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The sad, slow death of TCM.


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On 9/23/2021 at 6:39 PM, unwatchable said:

If I abandoned TCM, yes, I feel like I would be just fine without paying for cable (and I will not pay for a TCM streaming service). However, when you say foreign films and silents make the channel less attractive, I can't go along with you. Pre-1928 films and films spoken in another tongue- man, there's an entire universe of greatness you're missing out on. But, matters of taste are matters of taste. Still, I think if you are a true fan of film, you are doing yourself a disservice.

It isn't the fact that the movies are foreign or silent itself that bothers me. It's the MARATHONS of them that does. It's like being hit over the head. I used to really enjoy Silent Sunday nights and the occasional silent film, and especially love the films by Georges Millieis. And I used to really enjoy the marathons of performers and technical artists, but these foreign films are not easy to watch, and I feel watching them like my grandmother hitting me over the head with an umbrella telling me to "eat your peas!" Yes, foreign films are good, in due measure. A daily marathon, and I want to barf.

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On 9/28/2021 at 7:29 PM, Dargo said:

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I'm sure they've all be warned about what they will encounter so this message Board is avoided like the plague. Message Boards are filled with know-it-alls who whine about why TCM doesn't __________ (insert any esoteric narrow subject here) 

Those pictured above have been picked apart in here for their hair, voice, mannerisms. Mean, nasty, self centered comments about these people just trying to do their job. The anonymity of the internet is just allowing/teaching  people not to have any real social skills.

I was once part of a message board about my friend's rock band & knew the moderators. The band members NEVER came on, it would have broken their hearts to hear what stoopid things people complained about. Could you imagine going on stage & hearing boos instead of applause? That's what a message board is like for the celebrity.

For the same reason Twitter, FB & the others are popular -"a f-art in the wind" as Ohio so succinctly called it-rather than a real conversation. I betcha celebrities quickly dismiss the unintelligible outbursts of emojis & one liners on those platforms.  Look what happens when one of THOSE posters come here.....we are more literate. We want to discuss.

And most of the time our Moderators delete posts because some crybaby complains "I feel personally threatened!" in attempt to eradicate any evidence of his mistakes. 

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55 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

For the same reason Twitter, FB & the others are popular -"a f-art in the wind" as Ohio so succinctly called it-rather than a real conversation. I betcha celebrities quickly dismiss the unintelligible outbursts of emojis & one liners on those platforms.  Look what happens when one of THOSE posters come here.....we are more literate. We want to discuss.

And most of the time our Moderators delete posts because some crybaby complains "I feel personally threatened!" in attempt to eradicate any evidence of his mistakes. 

Yes, what is going on that nobody (even in the so-called "older generations") wants to have an actual conversation  or discussion anymore that comprises more than 4 words?  I'm a writer by trade and I've always "massaged my message" before I sent it because words are important to me and I want to make sure I correctly convey what I think.  I've had friends with whom I emailed back and forth for years who suddenly abandoned email for texting or FB messaging.  God, what a seismic change.  They can  no longer have a substantive discussion on anything or even write more than 2 sentences in any communication.  Also, once someone moves from email to texting they actual look down on the person who is still emailing.   Absolutely absurd.   I find it so sad and odd that abbreviated forms of communication are having a real (and  incredibly negative) impact on how people communicate and relate to one another.  Texting also gives the recipient an audio signal every time a text arrives.  Kind of like Pavlov's dog . . . "Oh, I must answer this" but, God forbid,  if you send a (gasp) letter or long email to someone.  Since they don't get the "ping," they don't bother to respond.  It's becoming a very discourteous world.  Texting is a convenience, not a means of real communication.  Great for sending a message like:  "I'm running late . . .I'll be there in 10 minutes" but certainly not the medium to use to have a substantive discussion.  Twitter is the social media equivalent of texting and, unfortunately, it has changed the way people express themselves irrevocably. 

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4 hours ago, bgwh888 said:

It isn't the fact that the movies are foreign or silent itself that bothers me. It's the MARATHONS of them that does. It's like being hit over the head. I used to really enjoy Silent Sunday nights and the occasional silent film, and especially love the films by Georges Millieis. And I used to really enjoy the marathons of performers and technical artists, but these foreign films are not easy to watch, and I feel watching them like my grandmother hitting me over the head with an umbrella telling me to "eat your peas!" Yes, foreign films are good, in due measure. A daily marathon, and I want to barf.

