years ago for the summer I think,if they want to inform the new subscribers and reach to the  classic film veterans they should show documentaries presented by M Haskell,Jeanine Basinger,Scott Heyman etcthere is many,many good documentaries available. enough for a first season or 2 as a try out. Anything but the essentials please.

I thought about Essentials Jr when I mentioned including animated films. One year they rebranded Essentials Jr as Summer Camp but then did away with that too. However, I don't think animated stuff like should be relegated only to the kiddie crowd. Certainly there are very noteworthy animated films that qualify as plain old Essentials for everybody, like FANTASIA.

Certainly they need to be including at least one important documentary film each season as part of the Essentials franchise. And not necessarily a political documentary film.

In fact it wouldn't hurt to have a regular weekly segment on documentary / nonfiction film.

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