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NOVEMBER: Guest Programmer Month

Discussion of programming on TCM.

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Moraldo Rubini
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Postby Moraldo Rubini » October 13th, 2007, 4:21 pm

moirafinnie wrote:Moraldo, don't you think that Charlotte's Web (2006) should be on Miss Piggy's list too?

Hush Moira, we try not to mention CW in the presence of Miss Piggy. I understand she's a little bitter about the casting of this flick, as she assumed she would've been included. She was last seen comiserating with Jennifer Holliday who was muttering something about them not "casting pearls before swine..."

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Bogie
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Postby Bogie » October 13th, 2007, 4:25 pm

How stupid of me! I should've looked at the TCM site. Anywho I just took at look at the guest programmers. Some interesting movie choices ranging from the classic to the um, not so classic :)

BTW I don't think Donald Trump actually watches those movies (well maybe Citizen Kane) I didn't look at the rest of the schedule but did kind of skim and WOW what a loaded schedule. Lots of movie series! I think i'm gonna be glued to TCM

The Great Gildersleeve movies are the ones i'm most looking forward to. I've heard and love the old radio show and want to see how he translated to film.

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Postby pktrekgirl » October 15th, 2007, 8:25 pm

Well first, I think some people might have misinterpreted my issue. I don't mind most of the guest programmers themselves (Kermit and other inanimate beings excepted. :P ) and sometimes I even quite like their comments.

But Kermit highlights a particular suspicion I've been having for some time - that these guys don't really pick their OWN films. I just have a really hard time buying the fact that the same films get picked over and over...and they are all ones that TCM just LOVES to show...and actually DOES show under other auspices during any months where the guest programmer doesn't 'pick' them.

I mean, if we took 12 people from this board and asked them to pick four of THEIR favorites to show on such a night, I bet we'd get less overlap than TCM gets with their guest 'programmers'.

And what I'm saying is that if these guys are really guest CO-HOSTS rather than true programmers, then I think they should say that, rather than lead us to believe that these guys all think the same 20 or so films are the Best Ever. :lol:

Oh...and if they are gonna have a muppet be a guest programmer, then I think it should be Dominar Rygel the XVI, Supreme Ruler of Hyneria, from Farscape.

I mean, the guy is two feet tall, has 600 billion subjects, and farts helium! Who wouldn't want him as guest programmer? :D I think Robert Osbourne's voice would be ALOT more entertaining after a few well-placed Rygel farts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominar_Rygel_XVI

^ He even has his own wikipedia entry! :P
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Kyle In Hollywood
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Postby Kyle In Hollywood » October 15th, 2007, 10:26 pm

pktrekgirl wrote:But Kermit highlights a particular suspicion I've been having for some time - that these guys don't really pick their OWN films. I just have a really hard time buying the fact that the same films get picked over and over...and they are all ones that TCM just LOVES to show...and actually DOES show under other auspices during any months where the guest programmer doesn't 'pick' them.

I mean, if we took 12 people from this board and asked them to pick four of THEIR favorites to show on such a night, I bet we'd get less overlap than TCM gets with their guest 'programmers'.


Hi Beda -

I recently heard the voice/alter-ego of the muppet "Elmo" on an NPR program. And I am left to believe that the "muppeteer" and the muppet are, in many ways, one and the same. As to Kermit The Frog, he was a creation of the late Jim Henson and I have no idea who is his 'handler" nowadays, but I bet the films that "Kermit" will present are films that the "muppeteer" holds in high esteeem and also resonate with the persona of Kermit.

But I have to agree that certain Guest Programmers got stuck in a rut and programmed some very similar evenings. Three Guest Programmers over the years have chosen The Third Man (Dick Cavett / Sid Ganis / Barry Levinson) but none of the GPs for November picked the film. THAT suprised me. You would think one out of the thirty would have selected that "popular" film.

My personal take on the line-up of guest programmers can be found here -
http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/message. ... 91#7974991

But. like a few others, I am overwhelmed with TCM's decision to fill most of the daytime hours in November with franchise films. THAT is an amazing event.

Kyle
Kyle In Hollywood

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Postby pktrekgirl » October 15th, 2007, 11:16 pm

^ Well, I'm not talking about the serial-type films here. While I whole-heartedly agree that November in general will ROCK because of those, that is not really the issue I'm referring to here. This thread was intended to be about the issue of guest programmers...and if they really ARE guest programmers.

