TCM, forgive me!

I’ve really dropped the ball, guys. It’s rolling away, already halfway down the hill. Because it’s 31 Days of Oscar on Turner Classic Movies. And it started 12 days ago. And I haven’t said anything about it.

I have no good excuse. Let’s just forget it and get straight to my recommendations for the rest of the month, shall we?

Top Five Movies You Should Totally Record Because You Probably Haven’t Seen Them and They Are Awesome:

Jezebel (1938) Saturday the 13th at 12:15 PM

So, there’s this ball. And all the ladies are supposed to wear white gowns. It’s tradition.

But then there’s Julie. And Julie’s played by Bette Davis. And Julie doesn’t want to wear white. She wants to wear red.

In the 1850s.

Okay, there’s a lot more that goes on. But that scene….that’s where they get you. Directed by legit legend William Wyler and accompanied by Henry effin’ Fonda, Bette Davis won an Oscar for this role. Don’t disrespect. See the movie.

Blow-Up (1966) Sunday the 14th at 2:00 AM

Michelangelo Antonioni (who has one of the top ten best names ever, besides being a devastating filmmaker) directed and co-wrote this film that is sort of like a murder mystery, but sort of nothing like a murder mystery at the same time. A trendy photographer snaps some shots of a couple, far away from him in a park, maybe flirting, maybe arguing. When the pictures are developed…they might show something more. Plot-wise, you don’t need to know much. I could say a million things about Blow-Up because it leaves so much unsaid about itself. It’s a movie about wanting different things and feeling different ways depending on what you know and what is uncertain. It’s also about that feeling one gets when they feel a swell of inspiration in the craft they practice. And it’s also about sex.

I think. Whatever it is about, it’s brilliance.

Summertime (1955) Monday the 15th at 12:00 AM

This is a simple movie, a window in time about a brief love affair experienced by a middle-aged, never-married American woman as she vacations in Italy. There are two truly compelling reasons to give this movie a chance. One, it stars Katherine Hepburn, whom no one has ever not loved. Two, it was directed by David Lean. (DON’T tell me you don’t know who David Lean is. He only followed up Summertime with a little one-two punch of The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia. Geez.)

Key Largo (1948) Tuesday the 16th at 10:15 AM

A gangster movie and a hostage pic all wrapped up in one! Starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, and Edward G. Robinson; directed by John Huston. Oh my. But really, for my money, the show is stolen by now-little-known actress Claire Trevor, as the emotionally abused girlfriend of Robinson’s gang boss. The Academy agreed: she won Best Supporting Actress.

The Crowd (1928) Thursday the 18th at 8:00 PM

The story of a man and a woman just trying to make it in this crazy modern world. Yep, it’s silent. And it’s overly dramatic, heavy-handed, and predictable. And it will make you want to watch every other movie King Vidor ever directed, because it’s also wrenching and visually stunning. Silent films, seriously. So beautiful.

At the time, The Crowd’s theme of battling to try to succeed in an extraordinary way—when you yourself are simply ordinary—was definitely not typical. Maybe it seems cliché now, but at the time, Vidor was in a class of his own when it came to seeing what movies could represent.

And what will I be recording for my own first-time viewing pleasure? I’m eyeing They Were Expendable, In Cold Blood, The Night of the Iguana, Indiscretion of an American Wife, and The Nun’s Story. I’ll keep y’all posted.

Happy Oscar countdown!

(P.S. All times are Eastern because even though I’m a Pacific girl, I’ve got that whole satellite thing going on with the cable channels. You understand.)

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1 Response to “TCM, forgive me!”


  1. 1 Carly February 14, 2010 at 12:41 am

    ooooh, Blow-Up! i fucking loved Blow-Up. it was so strange and captivating. Also, made me understand why everyone always goes so crazy for Vanessa Redgrave, who was impossibly hot in a very buttoned-up, perhaps-this-bird-is-not-all-there sort of way. Also, Jane Birkin and that other chick rolling around in the clothes pretty much wrote the script for all of my former roommate’s subsequent choreography. mmm, now i want to watch it again.


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