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NOVEMBER: Guest Programmer Month

Posted: October 11th, 2007, 2:14 pm
by pktrekgirl
Well, I received my copy of NOW PLAYING in the mail yesterday. And wouldn't you know it: the main thing that sticks in my craw about this whole guest programmer month is prominently displayed on the cover - right SMACK in the middle of the front cover, in fact. A director's chair for Kermit the Frog. :mad:

How can you have a guest programmer who is a PUPPET????? :roll:

It really makes you wonder: do these guest programmers even get to pick any of these films they supposedly love? Or are they just told what they supposedly love by TCM: "If you want to be guest programmer for Feburary, this is what you have to love....because we need to get in our bazillionth showing of THE MALTESE FALCON."

I mean, last I checked, Kermit the Frog does not have an actual BRAIN. So how can he pick films?

For some months I have suspected that the guest programmer thing is sorta bogus, and that the 'guests' get to 'program' very little, in fact. Might not have always been that way...but based on recent picks, it sure does look fishy.

But this month's schedule really highlights the issue. Here you have about 30 individuals, none of whom pick a single film in common...and who AMAZINGLY seem to have picked the same films that TCM has been showing every other month again and again and again.

Bottom line: for me, this whole 'guest programmer' thing is starting to not pass the sniff test.

It's not the films that bother me really...because whether it's a guest programmer or not, TCM just seems DETERMINED to show certain films again and again and again. What bothers me is the representation that these people just love these films THAT much...when I'm starting to suspect that they have very little say in what actually gets shown...

Maybe they should change the title to 'guest co-host'. It might be more honest. Because I'm really beginning to doubt these guests actually do any programming whatever.

Certainly, Kermit the Frog flat out CAN'T. Someone is picking for him...which by definition lets him out of the title of 'programmer'.

I think if you are gonna have a guest programmer, then you need to let them honestly pick what they want. I really want to KNOW what these guys think are great films - and why. But if the whole thing is bogus, and these guys are really just guest co-hosts...then I am not getting the information that I am expecting to receive...and the information that is promised to me by the adverts.

Has anyone else started to wonder about the authenticity of the term 'guest programmer'????

Posted: October 11th, 2007, 5:57 pm
by Gagman 66

:? Well, I kind of brought this matter up a few weeks ago on the TCM forum. It is not exactly the same thing, but I did comment that I was far from overwhelmed with virtually any of these "Guest Programmers", and their paltry selections!

Here is the post in response to zelda71:


:x Once again, Silent Sunday Nights is being prohibited due to "Guest Programmers Month". I don't know if this will be an Annual event or not? I sincerely do hope that it won't be! However, there still are about the same number of Silent's as usual in November.

:roll: Sad to say, that I am personally not all that impressed with many of these "Guest Programmers" TCM has been featuring! It seems to me that a good number of them just keep selecting the same few films over and over again? Well, doesn't it?

:( After awhile, this becomes monotonous, even depressing! I mean for crying out loud, haven't these people seen any other movies????

Message was edited by: gagman66

Posted: October 11th, 2007, 6:07 pm
by mrsl

I don't think the guest programmers should have to pick 'great' films, only their 'favorite' films. The Essentials is supposed to be for 'great' films. But I do agree that Kermit the Frog is totally ridiculous.

If you told me I had to pick 4 movies which were the only movies I would be able to see for the rest of my life, they would be:

Steel Magnolias
Pretty Woman
Westward the Women
The Women

All four have a connecting link - strong women. Now, these are my 'favorites' not because of who is in them, but what the story is. Therefore, my 4 favorite movies would be based on the story.

If you gave me 4 categories and I had to pick my favorite from each, they would be:

Casablanca - War
To Kill a Mockingbird - Politics
Liberty Valence - Western
Home from the Hill - Drama

In addition to different genres, I also like the story and stars in each movie.

What I'm saying is there has to be a connecting link between favorites especially in movies. It could be the stars, the period, the plot, whatever, but there is usually something that is attractive about all. Even something as elusive as 4 movies that make you think, or laugh or cry. Ever since the beginning of the guests, I've felt something was screwy. Sometimes the choices are at total odds with each other.

I don't know if I've made myself clear, it just seems 4 favorite movies would be similar in some way, not just likable.


Posted: October 11th, 2007, 6:42 pm
by SSO Admins
I fully agree that Kermit the Frog is a ridiculous choice. they should have chosen Fozzie Bear.

Posted: October 11th, 2007, 8:12 pm
by Sue Sue Applegate
It's never easy being green...

