Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A few more quick reactions

I really enjoyed Guy Hendrix Dyas' appearance on TCM last night to discuss production design. (I didn't stay up to watch Lily Kilvert.) Dyas explained what the difference was between a production designer and an art director, talked some about the origin of production design as a unified whole, and mentioned any number of things specific to the production of Grand Hotel. The one thing I found interesting is that Cedric Gibbons apparently was partly if not wholly responsible for the lighting of the sets in Grand Hotel, something which would be handled by lighting directors today. I would have thought that the cinematographer, in conjunction with the director, would be responsible for that. All in all, Dyas presented a bunch of stuff that I didn't really know in a way that I thought was fairly accessible to the viewer. Well done TCM!

Following Grand Hotel was a new Star of the Month piece on Barbara Stanwyck. I don't know if they'll be retiring the piece by Jennifer Jason Leigh, but the new one is narrated by Laura Dern and is well worth watching. In my case, I saw certain camera angles (notably Stanwyck behind the typewriter in Meet John Doe) and immediately thought of the things Leigh said about Stanwyck; obviously Dern didn't comment in the same way about the things Leigh did, if she even commented about them at all.

I read over on the TCM boards that the TCM Remembers piece for 2012 has started airing, and is available in the TCM media room. I haven't seen it yet. Also, another poster mentioned that TCM has (or will have) a new voice for the Hi, this the TCM Classic Movie News report pieces. I don't know when that's going to begin. I saw the report for December, and the voice sounded slightly different from what I'd heard in October and earlier, but not as different as what I heard at the end of last month (see the link). I wouldn't be surprised to be wrong, of course; voice recognition isn't my strongest suit.

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