Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What does TCM get?

TCM is showing a special tonight on "The Art of Collaboration", produced in conjunction with the AFI. It's not the first one; TCM last year showed one with Steven Spielberg and John Williams. (I think that one is also getting another showing in the overnight hours.) However, the one that's premiering tonight involves director David O. Russell and actor Mark Wahlberg.

TCM has commissioned quite a few classic related documentaries before. To be fair, I really don't mind if documentaries and such show up on the schedule when they're fairly obviously related to classic cinema. Those and the Private Screenings interviews are genearlly enjoyable. I also liked the Dick Cavett Show interviews that aired a number of years back. A vintage hour-long interview with Bette Davis? Wonderful.

But I'm a bit puzzled as to the significance of David O. Russell and Mark Wahlberg. Maybe in another decade or two when Wahlberg's work (he has, after all, been nominated for an acting Oscar and an Oscar as producer) is old enough to be under consideration for "classic" status it will all make a lot more sense. (There's always the question of how old something has to be before it can be considered a classic, but that's a discussion for another time.) And maybe there will be some discussion that fits in with classic cinema as well.

It seems clear to me though that the whole "Art of Collaboration" series is being produced for... well, for some reason. And TCM is showing the entire series for some reason as well. But what is TCM getting out of this? At least with the advertising in the "Classic Movie News" bits I can understand that TCM would be bartering for the rights to show more movies from Universal or Paramount or whatever in exchange for mentioning their new DVD releases of old studio movies. But I'm having a tough time thinking of the benefit of working this closely with the AFI.

No comments: