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'31 Days Of Oscar': A necessary evil?

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I have to say that I've largely enjoyed the RKO Radio portion of this year's 31 Days.

 

But I do feel like they're missing out on conveying two *really good* (albeit somewhat warty) Oscar backstories in their scheduling of The Window at 6:00 pm and The Brave One at some time in ye graveyarde hours.

 

 

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Most of their good stuff seems to be relegated to the graveyard hours (OK for the west coast crowd!)

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> {quote:title=infinite1 wrote:}{quote}It's not so much that I mind "31 Days of Oscar", heck, I even like most of the films that are being shown during the 31 days. My big gripe is that the blockbuster OSCAR WINNERS, and you know which ones they are, that invariably will always rate a slot in FEBRUARY, are always repeated during the course of the year as ESSENTIALS, SUTS, or as is the case with FROM HERE TO ETERNITY which may get extra innings on MEMORIAL DAY, VETERANS DAY, DECEMBER 7th, anniversaries of some star's birthday, a guest programmer's choice (ha ha), and/or whatever other day can be dreamt up by the programmer(s) as an excuse to take a holiday from more creative programming decisions. If these films are so special as OSCAR WINNERS, then keep them for this month and this month only, and fill the slots that they might occupy during the rest of the year with different films. Is that too much to ask?

I wouldn't think so, but it ain't gonna happen. Your comment also reminds me of the fact that certain American blockbuster war movies of dubious quality get way overplayed over the course of the year, due in great part to being repeated on mulitiple military anniversaries. Personally I'd like to see May 7th made into a mini-festival of foreign war films* that for the most part are far superior to the Hollywood product, but I guess that would be too many subtitles for some people to handle.

 

*Such as Germany: Year Zero, Le Corbeau, Days of Glory, Come and See, Katyn, The Lives of Others, etc., plus some less conventional American war films like Letters From Iwo Jima.

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They air FHTE way too much, it's on at least once a month. The attack on Pearl is in the last 15 mins.until then ya gotta sit through the tedious storyline.

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I am getting so bored with this Oscar festival, as usual. I can't wait for it to be over.

Some things I've noticed with their studio format this year:

 

1. It is so sad to see the decay of MGM from its height in the early 30's to what it was obviously becoming in the 50's and beyond. I think it really was over for them after Thalberg died.

2. In reference to Fox:

a. They never really did "now" very well did they? Most of the important Fox films are historical in nature. You can't look at a Fox film made in the 40's and get a feel for what that time period was like.

b. Who exactly over at Fox decided Joan Collins could act??? She ruins every film I've seen her in.

3. The Columbia and RKO A-list films are solidly entertaining. I think I've enjoyed their segments the best next to Warner Brothers.

4. The Warner segment was the best so far, though I'm pretty sure that the WB films I enjoy the most didn't get nominated for Oscars - Blonde Crazy and It All Came True, for example.

5. TCM really needs a more expansive agreement with Universal so that they can show more of the 1929-1949 Paramount films as well as Universal's own library.

 

The one problem with the studio oriented approach to the Oscar festival is it probably caused the programmers to only pick the tent poles from each studio. In past Oscar years they''ve shown a rarity or two - Green Goddess, Svengali, and Madame X (1929) all come to mind. None of that this year.

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two more whacks on the dead horse as we near the end.

 

1. Since this is done with the participation of the Academy, *why OH WHY does TCM not use footage from past Oscar shows between the films??????!!!!!!!!* So many wonderful moments from ceremonies past with presenters and winners that I am SURE the AMPAS would let them air in lieu of all those stupid, GD Pete Smith shorts.

 

And I don't want to hear about how expensive and time-consuming this is. Other networks manage their between-show times just fine, I find it really hard to believe they're not capable of switching one form of padding for another. *This month is supposed to be special after all, right?*

 

2. I know I'm tough on this next one, but really: the outroes and introes have been horrendous. Most of them have made barely a mention of WHAT nominations, if any, a film recieved and many have been a dry run-through of the facts any one of us could've read off the back of the DVD box or gotten from wikipedia. Anatomy of a Murder was on today. Youknowwho introed it in about 45 seconds with the fact that Jimmy Stewart was in it and got nominated and listed the rest of the cast with his signature lack of anything and outroed it with "it was controversial." Nary a mention of Otto Preminger not getting nominated for best director or the fact that the two times he was nominated were for films that did not get nominated for Best Picture or that Lee Remick replaced Lana Turner because Otto ran her off or how it got two nods for supporting actor.

