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What is this baloney on TCM now?


FredCDobbs
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It's a commercial for candy.

 

Before it was a guy talking about his mother having a stroke.

 

What is this?

 

Where are the old classic movies?

 

These are standard TV interviews like I used to film for the news business. These are NOT "classic movies".

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> It's a commercial for candy.

>

> Before it was a guy talking about his mother having a

> stroke.

>

> What is this?

>

> Where are the old classic movies?

>

> These are standard TV interviews like I used to film

> for the news business. These are NOT "classic movies".

 

I don't think there's any need to panic yet. There are still plenty of classic movies on. I think TCM is just trying to mix it up a little bit to bring in more viewers. I'm personally looking forward to the interviews with Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis.

 

Brad

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I know Brad but today has been such a boring day. My T.V. is always set to TCM and when I woke up this morning and saw some 'stuff' on I changed to Oprah, then left for my physical therapy session. When I returned at 12:30, I checked again at TCM . . . my little (sick) grandaughter and I then watched 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' because someone said it was worth watching . . . a-hem . . . then checked TCM . . . then watched 'Flipper' the movie, after that I checked TCM . . .after dinner I watched the Ghost Whisperer, then Stargate. During commercials I checked TCM . . . Fred, you're right, I feel if I want to watch IFC programs, I'll put the channel on. Earlier this week we had a whole evening of foreign films with sub-titles, yippee. I've said before, if I want to read during prime time I'll pick up a book, thank you. Let me not forget Dick Cavett interviewing the child molester who married his victim to avoid her mother's lawsuit. What a delightful hour that must have been ! ! !

 

I have watched more network and movie channels this month than I have since Summer of Stars started, and I DON'T like THAT. I'm glad I taped a couple of movies last weekend so I'll have something to watch tonight after Bill Maher. Now however, I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR ROB ZOMBIE NEXT MONTH if this is a taste of what we're getting with this hype for younger, 'scuse me, a wider range of viewers, I'm sure they liked tonights' offerings. I may not be a highbrow, but I am quite intelligent, quite well educated, and quite well read, but if I wanted this kind of independent film making, during my relaxation hours, I would go to the independent movie houses. Now c'mon all of you and tell me how interesting the lighting, camera work, brilliant acting and messages were.

 

X-(

 

Not Happy at all.

 

Anne

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>"Are they trying to drive viewers away ?"

 

Sometimes I wonder Ken. It's a Friday Night (and it's raining to boot..) So why are we subjected to this baloney (beats me??) I think the programmers should re-think their schedule for the weekends. Most of us here would rather see a GOOD classic on a weekend and save this stuff for another time. Like 3 or 4am....

 

vallo

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I thought that today was a day of all shorts. There were Charlie Chaplin shorts on this morning, and I also watched a Zasu Pitts-Thelma Todd short. The evening shorts, I believe, were all by more modern filmmakers. I know they were showing some by Martin Scorsese. Maybe that is what you saw.

 

Sandy K

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I still think all of you are overreacting. And Anne, if you're talking about TCM's daylong festival of shorts, I've just read posts from people who are enjoying them and taping them because apparently a lot of them are rarely shown. It's not my cup of tea at all, but I'm glad these folks are enjoying them. So what is TCM to do? It seems you can't ever please everybody all the time. I still say there's more than enough classic films on to not have to panic.

 

Brad

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I agree with you. If I wanted to watch IFC, I'd watch it.

