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Guest Programmer John Mellencamp film picks


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I wondered why John Mellencamp was chosen as a guest programmer for TCM movies being that he's a singer and songwriter and not really known for his involvement with films.  That said, he really picked some phenomenal movies including "On the Waterfront", "East of Eden",  "The Misfits" and "Cool Hand Luke".  Mellencamp admires method-trained actors such as

Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, James Dean and Paul Newman that made such a powerful influence on film during the 50's and 60's.  He also expressed his admiration for the wonderful performance of Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront.  On the Waterfront is one of my favorite films.  It has the theme of "conscience" and the story deals with corruption of longshoreman in NY.  The locations add so much to the film's feeling of realism.  It's also a romantic story which I love.   I was glad to see Mellencamp's picks for films featured on TCM rather than some of these (I'm sorry) terrible roller skating movies.  I have also enjoyed guest programmers who are average people and talk about how classic films have touched their lives.  I'd love to know what you think of Mellencamp's film choices?   Any comments about these films?

image.jpeg.b52cfe7fe90f38dec5a72ea84cdb99f9.jpeg    image.jpeg.27f016a53b21bd0678e45e779f123032.jpeg    image.jpeg.0d22d627f36cd389a51d529122fa5885.jpeg

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I think Mellencamp picked "safe" choices...that coincide with viewers conditioned to think inside the box of what a classic film has previously been marketed as being. 

But sometimes we have to go outside the box, step away from the well-known directors and stars who are household names.

There is no reason why a rollerskating movie cannot be considered a classic.

ON THE WATERFRONT is a marvelous motion picture, very re-watchable...but also very overplayed. And audiences do need to see other classics.

My view.

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Is my memory that wonky?  Or was THE FUGITIVE KIND on Mellencamp's list that night also?  THAT'S one that doesn't get shown all that often.  And one I've liked for years.(I still covet that snake skin jacket Brando wears.) 

Sepiatone(that is, if memory serves ;) )

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2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I think Mellencamp picked "safe" choices...that coincide with viewers conditioned to think inside the box of what a classic film has previously been marketed as being. 

But sometimes we have to go outside the box, step away from the well-known directors and stars who are household names.

There is no reason why a rollerskating movie cannot be considered a classic.

ON THE WATERFRONT is a marvelous motion picture, very re-watchable...but also very overplayed. And audiences do need to see other classics.

My view.

I do love the roller skating number in the film "Shall We Dance" with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  I don't recall TCM even airing this film as part of their roller skating theme.  It is amazing dancing and choreography.  I was reacting to a couple of films featuring roller skating that played close to the same time as "On the Waterfront", "Rollerball" and "Roller Boogie" which are both - in my opinion -poorly  done movies.  The movie "Roller Boogie" got a critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 0% and didn't fair that well with audiences either.  I am all for airing classics that aren't "overplayed" as long as they are curated and are good movies.  Yes - I've seen "On the Waterfront" before and I was so glad to watch it again.  It's that good.  I don't think it's necessarily a "safe" choice because of the controversy surrounding the director Elia Kazan.

image.jpeg.028e58464e3c730e3a81147b010cbf60.jpeg

 

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I wonder why he didn't show his own movie?  I mean, why not?   Is it that bad? 

FALLING FROM GRACE (1992)   Directed by and starring John Mellencamp. 

With Mariel Hemingway, Kay Lenz, Claude Akins, Dub Taylor.   

(I remember years ago he was referred to as "John Cougar Mellencamp", but I don't remember why). 

 

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As an old arts programmer, I'm familiar with the tactic, which I've used often, to re-package programs that I've already presented, as part of a new thing. That makes it look fresh. In this case, it means that we have the fresh opinions of Mellencamp but without any expensive new rental issues (I am assuming).

 

 

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9 hours ago, Toto said:

I do love the roller skating number in the film "Shall We Dance" with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  I don't recall TCM even airing this film as part of their roller skating theme.  It is amazing dancing and choreography.  I was reacting to a couple of films featuring roller skating that played close to the same time as "On the Waterfront", "Rollerball" and "Roller Boogie" which are both - in my opinion -poorly  done movies.  The movie "Roller Boogie" got a critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 0% and didn't fair that well with audiences either.  I am all for airing classics that aren't "overplayed" as long as they are curated and are good movies.  Yes - I've seen "On the Waterfront" before and I was so glad to watch it again.  It's that good.  I don't think it's necessarily a "safe" choice because of the controversy surrounding the director Elia Kazan.

image.jpeg.028e58464e3c730e3a81147b010cbf60.jpeg

 

By 'safe' I meant he picked relatively mainstream films which surprised me since he's artistic and I thought he would have picked a few more avante-garde titles. So in that regard he seemed safe and playing to a middle of the road audience.

