Tag: tcm

The Roundup: Real Knowledge, Notes, Erasure, AI and more

A quick update on what I’ve been doing, reading, spending my time with, etc! You’d have thought that being off school this summer would have given me lots of writing time, but that does not appear to be the case! I did do a lot of reading this summer, though, as well as thinking about lots of tweaks for my classes. We start on Thursday and I’ve very excited. I’ve also spent some time thinking about social media and my interaction (or lack thereof) of it. I’ve pretty much tacitly given up Facebook; my account is still there and I check in a couple of times a month. I’ve cleaned up my Twitter follows a bit and am tentatively dipping back in there (I do refuse to call it X, sorry). I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time on Micro.blog. I actually use it for the timeline, and haven’t done a lot to make the blog landing page nice, but if you ARE on Micro.blog and use the timeline/social aspect, I would love to see you there.

Links from Elsewhere

What I’ve been reading and thinking about lately. Lots about education (especially classical education) but also books, film, games, etc. Also note that in my small attempt to push back on the internet’s recency bias, I will not hesitate to post older articles if they are still interesting and relevant.

Assessments That Aim for Real Knowledge – Circe Institute

For the first time this year, I’m planning to go completely without multiple choice/short answer/fill in the blank/matching/etc type quizzes. I’ve never used them heavily because when I have used them (mostly as reading quizzes or vocab quizzes) I always feel wrong about them, for all the reasons suggested here. I’ve fallen back on them because I felt like I had to have some, for some reason, but this year, no more.

Some things have to be memorized, but one of the most difficult habits I’ve had to break is giving tests that rely too heavily on memorized bits of data. These kinds of tests are mostly matching, multiple choice, or fill-in-the-blank questions, often with a token essay question at the end. Since the goal of a test is to assess knowledge, I’ve had to reconsider what it means to really know something, and I’ve discovered there is a significant difference between knowing and memorizing facts.

Oppenheimer Doesn’t Show Us Hiroshima and Nagasaki; That’s an Act of Rigor Not Erasure – LA Times

I don’t spend a lot of time looking at hot takes these days, for which my life is infinitely better, but this article addressing a specific hot take on Oppenheimer came across my feed and the general idea here is very important. Not every story has to be about everything, and not every film has to show every aspect of the story it is telling. If the argument is that people get their history from the movies, my answer is that it is not an artist’s job to make up for your terrible education. Reading this is also the most interested I’ve been so far in seeing Oppenheimer.

Movies that attempt something different, that recognize that less can indeed be more, are thus easily taken to task. “It’s so subjective!” and “It omits a crucial P.O.V.!” are assumed to be substantive criticisms rather than essentially value-neutral statements. We are sometimes told, in matters of art and storytelling, that depiction is not endorsement; we are not reminded nearly as often that omission is not erasure. But because viewers of course cannot be trusted to know any history or muster any empathy on their own — and if anything unites those who criticize “Oppenheimer” on representational grounds, it’s their reflexive assumption of the audience’s stupidity — anything that isn’t explicitly shown onscreen is denigrated as a dodge or an oversight, rather than a carefully considered decision.

How I Take Notes – The Honest Broker (Ted Gioia)

No joke, Ted Gioia’s Substack is probably the best thing I read on a regular basis these days. He frequently talks about music or the music business, since that is his main focus, and those posts are great and thoughtful. He also frequently writes on other topics, and these are also uniformly interesting. This time, he’s talking on a subject near and dear to my heart – note-taking! This is something we try to teach our students, and as you might expect, some seem naturally good at it and others never care enough to make it useful to them. I’m always excited to hear other people talk about how they take notes and see what I can incorporate into my own attempts to do it and to guide students in it. I personally feel like I annotate books pretty well, but I struggle with longer-form summary/narration or contemplative notes. I just rarely want to take the time to do it, even though when I do it’s been very valuable.

(3) WRITING DOWN MY OWN IDEAS THAT THE BOOK SPURRED: I didn’t start doing this with any consistency until I was approaching middle age. But this is the most powerful kind of note-taking of them all.

By doing this, I expand my own thinking by leaps and bounds. Often the notes I write in this manner serve as the building blocks for my own articles and books. But even if I wasn’t a writer, I would benefit from this—because the greatest reward from reading is in the ways it improves and broadens you as the reader.