 

Normally, I like when TCM tries to mix things up a little (I'm looking forward to the Bette and Katharine Dick Cavett interviews, and for the most part, I really dig the promos)

 

But tonight was just...horrible. There's no other word for it. While I did sympathize with the first of the new shorts (the one about the mother who had a stroke), I felt like I was watching Dateline. The final one at the end nearly sent me into a seizure with the fast blinking white light. The David Lynch shorts freaked me the hell out (that's why I never got Twin Peaks). And while I know Robert Osborne said that there was going to be blood in Martin Scorsese's "The Big Shave", he should have also added that the final scene (where the guy slashed his own neck open) may cause some viewers to pass the hell out. I also agree that if this is what the Rob Zombie movies are going to be like, then I'm not watching. I can watch blood and gore on any of the cable channels. My God, I nearly passed out from that scene. I can't get over it. (I have to admit that the first two Scorsese shorts were pretty good though). The Kubrick ones are good as well and I'm looking forward to the Truffaut shorts tonight. I have an affinity for stories and plots, not for fancy camera work and lighting. That's one of the reasons I love TCM, because you guys show MOVIES.

 

Please TCM, no more IFC type shorts! Please! I know you guys have to stay hip and cutting edge, but really, there must be better ways of doing it!

 

//Let me not forget Dick Cavett interviewing the child molester who married his victim to avoid her mother's lawsuit.//

 

Yeah, that's a big reason I can't get into Woody Allen movies. During the 'What's Your Perversion?' sketch in "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex...", the panel asks the mystery contestant if they were into "child molestation." Kinda telling, eh Woody?

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I think the day has been interesting. It started with several Charlie Chaplin shorts, then some by Buster Keaton, then it showed early directorial shorts by George Sidney, and George Stevens. And we get to see Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick at the earliest part of their career when they were directing shorts. For one day, is it such a crime to give us glimpses of classic directors at their beginning?

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I don't know about you, but I've been watching TCM all day. The "stuff" this morning you turned off in favor of Oprah, was that one of the Charlie Chaplin films, or one of the Buster Keaton-directed shorts?

 

I didn't know that IFC has been showing Zasu Pitts shorts. Who knew?

 

I didn't watch the new Hermes shorts. They're on again, that's why I'm posting now. Two hours out of 24. I can't imagine what you'll think of the overnight schedule. Short _and_ French. Sacre bleu!

 

And the nerve of TCM to show films by those hacks Kurosawa, Wajda and Bergmann! Doesn't everyone know that only films made in English have a right to be called classic? That precious time could be devoted to showing nothing but more Bette Davis and Joan Crawford!

 

You make it sound like TCM has been showing nothing but post-modern existentialist shorts all day.

 

> I know Brad but today has been such a boring day. My

> T.V. is always set to TCM and when I woke up this

> morning and saw some 'stuff' on I changed to

> Oprah, then left for my physical therapy

> session. When I returned at 12:30, I checked again

> at TCM . . . my little (sick) grandaughter and I then

> watched 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

> because someone said it was worth watching . . .

> a-hem . . . then checked TCM . . . then

> watched 'Flipper' the movie, after that I

> checked TCM . . .after dinner I watched the Ghost

> Whisperer, then Stargate. During

> commercials I checked TCM . . . Fred, you're

> right, I feel if I want to watch IFC programs, I'll

> put the channel on. Earlier this week we had a whole

> evening of foreign films with sub-titles,

> yippee. I've said before, if I want to

> read during prime time I'll pick up a book, thank

> you. Let me not forget Dick Cavett

> interviewing the child molester who married

> his victim to avoid her mother's lawsuit. What a

> delightful hour that must have been ! ! !

>

> I have watched more network and movie channels this

> month than I have since Summer of Stars started, and

> I DON'T like THAT. I'm glad I taped a couple

> of movies last weekend so I'll have something to

> watch tonight after Bill Maher. Now however,

> I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR ROB ZOMBIE NEXT MONTH if

> this is a taste of what we're getting with this hype

> for younger, 'scuse me, a wider range of

> viewers, I'm sure they liked tonights' offerings. I

> may not be a highbrow, but I am quite intelligent,

> quite well educated, and quite well read, but if I

> wanted this kind of independent film making, during

> my relaxation hours, I would go to the independent

> movie houses. Now c'mon all of you and tell me how

> interesting the lighting, camera work, brilliant

> acting and messages were.

