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These are the 18 'problematic' classic films TCM will examine in a new series


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The central problem with what tcm is doing is that they are attempting to placate the progressive liberals in an attempt to protect themselves by going on what they see as the offense  before having to defend themselves.  The mark of people with a complete lack of intestinal fortitude.  Why else would tcm just now initiate this pitiful diatribe and virtually never have resorted to it before the current change in political events?  The tcm "hosts" are showing their true colors and performing as stooges for political reasons only!

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Admittingly, I only watched "Psycho" but I enjoyed the commentary at the end of the movie, especially what Jacqueline Stewart had to say,

Nothing about the discussion that was had gave the impression that anybody wants to cancel this movie and I really don't think that having these types of discussions will lead to this movie being "cancelled".  Ben, Jaqueline and Alicia still spoke with admiration about the film, they just highlighted the reason(s) why some people do find something problematic about Psycho.  I think it was interesting to listen to.

In regards to what's problematic, my understanding is that it doesn't have to do with the movie portraying Norman Bates' cause of murdering to be that he's trans.  What's problematic is that this is one of the most famous, non-comedic depictions of a man who dresses as a woman and he's a serial killer with severe mental problems.  For some, it might be the only non-comedic depiction of a man who dresses as a woman they saw at the time, and this could support a stereotype that crossdressing is a result of mental illness or that it is a mental illness.  "Silence of the Lambs" is very similar.  

I don't think every movie that has something "problematic" needs to be a part of this series for these discussions and commentaries to be valid.  This movie is iconic and very well-known.  It has had way more influence than many other movies.

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1 hour ago, IchbinIan said:

crossdressing is a result of mental illness or that it is a mental illness

 

Certainly one is on far sounder ground saying that "Psycho" is a problematic portrayal of cross-dressing.

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39 minutes ago, Vidor said:

 

Certainly one is on far sounder ground saying that "Psycho" is a problematic portrayal of cross-dressing.

The association with mental illness is part of what makes it a problematic portrayal.   An association that was, and to some still is believed to be the case.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I think it's been a while since GWWW has been considered the great American novel, at least

just as a novel. It's certainly of an imposing door stop heft and has always been fairly popular,

but as a work of art it no longer gets much respect. Of course everyone is entitled to their own

opinion, but I doubt the consensus among critics is that it's the great American novel. That's

doesn't mean it's a bad novel, it's just not seen as a great one. 

Actually it is still seen as a "great" novel by almost all sources I found on the internet.  There probably is no such thing as the Great American Novel, but it was considered one at one time. Still is by many.

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On 3/26/2021 at 7:54 PM, Leighcat said:

Off topic: I knew Perkins and Berenson a bit (and still tear up when I think of their tragic endings.) Berry was, in particular, one of the kindest people you could meet.

I'm only responding to this comment and don't want to derail the thread, I'm just agreeing with this statement. Yes a very sad and tragic  ending for both Anthony Perkins and Berry Berenson and yes, Berry Berenson was lovely, Many decades ago I met both Berry and Marisa at work, both were charming. 

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At least now those who didn't care for the Reframed series can rest easy.  There are no more Thursdays left in March, so the problem goes away, for a while anyway.

But look on the bright side: 31 Days of Oscar is coming up, and that will provide more opportunities for discussion...

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23 hours ago, fxreyman said:

Lets be clear Top... These sentences/thoughts are your opinion based on your take of today's values and standards

Not exactly true, for a few reasons.

First, I am not just looking at something like PSYCHO (1960) today. I originally looked at it and formed initial impressions of it in the mid-90s when I had to write a paper about it in film school. I looked at it again when Van Sant's remake was produced in 1998. And I have looked it at several times since then. I always felt the film was misogynistic and that it had a troubling anti-LGBT subtext. Those feelings have only strengthened and been refined over the years. I didn't wait until recently to look at it this way.

Similarly I have felt that some mainstream classics had anti-feminist subtexts, way before the MeToo movement. Some of us do have a sense of social justice and conscience well before a national movement takes root.

Second, some of my beliefs about classic films go back to the late 80s and early 90s when I first watched these titles with my grandparents, who often had the old American Movie Classics channel on in their living room. I saw how the films reflected their generation, since many of the films were made when my grandparents were teens, or when they were twenty-something newlyweds (they were married in 1946 just after the war). I absorbed some of their views and later those views were either discarded or reinforced. But I approach those films with a sensibility and awareness for history that my grandparents instilled in me. Again I did not wait until any national movements occurred years later.

Most of my views are ongoing and began when I first watched these films thirty years ago. I did not recently develop consciousness or awareness. I have had ongoing consciousness, awareness and enlightenment. And I think that's the case for a lot of people who spend years studying classic film.