A New Rule of Education in the Age of AI – Hedgehog Review

How to handle AI is an ongoing concern among all educators, and we’ve talked about it plenty at our school. What stood out to me in this article is the idea of rule-as-model rather than rule-as-restriction, which I think is really helpful in general! We want all of our “rules” to be formative and not merely restrictive, and this has applications far beyond rules against using AI. In that particular case, though, it’s a helpful reminder to us and students that the point of writing in school is not the product (which AI can supply) but the formative thinking that writing requires (which AI cannot).

In The Rule of St. Benedict, the abbot holds his post because he doesn’t simply know the rule; he embodies it. The abbot, in turn, exercises discretion over the application of the code to promote the good of the members of and visitors to the community. Those under the rule strive to emulate this model person—not just “the rules”—in their own lives. “Whether the model was the abbot of a monastery or the artwork of a master or even the paradigmatic problem in a mathematics textbook, it could be endlessly adapted as circumstances demanded,” Daston observes. The ultimate goal of such a rule is not to police specific jurisdictions; it is to form people so that they can the carry general principles, as well as the rule’s animating spirit, into new settings, projects, problems. We need a new Rule of Education—one that grants educators discretion and is invested in students’ formation—for the age of AI.

A World Without Turner Classic Movies – Film School Rejects

The good news here is that TCM has rehired Charlie Tabesh, but I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet. When Discovery merged with Warner Bros. and put Discovery exec David Zaslov over the whole shebang, a lot of Warner properties suffered – HBO Max has been gutted of most older programming, the staff of TCM has been reduced significantly, etc. This is very worrying for classic film fans, and while some moves (like rehiring Tabesh) suggest they may be responding to the outcry, again, I’m still worried. Losing TCM would be tragic for so many reasons. I hope my pessimism isn’t justified.

As someone who studied film in college and writes about it professionally, TCM remains the best education I’ve ever had, largely due to its accessibility. I felt terrified to make a mistake in front of film students and professors, to not know a movie I should have already seen when I was a student. Hosts like Alicia Malone and Ben Mankiewicz are knowledgeable without being condescending. All of the TCM hosts have truly felt like friends telling you about movies they love when visiting your home and that is such a treasure.

If You Love Books Play These Games – BookRiot

Board games for book lovers? Sign me up! Relatedly I apparently accidentally bought this game Gutenberg about being a print shop in the Renaissance (thankfully on a good discount!), so I’ll let you know how that is when I have a chance to play it.

A comic because why not

Reading Right Now

Recently Added to My TBR

I add books to my TBR at a far faster clip than I read them. At least I’ll never run out! These run the discovery gamut from Bookriot and Literary Hub to Medievalists.net, Circe Institute, our faculty inspiration speaker last week, and recommendations from personal friends.


We recently went to the Santa Barbara Mission and they had a special exhibit about the Sistine Chapel, which was very cool for my art-loving older daughter. She took her time studying and reading about all the panel reproductions, while the rest of us watched this video they had playing three times. This channel got an insta-subscribe when I had service back on my phone.


I’ve decided to try to spend more time pretending I have actual albums instead of Spotify, because the loss of mastery I used to have when I listened to the same album over and over is leaving me unmoored. This is an older Metric album, though still from after the time I considered myself a major fan. I went back and listened to it a couple of times today and…it’s really good.

Let’s Break Down TCM’s #LetsMovie Campaign

This morning Turner Classic Movies (aka the only real reason to have a cable subscription) announced a new branding initiative and slogan/hashtag to go along with it: #LetsMovie. It’s a pretty corny hashtag, but it is fairly memorable and I don’t really want to talk about that.

What I want to talk about this statement in the press release from Jennifer Dorian, general manager of TCM.

We’re on a mission to share and celebrate the entire spectrum of film history with an engaged and growing community, and the goal of this campaign is to attract an even broader audience of movie fans to the network than ever before.

As you might expect, Classic Film Twitter is worried. Classic Film Twitter is worried anytime TCM plays post-1970 films. Last February’s 30 Days of Oscar marathon was worrying – they showed Shakespeare in Love (1998), Life is Beautiful (1997), Chicago (2002), Lord of the Rings (2001-2003), and more post-1990 films. Here’s Lou Loumenick discussing that programming, with quotes from Senior VP of Programming Charlie Tabesh. Some of the selections at this year’s TCM Film Festival were worrying, particularly a much-publicized screening of Apollo 13 (1995). These are far afield from the studio era (1920-1960) films that we associate with TCM.


TCM’s Summer of Darkness and FREE Film Noir Course!

