Turner Classic Movies

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#26 Post by Matt » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:44 am

There was talk not too long ago about TCM splitting into two channels, one that's more "youth-oriented" and one that's the "classic" flavor. I don't know if that is still a plan. There was also talk of an HD TCM channel that was supposed to debut this year, but that never happened either.

indy81
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:36 pm

#27 Post by indy81 » Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:51 pm

Contrary to all the hysteria about TCM getting dumbed down or becoming the next AMC, I think the addition of the Underground series and the introduction of newer films has only positively added to the channel's eclecticism. I've been watching TCM for years, and there's always been a mix of well known films and obscurities - which is part of the channel's appeal to me. I haven't seen any sign that they're changing their focus to emphasize only well-known films, or 80s-90s American hits, for instance.

Some folks seem to want want TCM to be '30s programmers 24 hours a day, which is commercially unfeasible and a bit repetitious (as much as I love 30s programmers). I'd rather watch a channel that shows Grave of the Fireflies alongside Electra Glide in Blue, Gertrud, The Mating Call, One Million B.C., The Hurricane, etc. as TCM does next month.

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ltfontaine
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:34 pm

#28 Post by ltfontaine » Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:02 am

I don't think “hysteriaâ€

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Zumpano
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:43 am
Location: Seattle, WA
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#29 Post by Zumpano » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:59 pm

HD TCM is available up here in Seattle on Millenium Digital Media. Alas, I don't have a HD TV, so ever since I moved here in April I have been TCM deprived! (With Millenium, they only offer it in HD, not in regular cable.)

indy81
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#30 Post by indy81 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:01 pm

[quote="ltfontaine"]I don't think “hysteriaâ€

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Cobalt60
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 8:39 pm

#31 Post by Cobalt60 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:46 pm

I don't think there is reason to be writing venomous letters to TCM just yet but I will be getting the ink and pen out in preparation. The TCM Underground announcement had me a little worried, since as a HUGE fanatic for Underground/Cult/etc films I was a little wary of what they would consider for "Underground". Also, the choice of the most visible and hip monster fan to teenagers (Rob Zombie) I half expected them to have him hosting crap like Pitch Black. However, I have so far really liked the films that have been chosen, although the double bill of Plan 9 and Bride of the Monster was a little weak since those films are neither obscure or really to "Underground", at least by my standards. Last weeks Russ Meyer films where great, I was ecstatic to be seeing Faster Pussycat on TCM, even if it was after midnight. However, the host segments are pointless and annoying. Zombie does not seem comfortable in front of the camera reading trivia from a prompter and the MTV style multi camera angle some in color some in B&W crap is really lame. I wonder if the younger viewers tuned in last week, I'd be very interested to know and did they hang around for the slightly less retro-hip "Mudhoney". Anyway, I will not be lighting a candle or wearing a black arm band for TCM's stash of 30's programmers, silent and foreign just yet. They still have some really great stuff lined up in the coming months ("The Unknown" for example) and remain the best channel on television for film fans.

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tryavna
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:38 pm
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#32 Post by tryavna » Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:14 pm

FWIW, someone from TCM's programming office posts over at the TCM message boards under the name TCMProgrammer. Seems like his/her presence has diminished as the debates over there have become increasingly paranoid and redundant. But up until a couple of months ago, TCMProgrammer was reporting that the channel was making general programming plans (i.e., renewing licenses, etc.) for up to five years in the future and that there wasn't going to be a significant change in the balance of programming. In other words, TCM should keep showing the same basic ratio of feature films to special features and about the same number of films from each decade -- at least for a couple of years. Of course, would we expect that person to say anything different? But I'm inclined to believe him.

