Tom and Summer


TCM has been on my mind a lot lately.

This week, for instance, four of my six first-timers were selections that I recorded from that channel. The other two (THE JERK and THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH) easily could have joined them. And yet, with many of them, I feel as though there are classic film fans that would see it as a stretch to call these movies “classics”.

If you ask around – and if you’re a classic fan reading this, feel free to chime in – there is an imaginary line in the sand that designates when the “classic era” ends. Ask some fans and they’ll circle 1970…ask others and they’ll point even earlier to 1960. Meanwhile, for me, the line is much more recent – and furthermore it’s in constant motion. For me the line to designate a film as “classic” is thirty years back; so 1985 at the moment and continually moving forward.

The reason for me to see the line as closer-and-moving is because I feel as though we have to continue recognizing the passage of time. At TCM Fest this year there were heads being scratched that screenings included showings of APOLLO 13 and MALCOLM X…many attendees not seeing them as “classic” enough. And yet, these films are twenty and twenty-three years old respectively. They have more in common with the classic era than they do with their more modern contemporaries stylistically.

Coming back to my own list below, I look at THE JERK and think about how its comedy stylings have so little in common with current comedies, that if you showed it to a child or teenager today and said “You’ll love this – it’s so funny”, they might find the jokes don’t land.

And so, for me what’s considered “classic” might seem far too recent, and yet it is still radically different from the what one expects when they sit down to watch a new release.

I think the biggest hiccup comes down to the fact that we haven’t properly named the various periods of film history. Everyone knows about The Silent Era, The Pre-Code Era, The Studio Era, and even foreign offerings like The Neo-Realists and The French New Wave. But how does one qualify the films of the late 70’s? Or the early 80’s? What about the late 60’s?

“Classic Film” is a little too broad a term for me…it’s like saying “Classic Art”, which would encompass everything from Michelangelo to Jackson Pollock.


Here’s the week at hand – with an emphasis on classics as defined above…


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH – Like I said…understatement.
BEING THERE – I think I need to do some Hal Ashby binging.
THE JERK“More Cans!!!!”
RUNNING ON EMPTY – I’m a little perplexed by the end of this movie, but besides that it holds up splendidly.
MARNIE – I think when I’m done with Wilder, I’ll make a concerted effort to watch all the Hitchcocks. This one was better than I’d anticipated.
JESUS TOWN, USA – Hot Docs screener


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
8 MILE – So who remembers that Michael Shannon played the guy dating Eminem’s mom? Further, who remembers that Anthony Mackie played Papa Doc, Shady’s rap rival?
NOTORIOUS – Yet another watch prompted by last week’s read.


Boxscore for The Year
69 First-Timers, 44 Re-Watched
21 Screenings
113 Movies in Total
How’s about you – seen anything good?