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Black History Month


ndgoldberg
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Films directed by Black directors & starring Black actors seems to be noticeably absent from the February movie-line up. While "Imitation of Life" and "Lilies of the Field" are both fantastic, it might be nice to see some of the other movies not typically played. Perhaps a tribute to the First Black director *Oscar Micheaux*. I expected more of you TCM. #disappointed

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Don't forget that "In the Heat of the Night" is being shown with the four other 1967 Best Picture nominees on March 1st. It's a great movie no matter how many times it's been telecast. You also have to remember that February is dedicated to Oscar nominees. There have only been three black filmmakers nominated for Best Director since 1991, and one of them is Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave" (2013).

 

I've noticed that Encore has shaken up its premium channels to make them more diversified. Encore Drama is now Encore Black, Encore Espa?ol is no longer just a Spanish-language version of Encore, and Encore Love is Encore Classic (designed for the Baby Boomer generation).

 

Edited by: jakeem on Feb 5, 2014 7:25 AM

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Films directed by Black directors & starring Black actors seems to be noticeably absent from the February movie-line up. While "Imitation of Life" and "Lilies of the Field" are both fantastic, it might be nice to see some of the other movies not typically played. Perhaps a tribute to the First Black director Oscar Micheaux. I expected more of you TCM. #disappointed.

 

The problem is that Black History Month coincides with 31 Days of Oscar, and this puts a severe restriction on the films that are going to be aired during February. And of course TCM's primary sources of film are drawn from the "golden age" of movies, when blacks were depicted by Hollywood almost exclusively in servile and stereotyped roles.

 

That said, I completely agree with you that TCM's airing of African American oriented films is disappointingly limited. It seems as if the same Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte movies account for nearly half of what gets shown, and when we get the occasional Oscar Micheaux or independent film, it's usually in the middle of the night, and not repeated for years. In the past 4+ years I've managed to record quite a few rarities, but you have to watch the program guide like a hawk and record at every opportunity. Because if you miss them the first time, it'll be a long time before they ever show up again, unlike all those Poitier and Belafonte movies.

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The problem.is that a few years ago TCM decided to move the 31 Days of Oscar from.March to.February (hence the 31 days), when the Academy moved the awards show up a month, to.keep.it the same.month as the Oscar telecast (although this years the Oscars are in March). I find no compelling.reason that the 31 days cant remain in March, since there will be plenty of interest immediately after.the awards. AND, be able.to.devote February to Black History tributes. However, a similar.thread a couple of years back turned vitriolic on why it couldnt/shouldnt be done.

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With the recognition of talent in the past decades, the only way TCM might compromise is to show the films that have garnered recognition by the Academy. Since they have been showing 90s films recently as many have passed the 20 year mark in longevity, here is a list of films they can show(once they get the property distribution rights to them that is):

 

Ghost (1990)

Jerry Macguire (1996)

Secrets & Lies (1996)

The Hurricane (1999)

Monster's Ball (2001)

Training Day (2001)

Ray (2004)

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

The Last King Of Scotland (2006)

Dreamgirls (2006)

Precious: Based On The Novel "Push" By Sapphire (2009)

 

Here's hoping TCM can get those distribution rights, until then, I am happy with them recognizing Imitation of Life (1934) and (1959), Carmen Jones (1954), The Defiant Ones (1958), Lillies Of The Field (1963), The Reviers (1969), and Sounder (1972). I just hope they will one day premiere The Great White Hope (1970) and Lady Sings The Blues (1972).

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>hepclassic wrote: Here's hoping TCM can get those distribution rights, until then, I am happy with them recognizing Imitation of Life (1934) and (1959), Carmen Jones (1954), The Defiant Ones (1958), Lillies Of The Field (1963), The Reviers (1969), and Sounder (1972). I just hope they will one day premiere The Great White Hope (1970) and Lady Sings The Blues (1972).

 

 

What a great list! Don't forget "Claudine" (1974), for which Diahann Carroll received a Best Actress nomination. And everyone seems to forget that the great Ethel Waters was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in "Pinky" (1949).

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>hamradio wrote: When you mentioned Steve McQueen, I said to myself What the heck??? I had to Google Steve McQueen director to see whom you were referring to. Never heard of him before but got to learn something new.