My only concern is that Koonin hasn't done anything to make TBS or TNT more palatable to me during his tenure. Like AMC, those two stations used to be much better than they currently are. By the same token, however, they were better when TCM didn't exist. Unless we hear that the Turner Entertainment Group is indeed going to set up a new channel, then I wouldn't worry too much. That always seems to be when they significantly alter content on existing channels.

atcolomb
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:49 pm
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#33 Post by atcolomb » Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:52 pm

What i like in TCM is that they have a good mixture of classic, new, foregin, silent, documentary, and underground films and i hope they keep it that way and not go down the path like BRAVO or AMC!! In the early and middle 90's both BRAVO and AMC played great films and documentaries but now they have so much crap that they play over and over again it's embarrassing to watch!! AMC has the same 5 movies that they show month after month like a scene from Groundhog Day!! The only good thing showing at AMC is Sunday Morning Shootout and The Actor's Studio at BRAVO and that's it!!

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#34 Post by Matt » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:00 pm

Actually, Bravo always pretty much sucked for showing movies. They always showed everything panned-and-scanned and edited for TV. I remember watching Prick Up Your Ears on Bravo in either the very late 80s or very early 90s and being so appalled by the presentation that I had to turn it off. They're much better off being the gay (but not so gay that they'll say they're gay) basic cable channel.

AMC used to be an equal to TCM in every way. TCM has actually improved, and AMC, well, it's just a pity. I always did prefer Nick Clooney to Robert Osborne, though.

atcolomb
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#35 Post by atcolomb » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:11 pm

There was a guy before Nick Clooney but i forgot his name but he did intros to the movies and i thought he did a great job too...

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tryavna
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#36 Post by tryavna » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:22 pm

atcolomb wrote:There was a guy before Nick Clooney but i forgot his name but he did intros to the movies and i thought he did a great job too...
Wasn't that Bob Dorian? I liked him, too.

I know somebody who worked at TCM a few years ago. Apparently, Robert Osborne's knowledge of foreign-language films is fairly weak. His cue cards for TCM Imports have to be spelled phonetically. (But I suspect I'd want it that way for myself, too, as my pronunciation of French is piss-poor.) But in Osborne's favor, this person also told me that he's excellent at putting guests at their ease on-air.

atcolomb
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#37 Post by atcolomb » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:29 pm

tryavna wrote:Wasn't that Bob Dorian?
You are right tryavna, it was Bob Dorian and i do wish that TCM did show more Imports.....

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#38 Post by Matt » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:16 pm

tryavna wrote:Apparently, Robert Osborne's knowledge of foreign-language films is fairly weak. His cue cards for TCM Imports have to be spelled phonetically.
Hmm, then how to explain his pronunciation of Antonio Gaudi as Antonio GWA-dee?

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tryavna
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#39 Post by tryavna » Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:26 pm

Matt wrote:Hmm, then how to explain his pronunciation of Antonio Gaudi as Antonio GWA-dee?
Well, the folks at TCM who do the research for his little intros/outros aren't infallible, either. The biggest blunder of theirs that I remember was when they kept having poor Osborne repeat that Dreyer only made 13 feature films. Didn't they ever bother to look at Nick's site -- or even IMDb?! (I mean, I know Dreyer more or less disowned Two People, but he still made the damned thing!)

unclehulot
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#40 Post by unclehulot » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:13 am

Matt wrote:Actually, Bravo always pretty much sucked for showing movies. They always showed everything panned-and-scanned and edited for TV. I remember watching Prick Up Your Ears on Bravo in either the very late 80s or very early 90s and being so appalled by the presentation that I had to turn it off.
Absolutely untrue. Yes, Bravo's demise was quick and painful, but in the mid 80's it was the best thing outside of the Z channel. MANY foreign films made their US tv debut on Bravo, and were uncut and usually in the correct aspect ratio. And with few of those titles on VHS at the time, they had to do much more legwork to get these films transferred to video. Gobs of Janus films were shown that were NOT on VHS at the time, or ever. I get so tired of a channel like IFC, that seemingly can't air a film that hasn't been issued on video to save it's life. For years I had VHS tapes from precious airings off of Bravo.......the ONLY way to see "The Leopard" until the Italian DVD, or the long cut of "Fanny & Alexander". Hell, they even showed Heimat I back before IMDB was around to tell me what the heck it was! Many discovered Olmi's "Il Posto" when Criterion released it. Not I....saw it on Bravo for eons before that release!

