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Women Make Films: Thursday Night Theme running September through December


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I would have loved some time devoted to female screenwriters. TCM wouldn't have even needed to negotiate licenses for many of them either.

After all, only Leigh Brackett probably understood the plot of The Big Sleep. 

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2 hours ago, umop apisdn said:

I would have loved some time devoted to female screenwriters. TCM wouldn't have even needed to negotiate licenses for many of them either.

After all, only Leigh Brackett probably understood the plot of The Big Sleep. 

I have always believed that screenwriters in general are the unsung heroes of film making.     Thus more time spend on all screenwriters is warranted.

As for the plot of The Big  Sleep;   since even Chandler no longer understood his own plot,  I'm not sure Brackett did  (but she wasn't drunk most of the time while the film was being made).

  

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On 7/11/2020 at 8:25 PM, Fedya said:

A hundred women directors and no Leni Riefenstahl, a severely glaring omission.

You mean two:

No Amy Heckerling showing of Johnny Dangerously.

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(Betty Thomas's Alvin & the Chipmunks 2: the Squeakquel was bafflingly snubbed, but probably because it was a Fox film and Disney had it.  Same problem with Brenda Chapman and Brave, let alone Strange Magic.

And while Penelope Spheeris is already represented for her "Decline of Western Civilization" documentaries, studio rights likely had to decline on most of her post-Wayne's World ouevre, so no showings of The Little Rascals or The Beverly Hillbillies.)

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On 7/16/2020 at 12:38 AM, EricJ said:

(Betty Thomas's Alvin & the Chipmunks 2: the Squeakquel was bafflingly snubbed,

no showings of The Little Rascals or The Beverly Hillbillies.

Maybe those weren't included because there's nothing "classic" about them.

Sorry to come across as snobby, but those sound like truly awful movies. I'd hate any TCM spotlight on film to show less-than-stellar examples.

Or maybe your post is meant to be sarcastic and I'm just too dense to get the joke? The written word does come across differently than the spoken word with inflection.

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8 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Or maybe your post is meant to be sarcastic and I'm just too dense to get the joke? The written word does come across differently than the spoken word with inflection.

If I'd mentioned National Lampoon's European Vacation as the representative of Amy Heckerling's contribution to bold female filmmaking, would it be easier to get?

(I was going to include Anna Boden's subtle, sympathetic direction on Captain Marvel, but feared most of the targeted demographic audience would backfire the joke.  Maybe the symbol-free concept of "It's still possible to mess up on your own time" is just a rationalist Guy Thing.)

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13 hours ago, EricJ said:

If I'd mentioned National Lampoon's European Vacation as the representative of Amy Heckerling's contribution to bold female filmmaking, would it be easier to get?

No, because I've never seen that either & therefore have no opinion of it. But I understand the National Lampoon Vacation movies were fairly popular in their day.

Please be aware it's very hard to read sarcasm. Especially on a LCD monitor. 

At least being familiar with your previous writing of opinions there was a possibility of the post being a insulting snark/attempt at a joke. Thank you for confirming.

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Apparently the widow of writer Laurence E. Johnson, who died in 1933, copyrighted his works in 1937 and tied up his films like Christopher Bean and It's a Wise Child, but didn't tie up others like Polly of the Circus, The Bachelor Father, and The Passionate Plumber. This last film is a version of Her Cardboard Lover, which was made with Norma Shearer in 1942 and as The Cardboard Lover in 1928 with Marion Davies.

 

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5 hours ago, UMO1982 said:

Apparently the widow of writer Laurence E. Johnson, who died in 1933, copyrighted his works in 1937 and tied up his films like Christopher Bean and It's a Wise Child, but didn't tie up others like Polly of the Circus, The Bachelor Father, and The Passionate Plumber. This last film is a version of Her Cardboard Lover, which was made with Norma Shearer in 1942 and as The Cardboard Lover in 1928 with Marion Davies.

Is the '28 version of CARDBOARD LOVER available anywhere?