In your original post I got the feeling you were biased against post-code films and there are plenty of post-code classics (films made after 1968).

I don't like how you are using the word curated. It seems a bit like something TCM would say to hobnob with its rich viewers. Films are for people of all socio-economic rungs.

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16 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

By 'safe' I meant he picked relatively mainstream films which surprised me since he's artistic and I thought he would have picked a few more avante-garde titles.

Perhaps Mr. Mellencamp is not a pretentious person and is unaware of his "artistic" obligation to choose such films as, say, Cocteau's Le sang d'un poète. Perhaps he actually likes the films he chose, and felt no need- and gave no thought-  to falsely telegraph a sense of intellectual superiority he's presumed to possess, simply because he's a musician and painter.

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You can definitely overplay a movie -- like BEN-HUR and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA for my money.  When those come on the channel I turn the dial. 

Everyone has their own notions of what constitutes an overplayed movie, I reckon.   What movies -- amongst films TCM plays frequently -- would a viewer leave on without flipping the dial to another channel?   I'd leave on NORTH BY NORTHWEST.  Like 'comfort food' to me.  Other viewers, however, may not see it like that and turn the dial to something else!

Always a matter of personal taste, innit?  

 

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15 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

(I remember years ago he was referred to as "John Cougar Mellencamp", but I don't remember why)

To the best of my memory, he originally agreed to go by the name "John Cougar" at the advice of his label because it was thought to be more marketable than his multisyllable last name. But he was never thrilled with the monicker and after a couple of years, he went through a middling stage where he was "John Cougar Mellencamp" (or "military camp" as Beavis once callled him). After audiences got used to that, he dropped the "Cougar" altogether.

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On 9/26/2021 at 10:55 PM, Toto said:

I wondered why John Mellencamp was chosen as a guest programmer for TCM movies being that he's a singer and songwriter and not really known for his involvement with films.  That said, he really picked some phenomenal movies including "On the Waterfront", "East of Eden",  "The Misfits" and "Cool Hand Luke".  Mellencamp admires method-trained actors such as

Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, James Dean and Paul Newman that made such a powerful influence on film during the 50's and 60's.  He also expressed his admiration for the wonderful performance of Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront.  On the Waterfront is one of my favorite films.  It has the theme of "conscience" and the story deals with corruption of longshoreman in NY.  The locations add so much to the film's feeling of realism.  It's also a romantic story which I love.   I was glad to see Mellencamp's picks for films featured on TCM rather than some of these (I'm sorry) terrible roller skating movies.  I have also enjoyed guest programmers who are average people and talk about how classic films have touched their lives.  I'd love to know what you think of Mellencamp's film choices?   Any comments about these films?

image.jpeg.b52cfe7fe90f38dec5a72ea84cdb99f9.jpeg    image.jpeg.27f016a53b21bd0678e45e779f123032.jpeg    image.jpeg.0d22d627f36cd389a51d529122fa5885.jpeg

I think we've seen all this before.

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It looks like John Mellencamp's 1992 movie FALLING FROM GRACE is on TCM's schedule for October.  I wondered if it would show up; I kinda thought it might show up late at night the other day when he was doing his selections, but it will be airing soon.  

 

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3 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

It looks like John Mellencamp's 1992 movie FALLING FROM GRACE is on TCM's schedule for October.  

We know some folks will complain because it's a post-code movie that does not feature Cary Grant or Bette Davis and thus does not belong on TCM!

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58 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

We know some folks will complain because it's a post-code movie that does not feature Cary Grant or Bette Davis and thus does not belong on TCM!

That, and probably because it's in COLOR too!  ;) 

Sepiatone

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Just now, Sepiatone said:

That, and probably because it's in COLOR too!  ;) 

Sepiatone

Exactly. 

TCM makes its share of mistakes. But broadcasting classics from 1920 up to 2020 is not one of them. There are classics in every decade.

