It’s a Wonderful Life 75th Anniversary

It’s a Wonderful Life 75th Anniversary

Posted on December 21, 2021 at 10:56 am

Copyright Liberty Films 1946
I had so much fun talking about “It’s a Wonderful Life” on its 75th anniversary for the Christmas Movies Actually podcast, especially about my interview with Marguerite Stern Robinson, the daughter of the man who wrote the original story for the film, and what she had in common with George Bailey.

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Behind the Scenes Classic Podcasts
Marx Brothers Podcast

Marx Brothers Podcast

Posted on September 2, 2021 at 8:51 pm

All fans of classic films and film comedy will appreciate The Marx Brothers Council, an outstanding podcast devoted to Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and sometimes Zeppo Marx. A great episode to begin with is this one, including a fascinating interview with Hanna Mira, who shows Marx Brothers and other classic films to her students at a juvenile detention facility. The old black and white films from the era of these boys’ great-grandfathers could hardly be more distant from their experience, and yet they love them. She tells their stories with such empathy, humanity, and enthusiasm we almost wish we could be in her classroom.

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Film History Movie History Podcasts

Podcast Revisits Neglected Movie Gems: Flashback with Dana Stevens and K. Austin Collins

Posted on June 17, 2019 at 8:00 am

Slate’s wonderful movie critic, Dana Stevens, has a new podcast with Vanity Fair’s K. Austin Collins. It’s called “Flashback,” and it’s a conversation about terrific older films today’s audiences might have missed. The first few episodes included “Gaslight,” “Wanda” and “The Straight Story.”

Every other Sunday, Kam and I will take one older movie and talk about what it meant in its time and what it might mean today. Older in this context might mean anything made between 1895 (the Lumière brothers’ Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat? Two thumbs up!) and, say, the last year of the 20th century (does David Cronenberg’s Existenz hold up as a vision of the future of virtual reality?). The idea is not to plod chronologically through film history but to treat it as a mysterious storage chest with endless drawers to open, so we’ll skip from era to era and genre to genre, following our instincts and curiosity as well as whatever parallels we find in the movies and headlines of the present day.

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Film History Neglected gem Podcasts

Pioneers of African-American Cinema — Now on DVD

Posted on August 17, 2016 at 3:18 pm

The 5-disc set Pioneers of African-American Cinema, funded via Kickstarter, is a treasure of rarely-seen films from pioneering filmmakers like Oscar Micheaux. The New York Times wrote, “From the perspective of cinema history — and American history, for that matter — there has never been a more significant video release.”

These were known as “race films,” made in an era where the few mainstream roles for performers of color were sometimes cut entirely out of the films when they were shown in the South, and a small group of black filmmakers made films with all-black casts that were created for black audiences. The Blu-Ray set includes archival treasures.

There is also “The Moses Sisters Interview,” a 33-minute videotape made by the historian Pearl Bowser in the late 1970s that features the performers Ethel, Lucia and Julia Moses reminiscing about their careers. Other documentaries include the 1937 Works Project Administration short “We Work Again,” with footage from Orson Welles’s all-black Federal Theater Project’s production of “Macbeth,” and excerpts from fieldwork footage the novelist Zora Neale Hurston shot in the South as part of her ethnographic research.

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Film History Movie History Race and Diversity

Turner Classic Movies Has a Cool New Club

Posted on May 6, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Turner Classic Movies has a cool new club called the TCM Backlot.

They call it the ultimate fan club for everyone who loves Turner Classic Movies.

The TCM Backlot is your ticket to go behind the scenes, attend private gatherings, meet TCM talent and become part of the network like never before. You’ll get insider access to TCM, where you can influence programming and enjoy exclusive benefits only available to TCM Backlot members. Plus, we’re taking you deeper than ever into the world of Hollywood, cinema, and the luminaries who created the greatest movies of all time.

When you join TCM Backlot, you’ll be eligible to:

• Vote on programming and help shape the network
• Go on the air as a Guest Programmer
• Attend special events and member-only gatherings
• Meet TCM staff, talent, and special guests
• Watch rare videos and first looks at original programming
• Go inside the history of TCM and Hollywood
• Access an exclusive digital version of the Now Playing Guide
• Preview TCM events, auctions, and upcoming guests
• Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the TCM studios
• Enjoy regular contests, discounts and giveaways
• Be featured in the Now Playing Guide

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