 

The reason we have to suffer through this intolerable damn month of leftovers is because it is an ostensible panorama of Oscar Past, a history lesson if you will. Well, I didn't expect to learn much, but I'm pretty damn sure no one else did either.

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I think a lot of the intros/outros could be improved, year-round, and this has nothing to do with the Oscars per se. Often, we see a series of films featured in primetime, because a unique director or a cinematographer or a screenwriter is being spotlighted, but the host comments invariably turn towards trivia about the lead actors and the actors' personal lives.

 

I could understand if these were segments that were long ago recorded and were being re-run to save costs, but when these are newly filmed wrap-arounds that go almost entirely off-topic, one has to wonder what's the point. If Person X is being honored, then write and deliver the hosting comments so that the focus remains on Person X, not on Person Y and their agent and the agent's dog.

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Case in point: they're showing that MGM-produced Making of Dr. Zhivago featurette (AGAIN!) in between the COLUMBIA films on today, and the featurette itself was not nominated for the Oscar, nor is Dr. Zhivago on today, of course, I don't think any of us will be complaining about that.

 

Wouldn't we all rather see some moments from the 1958 and 1963 ceremonies of Kwai and Lawrence winning their awards?

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Feb 24, 2013 10:53 AM

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Thanks, Addison. I try to be careful when I reply to a thread of this nature, because I do not want to seem ungrateful for the many wonderful hours of classic film entertainment that TCM provides on a consistent basis. But...

 

I do feel that there are some areas where they could improve and telling them in this forum should be the wise and right thing to do, as it is to everyone's benefit and the longevity of the Channel.

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Some very good points in there, Addson.

 

 

I'm in the good to devote some chunk of time to Academy nominated-and-winning films camp.

 

 

HOWEVER, the way TCM packages them could be greatly improved. This could make all the difference. It could address goals of introducing new audiences to some great films . . . AND . . . providing greater context/layers/dimensions for those of us who've seen most of them at least once.

 

 

To do this well would require more resources -- and maybe that's what TCM does not want to invest in.

 

 

I think many of us would argue that doing it "on the cheap" does a great disservice to the films and the TCM audience.

 

 

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>To anyone getting bored with oscar-month films, I've found 'Cinemoi' channel (DTV ch# 259) a pleasant alternative.

 

I agree. when TCM shows so many non-classics from the 1970s and 80s, I watch a lot of Cinemoi, which is a non-commercial station. I saw the 1930s film AMERICAN MADNESS last week.

 

Also I watch THIS TV which is a broadcast channel that occasionally has old movies, although it does have a few commercials.

 

But best yet, I've been watching a lot of full movies on YouTube during the past two weeks, such as THE YOUNG AND THE INNOCENT, the original 1935 THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, and SECRET AGENT, two hitchcock films that TCM never airs. I also saw Louise Brooks in THE CANARY MURDER CASE (1929), which TCM has never aired. YouTube films run continuously if you have at least a 1.5 M DSL internet download speed, and there are many old classic films on YouTube that TCM has never aired. I think it has a larger collection of old classic films on YouTube from the 30s and 40s than TCM currently has on file.

 

Last night I saw SCHINDLER'S LIST on the USA channel, and it was broadcast with NO commercials. This is a very classic modern film that was photographed and staged in 1940s style.One of the best films ever made.

 

TCM is beginning to ruin itself with too many modern wide-screen color movies designed for younger audiences. The channel is reaching the end of its lifespan and its success with this awful films that aren't and never were classics. They are just random films from the 1960s-80s, which no other channel wants to show and not many people want to see. I guess they are cheap to rent.

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>TCM is beginning to ruin itself with too many modern wide-screen color movies designed for younger audiences. The channel is reaching the end of its lifespan

 

Aren't you being a bit of a fatalist? I am sure the Channel is far from reaching the end of its lifespan.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> > To anyone getting bored with oscar-month films, I've found 'Cinemoi' channel (DTV ch# 259) a pleasant alternative.