You make a great point about being "hit over the head" with marathons of films that, back in the day, were confined to specific days and times like Silent Sunday and TCM Imports.  I can just hear the powers that be telling the programmers:  "Screw those people who like old black/white movies.  We're going to force feed them plenty of Nouveaux TCM whether they like it or not." The irony is that TCM has made and continues to make millions because of an uber loyal audience they now seem to despise.

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24 minutes ago, lydecker said:

You make a great point about being "hit over the head" with marathons of films that, back in the day, were confined to specific days and times like Silent Sunday and TCM Imports.  I can just hear the powers that be telling the programmers:  "Screw those people who like old black/white movies.  We're going to force feed them plenty of Nouveaux TCM whether they like it or not." The irony is that TCM has made and continues to make millions because of an uber loyal audience they now seem to despise.

I think that this may also have something to do with TCM being in some kind  of partnership with Criterion, and since Criterion has lots of foreign films in its collection, you are seeing more of them. 

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1 hour ago, LsDoorMat said:

I think that this may also have something to do with TCM being in some kind  of partnership with Criterion, and since Criterion has lots of foreign films in its collection, you are seeing more of them. 

Excellent point. However, that's not why I pay $180/month for the privilege of watching TCM. Not to see endless sub-standard 1970's films or marathons of silents and foreign films. Or to find the films I originally sought TCM out for (1930's-1950's) pretty much buried under all of this other stuff.  And, because I like to do a lot of recordings, I have to have  cable, not one of the live TV services. 

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Being a bit cynical, I've always felt that the word "classic" means "any movie we have the distribution rights to."  That applies not only to TCM, but also American Movie Classics when they used that name and any other service.  Fact is, many of the films shown on TCM since its inception are real stinkers.  The only reason they're shown is that TCM has the rights to them and SOMEBODY will like them.  They're called "classic" movies because TCM wants to avoid the term "old" movies.  So now they're expanding the time period for "classics" largely because the audience for the older movies is dying off.  If I paid more than a few pennies a month for the service I probably would be upset. But that's why I don't subscribe to premium movie services.  They just don't show enough films or other programming that interests me for the money they charge.  One nice thing about TCM is that I can usually find a movie I like through they're online streaming service, so if I don't want to watch what they're showing in real time I can watch something online.

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5 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

I'm sure they've all be warned about what they will encounter so this message Board is avoided like the plague. Message Boards are filled with know-it-alls who whine about why TCM doesn't __________ (insert any esoteric narrow subject here) 

Those pictured above have been picked apart in here for their hair, voice, mannerisms. Mean, nasty, self centered comments about these people just trying to do their job. The anonymity of the internet is just allowing/teaching  people not to have any real social skills.

I was once part of a message board about my friend's rock band & knew the moderators. The band members NEVER came on, it would have broken their hearts to hear what stoopid things people complained about. Could you imagine going on stage & hearing boos instead of applause? That's what a message board is like for the celebrity.

For the same reason Twitter, FB & the others are popular -"a f-art in the wind" as Ohio so succinctly called it-rather than a real conversation. I betcha celebrities quickly dismiss the unintelligible outbursts of emojis & one liners on those platforms.  Look what happens when one of THOSE posters come here.....we are more literate. We want to discuss.

And most of the time our Moderators delete posts because some crybaby complains "I feel personally threatened!" in attempt to eradicate any evidence of his mistakes. 

The discussion came up a while back around the dinner table about the new lineup of TCM hosts and how each brought something so different to the network. We like each of them, and the thought has been that TCM is in very capable hands since the passing of Robert Osborne. Everyone misses RO, but these folks are also enjoyable. Nobody is going to live forever, so the passing of the baton was inevitable. 

The current programming hasn’t been to my taste, but I’m hoping it returns to more of what we’ve all come here for soon. In the last few weeks TCM has been off more than on. Kind of a shame, but I’m taking a wait and see approach. 

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I don't mind TCM offering loads of classic foreign films or silents or even marathons of them.  Most of my favorite classic films are foreign- Fellini, Godard, Antonioni, De Sica, etc.

I haven't noticed a lot of newer films creeping into the schedule of TCM, but the selection on the HBO Max hub are just getting ridiculous with what they are trying to pass off as classic.  I believe it was last week I looked at the new additions for the week and 80% of them were from the 80's to present.