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2 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

At least now those who didn't care for the Reframed series can rest easy.  There are no more Thursdays left in March, so the problem goes away, for a while anyway.

I expect the commentaries offered up during the Reframed series will not be isolated. These kinds of commentaries to raise awareness will continue on TCM as long as these liberal hosts are still employed by the channel and allowed to carry on with their various viewpoints.

That is not exactly a bad thing, mind you.

But anyone who thinks the problem goes away is mistaken. TCM feels it is providing a solution and this will be an ongoing, long-term solution every time it broadcasts films that some marginalized groups feel are objectionable.

Basically a part of the hosts' job is now to educate the audience and explain why TCM still supports the showing of these problematic motion pictures.

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48 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Not exactly true, for a few reasons.

First, I am not just looking at something like PSYCHO (1960) today. I originally looked at it and formed initial impressions of it in the mid-90s when I had to write a paper about it in film school. I looked at it again when Van Sant's remake was produced in 1998. And I have looked it at several times since then. I always felt the film was misogynistic and that it had a troubling anti-LGBT subtext. Those feelings have only strengthened and been refined over the years. I didn't wait until recently to look at it this way.

Similarly I have felt that some mainstream classics had anti-feminist subtexts, way before the MeToo movement. Some of us do have a sense of social justice and conscience well before a national movement takes root.

Second, some of my beliefs about classic films go back to the late 80s and early 90s when I first watched these titles with my grandparents, who often had the old American Movie Classics channel on in their living room. I saw how the films reflected their generation, since many of the films were made when my grandparents were teens, or when they were twenty-something newlyweds (they were married in 1946 just after the war). I absorbed some of their views and later those views were either discarded or reinforced. But I approach those films with a sensibility and awareness for history that my grandparents instilled in me. Again I did not wait until any national movements occurred years later.

Most of my views are ongoing and began when I first watched these films thirty years ago. I did not recently develop consciousness or awareness. I have had ongoing consciousness, awareness and enlightenment. And I think that's the case for a lot of people who spend years studying classic film.

Well, to become better educated, I have to admit my ignorance, and to admit I was wrong. Thank you for your clarification.

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3 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Not exactly true, for a few reasons.

First, I am not just looking at something like PSYCHO (1960) today. I originally looked at it and formed initial impressions of it in the mid-90s when I had to write a paper about it in film school. I looked at it again when Van Sant's remake was produced in 1998. And I have looked it at several times since then. I always felt the film was misogynistic and that it had a troubling anti-LGBT subtext. Those feelings have only strengthened and been refined over the years. I didn't wait until recently to look at it this way.

The only "LGBT subtext" I've ever seen is the standard wishful-appropriation "gooba-gabba, one of us" audience projection over the casting of Anthony Perkins, and that wasn't in Robert Bloch's novel either.  Norman is simply a nice repressed mom-pecked soul with particularly targeted split-personality demons.

Now, Alfred Hitchcock's misogyny, there's a few pages of discussion, and not just about Psycho....

16 hours ago, Vidor said:

Certainly one is on far sounder ground saying that "Psycho" is a problematic portrayal of cross-dressing.

And yet William Castle used a [SPOILER] almost identical ending in the near-intentionally knocked off "Homicidal" the same year, and nobody batted an eye.  There was, of course, one key difference that made nobody even consider "cross dressing" or "dangerous LGBT subtext" at the time, aside from the fact that it wasn't Tony Perkins.

(William Castle should always be studied in any analysis of Hitchcock's "Psycho".)

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15 hours ago, IchbinIan said:

The association with mental illness is part of what makes it a problematic portrayal. 

If simple association is all that's required to meet the "problematic" bar,  it's set absurdly low and those that see a problem are likely to see one everywhere they look in life.

In Psycho it's expressly stated in the film there is no correlation between trans-whatever and mental illness. This is mental illness, plain and simple.

Dr Simon (the Psychiatrist that examines Norman at the police station):"At times he could be both personalities, carry on conversations... at other times, the mother-half took over completely. He was never all Norman, but he was often only mother."

The District Attorney; "He's a transvestite!"

Dr Simon: "Not exactly. A man who dresses in woman's clothing in order to achieve a sexual change... or satisfaction... is a transvestite. But in Norman's case, he was simply doing everything possible to keep alive the illusion of his mother being alive."

The Dr's assessment should go a long way toward clearing up misconceptions about this "problematic" film. 

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10 hours ago, ElCid said:

Actually it is still seen as a "great" novel by almost all sources I found on the internet.  There probably is no such thing as the Great American Novel, but it was considered one at one time. Still is by many.