> I agree. when TCM shows so many non-classics from the 1970s and 80s, I watch a lot of Cinemoi, which is a non-commercial station. I saw the 1930s film AMERICAN MADNESS last week.

>

>

>

> Also I watch THIS TV which is a broadcast channel that occasionally has old movies, although it does have a few commercials.

>

>

>

> But best yet, I've been watching a lot of full movies on YouTube during the past two weeks, such as THE YOUNG AND THE INNOCENT, the original 1935 THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, and SECRET AGENT, two hitchcock films that TCM never airs. I also saw Louise Brooks in THE CANARY MURDER CASE (1929), which TCM has never aired. YouTube films run continuously if you have at least a 1.5 M DSL internet download speed, and there are many old classic films on YouTube that TCM has never aired. I think it has a larger collection of old classic films on YouTube from the 30s and 40s than TCM currently has on file.

 

 

I've really been enjoying youtube movies too. I don't know what has changed in technology over the last couple of years, but it used to be that you could only get about 10 minutes per video segment on youtube, so movies would be divided up into 6-9 parts. Now youtube has pretty long movies (75 minutes or so) in one youtube segment, which makes it much more pleasant viewing.

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> {quote:title=dpompper wrote:}{quote}

> Some very good points in there, Addson.

>

> To do this well would require more resources -- and maybe that's what TCM does not want to invest in.

>

>

>

>

>

> I think many of us would argue that doing it "on the cheap" does a great disservice to the films and the TCM audience.

>

I'm really not sure it would cost them a dime to show scenes from Oscar shows past- you can see almost all of them on our good friend youtube, in fact, you could spend hours doing it.

 

Just the other day I was watching a scene from the 1967(?) show where Fred and Ginger presented together- he grabs her for an impromptu spin as they walk out and the audience GOES NUTS. Both of them (particularly Ginger) are obviously overwhelmed by the incredible affection for them and hold hands while presenting the award: *that is the kind of moment that deserves to be remembered and shown as part of this month.*

 

ps- to be fair, the quality of the clip is crap, but since TCM does this with the consent of the AMPAS I find it hard to believe that they couldn't get some good quality versions of these moments from Oscar past and work at least a couple dozen scenes like this in as interstitials.

 

(I'm too lazy to search for and post the link, but it was a wonderful moment.)

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Feb 24, 2013 8:41 PM

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> I'm really not sure it would cost them a dime to show scenes from Oscar shows past- you can see almost all of them on our good friend youtube, in fact, you could spend hours doing it.

 

It's likely a problem with clearing the rights from the families or estates of the winners and presenters, etc.

 

Just because it's on Youtube doesn't mean it's cleared for broadcast.

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But Addy, Dr. Zhivago was on just a few days ago. Do you want them to show it daily now???

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I believe that COZI has been showing BUGSY just about every day........Within a short period of time I got to see Ben Kingsley as Gandhi and Meyer Lansky. Can't imagine two characters any more different than that.

 

Edited by: finance on Feb 25, 2013 4:50 PM

 

Edited by: finance on Feb 25, 2013 4:52 PM

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Agreed, darkblue. Whoa!

 

 

He also makes a guest appearance in Season 4 (I think) of "The Sopranos." He plays himself (heightened, of course, for dramatic effect).

 

 

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>I've really been enjoying youtube movies too. I don't know what has changed in technology over the last couple of years, but it used to be that you could only get about 10 minutes per video segment on youtube, so movies would be divided up into 6-9 parts. Now youtube has pretty long movies (75 minutes or so) in one youtube segment, which makes it much more pleasant viewing.

 

Yes, the technology has improved.

 

The YouTube people finally found a way to put a whole movie in one file.

 

Also, last December my ISP did away with the 256 K download speed and bumped me up to 1.5 M. With the old 256 K, a YouTube clip would stop and go and stop and go, but now it continues all the way through the whole movie from start to finish, and I can enlarge it to full screen.

 

YouTube has added a lot of old movies and pre-codes in recent years, and I'm seeing a lot of classics I haven't seen in many years, such as THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES, which I had not seen in more than 35 or 40 years.

 

Right now I'm watching a really good print of CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. And with YouTube, I can stop the film, and back up, and re-view it if I want to.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l1D_6Q-4xI

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