>

> X-(

> t Happy at all.

>

> Anne

 

Message was edited by: karlofffan

karlofffan

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>>

> And the nerve of TCM to show films by those hacks

> Kurosawa, Wajda and Bergmann! Doesn't everyone know

> that only films made in English have a right to be

> called classic? That precious time could be devoted

> to showing nothing but more Bette Davis and Joan

> Crawford!

>

>I'm glad TCM gave me the opportunity to see Bergmann's Seventh Seal for the first time the other night, I thought it was fascinating. I'm always glad to see something different like that.

 

But at the same time, I wish TCM would play more Bette Davis too! :-)

 

Brad

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I totally love today. I'm sorry I had to work. This is fantastic!

 

For the most part, I wouldn't call what we have been seeing "IFC type Shorts." They started out with Hollywood comedy shorts, and I missed the daytime, darn it, and all that Thelma Todd-Zazu Pitts! In the evening TCM played student films from now-famous directors. These are things that might have been lumped along with so-called "underground films" in the 1960s, and stylistically they have a lot in common with that genre. But none of these films were really covered in the attendant lit by Sitney/Lawder/Mekas/Battcock/David Curtis/Parker Tyler etc. They really are student films - loose and experimental, but not arty enough to qualify as "visionary" in the old critical sense.

 

But they are fascinating. I didn't know the David Lynch films existed. I realize that in hindsight in 1967 the underground was going mad with structuralism and something like "The Alphabet" would be critically considered like, "okay, this kid is trying to remake 'Help! My Snowman's Burning Down'," a Canadian surrealist film popular in classrooms. But it seems more contemporary than that now, and I'm glad I finally saw it. "The Big Shave" was mentioned, I think, in one book about experimental films - perhaps Lawder's "Reel Plastic Magic." It was a mainstay of Pyramid Films or some 16mm distributor like that for a long time, but was really only suitable for colleges. It disappeared from distribution before I was old enough to see it on the college circuit.

 

I'm AMAZED that early this morning TCM is showing "Break Up the Dance", an early Polish short of Polanski's that was banned and I'd thought lost. I once suggested it in the TCM Request spot as a joke, but whaddya know? They're actually showing it. It features Polanski as a J.D. type hood nearly two decades before "Chinatown."

 

Perhaps no one has noticed, but TCM has taken the lead in showing old, "classic" experimental shorts in the last two years or so, albeit mostly in packages like the shorts fest today and the American Film Archives programs. Sundance used to show them occasionally, but no longer. The post-1980 or so experimental short is a completely different breed from that made between 1915 and 1977; newer shorts and student films alike tend to be more story driven, conventional and technically sophisticated. That's a credit to the film schools, I guess, but I miss the old seat-of-the-pants style, and twisted aesthetics, of the old school experimental film makers. This stuff rocks.

 

Such films do need to be seen occasionally outside of Europe and the three or four places in the US that still screen them with regularity (Anthology, MOMA, Canyon and where else?) Certainly we can stand to make room for them occasionally on TCM. They are "classic," even though it may not seem so to someone who does't know what they are looking at. Thanks again, TCM!

 

spadeneal

 

"Baloney? Perhaps not." - Lugosi

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I'm of mixed opinion on this shorts festival but I think it's a good thing. The morning opened with fantastic silent shorts of Chaplin and Keaton and it wasn't until early evening that they started showing more contemporary shorts, before that everything was from the golden era like the feature films on TCM so those were appropiate albeit not always particularly entertaining.

 

As far as some of the recent "shorts", they are hit and miss and mostly miss. The theme of the day was basically major directors working in shorts but the problem is many of the recent shorts are NOT by major directors and are not very good. I think it's very appropiate for TCM to show shorts by Scorcese and Truffaut and other notable filmmakers in this festival - but they also had shorts by rather unknown filmmakers or celebrities and many of these films have very limited interest. If they must show recent shorts an OBVIOUS choice should have been Academy Award-winning shorts from recent years. I'm sure TCM would have had no problem getting the rights to those if they had tried. Some of those shorts we see snippets of on the Oscars often look very good and this would have been a great chance for the public at large to see the complete shorts.

