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How influential is this forum?


SansFin
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I believe it is typical for a person to look at a schedule and pick movies to watch based on having seen one before or liking an actor or liking a director or other personal criteria.

 

There have been many times for me when the listing of a movie in the schedule did not interest me greatly and I watched it only because it was recommended by a poster whose opinion and taste I trust.

 

I must wonder how often a mention of a movie in this forum causes other people to watch a movie which they would not have picked by the usual method.

 

Does a post about a movie influence your decision to watch it?

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If I'm not doing anything else on a given night, and TCM is airing a movie I've never seen before, I'm likely to be watching it regardless, but in general I would say yes, positive commentary here certainly sometimes influences me to check out a movie I might have not generated a lot of enthusiasm for watching otherwise.

 

And I don't want to force this thread into an immediate left turn, but here seems to be a good place to speak my heart: what I hope does NOT happen overly much is that newer members get driven away from the channel because of all the negativity on these boards. I've greatly reduced my visitations here, because I can't stand to read anymore of the following: "I hate Johnny Carson; I hate Drew Barrymore: I hate TOOTSIE; I hate every movie made after (pick one or more) 1980/1970/1960/1950/1940; I hate color movies; I hate every decision TCM programmers have made since 1999". All these comments tend to leave an impression that TCM was once this wondrous, magical place, but now and for the longest time it's the worst channel on television. There's so much of this negativity, I think it would be difficult for a new member to get very excited about the channel based on what he/she reads here.

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It happens to me fairly often. I've been paying attention to movie schedules most of my life (I basically grew up reading TV Guide cover to cover.), but I still find that there are movies which either never registered with me for one reason or another or which I made wrong assumptions about based on the title. A good example would be "Violent Saturday", which had people buzzing on the message boards a few years back before it aired. I never would have given the listing a second thought if people here hadn't put me wise.

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In my case it's not so much that I'll watch a recommended movie that's on the current schedule, since virtually no TCM movie can ever sneak under my radar to begin with. What comes into play much more is the mention of an unscheduled movie that I'd never previously heard of, which gets my curiosity up, and causes me to go look for it on Netflix. So yeah, I definitely get valuable information and insight out of these forums.

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If a particular thread is something that I'm especially interested in, like for example, "Screwball Comedies", and there are a lot of recommendations within that, then yes, I pay close attention. But also, the recommendation itself has to interest me - the more detail the better, and the more well-written the better.

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I'm with finance.

 

 

There are posters here who will recommend a movie based solely on it's merits as a good movie. And there are posters here who try to imply you're an IDIOT if you DON'T watch some movie that THEY think is great.

 

 

And I also go along with the negativity comment. There ARE some here who sound like frustrated film critics. Never finding anything good to post about something or someone a lot of other people like. In a way, we all do something of that sort. Like, I'll post a disagreement with the notion that Ava Gardner is attractive, or Barbara Stanwyck was that great. But generally, my thinking is that YOU might think otherwise, and that's all that should matter to you. THESE people I mention sound off as if they believe the person/movie should have never EXISTED!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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*One never knows how influential web commentary is, because one never knows who the readers are. They can be anybody, anywhere in any position, profession or walk of life. Nor can a writer know what impact one's writing has on the tastes, choices, outlook and actions of the readers. There are usually far more readers to a blog than active comment posters. Posting on a widely read website is the equivalent of being in front of a live radio microphone, a reality often forgotten by active participants as they engage with one another. There is that large, silent and unseen audience out there that they forget about.*

 

 

* I've said here before that I always assume that these TCM boards are visited and read by people in the film industry. I've addressed them directly at times (in acting, that's called addressing the "fourth wall", i.e. the invisible audience), urging them to get more involved in the support of classic film preservation and restoration. I've urged them to use their wealth and connections to raise money and awareness for these causes. People in the business can also be inspired by classic film discussion and film links in a number of ways.*

 

* My own blogging experience also covers contributing to political and economic websites in Europe, especially Hungary. It's a small country where many influential eyes watch what one says and does in a public forum. (According to the SiteMeter, these webpages were read by people in over a 100 nations; there was even a world map showing the city location of each logged on user!) It was there that I became most aware of that invisible audience and the impact that one can have. I always wrote with the assumption that the Prime Minister or at least someone in his immediate circle was reading what I wrote. That what I wrote was being read by somebody in government would be an extremely safe bet. Indeed I would sometimes address them directly, open letter style. Over years, I noticed that they took some of my original talking points, text and suggestions and announce or implement them after my postings, sometimes with a lag time of as little as 1-2 months. I became reminded of the old saying "the pen is mightier than the sword"!*