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7 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

No, because I've never seen that either & therefore have no opinion of it. But I understand the National Lampoon Vacation movies were fairly popular in their day.

Harold Ramis's first one was.  Heckerling's second one is literally an object lesson in How to RUIN a Joke in the Telling.  

(Lesson 1:  Tell it several times in succession, with no variation.  Lesson 2:  Explain every punchline, with overdone reactions by the actors, lest audiences be confused.)

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Is the '28 version of CARDBOARD LOVER available anywhere?

It's been shown at festivals.... survives in the gray market.

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On 7/12/2020 at 1:54 PM, jamesjazzguitar said:

I'm not following you;   How was the film "given the shaft"?

 

Its human nature. Anytime there is a list with a specific number, there are those who will immediately complain that their favorite wasn't in that number. Be it top 10 or top 100. The main argument will be about what should have been included. And its rarely a discussion about the 100 that were included.

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On 7/12/2020 at 10:56 AM, TopBilled said:

Good point.

While I like the possibilities of this series, and how it will bring "new" films to viewers...I can't help but worry that it will be a bit heavy-handed as these things tend to be on TCM. Also three months seems excessive. They didn't really need to showcase a hundred of these films, did they? It's like they are putting quantity over quality.

I guess we'll see how it goes...

A devil's advocate might say: Well, during that same time period, TCM will air well over 100 films directed by men, so why not 100 directed by women ?

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On 7/18/2020 at 2:09 PM, GGGGerald said:

A devil's advocate might say: Well, during that same time period, TCM will air well over 100 films directed by men, so why not 100 directed by women ?

Yes, I know what you are saying. But I think they would do better to be less heavy-handed and obvious about it. Like why not mix in some films directed by men that celebrate women?

Otherwise it looks like women are the only ones who admire women, which is kind of narcissistic. It should be a more balanced series in my opinion, and the main criteria for inclusion in the series should not be based on whether someone is an anatomical female.

What about the directors of THE MATRIX? The Wachowskis were men when that film was made and both have transitioned to female now. Are they and their earlier films to be excluded because at the time those films were technically not made by women?

I think TCM's programming department which is generally quite liberal is being a little too cut-and-dried with this series and not factoring in gender fluidity. Or even appreciation of one gender by another gender. Again it's a biased series, and it seems too heavy-handed in my view.

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On 7/12/2020 at 6:17 PM, TikiSoo said:

..and still are. There's a lot of women in powerful positions all over the film industry; writers, set designers, animators....I think the head of FBC is a woman.

And, editors.  Women were editors from almost the very beginning.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last year the BBC had a poll where hundreds of critics offered their choices for the best movies directed by women.  They came up with a list of one hundred:

Here are the movies on that list that are going to appear as part of the spotlight


97.    Adoption (Márta Mészáros, 1975)

79.    Shoes (Lois Weber, 1916)

75.    Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010)

69.    The Connection (Shirley Clarke, 1961)


51.    Harlan County, USA (Barbara Kopple, 1976)
50.    Outrage (Ida Lupino, 1950)
49.    Salaam Bombay! (Mira Nair, 1988)

47.    An Angel at my Table (Jane Campion, 1990)

43.    The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999)
42.    The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Lotte Reiniger, 1926)

32.    The Night Porter (Liliana Cavani, 1974)

28.    Le Bonheur (Agnès Varda, 1965)

26.    Stories we Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
25.    The House is Black (Forugh Farrokhzad, 1963)


23.    We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, 2011)

19.    Orlando (Sally Potter, 1992)

17.    Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmüller, 1975)
16.    Wanda (Barbara Loden, 1970)
15.    The Swamp (Lucrecia Martel, 2001)

11.    The Ascent (Larisa Shepitko, 1977)
10.    Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)
 
  7.    The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
  6.    Daisies (Věra Chytilová, 1966)
 
  4.    Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
 

 

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On 7/12/2020 at 1:56 PM, TopBilled said:

Good point.

While I like the possibilities of this series, and how it will bring "new" films to viewers...I can't help but worry that it will be a bit heavy-handed as these things tend to be on TCM. Also three months seems excessive. They didn't really need to showcase a hundred of these films, did they? It's like they are putting quantity over quality.