 

But in all, I think it's good because it probably got TCM a little more press and attention and it may cause a few contemporary "film" types to turn to TCM and stay to see the rich legacy of films in the past. And that's a good thing. And besides, it's only ONE day, surely you must have a library of stuff taped off TCM in the past you could watch instead of what's currently airing.

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I often feel like Pollyanna on this board. While many of my fellow posters are complaining about Shorts day, I sit in the corner and meekly mutter, "Well gosh, I like it."

 

Such a rare opportunity to see so many of these shorts. Even if one doesn't like the shorts on their own merit (or lack thereof), they give much insight to each director's style and later works. Perhaps it's academic, but I'm so grateful to TCM for days like this and only wish I could have seen more of the films (work can really get in the way of my true priority -- TCM!).

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spadeneal, well said. It's always interesting to read an opposite, well thought out opinion (at least, opposite to my inital thoughts and a few other posters on this thread.)

 

My grumbles were aimed more towards the Hermes Shorts. I can understand the artistic merits behind them, but honestly, I don't think they belong on TCM. Those are the shorts that felt as though they belong on IFC. I was also bothered by 'The Big Shave' mainly because of the blood. I have a huge issue with blood. It's taken me years to get comfortable with the idea of blood and to see SO MUCH of it, I almost passed out (I wish I were kidding). I did enjoy the other two Scorsese shorts, the Kubrick, 'Boy and Bicycle' and 'One of the Missing'. I'm looking forward to Truffaut (my favorite French director) and the Polanski.

 

The thing is, I was looking forward to today, especially with the older shorts shown earlier. I was even looking forward to the Hermes Shorts, just because I thought they would be interested, but I found them to be overly pretentious (of course, I'm also the type who really dislikes art movies). I know what I'm looking at (a few years ago, my art snob self would have probably forced myself into enjoying them, especially those David Lynch ones) and I tried to get into some of them, but I'd rather see a good classic movie instead of artsy-fartsy, modern shorts. I'm torn. In some ways I like and appreciate what TCM is trying to do, but in another way, I just wish they'd stick to the classics.

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Okay. okay. here's the thing . . . I don't like shorts on a movie channel. Oh my God, the woman doesn't like Chaplin, or Keaton, or W.C. Fields or the Keystone Cops: Pull out the hangman's noose! ! ! The early evening was not enjoyable to me, okay??? I kept away from 'The Big Shave' because I know Scorcese and imagined what he might do independently, look at the opening scene of 'Cape Fear'. As far as I'm concerned, foreign language films belong on IFC. I know I won't watch late night-early morning tonight - instead I'm watching 'The Sundowners' on HBO at 2:30 a.m. As for that 'thing' the 'Seventh Seal' on Wednesday, the make-up alone could give you nightmares, let alone bore you to death. I am sorry I missed the Zazu Pitts-Thelma Todd short, that I'm sure I would have liked.

 

NO, I DO NOT EXPECT TCM to please me all the time, I said just that, in a post last week. Oddly 99% of the past 10 years, TCM has pleased me enormously. But this week, one night of foreign language all evening, the next night all Woody Allen crap, (except Annie Hall which isn't that great, just more palatable), and follow that with 24 hours of non-stop shorts. They could have split it up through the month and spliced the shorts in between movies now and then. That's all I'm saying. Mix the medicine with sugar, don't force-feed it.

 

As for the way Hollywood, and TCM continues to honor Woody Allen, the man is a child molester and should be in prison, not walking the streets and not getting praised for his work. I don't care if people think he is a genius(maybe he is for all I know, but it doesn't matter) - he should be put away. NOT CELEBRATED.

