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TCM Film Fest Dates and theme announced

Dates Announced
April 28-May 1, 2016

The theme has us here at Classic Era Movies excited... "Moving Pictures: The Movies that Inspired"
Our theory is if the movies are inspirational TCM will have lots of guests and guest presenters, since they were likely the ones inspired.
Also exciting was the mention of having additional venues. Last year's event was amazing but crowded, with some ticketing issues. The addition of some more venues is exactly what is needed to thin the herd a little.

Now all they need to do is fix their Pass levels and pricing

Last year..

Five Came TCM

Maybe TCM should hire ClassicEraMovies to give them suggestions.

When I opened my new copy of NOW PLAYING magazine

I saw this...

As reviewed not too long ago, "FIVE CAME BACK" by Mark Harris is an engrossing and wonderful composite of 5 directors and how they not only shaped Hollywood, but how the war shaped them.

Monique and I chose to explore this book and review it on the blog for 3 reasons
1. Was because of the motivation of writing for "Out of the Past" Summer Reading challenge
2. We found the book had become the topic of all our conversations we had together
3. We thought it would be a great feature on TCM

I guess we knew what we were talking about since every Tuesday in September TCM will be airing movies from these directors that took place during the time frame covered in the book. Most importantly the special military/propaganda films, rarely seen, are being aired alongside some of the classics from each Director. Much of the Docs that the Directors made for the Military are TCM premieres.

Even better, much like Eddie Mueller did for the TCM's Summer of Darkness, the author of "Five Came Back", Mark Harris will serve as co-host and introduce each film

I would love to think that our review inspired TCM to schedule this programming addition, but obviously these wheels had to have been in motion for quite awhile. And no matter how many fan letters we here at ClassicEraMovies writes TCM, they are likely too smart to listen to us anyway.

My wife and I can't wait for September to come...

The Women Behind Film

The Women Behind Film
There is a movement recently to point out the "inequality" of women in film in the modern day era. Rather than debate the politics of the subject matter, I instead wanted to show you an article pointing out some very important and impressive women behind the lens.

Margaret Booth

Because of the hands-on nature of film editing, early Hollywood considered it women's work, like sewing, or washing dished (I kid, I kid... that sound you heard was the sound of a shoes hitting my head thrown by my wife). "Cutters" were often working-class women willing to take low pay to be a part of filmmaking. This position allowed these female film lovers a unique place to make critical choices about a film's final cut. Booth was not only one of the earliest pioneers of the craft, but also the one for whom the term "film editor" was coined.
Right out of high school in 1915, the Los Angeles native got a $10 a week job working under Birth of a Nation director D.W. Griffith as a negative-patcher, eventually making her way up to negative cutter. By the time the controversial filmmaker moved to the East Coast, Booth was in complete charge of print production, managing everything from inspection to cutting to shipping the prints out. Booth would then get a job at the newly formed MGM, where her expertise was quickly recognized by the studio's head of production, Irving Thalberg. Together the pair would watch and discuss dailies, and Booth's insightful contributions inspired Thalberg to call her a "film editor," a move that would forever leave the common term "cutter" behind.
She went on to cut a long list of films, including 1935's Mutiny on the Bounty, which earned her only Oscar nomination. In 1978, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences awarded Booth an honorary Oscar for "her exceptional contribution to the art of film editing in the motion picture industry."

Verna Fields
Fields was introduced to movie making when her father, Sam Hellman, moved the family to Hollywood to pursue his passion for screenwriting. She started out as a sound editor, but by 1960 had begun to edit feature films. She went on to be a major influence on several major filmmakers, cutting such career-defining films as George Lucas's American Graffiti, Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon, and Steven Spielberg's Jaws.
Many filmmakers remember Fields fondly for her gentle direction and warm support through the stressful business of filming and post-production. For his part, Spielberg credits the impeccable restraint of the use of his movie monster to "Mother Cutter," as Fields was affectionately called. The young director was so eager to get the robotic shark, Bruce, on camera that he repeatedly pushed for shots to linger. But Fields knew just when to cut away to keep this Great White from going from fearsome to fake. Fittingly, Jaws became the film that's best defined her legacy. It not only won Fields her only Oscar, it was also the final film she cut. She went on to become a high-ranking studio exec, and the VP of feature production at Universal.