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19 hours ago, TerryE51 said:

They're called "classic" movies because TCM wants to avoid the term "old" movies.  So now they're expanding the time period for "classics" largely because the audience for the older movies is dying off.  

No one could be more cynical that this old f-art, but lest I digress... "Classic" means standing the test of time & culture, universally (mostly) accepted by all. While I'm usually not crazy about newer movies (abhorrent language/violence) I'm OK with the addition of newer movies, as long as they are decent. I missed out seeing 60's-80's movies and it's great catching up with them on TCM. The oddball ones can end up on Underground if you're into that sort of thing, like Blaxploitation or horror - maybe a "stinker" but still kind of important to the historical aspect of movies.

I don't think TCM is shifting because the audience is "dying off", rather a movie like 73's CINDERELLA LIBERTY and 88's CROSSING DELANCY are just nicely crafted movies that this viewer definitely enjoyed included on the schedule.

23 hours ago, lydecker said:

Yes, what is going on that nobody (even in the so-called "older generations") wants to have an actual conversation  or discussion anymore that comprises more than 4 words?  I'm a writer by trade

Well, I'm a former editor, so I recognized your command of the written word. Crazy spaces, charactors and fragmented sentence posts make me apoplectic. 90% of the newbies that float in & out of here just type stream-of-consciousness fragmented words, not sentences. You can pretty much guess a poster's age by their grammar.

21 hours ago, lydecker said:

And, because I like to do a lot of recordings, I have to have  cable, not one of the live TV services. 

Oh my dear, it's possible to download from streaming....and my movie buddy has the equip to burn disks of d/l so I can share movies with my 92 year old Mom. (my streaming costs zero, just bought the modem/router)

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20 hours ago, TerryE51 said:

Being a bit cynical, I've always felt that the word "classic" means "any movie we have the distribution rights to."  That applies not only to TCM, but also American Movie Classics when they used that name and any other service.  Fact is, many of the films shown on TCM since its inception are real stinkers.  The only reason they're shown is that TCM has the rights to them and SOMEBODY will like them.  They're called "classic" movies because TCM wants to avoid the term "old" movies.  So now they're expanding the time period for "classics" largely because the audience for the older movies is dying off.  If I paid more than a few pennies a month for the service I probably would be upset. But that's why I don't subscribe to premium movie services.  They just don't show enough films or other programming that interests me for the money they charge.  One nice thing about TCM is that I can usually find a movie I like through they're online streaming service, so if I don't want to watch what they're showing in real time I can watch something online.

Exactly, agree a lot of Studio films were turds, but well polished turds, and TCM to survive will have to show newer films, 3% of those will be masterpieces the rest ranging from good to crap, but without the studio system, they will be unpolished.

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On 10/5/2021 at 11:03 PM, sewhite2000 said:

I would like to say that I think Eddie genuinely admires Katharine Hepburn. I have a vague memory of him discussing her with admiration in an introduction to some film, I think in a conversation with Ben. So at least any references by him to her in a TCM promo I don't think are corporate dictation to talent to shoehorn in performers with many works in the library. I think that's something he genuinely feels. 

Hepburn also made two films which I think might be called "noirish" -- KEEPER OF THE FLAME and UNDERCURRENT.

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On 9/29/2021 at 12:26 PM, Citizen Ed said:

They could at least pop in to tell us where they stand on Don Ameche, Brian Aherne, or George Brent!

I'll tell you where I stand (and I'm not joking either) -- those three had subtle sex appeal and were underrated actors.

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I think the old movies are interesting regardless of their artistic merits simply because they're glimpses of a world that no longer exists.   The same reason pottery shards from ancient Greece are so much more interesting than say, the ones from the coffee cup you dropped this morning.

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11 minutes ago, rjbartrop said:

 The same reason pottery shards from ancient Greece are so much more interesting than say, the ones from the coffee cup you dropped this morning.

Very nice 🙂

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it s all all over but the shouting- even the shouting may be over. TCM - now DOA.  Best idea TCM could have is to fire 1/2 the hosts and keep Dave and Alicia. Ben with all his great experience and knowledge would likely make a good director of film-like he says " it s in his blood "-- go for it ben! eddie, no slouch but chief droner ( not that his intros dont have some good info), can continue to make great contributions to film preservations ; and the cry baby prof can spend full time misguiding students. TCM can then use the funds to start to show other films outside the library that they would have to rent/buy-actually spend some $$$- a revolutionary idea.   Alicia and Dave have a certain modest yet classical presence about themselves and their presentations are crisp and informative and give that certain comfortable feeling to the viewers when watching TCM as Robert Osborne did so well. Let's keep the classic in that TCM title !

