TCM watch, February 4-10

My DVR already overfloweth, but I’ll be making room for these films I’ve never seen from Turner Classic Movies’ 31 Days of Oscar lineup for the week:

1. Sunrise (1927) Monday, 7:30 PM. F.W. Murnau’s silent love story was often mentioned in my film classes, but I’ve never had an opportunity to see it. I’m excited, because silent movies are awesome.

2. The 400 Blows (1959) Tuesday, 9:15 AM. French legend Francois Truffaut’s first feature-length film.

3. Libeled Lady (1936) Wednesday, 11:00 AM. William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, and Jean Harlow? Swoon! How have I never seen this movie?!

4. 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964) Saturday, 3:15 AM. Uh, something about a circus and Tony Randall in seven different roles. This one’s Oscars were for makeup and visual effects. Mostly I’m interested because I just love that title.

5. Gaslight (1944) Sunday, 6:30 AM. The movie for which Ingrid Bergman won her first Best Actress award.

Now, what all of you out there should be recording for yourselves if you’ve never seen it:

1. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Tuesday, 5:00 PM. A beautifully shot and beautifully acted film about soldiers returning from World War II. It won seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Harold Russell, who was a real double amputee, making his character’s struggle to deal with the loss of his hands that much more moving.

2. Rebecca (1940) Tuesday, 11:45 PM. The only Alfred Hitchcock film to ever win Best Picture. Everything about this movie is exquisite. And it’s entirely possible that’s the only time I’ve ever used the word ‘exquisite’ with any degree of sincerity, so you really should listen to me on this one.

3. Easy Rider (1969) Thursday 10:30 PM. Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, and Jack Nicholson might be major stars now, but they definitely weren’t when they made this bizarre movie. The low-budget, improvisational, under-the-influence approach to filmmaking they employed here, which resulted in a critical and box office hit, was hugely influential at the dawn of the 70s, when so many young filmmakers would do important work while rejecting the traditional Hollywood system.

4. Mildred Pierce (1945) Friday 9:00 PM. Joan Crawford won an Oscar playing the title role in this movie about the dark side of the American dream. It looks and feels like film noir, but from a twisted, family-focused perspective that makes it feel more “real” than those that begin and end in the criminal world. And it’s all the more disturbing for that.

5. Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) Sunday 1:00 AM. Inspired by a real event from writer-director Louis Malle’s childhood, this film follows the development of a friendship between two boys at a French boarding school in 1944, one of whom is a Jewish refugee being hidden by the headmaster. Stunning in its intimacy, more subtle than other films that touch on the same subject matter, and undeniably beautiful even in its saddest moments.

February weather is cold and gross! Stay inside and watch movies.

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Downton Gabby: podcasting about Downton Abbey from a funny, foul-mouthed, feminist perspective

Quick Lit: reading one short story a day in 2015

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