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The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Discussion of programming on TCM.

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kingrat
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The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby kingrat » October 31st, 2014, 12:20 pm

Sunday night has a Film Imports double feature I'm eager to see: LE SILENCE DE LA MER (SILENCE OF THE SEA) and LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES (on the schedule as "THE STRANGE ONES"), both directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, the later based on a work of Jean Cocteau. These have not been shown at least in the last five years, so grab the chance if you're interested. I've never seen either.

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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby moira finnie » October 31st, 2014, 1:47 pm

Here's the entire schedule for November:

http://www.tcm.com/schedule/monthly.html?sdate=2014-11-01

kingrat wrote:Sunday night has a Film Imports double feature I'm eager to see: LE SILENCE DE LA MER (SILENCE OF THE SEA) and LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES (on the schedule as "THE STRANGE ONES"), both directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, the later based on a work of Jean Cocteau. These have not been shown at least in the last five years, so grab the chance if you're interested. I've never seen either.


Kingrat, Le Silence de la Mer (1949) is fascinating but daunting in a way that most modern movies are not. The film has what I think of as very "Melvillian" sequences without much dialogue, as occurred in two of his greatest movies, Le Samourai (1967) and Army of Shadows (1969). For the most part, the speech that does occur in the film is a monologue by the poor German schmo of a lieutenant, since the old man and young woman whose house he is billeted in refuse to speak to him in a passive-aggressive kind of mute protest. It becomes more and more maddening for the Nazi.

I am curious about the Cocteau-derived Les Enfants Terribles (1950) since many people hate it or love it--but few seem to just like it.

I am pretty excited about the silent stars feature that is running all month long on Mondays (and spilling over to Tuesdays) with a good variety of movies each week. The Mondays are each devoted to the ladies, the gents, the dramatic and the comic, with everyone from Clara Bow to Emil Jannings on the schedule [Maybe this is the trial run for my dream delusional month when Douglas Fairbanks & Doug Jr. might be the focus of the spotlight!]

One rarely shown movie on the schedule:
Our Mother's House (1967-Jack Clayton) @6pm (ET) on 11/12
The director who made The Innocents (1961), The Pumpkin Eater (1964) and Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) uses his skill with children and creating an unnerving atmosphere on screen to tell the story of a group of children whose mother has died and whose stepfather (?) is a very creepy Dirk Bogarde (they should have shown this on Halloween).

Bad Movies Alert:

11/11:
The Whip Hand (1951-William Cameron Menzies) @6:30pm (ET): with Elliot Reid as the saviour of the American Way, even though he seems to be a hapless guy who stumbles on a town with some big, honking secrets happening out by the old pond (Raymond Burr is wonderfully funny as the guy who runs the tackle shop). One of my favorite "Commies-under-the-mattress" movies.

11/12:
Torch Song (1953-Charles Walters) @ 2pm ET on Nov. 12th. Joan Crawford returns to MGM in the worst way imaginable. You haven't lived until you see this jaw-dropper. Marjorie Rambeau & Harry Morgan play the only recognizable humans. (Is this the last major studio movie to use blackface? Maybe, though the same year saw Warners using it with The Eddie Cantor Story, which was really horrible, not just entertaining in a bizarrely weird way).
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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby moira finnie » November 3rd, 2014, 11:07 am

I'm reveling in Tough Guy (1936) on TCM right now, especially
since Time Warner's on-screen guide describes the movie as:

"A rich kid (Jackie Cooper) runs away with his dog (Mischa Auer) and ends up hiding in the woods with a gangster (Joseph Calleia)..."


I guess T-W thought that the canine role was a natural for Auer since he had such a "hang dog" expression. :P

Yes, I know that Rin Tin Tin, Jr. played the part of "Duke"...
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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » November 3rd, 2014, 6:25 pm

OMG! That's hilarious, Moira! Did I imagine a sequence (a la The Women) where Mischa is actually portrayed as an afghan hound? Maybe an old Warner Bros. cartoon? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I was hoping there were some Jean Pierre Melville fans over here! I had to come over and find someone to talk to about the director. That description of La Silence de la Mer doesn't do the film justice. This is the second Jean Pierre Melville film I've seen in a week (the first being Le Doulos or The Hat, which is slang for 'police informant') and I think I've fallen in love with the director. While Le Doulos was a stylish, edgy, fun exercise in revenge (which I LOVED), La Silence de la Mer was so emotional that I choked up at about the 3/4 mark and had a lump in my throat for the rest of the film. La Silence is a film I'll go back to, it's romantic, doomed, and has something rather political to say, though not in specifics.

