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Redefining what's a classic


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I know how everyone, including myself belly aching that TCM plays movies from recent years and its wrong to some point. Let's go back 50 years from now. The films of the the early talkies and 30's and 40's were called classics. The 50's and 60's eased their way later on. But in 1962 lets say these classics were no older than 30 some years or more. So in 2012 I can say now that the films of the 70's and 80's somewhat have the right to be called classic and be shown on TCM. The 90's has yet to come. The 2000's and 2010's we will have to wait and see. The problem is that today every film is an instant classic. Could you imagine if they had multi plex cinemas back then. The problem TCM has is playing a lot of the same movies too many times a year. I am thankful for them anyway but I so wish they expand to another channel. maybe the real old movies can be called TGO Turners Golden Oldies. Too me especially the 70's has earned its right to be on this channel Most of my favorite movies came form that decade. Young Frankenstein, Annie Hall, MASH, Cabaret, The Goodbye Girl, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Silver Streak, The In-Laws, What's Up Doc?, Deliverance, American Graffitti, Star Wars, The Sting, The Deer Hunter, Julia, The Turning Point, Smokey and the Bandit, Norma Rae, High Anxiety, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, An Umarried Woman, Sleeper, Love Story, Blazing Saddles, Klute, Jaws, Kramer vs Kramer, Network, Paper Moon and so many more I could go on and I already did, lol. The point I was trying to make is its time to rethink what makes a classic.

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You make a lot of good points. TCM, it seems, has been subtly, intentionally, or by default through economic necessity, redefining classic. My thinking on this subject can be stated in a few remarks. Classic can be viewed two ways. One is generally the films produced in Hollywood during the studio era (the 20's to the early 60s) by the studios and the independent producers that buzzed around them. These would include all the few old great and good films, as well as the many more ho-hum and outright bad ones. Classic can also mean great, significant, influential, or otherwise noteworthy, independent of age. The Maltese Falcon, would still be considered classic. Star Wars, though not made in the studio era, is a monumentally important film (regardless of your opinion of it), and is also classic. Films that don't have a quality about them that distinguishes them are not classic, regardless of age.

 

No matter what anyone's view of classic is, it's still important and justified for TCM to show films after the studio era, even up to today. There are many things in recent films that have relevance for viewing and appreciating older films, including actors, directors, cinematographers, and others from the studio era involved with them. Also the development of, or divergence from, earlier of styles of filmmaking in terms of theme, acting, visuals and other elements, can be exampled.

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