Posts tagged ‘Turner Classic Movies’

The MadMen of TCM: A Greatest Hits Mix-Tape

Classic film fans have, over the past several years, embraced an emerging, and vibrant, niche community.  This is highly evident right here in the blogosphere where, if I do say so myself, the very finest blogs on the interwebs are those manned by classic film fans (Shameless plug for Hollywood Revue, Backyard Fence, Out of the Past, True Classics, MovieStar MakeoverSales on Film, Filmoria, and so many many many more amaaaaazing blogs  — all of these and many more will rock your black and white world.) But the unsurpassed leader  of this long-surpressed niche, is the cable network Turner Classic Movies.

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Project Keaton: The Artist and Buster Keaton

Submitted to Project Keaton by NYC-based writer Will McKinley ,The Artist at the New York Film Festival: Evoking Memories of Buster Keaton  is a terrific look at the upcoming silent French film THE ARTIST and its surprising connection to the life and art of Buster Keaton.  ”Sunday afternoon, on the final day of the New York Film Festival, I saw Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist. Sunday night on Turner Classic Movies, I watched Buster Keaton in Free and Easy. Although these two very different films were made more than 80 years apart, they actually have a lot in common…” Read Will’s full post here.

Pictorial Palette: Lucy

Lucille Ball in "DuBarry Was a Lady" (1943)

The DuBarry Palette: #FF1B3A, #73B70C, #53B4DF, #FFB72F

Gosh. Isn’t she lovely?

Our Pictorial Palette of the week is inspired by this delightfully whimsical piece of poster art from the 1943 film adaptation of Cole Porter’s DuBarry Was a Lady starring Red Skelton, Gene Kelly, and the woman of the hour: Lucille Ball.

Lucy’s centennial is tomorrow, something made even sweeter by the fact that 2011 also marks the 60th Anniversary of I Love Lucy, and celebrations are in full swing– both online and off, all over the globe. Proving, in a collective laughing voice, that the world will always love Lucy.

Because of Lucy, our fractured world has the rare, precious gift of a unified, collective memory. Laughter blurs the edges of race, class and creed, which make Lucy so much more than an actress-comedienne-pioneer-entrepreneur. She is an emotional thread in the fabric of who we are as a society. Which is why it is hardly surprising that the tributes to her are dizzying in their number.

Tune into Turner Classic Movies for a full ay of laughs with Lucy, in conjunction with their ever-popular “Summer Under the Stars” program, and the Hallmark Channel will host a 48-hour I Love Lucy marathon. (And yes, the Europe and Hollywood episodes will be heavily featured!) The web is awash with henna all weekend in celebration of everyone’s favorite not-so-natural redhead: True Classics is hosting a Lucille Ball Blogathon (of which we are proud participants) and tributes abound. Among them, a must-see is Life.com’s special gallery of never-before-published photos of the immortal comedienne. And meanwhile, back on terra firma, CBS Video has released 14 classic I Love Lucy episodes; the Warner Archive has released several of Lucy’s lesser known film comedies; the Hollywood Museum has opened a special exhibit , “Lucille Ball at 100 and I Love Lucy at 60,” which honors the Queen of Comedy with memorabilia from I Love Lucy all the way to  Here’s Lucy; and the Library of Congress presents “I Love Lucy: An American Legend” which explores the show’s history through the  family scrapbooks, photographs, scripts, and other documents from the Library of Congress.

All of this rather gives credence to a quote by Diane Sawyer that I’ve never forgotten: “It may be that during business hours, God and the angels sit around watching six hour documentaries. But in the back family room? They’re watching I Love Lucy.”

TCM Film Festival: Jane Powell and Royal Wedding

Fred Astaire and the sweet and sassy Jane Powell

So it’s 12:15 in the morning and I’ve just fallen in the door from today’s first full day of the 2011 TCM Film Festival. I am overtired–operating on only 3 hours of sleep thanks to last night’s all night Royal Wedding watch. And you know what? That’s OK because so was Jane Powell.

In a feisty Q&A with TCM host Ben Mankiewicz following her 1953 musical Royal Wedding, the veteran Hollywood actress– every bit as fiery as her on-screen counterpart– confided that she stayed up until four in the morning to watch the Price William/Kate Middleton royal wedding. And, looking at the 1951 footage from her film, was happy to report that nothing had really changed at all over the years.

“You haven’t seen the movie in  a while,” Mankiewicz quipped, “they added an action sequence. Bruce Willis is in it now.”

“Oh is he,” said Powell, her toungue planted firmly in cheek, eyes bright and sparkling as she fired back at Mankiewicz’s cracks with a resounding one-two-punch.

