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The Guest Programmers!


rayban
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Last night's combo of Robert Osborne and Matthew Broderick was bizarre, to say the least.

 

For the first intro to Broderick's pick, "Doorway To Hell", Robert got a little too involved with his knowledge about the film's star, Lew Ayres, and Broderick really had the look of a man who was pushed to the side.

 

For the second intro to Broderick's choice, "Breaking Away", Broderick seemed unable to show any real appreciation of the film and stuck to, mostly, memories of Paul Dooley's performance.

 

The film has a remarkable performance by a very young Dennis Christopher, but Osborne and Broderick showed no real appreciation or understanding of it.

 

For the third intro to Broderick's pick, "The 400 Blows", the fact that Broderick did not know Antoine's last name - Doinel - or that he hadn't seen "Love At Twenty", "Stolen Kisses", "Bed and Board", and "Love On The Run" left him out in the cold.

 

Broderick fumbled around about what the film had actually accomplished in its' day.

 

Osborne made a serious "boo-boo" too, in naming the actor who played James Cagney's brother in "Public Enemy" as Ed Woods (?!).

 

I guess that it should not be a surprise that actors cannot be articulate about films that they love - and Osborne tried to tie two of the film's "adventures" to Broderick's Greenwich Village childhood.

 

Also, Osborne seemed dim about Antoine Doinel's future - telling Broderick that there were 4 or 5 films - 4, actually and a short entry in an omnibus film - and that Antoine got married - true, but he also got divorced.

 

Can intro's be re-done?

 

If so, these should have been re-done.

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Osborne made a serious "boo-boo" too, in naming the actor who played James Cagney's brother in "Public Enemy" as Ed Woods (?!).

 

 

I agree with some of the points you made in your post and overall it was a thoughtful, point-by-point critique of the guest programmer series. However I just wanted to point out that Osborne was correct in sharing the above trivia regarding the cast of THE PUBLIC ENEMY. The actor with whom Cagney switched roles was Edward Woods.

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I know what you mean...that said, i only saw the intro to DOORWAY TO HECK, and I thought Osborne did a very nice job introducing it and schooling Broderick on Lew Ayres' background.

 

i also liked his appreciation of the fact that Broderick was not selecting "CITIZEN KANE or something we've all seen before," which is a common complaint on the message boards in re: the Guest Programmers.

 

Personally, I think it's well past time they just stop the GPs, and once Osborne is no longer with us, I have a suspicion they will, as there is no one else currently on staff with the network with any kind of stature or the most basic of interviewing skills that any celebrity who rates higher than a "D" would be willing to sit down and talk with.

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Given Robert's virtual absence from the network, I certainly doubt a redo was possible in this instance. I think the Guest Programmer nights once a month are the only appearances we've seen of Mr. Osborne since 31 Days of Oscar wrapped up (I believe we saw Robert with Richard Kind, Gloria Steinem and now Broderick). My guess is they were all recorded last fall sometime. He has clearly been unavailable for reshoots. Also, it's probably nearly impossible to get a Guest Programmer to come back for a reshoot.

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Originally, Lou Gossett Jr. was the scheduled guest programmer for May (he was bumped to July). So my guess is that Matthew Broderick, as a friend of TCM, was a quick substitution. 

 

But I agree that if there are too many errors in the wraparounds it sort of defeats the purpose of enlightening the audience about the films being shown. Either they should be fixed/edited or discarded and not aired.

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there is no one else currently on staff with the network with any kind of stature or the most basic of interviewing skills

 

I thought Ben Mankiewicz with Roger Corman was excellent. Ben was relaxed, engaged, knowledgeable and kept an excellent conversational flow.

 

I think "TCM Guest Programmers" should be an event showcasing what films inspired & influenced the artist with conversation kept to a personal level.

That focus would create insights to how classic film influenced modern talent.

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I thought Ben Mankiewicz with Roger Corman was excellent. Ben was relaxed, engaged, knowledgeable and kept an excellent conversational flow.

I thought Ben was quite good with the two special effects guys who did the spotlight on A. Arnold Gillespie. Of course, that was probably easier since Ben just had to get out of the way and let them explain what the effects guys were doing.
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I thought Ben was quite good with the two special effects guys who did the spotlight on A. Arnold Gillespie. Of course, that was probably easier since Ben just had to get out of the way and let them explain what the effects guys were doing.

I agree. Those segments were nicely done.

 

Ben also did a great job when Danny Kaye's daughter came on for a whole day of films celebrating her dad's 100th birthday. I wouldn't mind TCM re-running those commentaries.

 

The one I disliked was when Bob interviewed Mother Dolores Hart. I didn't think he let her speak very freely, and she was too limited in her remarks. I had been looking forward to her being a guest programmer and was quite disappointed. 

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The most stunning commentary in recent months was Ileanna Douglas and her female guests - they were always so knowledgeable about female directors and gave me a new appreciation of female directors like Ida Lupino and Barbara Loden.