 

That's my stand, and I'm sticking to it! ! ! B-)

 

Anne

 

Message was edited by:

mrsl

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As everybody who is nice enough to know my style here by now knows...thanks for the 'popsicle' shoutout...I don't like change. Ever. Well, except for indoor plumbing. :)

 

To me, TCM is changing. But that's for another thread.

 

However, I'm interested in again being on the other end of the argument again, just this once. I liked their September promo, a lot, and I admire them for the herculean job of finding, queueing, and programming the 24 hours of shorts.

 

No, I haven't viewed them, so I can't be objective, but I did see some of the Charlie Chaplin short and then later some of a realllllly weird British short. As I've shared, I love weird. Well done weird, that is.

 

So, perhaps I am being a traitor to myself, but if all the shorts are interesting...please tell me I am not understanding that Dick Cavett was thrown into the middle of the mix?...then I have to applaud TCM for this. Yes, it's IFC-ish, but at least it's only once.

 

I'm sure I'll be back to my old self shortly and start complaining about the anime or the Cher movie that TCM will no doubt again program.

 

dolores

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I'm embarrassed for TCM.

 

By bothering to understand and learn from this shorts festival we will be able to gain greater appreciation for the films some here so narrowly define as, "classic."

 

Many, many, of the films on show today are seminal to cinema as we know it. Just now I'm watching two very rare Hitchcock propaganda shorts produced for distribution to the French underground in World War II. Think maybe these might enlighten us not just about film, but in how the British distributed propaganda favorable to the allies, about things the British wanted the French resistance to know and think about? Their influence on the war? They're great exmaples of Hitchcock's style. They are, however, in French; subtitled and not dubbed, thanks to the wisdom of TCM which seeks to show films in their most original format.

 

Guess it's time to switch over to The Beverly Hillbillies.

 

Think carefully about why the newer shorts were incorporated into this festival. TCM, to its immense credit, knows about movies and movie history. They do not miss a step. Those films of Lynch, Scorsese, Polanski, Truffau and yes even Chaplin and Keaton, influence the films that follow them. You can parallel, had you actually bothered to look, the development of film in both structure and narrative from the earlier days of cinema to today. You could have compared the older films with the newer to see how contemporary film makers use the techniques developed by these earlier directors. Paying further attention would tell you about how film is used in various eras to express those things important and relevant to the people who make them and what they're saying about the world they inhabit.

 

"Classic film" is not inclusive of personal taste. What you "prefer" is and by all means you're entitled to prefer what you wish. I feel sorry for those so entrenched in self-imposed ignorance that they cast down and sneer at the jewels of knowledge handed to them with such care and effort; jewels that could illuminate and enrich the experience of watching the films they love so much. If you don't think the films of any period don't owe a tremendous debt to the films which preceded them then you're sorely mistaken. Love film noir, Citizen Kane, Blade Runner, or even I Love Lucy? Then you owe some filmmakers in Weimar Germany a debt of gratitude.

 

This festival is designed to educate, illuminate, and present the development of cinema. To condemn the very valuable process of education itself is a travesty. Worse still is to mock what you do not even attempt to understand. That is a mark of something, but it's not education. It's ironic that Europeans have long decried American anti-intellectualism and now some members here have handed a French company the stereotype on a silver salver.

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As for the way Hollywood, and TCM continues to honor Woody Allen, the man is a child molester and should be in prison, not walking the streets and not getting praised for his work. I don't care if people think he is a genius(maybe he is for all I know, but it doesn't matter) - he should be put away. NOT CELEBRATED.

 

Come on, Anne. Soon Li Previn was 22 when Mia Farrow divorced Woody over his relationship with her. Mia accused him of child abuse with seven year old Malone during a nasty divorce trial, but no charges were filed and there's absolutely no evidence that he ever did any such thing.

 

Child molestation is a really nasty charge to make against someone when there's no proof other than the word of a hurt and vengeful ex-wife.

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