 

 

 

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On 10/7/2021 at 12:07 PM, rjbartrop said:

I think the old movies are interesting regardless of their artistic merits simply because they're glimpses of a world that no longer exists.   The same reason pottery shards from ancient Greece are so much more interesting than say, the ones from the coffee cup you dropped this morning.

Great post.

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One quick remark. I did see one of the new things in between films about New Waves of various cinema cultures, especially focused on the French New Wave. I found it to be a bit too earnest and it needed to be more spontaneous. As it stood, it felt overly pretentious.

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On 10/7/2021 at 2:07 PM, rjbartrop said:

I think the old movies are interesting regardless of their artistic merits simply because they're glimpses of a world that no longer exists.   The same reason pottery shards from ancient Greece are so much more interesting than say, the ones from the coffee cup you dropped this morning.

Reminds me of how the world changes and still stays the same. In ancient times, broken glass was collected and sent back to where they made glass ('cullet' is important in glassmaking for several reasons). It'd be put in a barrel, and a slave would be given a heavy stick to smash it into smaller pieces so the barrel could hold more. When archaeologists find the remains of such barrels in ancient shipwrecks or abandoned sites, the job of piecing the glass back together is given to undergrads (the modern equivalent of polite slavery). 

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3 hours ago, Capuchin said:

Reminds me of how the world changes and still stays the same. In ancient times, broken glass was collected and sent back to where they made glass ('cullet' is important in glassmaking for several reasons). It'd be put in a barrel, and a slave would be given a heavy stick to smash it into smaller pieces so the barrel could hold more. When archaeologists find the remains of such barrels in ancient shipwrecks or abandoned sites, the job of piecing the glass back together is given to undergrads (the modern equivalent of polite slavery). 

AND for a while back in the 1970s, broken glass was bagged up and sold to little kids to play with...

R.abf43bfe29279d2d0b1b917e08c4b649?rik=w

(...think YOU'RE the only one who knows the history of glass around here do ya, Cap ol' boy?!)  ;)

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I may be slow on the uptake, but I see a pattern forming. They are keeping the older films during the weekdays, but during primetime they are going towards new films, even if those newer films are not very good. And when I say "newer" I mean post 1970 or 1980. That is still ancient as far as people born in the 90s or later are concerned. That doesn't mean the death of TCM necessarily,  but I find myself less and less interested in what is on during primetime. 

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14 minutes ago, LsDoorMat said:

I may be slow on the uptake, but I see a pattern forming. They are keeping the older films during the weekdays, but during primetime they are going towards new films, even if those newer films are not very good. And when I say "newer" I mean post 1970 or 1980. That is still ancient as far as people born in the 90s or later are concerned. That doesn't mean the death of TCM necessarily,  but I find myself less and less interested in what is on during primetime. 

Exactly. TCM used to be on almost constantly here; now not so much. We haven’t abandoned the station, but it’s starting to feel like TCM, “TOM”, has abandoned us a little. 
On the bright side, sounds like the “TOM” Cruise is be reinstated for the spring.  I’m sorry for that, but I made myself laugh…

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CROSSING DELANCEY (1988) was mentioned above; it aired yesterday around 6:15 PM, I believe.  I left it on when it started.  :)  I've got no beef with TCM airing "Crossing Delancey" . . . I think it's better than if TCM aired something like one of those totally unbelievable Tom Cruise "Mission Impossible" movies.  You have to stretch your disbelief somewhat just to enjoy the original show from 1966-73, but the movies are like, TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE.  Ya dig?

I'll stick with "Crossing Delancey" any day.  For some reason that makes me think of another 1988 release -- which I've never seen, btw -- called MYSTIC PIZZA.  If TCM aired "Mystic Pizza" I reckon I'd give it a watch. 

I don't think TCM is dying off quite yet . . .

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9 hours ago, mr6666 said:

is it just THIS month..........or are they no longer doing monthly hi-light videos???

:unsure:

I have noticed that since late last year; it seems there is only a monthly highlight video every other month. Why, though?

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