See you in the funny pictures

Ladybug and I have been wearing out Netflix, one rental at a time, dashing from genre to genre like little kids set loose in a fairground.  The last, Coraline, was well-done.  But the big thing about it is that it’s on the way back, so I can get my greedy mitts on the next one due: Clara Bow’s movie “It,” which Sheila blogged about recently.  It should be here by Friday.

Drunk on cinematic anticipation, I popped over to Turner Classics and – hey, a seven-part documentary about the history of the movies!  And today’s chapter covers 1920-1928.  I’m about to be sooper-smert about old pictures, I am.

In all seriousness, the hour segment was fascinating.  They touched on United Artists; the creation of the major studios and the giants like Goldwyn, Thalberg, Meyer, Loew, Warner and others who built the system; and of course the stars who fueled it: Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and of course Clara Bow.  And a system needs official recognition, and so there came the Academy of Performing Arts and Science.

Far more to mention than just that.  I’ll have to catch the next segment.  In the meantime, I can stay up way later than I ought to and watch a few of the stars in action.  A Keaton double-feature: One Week (I hope the Smoking Man’s in this one!) and Steamboat Bill, Jr.  Then, Harold Lloyd in Safety Last (the one where he dangles off the face of a clock several stories up).  Finally….

Oh, of course.

Clara Bow.  “It.”

::::pratfall, mocking trumpets::::


4 thoughts on “See you in the funny pictures

  1. Bard November 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    It’s amazing how much better Turner Movie Classics is in comparison to American Movie Classics. Which is surprising given that I remember when TMC first came around and they got a storm of trouble for colorizing old films. I love documentaries on old Hollywood. There’s a making of documentary on “The Great Dictator” that is outstanding.

    But AMC is becoming a joke, the other day they were playing Wild Wild West. My jaw dropped at the thought of anyone considering it a Movie or a Classic.

  2. nightfly November 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Hey Bard! Glad you found my other gig. Welcome!

    I agree with you here. AMC has morphed into a basic-cable Showtime. That’s not necessarily bad, and they do some things very well – Mad Men and Breaking Bad are big examples – and when they hit sweeps or one of their theme weeks, they can string together some good films. But the emphasis is definitely now on more popular and mainstream entertainment, not straight “classics” or old films that haven’t got a wide audience.

    And like you say – at first TMC was kind of ridiculous with colorizing EVERYTHING, and poorly to boot. But they’ve now become a film buff’s dream, and I’d say maybe 90% of their films are b/w. Some of the movies they pull out of their sleeves are amazing and deserve wider recognition. Hiring film historians like Robert Osborne was a really smart move, and to then pair him with current stars to talk about film for ten minutes at a clip is genius – brings it all to the modern audience, in little clips that don’t sound like lectures or drone on about inside-baseball stuff.

    • Bard November 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      Actually I’ve been here before a bunch of times when Dom first told me he was thinking about adding you. But it was you and someone else. Then you had the post that you were done with the blog, so I hadn’t checked back in here till a few days ago.

  3. Kate P November 19, 2010 at 12:04 am

    One complaint: TCM doesn’t broadcast in HD. I tend to forget it’s there because it’s grouped with the non-HD channels (in my area).

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