This June and July TCM is devoting all day every Friday to film noir, and as a huge fan of noir, I couldn’t be more excited! I’m probably going to have to buy another DVR or something (can you even do that?) to deal with all the noir goodness coming down the pipeline. You can download the full schedule in PDF form here

Even more exciting, though, is that TCM is partnering with Ball State University to offer a FREE online course in film noir, through online learning platform Canvas. That’s right, it’s an actual 9-week course that will grant you an actual certificate of completion if you do all the course requirements. The info page estimates that the coursework will take 2-4 hours per week, in addition to watching the films (on TCM, or via other means – the course promises that there will be public domain films available to watch even if you don’t have access to TCM). Even if you can’t put in that kind of time commitment, as I may not be able to myself, you can still enroll in the course and follow along at whatever level you’re able.


The 9 weeks will cover the definition of noir, its influences, its relationship to the studio system and the post-war era, and the types of characters and themes you find in noir. I’ve never done an online course like this, so I’m pretty excited to see how it’s going to go!

The fun starts on June 1 (that’s this Monday), but there’s still time to enroll! Be sure to let me know if you join up! I’d love to discuss one of my favorite genres with you, and I’m sure there will be plenty of healthy discussion both in the course itself and on Twitter and probaby Facebook!

TCM’s Annual Schedule of Wealth

Today Turner Classic Movies starts their annual “31 Days of Oscar” programming; every movie they play throughout the month of February is an Oscar-winner or nominee. They interpret that broadly, including stuff that was nominated, for, like Best Musical Direction in 1937. But still, the ratio of great film to B-movie programmers is even higher this month than usual. And me being me, I made a recommendation list. Set your DVRs. I know mine is going to be overloaded. I’ve mostly recommended things that I’ve seen, but there are lots more that are probably good, so check out the whole schedule. I bolded ones I really, really recommend.

And there’s no repeats that I could tell! Times are in Central Standard Time, because that’s where I am and I’m ego-centric.

Friday 1st

5:00 am – The Adventures of Robin Hood – Still stands as one of the greatest adventure movies ever made. Plus, gorgeous early Technicolor.
10:30 am – The Treasure of the Sierra Madre – Quite probably Humphrey Bogart’s best role, as a blind-with-greed prospector. Crackling.
7:00 pm – Jaws – Spielberg proves his mastery of suspense timing. Forget the animatronic shark. Focus on the editing.
11:15 pm – Network – I haven’t seen this in forever, so it’s going on my DVR for a rewatch.

Saturday 2nd

8:15 am – Forbidden Planet – Haven’t seen this one at all, but it’s the science fiction version of The Tempest. Come on!

Sunday 3rd

9:30 am – The Harvey Girls – Okay, this is perhaps a guilty pleasure. But I love the old west and I love Judy Garland and I love trains. And this is an admittedly slight but still enjoyable musical combining those things.
11:15 am – The Band Wagon – This, on the other hand, is one of the greatest musicals ever made. Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse. Don’t really need to say more.
1:15 pm – Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – And another great one here, which if you haven’t seen, I’d be very surprised.
3:00 pm – Gigi – A musical that’s a bit more on the adult side, dealing with mistresses and whatnot. Speaking of mistresses, why isn’t TCM playing Cabaret? I just noticed that. Wow.
5:00 pm – An American in Paris – Not as good as Singin’ in the Rain, but this is the one that won the Oscar. Go figure.
7:00pm – Sense and Sensibility – Off musicals, onto Jane Austen. This is the Emma Thompson version, which is really good, and really sparked off the late-1990s Austen mania.

Monday 4th

9:30 pm – Sunrise – OMG, I am so excited about this! Sunrise shared the first Best Picture Oscar (sort of), and is widely regarded as one of the best silent films ever, and it’s incredibly hard to find. I’ve never seen it, so I’m pumped.

Tuesday 5th

11:15 am – The 400 Blows – One of my all-time favorite films, Francois Truffaut’s debut film which set off the French New Wave. It’s truly wonderful; don’t miss it.
7:00 pm – The Best Years of Our Lives – A really good look at the lives of the men returning home after WWII.