“Oh yea, it’s a way better movie, not a bunch of singing and dancing.”

The impossibly beautiful 82 year old was every bit Mank’s match for the delightful Q&A– one of the most enjoyable I’ve had the pleasure to attend in quite some time– and their camaraderie was immediate and affable, providing the audience with a highly irreverent and wonderfully relevant look back at a truly legendary Hollywood career.

She was third choice for the role, first offered to June Allyson and Judy Garland. The latter of which was fired from the project, and the first of which became pregnant.

Powell, who was a tight buddy of Allyson’s, sighed and said “Ah, well. You know June.”

Powell, observant and objective, was full of delicious insights on her Royal Wedding co-stars. Peter Lawford “was never quite there even if he was physically there. Peter would always have rather been surfing. [The scene where] I ask him to marry me, he was barefoot in that car because he was going to beach right after the take.”

Astaire was a lovely, professional man, according to Powell, who had a marvelous swagger and choregoraphers Bob Fosse and Marge Champion had been known to try to imitate it on the lot. “He was also a very private man. When people ask me what he was like, I say I have no idea. You got to know him by his feet.”

And as for Astaire’s love interest, Sarah Churchill, Mankiwicz noted that she didn’t make many movies after Royal Wedding.

“Well,” said Powell with a mischievous smile. “I wonder why.”

The audience gasped. Sarah Churchill was not exactly your conventionally beautiful MGM starlet type, and Powell and Mank tossed around the idea that this role of a British dancer went to Churchill because her father happened to be none other than the Churchill. Whatever the reason, Powell shrugged. “Didn’t matter to me,” she said. “I’m not the one who had to marry her.”

Powell rounded up the interview by sincerely thanking TCM for creating a family of ardent classic film enthusiasts and allowing the people who made the movies– like her– to be a part of that family. “It really is the only thing I watch on TV,” said Powell. And then a pause. “Except for the royal wedding of course.”

coming up next:  The Constant Nymph, A Talk with Leslie Caron, Kevin Brownlow at the Merry Widow, and much more!

The Jean Harlow Blogathon: That's a Wrap!

The book Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital has now officially been released which means that the Jean Harlow Blogathon has officially wrapped. We’re plum tuckered out, yes, but wishing this week would have lasted forever.

Bye, Bye, Pretty Baby

So many incredible people from all over the world turned out and to show their support for darling Jean– classic film lovers young and old, new fans and seasoned vets.

The Pictorial would like to thank the gracious Lisa Burks for her tireless work this week, authors Darrell Rooney and Mark Vieira and, of course, every last one of you out there who rallied together to blog it for Baby.

I’m filled with pride to be part of such a terrific community of film lovers and classic Hollywood enthusiasts. As long as all of us keep our passions bright at heart, the golden world of Harlow’s Hollywood will never truly disappear.

We’ll be announcing the winner of the free copy of Harlow in Hollywood this Wednesday, March 9, at the premiere of the new Jean Harlow museum exhibit at the Max Factor Museum — so keep an eye out!

And don’t forget to support Jean all this month on Turner Classic Movies!

Signing off for the Jean Harlow Blogathon,

The Kitty Packard Pictorial

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The 2011 Bloggers for Baby

Amy @I’ll Take the Snap Out of Your Garters!

Angela @The Hollywood Revue

Ariel @Sinaphile Salve-Ation

Brandie @True Classics

Carole @An Elegant Obsession

Caroline @Garbo Laughs

Christina @Ann Dvorak: Forgotten Rebel

Clara @Via Margutta 51

Cliff @Immortal Ephemera

Dawn @Noir and Chick Flicks

David @Absolutment!

David @MUBI

dCairns @ Shadowplay

Evangeline Holland @EvangelineHolland

Gary @Midnight Palace

Gene @11 East 14th Street

Ginny @Old Movie Nostalgia

Ivan @Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

Jandy @Row Three

Jennifer @Silent Stanzas

Jessica @Silence is Platinum

J.N. @Comets Over Hollywood

Joan @ Vintage Powder Room

Josh @ Edward Copeland on Film

Katie @Old Hollywood Glamour

Kevin @Clarosureaux

Lady Eve @Eve’s Reel Life

Lisa @The Platinum Page

Michelle @The Clark Gable Project

Mark @Freewheelin’ Pilrgim

Monty @All Good Things

Mythical Monkey

Riika @Harlean’s Heyday

Rob @Rob Stevens

Stephen @New Jersey Star-Ledger

Tara @Tara Hanks

Terry @A Shroud of Thoughts

Vincent @Carole & Company