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It is unfortunate that: TCM does not have studio facilities in or near: Hollywood. I would be very interested to see young actors explaining how specific movie influenced their decision to become an actor. It would not be expensive as the actors could be paid simple scale for: one day's work. It would give the young actors some exposure and benefit their standing with: SAG. It would not matter to me if I have not heard of that actor or if they have not to date had any significant role. It is their passion which I wish to see. 

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It is unfortunate that: TCM does not have studio facilities in or near: Hollywood. I would be very interested to see young actors explaining how specific movie influenced their decision to become an actor. It would not be expensive as the actors could be paid simple scale for: one day's work. It would give the young actors some exposure and benefit their standing with: SAG. It would not matter to me if I have not heard of that actor or if they have not to date had any significant role. It is their passion which I wish to see. 

 

In terms of adhering to lowest common denominator, just give them a Skype connection, a green screen and an empty 5-gallon driveway sealer bucket to sit on.  Nobody would know the difference.  Unless the Skype connection cuts in and out.  Then it would look like Ben is talking to an intermittently present guest.  The real studios would probably be a better option.

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In terms of adhering to lowest common denominator, just give them a Skype connection, a blue screen and an empty 5-gallon driveway sealer bucket to sit on.  Nobody would know the difference.  Unless the Skype connection cuts in and out.  Then it would look like Ben is talking to an intermittently present guest.  The real studios would probably be a better option.

 

Didn't TCM already do something like this a year or so ago, with some guest fan/viewer's discussing their movie selections from the comfort of their webcams with Ben M in studio?

 

I think the hard part is still going to be finding folks with the right mix of enthusiasm/experience/knowledge/ability to present - not everyone is going to fit the bill, even though they may excel at individual parts of that mix...

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Didn't TCM already do something like this a year or so ago, with some guest fan/viewer's discussing their movie selections from the comfort of their webcams with Ben M in studio?

 

I think the hard part is still going to be finding folks with the right mix of enthusiasm/experience/knowledge/ability to present - not everyone is going to fit the bill, even though they may excel at individual parts of that mix...

 

I didn't see that one...  I think they did that though with the Physics expert who was hosting Sci-fi movie night.  Except that it didn't look like the TCM studio in Atlanta.  It looked more like the background of an ABBA video.

 

Being physically present with Ben would probably be a better option.  So just fly Ben out to CA and give him an extra 5-gallon bucket to sit on.  Then superimpose them over an intermittently disappearing Atlanta studio.  At least the interview wouldn't get interrupted.

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I didn't see that one...  I think they did that though with the Physics expert who was hosting Sci-fi movie night.  Except that it didn't look like the TCM studio in Atlanta.  It looked more like the background of an ABBA video.

 

Being physically present with Ben would probably be a better option.  So just fly Ben out to CA and give him an extra 5-gallon bucket to sit on.  Then superimpose them over an intermittently disappearing Atlanta studio.  At least the interview wouldn't get interrupted.

 

Do you think that they might still have those teleport thingamajigs from The Fly lying around somewhere?

Though guest/Ben might prefer your 5-gallon bucket, if they've seen the movie(s)... :)

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Skype connection, (snipped)  Nobody would know the difference.

 

I don't know if you were kidding & I didn't get the joke, but I think that idea is awful! There is a local politics show I watch here and once in awhile the moderator comes in via Skype. Awful.

 

I'd much rather see people really speaking to each other.

 

Good point about sending Ben to where the stars are, rather than the Atlanta studio....there's always rental studio space in Hollywood, Vancouver, Toronto, NYC, etc. It can't be THAT much more expensive than using your in-house crew. (although your in house crew deserves work, too)

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Skype connection, (snipped)  Nobody would know the difference.

 

I don't know if you were kidding & I didn't get the joke, but I think that idea is awful! There is a local politics show I watch here and once in awhile the moderator comes in via Skype. Awful.

 

I'd much rather see people really speaking to each other.

 

Good point about sending Ben to where the stars are, rather than the Atlanta studio....there's always rental studio space in Hollywood, Vancouver, Toronto, NYC, etc. It can't be THAT much more expensive than using your in-house crew. (although your in house crew deserves work, too)

 

Yes a horrible idea, joining the race to the bottom and all.  Just some cerebral humor before my first coffee, that is all.  The thought of Ben sitting in Atlanta talking to a "virtual" guest who appears to be sitting in the same room in the easy chair across from him, but keeps fading in and out and disappearing due to a bad Skype connection, tickled my funny bone.

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The thought of Ben sitting in Atlanta talking to a "virtual" guest who appears to be sitting in the same room in the easy chair across from him

 

 

Capuchin postulated in one: TCM Programming Challenge entry to have as Guest Programmer an animated character. He wrote parts of: Robert Osborne interview with her in: programming notes. 

 

I must ask: since: Kermit the Frog was a Guest Programmer then can an animated character be ruled out?

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Capuchin postulated in one: TCM Programming Challenge entry to have as Guest Programmer an animated character. He wrote parts of: Robert Osborne interview with her in: programming notes. 

 

I must ask: since: Kermit the Frog was a Guest Programmer then can an animated character be ruled out?

Unfortunately, good quality animation is very expensive.

 

I suspect that budget constraints would only allow something like this as our animated host...

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