Why not the Count? At least he will be theatrically attired....

Posted: October 11th, 2007, 10:47 pm
by mrsl
Yes JohnM, but through the course of the movie she grows and in all the movies I chose, the women all grow and emerge as stronger. In The Women, Mary Haines is a pampered rich housewife who has to become more independent - "I've had two years to grow them (her nails), Jungle Red". In Westward the Women the whole wagon train is school teachers, widows, and librarians, etc., except for the two saloon girls and they all have to change drastically. In Steel Magnolias, the young girls learn from the older gals. In all, none of the women are the same at the end of the movie as when they started.


Re: NOVEMBER: Guest Programmer Month

Posted: October 11th, 2007, 10:56 pm
by Moraldo Rubini
pktrekgirl wrote:Well, I received my copy of NOW PLAYING in the mail yesterday. And wouldn't you know it: the main thing that sticks in my craw about this whole guest programmer month is prominently displayed on the cover - right SMACK in the middle of the front cover, in fact. A director's chair for Kermit the Frog. :mad:

How can you have a guest programmer who is a PUPPET????? :roll:
Wait... Kermit is a puppet?

[quivering lip]

Dear Editor,

Some of my friends say there Kermit is a puppet, not a real frog. Papa says "If you see it in The SilverScreenOasis it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a frog?

Virginia O'Hanlon,
115 West 95th Street,
New York City

Posted: October 11th, 2007, 11:05 pm
by mrsl
Dear Virginia:

Sometimes the truth is hard to bear. Your Papa is right. Kermit is a frog puppet. However, you might feel better when I tell you there really is a frog prince. If you look very closely at your own letter, in the upper left hand margin, you will see a photo of him, his initials are M.R. Isn't he cute???


New York Times

Posted: October 11th, 2007, 11:31 pm
by Mr. Arkadin


Posted: October 12th, 2007, 12:15 am
by Moraldo Rubini
Miss Piggy's Favorite Five:

Sioux City Sue
The Pig Sleep
House of Sand and Hog

Posted: October 12th, 2007, 8:43 am
by jdb1
"House of Ham and Hog," isn't it? Either way -- love it. ("The Pig Sleep" - priceless - OK if I use it sometime?)

I fully agree with the gripes. I've generally skipped the Guest Host installments - they have surprisingly little new to say (new to cinephiles, that is, but then, all of TV is geared toward the Know-Nothings these days, isn't it?). And I'm in full agreement also with the notion that somehow all these Guest Hosts seem to "love" the same 8 or 10 movies which, co-incidentally, are available through TCM, and which we've all seen a zillion times.

If TCM is really interested in pulling in a younger audience, wouldn't more appropriate Guest Hosts make sense? Of course, the problem there is that most of the younger screen personalities not only can't string a coherent sentence together, they don't know anything about movies -- ever watch any of the interviews on those "red carpet" shows?

Posted: October 12th, 2007, 9:07 am
by moira finnie
Great replies Jon & Moraldo.

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

Fozzie Bear would, of course want to include the movies The Two Little Bears (1961), The Bear (1999) and The Edge (1997) in his picks, wouldn't he?

Actually, I've skipped most of the guest programmer spots for reasons already cited, but I did enjoy the visit from playwright and director David Mamet. His lucid and articulate comments before the films that he chose were revealing about his own development as a cinephile and his emotional link to each film was palpable. Also, his choice of movies just appealed to me: Stanley Kubrick’s noir thriller, The Killing, the brilliant Jean Gabin in the French film, Le Jour Se Leve, William Wellman’s Island in the Sky, and Noel Coward’s war classic In Which We Serve. I've yet to catch another guest who seemed to make Robert Osborne look as though he wanted to continue the conversation off camera as Mamet's presence did.

Re: Oink

Posted: October 12th, 2007, 10:32 am
by MissGoddess
Moraldo Rubini wrote:Miss Piggy's Favorite Five:

Sioux City Sue
The Pig Sleep
House of Sand and Hog
:lol: Ha haaaaaa! That gave me my laugh of the day, thanks Moraldo!

Posted: October 13th, 2007, 4:02 pm
by Bogie
Actually Kermit is not a puppet he's a MUPPET! There's a difference and it's more then just subtle.

Anyways that does seem egregious but remember that Kermit has evolved as a character and I'd be interested to see what he picks for his movies. I bet one of them will be a Muppets movie :D

Overall the guest programmers have been rather underwhelming but I admit to not having seen all of them. I did see Burt Reynolds and his night was actually quite good as he seemed to really love and appreciate the movies he selected.