atcolomb
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#41 Post by atcolomb » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:03 am

BRAVO also had the letterboxed versions of THE CONFORMIST and DERSU UZALA and the director's cut of HEAVENS GATE and others some which i taped so early when BRAVO first started they were showing some excellent movies but now they become a whore of tv broadcasting. :(

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#42 Post by Matt » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:52 pm

unclehulot wrote:
Matt wrote:Actually, Bravo always pretty much sucked for showing movies. They always showed everything panned-and-scanned and edited for TV. I remember watching Prick Up Your Ears on Bravo in either the very late 80s or very early 90s and being so appalled by the presentation that I had to turn it off.
Absolutely untrue.
Hey, I said "pretty much."

unclehulot
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#43 Post by unclehulot » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:02 pm

Matt wrote:
unclehulot wrote:
Matt wrote:Actually, Bravo always pretty much sucked for showing movies. They always showed everything panned-and-scanned and edited for TV. I remember watching Prick Up Your Ears on Bravo in either the very late 80s or very early 90s and being so appalled by the presentation that I had to turn it off.
Absolutely untrue.
Hey, I said "pretty much."
Oh, I know......I guess it still stings sitting there seeing the commercials for the first time (with no advance warning....at least we knew AMC was about to start sucking), then the censored versions. Pardon the gruffitude...

BTW, has anyone noticed any cuts on TCM lately? It seems the last thing I can remember was a couple or more years ago in "Blow Up", and the Russ Meyer stuff a couple of weeks ago definitely had a high tit count!

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#44 Post by Matt » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:46 pm

unclehulot wrote:BTW, has anyone noticed any cuts on TCM lately?
They've been claiming "uncut and commercial-free" for a couple of years.

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dadaistnun
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:31 am

#45 Post by dadaistnun » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:26 am

Very occasionally the only version of a film they have access to is edited. The only one that comes to mind offhand is No Blade of Grass. This is certainly the exception to the rule though.

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ltfontaine
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:34 pm

#46 Post by ltfontaine » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:06 am

Critically speaking, Robert Osborne is the progeny of Old Hollywood, as reflected in this recent article about him in the New York Times.

Since it's abundantly clear that he's all at sea when it comes to the international cinema, routinely butchering names, titles and more, can't TCM simply reshoot when he omits or adds a consonant, or throws in an extra syllable? It's not like the people who bother to tune in at 2:00 a.m. aren't going to notice the howlers.

I'm sure he is a very nice man.

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tryavna
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:38 pm
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#47 Post by tryavna » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:46 am

dadaistnun wrote:Very occasionally the only version of a film they have access to is edited. The only one that comes to mind offhand is No Blade of Grass. This is certainly the exception to the rule though.
It's actually pretty common for them to show the American cuts of several British films. This happens every time they show the U.S. The Immortal Battalion rather than the original British The Way Ahead, and there are a couple of other British films in the same boat (like Yellow Canary). In fact, I'd say that the British films they show are the ones TCM is most likely to screw up. I really wish they'd hire somebody with a little more expertise on British cinema.

Eclisse
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:29 pm

#48 Post by Eclisse » Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:39 pm

Yesterday, the Dick Cavett interview with Ingmar Bergman and Bibi Andersson (from 1971-I think) was quite fun to watch.Bergman was in a good mood.

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Galen Young
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 8:46 pm

#49 Post by Galen Young » Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:58 pm

Eclisse wrote:Yesterday, the Dick Cavett interview with Ingmar Bergman and Bibi Andersson (from 1971-I think) was quite fun to watch.

It was fascinating to see the dynamic between Ingmar and Bibi. Cavett asking him whether he ever took drugs was incredibly awkward and hilarious. Bibi certainly was at the (then) height of fashion!

atcolomb
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:49 pm
Location: Round Lake, Illinois USA

#50 Post by atcolomb » Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:00 pm

He was asked the recent film he saw and he did mention Bob Rafelson's FIVE EASY PIECES which he liked alot...i thought that was interesting. I like his attitude about producers who would tell him what to do.....

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