I was expecting a film like your description of it, Moira, but what I got was MUCH deeper and more resonant. Because Melville refused to cast his lead character (Nazi) as a bad guy, I found the film devastating. Told from the point of view of an old French man and his daughter under Nazi occupation, we are shown ONE German, a military man, but also much more than that...a fragile human being bound by his ideas of nobility and duty, who is not enthralled with der Fuhrer's plans. He has a love of all things French and a hope for a future where France and Germany walk hand in hand in the sun, outside of war. Unfortunately, he is sadly mistaken and hasn't the force within to fight for his tiny view of peace between the two nations.

Melville's film is meticulous and detail oriented, helped along by a quiet first-person narrative. The attention to minutiae (hands trembling, the flicker of an eyelid) makes us first doubt the Nazi's words, but as the film literally ticks off its points (a clock in the background is used to GREAT effect), we find that the poor man is as much a victim of Hitler's hate as the French townspeople he is forced to rule over. Melville is ANGRY in a way only the french can be. I was expecting post war righteousness..... within his methodical framework, though, the anger of occupation is dissipated, then used to change our perspective of this captor and his charges. It also helps to set the stage for a tragic love story, without ever a word between the lovers.

Melville changes us, guides our anger to a more proper target - Hitler himself and those who had no problem destroying society's framework, artistic achievements, and most of all, entire populations of people. The film is really about a good man's shock and his inability to stand up against evil in the way in which it will do the most good. No matter what country, no matter what regime, some men are not cut out to fight against fascism and hate, and can only watch, keep silent, and die. This final message leaves you aching to jump up and strike a blow for those who can't deviate from their path of passivity. The film opened up many questions for me. Are the good and kind innately weaker than the evil and greedy or is it just that our ideas of propriety are weak? Is it nobler to sacrifice oneself or to live and fight? Should we pay for being easily deluded (and on the wrong side of history)?

Melville's style really grabs me. His mise-en-scene is bold and fascinating. I literally can't look away once his movies begin. Le Doulos starts during the credits, with Serge Reggiani (be still my heart) simply walking in the twilight. For 2 minutes he walks as it gets dark, along the banks of a river, on a high wall, down an alley...all in stunning high contrast black and white. It's a great set up for the opening scene, when he finally bursts in on his jewel fence, a dear friend to him, with whom he chats for a few minutes, and then murders as the one light in the room splays all over the place. The rest of the film is the story if how he got to that point, who the police informant who ratted him out really was, and how suspicion and misunderstanding lead to dea.....oh. wait. That would be giving it all away!

Both films I watched are about evil, betrayal, self-delusion and sacrifice. I think what sets Melville apart from some of the other transitional directors of his time period is his aching empathy with his characters in the midst of gritty brutal backgrounds. I find that empathy refreshing in its time period of cold documentary style direction. It's the same reason I have liked Agnes Varda.

It seems to me that Melville is dealing with a single question - what happens when you suddenly realize that YOU are the agent of evil, rather than its victim? I have found myself rooting for those I thought I was going to hate in his films. I can't think of a better thing in the world than that.

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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby ziggy6708a » November 3rd, 2014, 7:59 pm

great comments on SILENCE OF THE SEA, (loved it too)
did you get a chance to see LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES as well?
glad to have been introduced to this director & would now love to see "Le Doulos" also. 8)

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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby Mr. Arkadin » November 4th, 2014, 9:34 am

Lots of good stuff coming on this month, but I'm most enthused that TCM will actually be showing a legit Giallo film, with Dario Argento's The Cat O' Nine Tails (1971). This film stars Karl Malden and James Franciscus, has some great music by Ennio Morricone and very little in onscreen violence, or gore. Not a top tier work of the genre, but enjoyable and a nice introduction to Giallo for those who might be a bit squeamish about what they might find.

My review of the film:

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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » November 4th, 2014, 1:10 pm

ziggy,

I didn't watch Les Enfants Terribles, first of all because I didn't know that the listing for The Strange Ones WAS the famous movie...and secondly because I needed a breather after the emotional ride of La Silence de la Mer. I have Les Enfants recorded, so I will try to watch it soon. I'm SO glad I watched the Melville movies in the order I did though... what a surprise he's been! Several times I've queued up Les Enfants Terribles, only to back down once I had it ready to go.... something about the description made me chicken out. Now I am glad I did. I would have hated to miss out on these other wonderful films if I found the story of Les Enfants too disturbing. And knowing myself, I would have made a snap judgment about the director from one film... always a mistake but one I make all too often. I had to buy Le Doulos, it isn't available on youtube or Netflix or Hulu. You can find copies on EBAY, though the Criterion collection dvd is rocketing up in price since I bought it. I got it for a song, but I would never pay what they are asking for it now. Still, you may be able to find a copy for a reasonable price.... If I weren't obsessed with Serge Reggiani, I probably would never have bothered, but I am so glad I now own it. It's a terrific TERRIFIC noir.