 

 

* Projecting to an audience or readership can be a great fullfilling pleasure, honor and karmic responsibility. The first time the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service called from London to ask me to join in a panel discussion, I was floored. It was the thought that my voice and opinions would be transmitted and heard throughout the world in over 190 nations. I took it as a great moral responsibility, to not use this leveraged platform to say anything or do anything that would arouse negative emotions of hate, fear, anger and resentment in my fellow man. I believe that there are eventually consequences and accountability for all of our actions, especially when our thoughts, words and deeds are amplified by media and can reach thousands, and perhaps millions. Such moral sense has always guided my activities online as well, where I strive to make constructive contributions.*

 

 

* How influential a blog is depends on what the participants have to offer. Many, many films get mentioned around here, often links to watching them are provided. It's safe to assume that many readers have become enlightened in the process, made aware of cinematic treasures that they were hitherto unaware of or had never seen. The resulting satisfaction and enrichment to others can never be fully known or quantified. The thought of sharing such an experience with others is to me, a reward in itself.*

 

 

* Time Warner/TCM graciously provide us this blank canvas in the form of these message forums. What we paint on that canvas is up to us. Some of these threads are a work of art! Some create a rich experience, put together and maintained laboriously by brilliant, talented and giving people. That they have some impact is revealed in the hit count, which can run into the tens of thousands and even the six figures. Often a poster gets compliments from other posters or in PM's; accolades are nice, but not necessary to those who have the most to give. The sun can go on indefinitely giving warmth, light and life whether or not it gets thanks, recognition or thank you cards from us! It's in it's nature to shine; the same holds true for the best contributors here!*

 

 

speakthelma.gif

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Thelma, what a wonderfuil post. Your contributions are much appreciated.

 

 

I have often followed recommendations from posters here, especially along the lines of "If you like X, check out Y," and have found some hidden gems along the way.

 

 

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>I must wonder how often a mention of a movie in this forum causes other people to watch a movie which they would not have picked by the usual method.

 

I do that a lot. Also, I like it when someone starts a thread saying that some classic is coming up, because I can't always keep up with the daily schedule.

 

I have seen many good films as a result of a notice by posters here, that I would have missed if they had not posted the notice.

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> {quote:title=SansFin wrote:

> }{quote}

> I must wonder how often a mention of a movie in this forum causes other people to watch a movie which they would not have picked by the usual method.

>

> Does a post about a movie influence your decision to watch it?

 

No! Too many lay people form opinions about films or actors based on personal reasons that have nothing to do with the film or the performances. If a films' comming attractions interest me, I'll watch it. If a bonified critic writes an interesting review I'll give the film a look.

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> {quote:title=rewrite wrote:}{quote}My guess is that negative comments on these boards do very little to drive people away from TCM, but might do a lot to drive people away from these boards.

 

I agree rewrite, and its always the same people leaving negative comments. I often wonder what their sad lives must be like .

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NOT so fast there, finance!

 

I still remember that time Fred mentioned that he thought the lighting in "Porky's II" reminded him of how well von Stroheim's work was in "The Merry Widow"!!!

 

(...and so I'm not so sure about that)

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Influential to other posters or to the general world of classic films? I do know that the staff at TCM reads these forums but outside of that I think outside groups get more consideration. For example, I've been a poster here since 2003 (prior to 2005 I used a different name) and besides being contacted by email for an interview for the company newsletter, I've never been asked to participate in anything to do with TCM. My best friend's daughter, on the other hand, has her own blog and doesn't visit here at all. She's talked with Scott McGee, visited the studios and met Robert, was interviewed by Ben during the 2012 film festival on air, and received VIP credentials during the last film festival.

 

I don't know what all that means, but influence is relative.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}Now if Fred C. Dobbs recommended an '80s film, I'd definitely want to see it. It would HAVE to be good.

I remember that he loves the movie Missing that came out in 1982 with Jack Lemmon. I was as stunned as you are. And he was right. It is a good movie.

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

> > {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}Now if Fred C. Dobbs recommended an '80s film, I'd definitely want to see it. It would HAVE to be good.

> I remember that he loves the movie Missing that came out in 1982 with Jack Lemmon. I was as stunned as you are. And he was right. It is a good movie.

.....which proves Fred knows his movies, right finaceu and Dargou ?! :)

 

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