Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"Can someone help me...I think that I'm lost...lost in a place called America."

So, blogging can be a fun and informative way to pass on information between one person or a set of people to millions and possibly billions of others across the globe. My little corner of the Internet seems to become active in sporadic fits and starts.

My plans for today mostly consist of...

1. Go to sleep

2. Enjoy my day off and finally see V for Vendetta.

I really want to see Thank You For Smoking. It *finally* opens in nationwide release this weekend.

But I'm really jonesin' to see Rian Johnson's directorial debut, Brick. It's film noir with characters still in high school.

Learn more here -

Writer/director Rian Johnson also has a forum of his own at
It's really cool; he replies to posts and has been posting new release date schedules as he gets them. I asked him about the release plan for Brick here in Savannah and he said it bodes well if we got the Focus Features films 21 Grams and The Constant Gardener (pre-Oscar noms), (which I'd mentioned we had) as the same guy is in charge of distribution. So in other words - hurry up and get here Brick! I need my noir fix. In the meantime I plan to sate my lust for all things noir with a list I procured from the Internet and will soon check out a few film noir titles on Netflix.

I guess I should come clean as to WHY I've been blog absent. You see, dear reader, I've fallen in love. I am smitten and have been wooing my dear lass for several days now...

What, you thought I was speaking of a female? That's funny. First you'd have to assume there's a girl out there that thinks I'm more interesting than debit cards, text messaging, "American Idol" and Abercrombie & Fitch or Aeropostale and that said imagined girl would think me a nice and witty chap. And that is stuff you only find in badly written romantic comedies. But I digress.

I've long been a fan of Turner Classic Movies, or TCM, for short. If you look back on the maelstrom of cable activity in the early/mid '90s, it was amazing. You had new cable channels popping up all over the place. Cartoon Network, E!, Game Show Network, The Sci-Fi Channel, and Turner Classic Movies were just a few new faces on the cable landscape. Each sought to carve out a special niche in the marketplace, one that until then had largely gone unfufilled.

Now it's almost two decades later and what has happened? Cartoon Network has turned into a repetitive noise-machine of regurgitated "original series" while forsaking the classic cartoons they originally aired (so much so they had to create a sister channel, Boomerang, just to air said cartoons!), E! resembles The Paparazzi Channel, save for their weekly series The Soup, Game Show Network is now called gsn - the network for games and throws in reality series and poker, poker, poker, and The Sci-Fi Channel now dubs itself simply SCI FI while upon closer inspection, the channel could not be any less devoted to science fiction, as it constantly eschews the genre it's named for in lieu of demos, ratings, and the almighty dollar.

But in the loud den of the money-hungry claptrap that the race for viewers causes, one channel has stood the test of time by staying true. One channel has remained committed and devoted to its founding principles: classic movies 24/7. They've proven that they can make money and yes, Bonnie Hammer at SCI FI *still* retain a hefty viewership. That channel is, of course, Turner Classic Movies.

I will turn 25 later this year and Turner Classic Movies is truly like a breath of fresh air. I've ignored this channel for far too long. On May 22nd, they'll be airing the Orson Welles-made documentary F for Fake! That's never shown on television! Tonight theme (as each night has one) is films by director Norman Z. McLeod. They'll be playing The Marx Brothers classic Horse Feathers plus the film Topper, to name a few.

It'd be one thing if they only ran movies. But Turner Classic Movies goes the extra mile by really conveying just how much they love these great films. Each film is more often than not introed and outroed by the inimitable Robert Osborne, the vast film encyclopedia. He is amazing and provides a lush detailing of each and every facet that you might want to know about the film you're going to watch or the one you just did. Then there's the channel's movie promos, TCM's "One Reel Wonders" in which they'll air a short (in between movies) from yesteryear, one that no doubt played before a movie in one of the country's grand movie houses, "Cartoon Alley", where classic cartoons are screened, and sometimes we'll get treated to Robert Osborne interviewing a classic film star. In September, select episodes of The Dick Cavett Show will air, each featuring interviews with legends of film including Groucho Marx and Alfred Hitchock, to name a few. Some bemoan the fact that they'll be airing this show; I welcome it as an added bonus to hear a candid and in-depth interview with some of Hollywood's best and brightest who are no longer with us.

And as for a web presence...whoa nelly! TCM's website, at , is really something. There's games, schedule info, a message board, and a newly unveiled movie database, which is a technological marvel in and of itself. Their web team really outdid themselves.

As long as Time Warner keeps their mission statement in mind, this amazing, amazing, treasure of a cable channel, with its great films that harken back to the silver's screen's best and brightest of yesteryear and wonderful on-air style, sophistication, and presentation, will truly remain the one and ONLY crown jewel on cable television - PERIOD.

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