Wednesday 6th

12:00MID – Casablanca – I don’t need to say anything about this, right? Good.
1:45 am – Rebecca – Hitchcock’s first American film; not one of my favorites, but still quite good.
1:00 pm – Libeled Lady – It’s been so long since I’ve seen this…but I remember loving it. And with a cast including Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow, William Powell, and Myrna Loy, all running around acting screwbally, how could you not?
2:45 pm – Citizen Kane – AFI calls it the greatest American movie ever made. It’s certainly one of the best at any rate.
4:45 pm – Foreign Correspondent – This is a lesser-known Hitchcock film, but it’s a hidden gem.
7:00 pm – Vertigo – This is a really well-known Hitchcock film, and it deserves every accolade it’s ever been granted.
9:15 pm – Rear Window – This is certainly my favorite Hitchcock film, and is probably my all-time favorite film period.

Thursday 7th

7:00 pm – 2001: A Space Odyssey – Kubrick’s masterpiece, probably; a bit slow-moving, but totally mind-bending.

Friday 8th

12:30 am – Easy Rider – I actually just saw this for the first time a few weeks ago, and I was really impressed. It’s the prototype for American indie films, road films, etc.
11:00 am – Mildred Pierce – One of the films that has convinced me of the great value of melodrama. Joan Crawford gives the performance of her life, and her supporting cast does so admirably.
1:00 pm – Grand Hotel – One of the first great ensemble films, pulling together most of MGM’s big names, including Greta Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Joan Crawford, and I don’t know who all else.

Saturday 9th

12:15 am – Apocalypse Now – I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen Coppola’s Vietnam-inflected version of Heart of Darkness, but this is my chance to rectify that.
9:00 am – Topper – Absolutely delightful screwballish comedy about a middle-aged man and the beautiful ghost who prods him into doing crazy things.
7:00 pm – Who Framed Roger Rabbit – Remember Robert Zemeckis when he mixed live action and animation like this, instead of by putting them on top of each other in weird and unnatural ways? Yeah…

Sunday 10th

12:45 am – Dead Poets Society – This great-teacher story gets slammed in film circles a lot for being maudlin, but I don’t care. I love it. And my friend teaches at the boarding school where it was filmed, and I am very jealous of her.
3:00 am – Au revoir, les enfants – Haunting French film of a boys school in the 1940s which takes in a couple of German students–one of whom turns out to be Jewish.
10:30 am – Spellbound – You know I have to put all of Hitchcock’s film on this recommended list? Okay, just so we’re clear. This is the one where Ingrid Bergman plays psychologist to Gregory Peck, who has dreams designed by Salvador Dali.
12:30 pm – The Maltese Falcon – One of the first films noirs, and one of the definitive hard-boiled detective films, with a star-making turn by Humphrey Bogart.
2:15 pm – Murder on the Orient Express – An incredible ensemble cast takes on one of Agatha Christie’s best detective stories.
4:30pm – Sleuth (1972) – Laurence Olivier vs. Michael Caine, tricking each other back and forth for the love of a woman. Really great stuff.
7:00pm – The Nightmare Before Christmas – Tim Burton! And stop-motion animation! And Jack Skellington! Why don’t I own this movie again?

Monday 11th

12:00MID – Silence of the Lambs – Probably the greatest serial killer movie ever made. It’s brilliant on every level.
2:15 am – Se7en – A very good serial killer movie. ;)
7:30 am – The Great Dictator – Charlie Chaplin speaks. And plays Hitler. And a Jewish Hitler-lookalike. Daring satire, from one of the greatest comedians of all time.
2:30 pm – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – James Stewart as the bright-eyed, greenhorn senator tasked with reminding us what America’s all about. One of Frank Capra’s best films.
7:00 pm – It Happened One Night – And Frank Capra in a much less Capra-corny mood, with one of the greatest screwball comedies ever.
9:00 pm – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town – Back to Capra-corn, but whimsically wonderful, with Gary Cooper standing in for the American everyman this time.
11:00 pm – The Awful Truth – Possibly the actual greatest screwball comedy, with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne divorcing, driving each other crazy-jealous, and then realizing they really love each other.

Tuesday 12th

2:45 pm – The Apartment – Billy Wilder was one of the more consistent directors throughout the ’40s and ’50s, and moved with remarkable ease between most of the established genres; The Apartment is one of his best.
9:30 pm – The Red Shoes – The famous story of the ballerina who couldn’t stop dancing is brought to gorgeous and tragic life.