I guess I don't feel the need to make excuses for TCM. If they do something that I like...I say so. If they do something that I don't like, I'll say that too. And I won't make apologies about that. I know I once got into a row with someone who is actually here about TCM because while I love the channel in general, I don't feel the need to make apologies for everything they do that I don't care for. I am a paying 'customer' of that station...and so I feel under no obligation to rationalize away things I don't like. If it wasn't for TCM my monthly satellite bill would be considerably less per month...and as long as I'm paying for it, I feel I have the right to express my feelings - whether those feelings be positive or negative on any given occasion.

I don't cut any other TV station (the scifi channel, which I also patronize heavily) any slack, and I have no plans to cut TCM any either. I'll state what I love about the station unapologetically...but I'll also state what I dislike about the station unapologetically. Certainly as politely as possible...but I'm not gonna say that it's okay with me if TMC is lying to us about guest programmers, simply because they are gonna show Little Pepper films next month. One has no bearing on the other, in my view. TCM is not 'all good' because they are showing Little Peppers...nor are they 'all bad' because they are having a puppet as a guest programmer. They are somewhere in the middle, in my view....because they make some decisions I like...and some - not so much. :lol:

I don't think people do these stations any favors whatever to constantly tell them only about how wonderful they are. If that is all anyone ever did over at the TCM message board, we'd probably be having 24/7/365 post-1960 films by now...because that is definitely the direction the channel has been headed for the past 18 months or so. My feeling is that one of the reasons they haven't moved more swiftly in that direction is because people on the message board have complained about it....and from that, TCM got the message that alot of fans would lose interest if they did it.

I think if we tell them what they want to hear rather than what we really think, then we have no one to blame but ourselves for poor programming...or even marginally honest programming. I thank my lucky stars for posters over at TCM like Fred C Dobbs. He is not always the easiest poster to get along with, but I think we have ALL benefited from the fact that he has been willing to speak up and tell TCM NOT that they are 'the most wonderful station EVER!!!!'...but that he is concerned about this direction or that. It is certainly the less 'agreeable' way....but by being disagreeable, he and posters like him have made way for those of us who want to praise everything TCM does to be able to DO that. Because he has at least made an effort to keep them in line and on-track for hard-core classic film fans.

IMO, this guest programmer designation has been smelling more and more fishy every month for the past several months. And I guess the last straw was seeing a director's chair on the cover of NOW PLAYING...for a puppet.

I can't speak about Kermit...but I know a fair amount about Rygel, who is another puppet which came out of Jim Henson's organization. In Rygel's case, while one person has consistently been the voice...there are numerous puppeteers who have operated him (and who are separate and distinct individuals from the voice)....and indeed, who are required to operate him during every filming. Rygel is not a one person job - it takes a whole handful of individuals to bring Rygel into being during filming. Which is why I suspect that Kermit is not a one-person job either. Nor have (probably) the same people been doing that job since Kermit came into being.

This is why I think the whole thing is suspect.
My wife said she'd help young people, ... That's what I'd do. Help young people, then buy a big motor home and get out of town.

~ Gary Cooper

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » October 16th, 2007, 1:30 pm

FYI --- Kermit has been voiced by Muppetteer Steve Whitmire since Jim Henson's death. So I suppose Whitmire is in essence the Guest Host, but will Kermit's choices be Whitmire's or Mr. O's?

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movieman1957
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Postby movieman1957 » October 17th, 2007, 3:53 pm

Kyle:

I didn't realize the "franchise" theme until I received my "Now Playing" guide. Pretty bold to do it for the entire month. Some I've never heard of so I hope I'll get to see some.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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pgms

Postby melwalton » October 18th, 2007, 1:55 pm

Some good laughs there, Jon, Moraldo. The post about Gildersleeve brought to mind the Fibber McGee radio show, and one belly laugh when he was hanging something and swallowed a mouthful of tacks, when told, Molly screamed, 'WHAT, BEFORE DINNER?'.

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Postby traceyk » October 21st, 2007, 12:13 pm

jondaris wrote:I fully agree that Kermit the Frog is a ridiculous choice. they should have chosen Fozzie Bear.


