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TCM Fest 2013, Part Three: The Marriage Circle, by Scott Nye

6 Jun

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If one sees a decent number of classic films, themes of marriage will inevitably recur. Sometimes used classically for commitment and undying love, other times to indicate sexual passion, and just as often to comment on the rigors of contemporary life, matrimony is never far from the minds of many films made from the 1930s-50s. Trap, challenge, fling, or fiasco, a whopping seven films at 2013’s Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival gave you a pretty good look at the joy of getting hitched.

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TCM Fest, Part Two: Murder, My Sweet, by Scott Nye

13 May

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Ah, murder! Where would fiction be without it? In an art form that requires extreme conflict, it’s no wonder we rush – creatively and commercially – so often to perhaps the worst thing you can do to another human. But given our need to not consider such actions too harshly, the popular culture finds ways to diminish, to lighten, to make fun from terror, and craft any number of stories in which we can get a little entertainment from that most dastardly of deeds. Three of the films I saw at TCM Fest exemplify this mode, sometimes classically, sometimes beautifully, and sometimes, a little messily.

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TCM Fest 2013: Opening Night, by Scott Nye

3 May

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I’ll be doling out a few installments of my coverage of the TCM Classic Film Festival in the days to come, the rest of which will cover between three and six of the fifteen films I saw over four days (I’m telling you guys, it’s a blast), but I figured we’d start simple, with the one film I saw opening night. It also helps that it doesn’t really fit into any of the categories I set up going forward, but indeed how the hell could it fit into any category other than its anarchic own? I speak, of course (what am I saying, there’s nothing obvious about this), of the truly great Bob-Hope-and-Bing-Crosby-starring Road to Utopia.

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Discover and Celebrate Classic Cinema in Hollywood

23 Apr

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The virtues of the TCM Classic Film Festival, which takes over the Hollywood & Highland area of Los Angeles for four days every April (this year, April 25th-28th), are nearly endless, scientifically speaking. Easy as it is to see great older films year round in Los Angeles’ many magnificent rep houses, TCM Fest is really quite a singular experience, one that you could attempt to explain with the many stars and special presentations they show off, but which isn’t fully known until experienced. The people who attend these shows live and breathe classic cinema, and there’s a spirit of celebration to the weekend that’s simply unparalleled. Every screening a moment of joy. It’s really impossible for me to speak too highly of this event, which I’ve attended twice (this will only be its fourth year, my third), and which has never let me down, nor – does it seem – will it this time.

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