Thelma Schoonmaker
Though she is arguably the most famous film editor working, Schoonmaker originally intended to work in politics. But having grown frustrated with not finding a job, she answered a newspaper ad that offered on-the-job training as an assistant film editor. While taking a film course at New York University, she volunteered to help a student whose negatives had been damaged; that student happened to be Martin Scorsese. So began a collaboration that has stretched across nearly five decades and counting.
This soft-spoken woman has cut such testosterone-driven dramas as Raging BullGoodfellas,Cape FearThe Departedand The Wolf of Wall Street, just to name a few. She still does the most menial acts of editing, including screening and cataloging every take, and overseeing subtitle translation, and her precision has scored her seven Oscar nods, and three wins. Her final cuts have won praise from Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Juliette Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, and many more. But most importantly, through all this her work has influenced and inspired an untold number of filmmakers, editors and artists.

Edith Head
Her fashion sense defined decades of American cinema, but before she was draping starlets in the most elegant dresses to hit the silver screen, this step-daughter of a mining engineer earned her Master of Arts degree in romance languages and worked as a school teacher. She began taking art classes, and decided to apply for a job as a sketch artist—despite not being able to draw people. To get around this, she got her entire art class to contribute costume design sketches. As she would later say, "When you get a class of 40 to give you sketches, you get a nice selection." Despite lacking any relevant experience, Head scored her first movie gig, working as a sketch artist at the future Paramount Studios. By 1938, she was the studio's chief designer. There she laid the groundwork for becoming Hollywood's most heralded costume designer.
In a career that spanned nearly 60 years, she worked on hundreds of films, including such iconic offerings as All About EveRear WindowSabrinaThe Sting, and Roman Holiday. Head thrilled with fashion whether working in black and white or in color. Between 1949 and 1978, she earned a record-setting 35 Academy Award nominations, winning eight Oscars. Directors sought her for their films as fiercely as they would Hollywood's hottest leading ladies. And she became a household name between offering patterns for fashion magazines and making regular appearances on Art Linkletter's daytime television show in the 1950s, where she'd offer fashion advice for the common woman.

Alma Reville
You know Alfred Hitchcock. Even his silhouette has become iconic. But few know how much his work and persona were shaped by his wife. Reville got her start in movies serving tea to the studio elite of England's production scene. But through the 1920s and '30s, this diligent and observant film lover worked her way up to director's assistant, screenwriter and editor. She met Hitch on the job, and he hired her to cut Woman to Woman in 1923—a job offer she initially walked away from, telling Hitchcock the salary was "inadequate." He came back with a better offer, and she accepted. The pair later wed and moved to Hollywood, where they would make the movies that would make him a legend.
The cult of Hitchcock is so intense that Reville's role in his success has long been ignored. Though credited in 19 of his films—including as screenwriter on Shadow of a Doubt and Suspicion—it's on 1960's Psycho where she had the most important impact, despite not being credited at all.
When cutting that crucial shower scene, it was Reville's eagle eye that spotted a few errant frames that needed to be slashed, lest audiences see actress Janet Leigh inhale. Beyond that, Hitchcock was adamant that there be no music played over it. He refused even to listen to Bernard Herrmann's suggested score for the scene. But Reville convinced her stubborn husband to watch the cut with the music, and so one of the most famous scenes in Hollywood history was cemented.
When accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1979, Hitchcock himself recognized Reville's influence on his work and life, saying, "I ask permission to mention by name only four people who have given me the most affection, appreciation, and encouragement, and constant collaboration. The first of the four is a film editor. The second is a scriptwriter. The third is the mother of my daughter, Pat. And the fourth is as fine a cook as ever performed miracles in a domestic kitchen. And their names are Alma Reville.