Wednesday 13th

1:45 am – Yankee Doodle Dandy – James Cagney is best known for his gangster parts, but he was also a song-and-dance man, which was put to tremendous use as he plays Broadway legend George M. Cohan.
4:00 am – Brief Encounter – Quiet romance displays all the best that British film of the 1940s had to offer.
11:15 am – My Favorite Wife – Wouldn’t you know that the very day you have your wife declared legally dead seven years after her ship wrecked and marry again, she’d turn up? Yep, that’s what Irene Dunne does to Cary Grant in this screwball farce.
7:00 pm – The Quiet Man – One of the greatest John Ford-John Wayne-Maureen O’Hara is neither a western nor a war film, but this tender Irish romance which was ROBBED of Best Picture by the overblown Greatest Show on Earth. For shame.
9:15 pm – Roman Holiday – If all this film did was introduce Audrey Hepburn to the world, it would be great. Thankfully, it’s also a great film on its own.

Thursday 14th

4:30 am – Written on the Wind – Melodrama might not be your thing, but check this one out before you write them off. If nothing else, it has the best mise-en=scene I’ve ever seen.
5:00 pm – Kiss Me Kate – The Taming of the Shrew. With Cole Porter songs. And parallel on-stage/off-stage stories.

Friday 15th

12:15 am – My Fair Lady – Oh, you’ve all seen this, right?
7:00 am – The Circus – One of Chaplin’s last fully silent films; a bit of a lesser Chaplin, but still well worthwhile.
11:15 am – A Day at the Races – The Marx Brothers made three masterpieces. This is the only one TCM is playing this month. So see it. (The other two are Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera, just fyi.)
5:00 pm – Tootsie – Dustin Hoffman can’t get work as an actor–but he can as an actress! One of the best cross-dressing stories ever.

Saturday 16th

1:15 am – Nashville – I haven’t seen this one yet, but I’m working on seeing more Altman films, and this one is supposed to be one of his best.
8:30 am – The Lion in Winter – Kate Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine, Peter O’Toole as Henry II. Two great actors portraying one of the most dynamic royal couples in British history. Great stuff.

Sunday 17th

12:00 pm – True Grit – John Wayne earned his Oscar for this film which I haven’t yet seen.
4:30 pm – They Were Expendable – Ford and Wayne lead the way in one of the best contemporary WWII films, about u-boats in the Pacific.

Monday 18th

12:00MID – L.A. Confidential – AKA the film that should have won Best Picture in 1997. Neo-noir at its very finest.
7:00 pm – Gone With the Wind – No introduction necessary.
11:00 pm – Wuthering Heights (1939) – 1939 was one of film’s greatest years, and this well-done version of Emily Bronte’s gothic romance.

Tuesday 19th

7:00 pm – The Ox-Bow Incident – This film is highly regarded in many circles, but it doesn’t seem to get the popular attention it deserves; it’s a western, but one extraordinarily driven by moral dilemmas.

Wednesday 20th

4:15 am – Mrs. Miniver – The epitome of the WWII home front film, as Greer Garson holds her London family together during the Blitz.
3:00 pm – Ninotchka – Garbo laughs! But not a lot, not till the end, because she’s a Communist and laughing would be frivolous; until she meets Melvyn Douglas on an assignment in Paris and suddenly Western life starts looking pretty good.
5:00 pm – One, Two, Three – Billy Wilder directs James Cagney in fast-talking near mania as a Coca-Cola manager in Berlin tasked with keeping tabs on the boss’s daughter. This comedy moves at breakneck speed; not Wilder’s best, but highly enjoyable.
7:00 pm – Some Like It Hot – This is Wilder’s best. Or Double Indemnity. I can never decide. Come on, gangsters, cross-dressing musicians, Marilyn Monroe, what more do you want?
9:15 pm – Stalag 17 – Wilder’s take on POW camps, starring William Holden; I haven’t seen this one, but I’ve been meaning to for a long time.
11:30 pm – The Caine Mutiny – There’s four way to do things: the right way, the wrong way, the navy way, and Capt. Queeg’s way. When Queeg is Humphrey Bogart, guess which way you should pick? One of Bogart’s best late roles.

Thursday 21st

4:00 am – On the Waterfront – Marlon Brando, yada yada yada. Someday I’m going to learn to appreciate method acting, but until that day, you watch this film and tell me how amazing it is.
6:15 am – From Here to Eternity – Best known for the scandalous rolling-in-the-surf Burt Lancaster-Deborah Kerr love scene, but there’s a lot more to this South Pacific military drama; enough to win Oscars for Donna Reed and a non-singing Frank Sinatra.
2:15 pm – Sergeant York – I haven’t seen this story of WWI pacifist-hero Alvin York, but one of my most trustworthy friends loves it, so I’m gonna check it out.
9:45 pm – The Great Escape – Highly enjoyable POW escape film, which largely plays like a heist film in reverse.