 

 

Ha! I didn't mean to freak you out. The British Steve McQueen also directed the acclaimed 2011 drama "Shame," which starred Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and Nicole Beharie (who has become a major heartthrob of mine, thanks to her performances this season in the TV series "Sleepy Hollow").

 

I don't believe McQueen will win the Best Director Oscar next month because all indications are that Mexico's Alfonso Cuar?n will be rewarded for his spectacular work in "Gravity." But "12 Years a Slave" is considered a strong candidate for Best Picture.

 

If you're not familiar with Cuar?n's work, he directed what many consider to be the best installment of the Harry Potter series: "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004).

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I can't think of any reason why TCM couldn't have Oscar and Black History month share the honors.

 

They could make it a point to include many of the films mentioned in this thread, in with the crop of Oscar Winners/nominees. Or every other day would be dedicated to each.

I mean we do get to see so many of the Oscar films during The Essentials and through the course of each year and many of us shy away from 31 Days every year b/c it's almost like a "been there, done that" kind of thing.

But we get the many essential films that showcase the African American experience (good and bad) in dribs and drabs.

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Alfonso Cuar?n directed the 2nd remake of "The Little Princess" (1995) by which he done very well and have the Laserdisc of it. But on the flip side "Gravity" falls to Earth for me.

 

"Sleepy Hollow" has been one of the best TV sitcoms I've seen since the 1990's

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It's Oscar time- and TCM accommodates to that by showing Oscar recognized films. I don't know what their problems are over there, since it all goes down to distribution rights in the end. At least TCM is encouraging discussion about how a film could become classic.

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I'm a black guy and I have found that my tv is capable of showing movies with all sorts of colors of people 12 months of the year, not just February. TCM has shown probably a higher percentage of films starring black people than were actually produced just to show some diversity, which is appreciated.

 

The OP probably is so new he didn't realize Hattie McDaniel had her own day on SUTS and she was never a star or any major film. I doubt TCM is able to celebrate every holiday, every birthday, every death, every anniversary etc...

 

February/March is for Oscars. The best of the best as it should be. Everything else takes a backseat.

 

TCM only has one job: Show good films. Just do that and I'm fine.

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RichardKimble wrote: (addressing the original poster):

>You registered today just to post this PC troll job?

 

If you read the original post, I'd hardly call it a "troll job". The OP makes a perfectly valid point.

Perhaps Richard's response was motivated by recollection of the completely unnecessary "fight" that broke out here a couple of years ago about this very matter -ie, why TCM doesn't feature films made by and about black Americans for Black History Month, which is February.

 

At the time I think I said something along the lines of this: Shirley there's a way to celebrate both Oscar winners and African -American history in film on TCM at this time of year.

I agree with the poster who suggested that maybe TCM could do Oscar month in March, which is when it used to be. Why did the Academy change the ceremony to early rather than late March anyway? In any case, Oscar-winning or -nominated movies could still be celebrated in the weeks following the Academy Awards ceremony, rather than those leading up to it.

This would open up February for Black History Month. I'm sure there is more than enough cinematic material to fill the month. And I agree with the OP, who said they'd love to see more of Oscar Micheaux' (or never mind "more", how about "any") work on TCM.

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I think TCM tries to do the best they can with what they have to work with.

 

"Buck and the Preacher" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_and_the_Preacher)

aired on TCM on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was a new film to me and I enjoyed watching it:

http://thedissolve.com/news/1281-cable-pick-of-the-day-012014-buck-and-the-preacher/

 

The same thing with "The World, the Flesh and the Devil" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World,_the_Flesh_and_the_Devil_%281959_film%29)

on that day.

 

If anybody wants to see changes at TCM, try sending a letter to TCM Viewer Relations:

 

TCM Viewer Relations

 

1050 Techwood Drive NW

 

Atlanta, GA 30318

 

Or people can phone TCM and leave a message at 404-885-5535.

 

Or make "noise" on the message board and hope someone from TCM sees it.

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My guess is that TCM is the only sizable channel to show the films of Charles Burnett. It has also shown a few of The Bronze Buckaroo films, and other "race" films. TCM has shown films of Josephine Baker, and plenty of other films with black leads, intended for a general audience. I've enjoyed many of them. But, I guess it wouldn't hurt to show more.

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