I took a quick look at three sites on the internet concerned with the GAN. Not one of them mentions GWTW.

I'd say the most mentioned usual suspects were Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, and The Grapes of Wrath. The

Adventures of Huckleberry Hound also pops up near the top. Perhaps some of GWTW's continued popularity

as a book is due to the movie still being shown. At least when it comes to the literary types who produce these

lists GWTW is indeed GWTW. 

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5 hours ago, Moe Howard said:

..uummmmm....  

One of the true little known masterpieces of 19th century American literature. 

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7 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I took a quick look at three sites on the internet concerned with the GAN. Not one of them mentions GWTW.

I'd say the most mentioned usual suspects were Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, and The Grapes of Wrath. The

Adventures of Huckleberry Hound also pops up near the top. Perhaps some of GWTW's continued popularity

as a book is due to the movie still being shown. At least when it comes to the literary types who produce these

lists GWTW is indeed GWTW. 

I think that was always the case. Pulitzer Prize notwithstanding, GWTW has always been suspect as literary art. It defies explanation as to its popularity and collective tug. Whether that tug is yea or nay. If post modernism can mean that something still can inspire argument because its topics still incite, GWTW beats any of these titles...(Huckleberry HOUND 😁?)

Like its heroine, GWTW--as book or film--is no ordinary classic. She is detestable and loveable. And as such, makes impassioned conversation, whether you love or hate her. The film and the book are some of the most loved and scorned creations ever.

And even that ambivalence contributes to its legend.

 

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On 3/26/2021 at 4:23 PM, Vidor said:

 

Actually, that *would* have been a better choice.  The Belgian Congo was a horror story, evil colonialism at its absolute most evil, unspeakable cruelty and suffering that of course inspired "Heart of Darkness".  And the white Belgian folks in the Congo are all portrayed as noble.

 

I have little interest in actually watching these discussions, so what's wrong with "My Fair Lady"?  People are mad she ends up with Rex Harrison?

It was only a short time after location filming ended in the Congo for The Nuns Story, that the revolution took place there. One can't fault The Nuns Story for skipping over that. It wasnt a novel about colonialism in the Congo, but a young woman's spiritual journey, one part of which took place in the Congo.

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12 hours ago, Leighcat said:

Like its heroine, GWTW--as book or film--is no ordinary classic. She is detestable and loveable. And as such, makes impassioned conversation, whether you love or hate her. The film and the book are some of the most loved and scorned creations ever.

I have never read the book and avoided the movie until a few months ago when it was shown on TCM among recent controversy.  The one thing that left a lasting impression was Scarlet.  I thought, what a royal pain in the rear.....I think I'm in love.  

This article in The Guardian points out the book offers "hope"; "In my family, Gone With the Wind is handed down from mother to daughter in the way other families pass down heirlooms. It is our survival guide. My mother tackles most problems with a “what would Scarlett do?” mindset – and even if the answer is “rip down the curtains, knock together a dress and get the hell on with it”, that’ll be what she does. Scarlett wouldn’t bat an eyelash at anything from bad hair to bullying bosses – she would just calculate the best possible next move and go for it."

I've known more than a few women that would agree with this.

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15 hours ago, Leighcat said:

I think that was always the case. Pulitzer Prize notwithstanding, GWTW has always been suspect as literary art. It defies explanation as to its popularity and collective tug. Whether that tug is yea or nay. If post modernism can mean that something still can inspire argument because its topics still incite, GWTW beats any of these titles...(Huckleberry HOUND 😁?)

Like its heroine, GWTW--as book or film--is no ordinary classic. She is detestable and loveable. And as such, makes impassioned conversation, whether you love or hate her. The film and the book are some of the most loved and scorned creations ever.

And even that ambivalence contributes to its legend.

 

Yes, I would presume that there has always been some reservations about GWTW as a great novel among some

literary folks, whereas it seems to remain relatively popular for general readers. I think a big part of inspiring

arguments is due to the Civil War/racial subject matter. They still incite more discussion than whaling or the

dysfunctional lives of Long Island's upper crust. I don't know if that makes GWTW more special though. It

might just be a matter of "luck." I've never read the novel, but I've seen the film a number of times. To me Scarlett

is one of those characters that one may find intriguing in fiction but one wouldn't like to know in real life. She

seems too manipulative to me. I'd stay away.

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On 3/6/2021 at 12:54 PM, TopBilled said:

It was written that way because Margaret Mitchell believed the South should have won the Civil War. And if that had happened, slavery would still have been allowed when she wrote the book. It would still be allowed today. GONE WITH THE WIND is a strangely romanticized tale about peonage and indentured servitude.