I guess we'll see how it goes...

I totally agree. 3 months of every single Tuesday night/Wednesday early AM seems more than a wee bit excessive.  And why this exclusive emphasis on women directors?  What about women writers, editors, cinematographers and producers??  Women editors were working in film from the very beginning.  I would have loved to see a Spotlight (or even a night) dedicated to them. 

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7 hours ago, lydecker said:

I totally agree. 3 months of every single Tuesday night/Wednesday early AM seems more than a wee bit excessive.  And why this exclusive emphasis on women directors?  What about women writers, editors, cinematographers and producers??  Women editors were working in film from the very beginning.  I would have loved to see a Spotlight (or even a night) dedicated to them. 

Exactly, the bias re: directors is absurd. They probably think male directors wield a lot of power in the industry, so they are trying to push female directors.

They really should be doing a night on someone like Sherry Lansing, who headed Paramount for years. And include other women that became powerful executives behind the scenes, like Nancy Malone at 20th Century Fox and Lucille Ball at Desilu.

The focus on directors is just off. As if they're trying to equate women with men instead of showing how women have been excelling for decades in ALL aspects of the motion picture and television industry.

To borrow their little catchphrase-- women executives make films; women cinematographers and editors make films; women writers make films. Not to be limited to women directors.

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23 hours ago, skimpole said:

Last year the BBC had a poll where hundreds of critics offered their choices for the best movies directed by women.  They came up with a list of one hundred:

Here are the movies on that list that are going to appear as part of the spotlight


97.    Adoption (Márta Mészáros, 1975)

79.    Shoes (Lois Weber, 1916)

75.    Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010)

69.    The Connection (Shirley Clarke, 1961)


51.    Harlan County, USA (Barbara Kopple, 1976)
50.    Outrage (Ida Lupino, 1950)
49.    Salaam Bombay! (Mira Nair, 1988)

47.    An Angel at my Table (Jane Campion, 1990)

43.    The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999)
42.    The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Lotte Reiniger, 1926)

32.    The Night Porter (Liliana Cavani, 1974)

28.    Le Bonheur (Agnès Varda, 1965)

26.    Stories we Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
25.    The House is Black (Forugh Farrokhzad, 1963)


23.    We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, 2011)

19.    Orlando (Sally Potter, 1992)

17.    Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmüller, 1975)
16.    Wanda (Barbara Loden, 1970)
15.    The Swamp (Lucrecia Martel, 2001)

11.    The Ascent (Larisa Shepitko, 1977)
10.    Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)
 
  7.    The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
  6.    Daisies (Věra Chytilová, 1966)
 
  4.    Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
 

 

Looking at the list, part of the reason why not all the films on the BBC list are on the TCM list, is that the TCM has a one director, one film rule.  Of the top 20 BBC films only two directors aren't included in the TCM list, Marion Ade for Toni Erdmann and Mary Harron for American Psycho.  I suspect the long nude scene in the first and the violence in the second my have led to them not being included.  Oddly enough best picture nominees Winter's Bone and The Kids are All right are not included.  Nor are relatively successful filmmakers like Penny Marshall or Amy Heckerling.  Aside from the absence of Riefenstahl, one notable absence is French filmmake Celinen Sciamma, who had three entries on the BBC 100, including last year's Portrait of a Lady on Fire. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Every Tuesday from September through December starting at 8:00 pm will be a different theme featuring directors from the United States to different parts of the globe and their cinematic goals. The TCM Theme will be hosted by Alicia Malone and Jacqueline Stewart along with a variety of guest hosts. The theme will feature the TCM debut of the documentary Women Make Film directed by Mark Cousins released in 2018. The Event begins on September 2, beginning at 8:00 pm.

 

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On 7/11/2020 at 1:30 PM, slaytonf said:

Glad to see at least one Lina Wermuller movie.  She's been forgotten since her death.  Like to see more.

Lina Wertmuller is still alive...

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