Joel,

Thanks for mentioning Cat o' Nine Tails! This sounds like a good intro for wussy me. :D :D
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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby kingrat » November 4th, 2014, 1:17 pm

Somewhere, probably in the foreign film thread, is my rave review of Melville's Un Flic, which is generally thought to be one of his lesser films. If so, I have a lot of great stuff to see. The only other film of his I've seen is Bob le Flambeur, very good though the extended baccarat sequence near the end lost my attention. Le Silence de la Mer and Les Enfants Terribles have been recorded (he said hopefully) and now I'm looking forward to them even more.

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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » November 4th, 2014, 1:25 pm

kingrat, I look forward to your reviews! Yes, I think Melville is a great director, judging from the couple of secondary movies I've seen so far. I'll check out Le Flic and Bob Le Flambeur. I think this is the start of a love affair between me and J. P. :D :D

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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby Mr. Arkadin » November 5th, 2014, 8:48 am

JackFavell wrote:Joel,

Thanks for mentioning Cat o' Nine Tails! This sounds like a good intro for wussy me. :D :D


Wendy, I honestly think you are assuming way too much from these movies. Many of them are not really that violent--they are actually suspense thrillers, not unlike something Hitchcock would have made. While there are some graphic films out there, a lot of the fare is on the same scale as Frenzy (1972). These are not slasher films, or anything like that genre. They are simply an Italian take on the mystery genre, and like the Spaghetti western, they incorporated different ideas about sound, cinematography, and are more cynical. The biggest obstacle I have with people is the idea they will be watching Friday the 13th part?@#! when nothing could be farther from the truth.

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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » November 5th, 2014, 10:35 am

giggle. Friday the 13th part ?&@!

I know you are right! I was thinking they would be all slasher-ey (sheepish grin). I'll definitely give it a try. If the mise en scene is the way you've described these in the past, I should be good. Hey, lately my daughter has gotten all gorey on me, watching The Walking Dead and all these other frightening movies... it must be something about the age 14 I guess. If I can sit through her stuff, I can sit through anything.

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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby Mr. Arkadin » November 5th, 2014, 11:24 am

Well, I can see from your avatar you like Peeping Tom (1960). Most of these movies are a continuation of that style & many give definite nods, or pay homage to Hitch, or Powell. I am very much in line with the idea that a movie should be built on some kind of storyline and have something to say.

I was talking on FB to a friend, who hated Nightmare on Elm St. (another 80's slasher movie I dislike) about my thoughts on the horror genre and especially that 80's era of cartoonish, violence where gore was the actual substance of the film:

Nightmare & most of the other 80's American slasher films tend to fall into that category for me. When I was a kid, I saw all the older 1930's Universal films, where the idea of horror was totally different than the era in which I grew up (late 70's/80's). In the 20's & 30's most horror themes dealt with morality & philosophical ideas of the 20's enlightenment, where man struggled in his relations w/his creator (often seeking to usurp, blaspheme, or create life in himself) & his creations. The 40's turned toward a post WWII disillusionment where alongside Film Noir, man sees himself as flawed & morally corrupt--probably the best example of this are the Van Lewton films & other B film masterpieces such as Soul of a Monster (1944). In the 50's horror took a backseat to SiFi. where morality became less of a personal objective, but social consciousness, while the 60's & early 70's find horror looking inward at the psyche of the individual to find answers within themselves. These ideas were abandoned in the early 80's American slasher film, where I feel Americans took the violence aspect from Italian Horror & Giallo, but gave us very little substance to chew on. As a result,there is very little from that era that interests me.

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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » November 5th, 2014, 12:22 pm

Wow! That was terrific, Joel! Really thoughtful and the encapsulations of the different time periods were spot on. I would agree with you.

I think that the slasher films of the 80's had some kind of weakly moralistic structure, but didn't delve into the philosophical territory that the great horror films did. I think they were mostly fodder for selling popcorn and candy, and about making teens feel good about themselves. A great horror film should have a really deep, maybe even uncomfortable look at mankind, or at least the era it was filmed in.

What you say about the 1920's and 1930's films almost makes me think about them in terms of the rise of Fascism and Nazism. They suddenly have a kind of prescient glow about them when I think about them in terms of what was to come politically in the next decade. Maybe I'm just reaching there.

And yes, I DO like Peeping Tom, it's brilliant...although I have to be in a certain mood to watch. There is something so uneasy about the film that the last time I tried to watch, right before Halloween, I couldn't do it, I had to leave and do something else.

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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby moira finnie » November 5th, 2014, 5:44 pm

Brilliant analysis, Joel. Thank you for sharing it here.
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Re: The November 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » November 7th, 2014, 7:10 pm

Nice response, Joe! Excellent points. :D
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