Racists made the book a best seller and racists turned it into a movie. And racists kept the book and the movie popular for generations afterward. 

I'm actually not a big fan of Gone with the Wind, not because it is "problematic" in its depiction of Black people and slavery  (although I don't deny it is), but just because I don't much like big fat epic movies that go on and on.   It's just not my favourite classic movie.  That's not to say I don't recognize the reasons why it is regarded as a great film today, despite its undeniable racist undertones.

All that said,  I'm responding to your post because it looks as though you're assuming the reason both the book and the film were (and still are) popular is because they romanticize the "Old South" and its accompanying implied support for slavery.  

That may be so with some fans, but I do want to remind you that GWTW is also several other things:  a love story,  a (for the time) graphic depiction of the horrors of war, and a character study of a strong, independent, willful woman.  It's a story about all those things, not just a faux nostalgic look at the Antebellum south and the racism that propped up that way of life. So it's quite possible and likely that there are people who love Gone with the Wind for those reasons - particularly the complicated relationship between Scarlett and Rhett - rather than any romanticized depiction of the pre-civil war southern states and their slave-supported way of life.

(Although as I said, I personally never quite understood why this film is regarded as so fantastic. But that's just me.)

 

 

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On 3/6/2021 at 3:15 PM, CinemaInternational said:

Personally, this strikes me as self-preservation. I think they know that if they don't say anything about some of these films, Twitter groups will want to ban the channel. So they do this, but I don't think it really pleases either aisle of the debate for different reasons.

It's very concerning how rabidly angry Twitter mobs seem to have so much power.  They can get people fired, ruin the lives of anyone they deem to be out-of-step with their own self-righteous views,  and, apparently, get an entire television channel  (a non-commercial one at that !) extinguished.  I loathe those people who seem to spend half their lives posting angry nasty Twitter comments, often without even looking into the details of whatever they're so furious about.

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On 3/28/2021 at 5:45 PM, Vautrin said:

I'd say the most mentioned usual suspects were Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, and The Grapes of Wrath. The

Adventures of Huckleberry Hound also pops up near the top.

 

On 3/29/2021 at 1:36 AM, Leighcat said:

(Huckleberry HOUND 😁?)

I assumed he was either typo'ing Huck Finn, or was deliberately trying to make a funny.  🙄

---

2230021.jpg

Narrator:  "And so, Robin Huck formed his band of Merry Men:"
(all somber faces)

Huck:  "Uh, that's not very 'merry' guys, think we could kinda, y'know, sorta yuk it up a bit?"

Men:  "........YUKYUKYUKYUKYUKYUKYUKYUKYUK!! 😆  "  (back to somber)

Huck:  "Now, the Sherriff's men'll be along this way any minute.  When I gives the signal, you know what to do?"
Man:  "Yeah--We yuk it up a bit:   YUKYUKYUKYUKYUKYUKYUKYUKYUK!! 😆  "

-- Nottingham and Yeggs

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On 3/9/2021 at 3:20 PM, Vidor said:

 

I don't think so.  Message boards are not for Person A to say "I think this" and Person B to say "I agree with that" and Person C to say "I also agree with that" and Person A to say, "Yeah, I was right!"  Sometimes Person A will say "I think this" and Person B will say "You are talking complete nonsense" which is what you and I did!

I think that memory-holing movies is very bad and we should not do that.  It would be a bad thing if TCM stopped showing "Gone With the Wind".  I think content warnings are silly.  "WARNING: This movie may be racist!" is pointless virtue signaling.

 

But a thoughtful discussion between film experts about a movie like "Gone With the Wind" and how it exhibits all kinds of unfortunate tropes like minstrelsy, Lost Cause mythology, Reconstruction revisionism...that's what TCM does, and should do.

 I feel I should know what "memory-holing" means - but I don't.  I can take a guess, but I was wondering if you could spell it out for me.  What's "memory-holing" ?

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On 3/10/2021 at 8:46 AM, TopBilled said:

In both versions of PSYCHO the murder does lead to a form of release. 

Hitchcock often presented murder as a metaphor for sex. That was one way for him to flout the production code.

I think the reason PSYCHO is included in this series is because in some film criticism circles Norman is considered a repressed eunuch that dresses up as his mother to perform. He becomes an omnisexual pervert who uses the victimization of his guests to generate raw energy that rejuvenates his dormant sex life. He doesn't do it as a man. He does it as a "woman" with mother in control of his brain and his movements.

Oh, please.  Silly pretentious drivel.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a mentally ill young man who misses his mommy is just a mentally ill young man who misses his mommy.

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