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On 9/27/2021 at 9:35 PM, TopBilled said:

By 'safe' I meant he picked relatively mainstream films which surprised me since he's artistic and I thought he would have picked a few more avante-garde titles. So in that regard he seemed safe and playing to a middle of the road audience.

In your original post I got the feeling you were biased against post-code films and there are plenty of post-code classics (films made after 1968).

I don't like how you are using the word curated. It seems a bit like something TCM would say to hobnob with its rich viewers. Films are for people of all socio-economic rungs.

I'm not at all "biased" against post-code classic films at all.  I'm not a snob or a rich person but I can still use the word "curate".  I think it would be nice to keep comments to films and not get personal.  We all share something in common loving classic movies.  Why be unkind to each other?

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10 minutes ago, Toto said:

I'm not at all "biased" against post-code classic films at all.  I'm not a snob or a rich person but I can still use the word "curate".  I think it would be nice to keep comments to films and not get personal.  We all share something in common loving classic movies.  What be unkind to each other?

It's not unkindness. But I have not read any comments where you praise a film made after 1968. Also I suspected that TCM's marketing department has been using the word 'curate' to where it is now becoming "common" parlance. And it's really just a hoity-toity word to get people to think they are special because TCM is doing something special (supposedly) to bring a movie to them. In the end these are just products that are there, take them or leave them, that can be enjoyed by anyone. 

People in 1955 did not need an executive or marketing department to curate anything for them to drive to the theater and watch something. Let's get back to reality here, that's all I am saying.

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44 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

It's not unkindness. But I have not read any comments where you praise a film made after 1968. Also I suspected that TCM's marketing department has been using the word 'curate' to where it is now becoming "common" parlance. And it's really just a hoity-toity word to get people to think they are special because TCM is doing something special (supposedly) to bring a movie to them. In the end these are just products that are there, take them or leave them, that can be enjoyed by anyone. 

People in 1955 did not need an executive or marketing department to curate anything for them to drive to the theater and watch something. Let's get back to reality here, that's all I am saying.

Geeze Top, everytime I see these kinds of comments from you I have to wander why you need to make these sorts of comments at all.

You are entitled to your opinion Top. But please do us all a favor and stop being so alarmed with comments made by other members here.

You have never been chosen by anyone here to be an arbiter of what should be written or espoused. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Why make it so personal?

The use of the word curate is probably a good enough word to describe just what TCM does do with the films it showcases on the channel...

 
Quote

 

verb (used with object), cu·rat·ed, cu·rat·ing.
to take charge of (a museum) or organize (an art exhibit): to curate a photography show.
to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content: “We curate our merchandise with a sharp eye for trending fashion,” the store manager explained.

 

 
And then to admonish TOTO for not seeing anywhere in his/her past where they could not praise any post code film. Have you ever looked back on all or any of their comments to see if they ever did praise a post code film? What difference does it make?
 
You are making a mountain out of a mole hill here.
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8 minutes ago, fxreyman said:

Geeze Top, everytime I see these kinds of comments from you I have to wander why you need to make these sorts of comments at all.

 

Do you WONDER as you "wander"?  ;) 

Sepiatone

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16 minutes ago, fxreyman said:

Geeze Top, everytime I see these kinds of comments from you I have to wander why you need to make these sorts of comments at all.

You are entitled to your opinion Top. But please do us all a favor and stop being so alarmed with comments made by other members here.

You have never been chosen by anyone here to be an arbiter of what should be written or espoused. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Why make it so personal?

The use of the word curate is probably a good enough word to describe just what TCM does do with the films it showcases on the channel...

 
 
And then to admonish TOTO for not seeing anywhere in his/her past where they could not praise any post code film. Have you ever looked back on all or any of their comments to see if they ever did praise a post code film? What difference does it make?
 
You are making a mountain out of a mole hill here.

Not sure why you are feeling the need to single me out. Why not go on to the thread about the Sad Slow Death of TCM and tell the OP of that thread not to be the arbiter of how people view TCM. 

You are making just as much a mountain out of a mole hill by going out of your way to find fault with my comments and how I write my comments.

I do not like the way 'curate' is being used as a word to play up the importance of classic film scheduling. It's a narcissistic word that draws attention to the channel and its programming department instead of keeping the focus on the films themselves. My opinion about that isn't going to change.

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