Friday 22nd

9:30 am – The Pride of the Yankees – Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig, of Gehrig’s disease. One of the better examples of the biopic genre.
10:45 pm – Manhattan – My favorite Woody Allen film! Might just be the Gershwin soundtrack, though.

Saturday 23rd

6:30 am – Shadow of a Doubt – Said to be Hitchcock’s favorite of his own films; could young Teresa Wright’s idolized uncle actually be the notorious Black Widow killer? We know the answer is yes, but Hitch makes us squirm like mad.
8:30 am – Notorious – Part love story, part espionage thriller, and all brilliant; probably the best of Hitchcock’s black & white period.
10:15 am – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) – Lesser Hitchcock, to my mind, but still good, of course.
12:30 pm – North by Northwest – I actually just watched Notorious and North by Northwest back to back, and they’re essentially the same movie, except North by Northwest is funny. Heh.
3:00 pm – Psycho – I see more in this film every time I see it; don’t reduce it to the shower scene, because it’s SO much more than that.
5:00 pm – The Birds – For sheer intensity, not even Psycho beats The Birds. I seriously can never breathe for like the last five minutes.

Sunday 24th

8:00 am – Bachelor Mother – A little film, but one that I always enjoy a lot; David Niven mistakenly thinks working girl Ginger Rogers has a fatherless child, and all sorts of comedic (and tender) hijinks ensue.
2:00 pm – Oliver!Oliver Twist is one of the few Dickens novels I think I might actually like to read someday, and it’s largely because I enjoy Oliver! so much.
4:45 am – Annie – I doubt anyone would rank Annie among the best ever musicals, but I had to point it out for one reason: it’s one of the few ways to see legendary Broadway performers Bernadette Peters and Ann Reinking up close. (For Reinking, also see All That Jazz.)

Monday 25th

9:00 am – Key Largo – Bogart and Bacall, together for the last time (on film, anyway), holding off gangsters and hurricanes in the Florida Keys. Great stuff.
12:45 pm – White Heat – Cagney owns the screen as psychotic robber Cody Jarrett, who only wants the best for his ma.
7:00 pm – Stagecoach – John Wayne came into his own as the Cisco Kid in John Ford’s cross-country western, which also features a brilliant performance by Claire Trevor.
8:45 pm – Only Angels Have Wings – It’s been too long since I’ve seen this one to remember much plotwise, so I’ll just throw out names: Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, Rita Hayworth.
11:00 pm – The Public Enemy – James Cagney’s star-making role.

Tuesday 26th

7:30 am – The Magnificent Ambersons – Orson Welles’ follow-up to Citizen Kane isn’t as virtuosic, but is still quite solid, retaining much of his Kane cast plus Anne Baxter.
11:00 pm – To Be or Not to Be – To my mind, one of the most brilliant comedy/dramas ever made; a Polish acting troupe finds themselves driven to extraordinary measures upon Hitler’s invasion. Farcical, tender, hilarious, and moving all at once.
12:45 am – Hamlet (1948) – Branagh’s been giving Olivier a run for his money in the “best Shakespeare adapter” category, especially on Henry V, but Olivier’s moody Hamlet still holds its own.

Wednesday 27th

11:30 am – Captain Blood – Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland are together for the first time in this boisterous pirate adventure film, second in quality only to Robin Hood among their ten films together.
9:30 pm – High Noon – Gary Cooper stands alone against a gang of outlaws, and Grace Kelly makes one of her earliest appearances.
11:00 pm – The Seven Samurai – Kurosawa’s greatest samurai film, and many would say one of the greatest films of all time.
2:30 pm – Rashomon – But I prefer this Kurosawa film, which changed filmmaking forever by presenting three eye-witness versions of a murder and refusing to choose which one is accurate.

Thursday 28th

8:15 am – Father of the Bride – The original Spencer Tracy one, that is, not the Steve Martin remake.
10:00 am – The Philadelphia Story – When you look up “classy comedy” in the dictionary, there’s a still of Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart from The Philadelphia Story.
7:00 pm – A Man for All Seasons – Haven’t seen this retelling of Sir Thomas More and his stance against Henry VIII, but I’ve always meant to.

Friday 29th

5:15 pm – 12 Angry Men – Minimalist filmmaking at its best: one room, twelve jurors, one verdict. Who knew twelve guys sitting around talking could be so riveting?

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