Or Miss Piggy! Can you imagine what her choices would have been? She's the Grand Diva of Puppet Glam. There'd be discussion about what becomes a legend most and costumes and diva-dom.

For glamour and costumes:
"Dinner at Eight,"
"My Man Godfrey" or "The Awful Truth"
"The Women"




For Diva-dom:
"All About Eve"
Something Joan Crawford "Queen Bee" maybe?
Something Dietrich "Blonde Venus" or "A Foreign Affair?"
"Twentieth Century"
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. "~~Wilde

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mrsl
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Postby mrsl » October 21st, 2007, 1:50 pm

jdb: That's exactly what pktrekgirl meant about who is making the choices. Is the person sitting in the 'guest' chair free to choose his/her own movies, or is he/she given a list to choose from, or is RO choosing? I pretty much go with the list - to many repetitions from the thousands of movies available. However, as we all know, TCM has lied to us before, so I wouldn't expect a straight answer from them if the questions was asked.

Kyle: Franchise? What do you mean?

SPTO: Burt Reynolds is very knowledgeable about movies. He has an acting school down in either Florida or Georgia where they often do scenes from the classics. So when he spoke with enthusiasm, he meant it. It was nice to see someone who knew the movies they chose.

Anne
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movieman1957
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Postby movieman1957 » October 22nd, 2007, 7:46 am

Anne:

The guest programmers would only pick from the TCM library. That's at least what RO wrote in the November "Now Playing" guide.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Postby Hollis » November 1st, 2007, 4:00 pm

Hi Anne,

Unless I'm mistaken, a "franchise" film (or films actually) are those based upon a common theme, like the "Thin Man" series or "Torchy Blane." If I'm wrong, someone please correct me. Thanks.

As always,

Hollis

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Postby mrsl » November 2nd, 2007, 11:57 am

movieman1957: I understood there is no longer a TCM library, I thought it was sold to someone and all films have to be rented now???

Hollis: If you're right, and that's what 'franchise' means, I agree with Kyle, I'm looking forward to November because of all the series/franchises.

After watching Rusty movies all morning, I'm almost ready for Andy Hardy.

Anne
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movieman1957
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Postby movieman1957 » November 2nd, 2007, 12:01 pm

Anne:

You are right. TCM has to rent all their films. I should have said they could pick from what was available under their current lease agreements.

Sorry for the confusion.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Postby Sue Sue Applegate » November 2nd, 2007, 9:07 pm

Well, tonight's Guest Programmer is Alfred Molina. Does anyone ever remember seeing him as Sergei in Letter To Brezhnev? It's one of his first films that is rarely ever mentioned when folks write or talk about him, and I quite enjoyed it.

Plot synopsis from the IMDb:

Two Soviet sailors, Peter and Sergei, go ashore in Liverpool to spend one night on the town. Peter can speak a minimal amount of English but it's enough to make contact with two Liverpudlian natives, Elaine and Theresa. Elaine and Peter immediately fall in love with each other, but the night is short and they must leave with the ship. Elaine can't forget him and writes a letter to Leonid Brezhnev, asking him to make it possible for them to reunite. Written by Mattias Thuresson {[email protected]}

Molina was also the character who got "spiked" while leaving Indiana Jones to fend for himself after he had led him to the initial treasure-in-the-cave scene in Raider of the Lost Ark. And just a few years later he had his first "big" film role in the previously mentioned Letter to Brezhnev.


Molina spoke with Robert Osborne about how much he admired Anthony Quinn, whom I also adored when I first saw him in Ghostbreakers, and the wonderful Anna Magnani, whom I feel had sort of a Katina Paxinou-take (fatalistic, but forthright) on some of her characters. Molina also admits adoring Miss Magnani and her performances on film.

Quinn's Bombolini is also one of the characters that Molina seems to admire because it sort of represents the odd-but-driven types of performances that Molina states he admires about Quinn's acting choices.

Molina's choice of a Norman Wisdom film and Stanley Kramer's The Secret of Santa Vittoria with Quinn and Magnani reflect, to me , an oddly personal choice. His father was Spanish and his mother was Italian, and he was raised in England, which in a way explains how he can imitate and realize so many different types of characters.

(Unfortunately, the "Up Next" Marquee had a typo and labeled the film
The Secret on Santa Vittoria)


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