Sunday, April 25, 2021

Briefs for April 25-26, 2021

Ah, yes, the Oscars are tonight. Not that I've been paying attention, since I don't watch too many recent films. That's especially so with the government forcing movie theaters to shut down thanks to the coronavirus, and my lack of internet bandwidth suitable for streaming lots of movies. I think I saw a story on the news recently that New York finally allowed movie theaters to reopen, but only at 25% capacity. That wasn't enough for the local arthouse theater, which is permanently leaving one of its two locations.

TCM's programming for 31 Days of Oscar this year having all the movies in alphabetical order means that if you've got a remake, chances are it means you're going to have the same story twice in a row. Or, in fact, three times in a row. The first three of the movies called A Star Is Born are going to be run back-to-back starting tomorrow at 6:00 PM with the 1937 Janet Gaynor/Fredric March version. That will be followed at 8:00 PM by the 1954 Judy Garland/James Mason film, and the 1976 Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson version at 11:15 PM. The recent version with Lady Gaga is not on the schedule, although if memory serves it actually won the Oscar for Best Original Song. Some people might argue that the original version of the story is actually 1932's What Price Hollywood?, which did receive an Oscar nomination for Best Original Story. But What Price Hollywood? is not on the 31 Days of Oscar schedule.

Over on FXM, a movie that's back in the rotation is Forever Amber, which I blogged about almost exactly 10 years ago. It kicks off tomorrow's FXM Retro block at 3:30 AM with a second airing at 10:55 AM tomorrow, and one more on Mother's Day, but that's in two weeks' time. StarzEncore Westerns is one of the few premium channels that has really old movies on a regular basis, but I don't see anything that I blogged about a long time ago and ought to bring up again.

Director Monte Hellman died on Tuesday at the age of 91. He's probably best known for Two Lane Blacktop which I haven't blogged about before; it's probably likeliest to wind up on TCM Underground. One of his earliest movies was Back Door to Hell with a young Jack Nicholson. In addition to directing, he took over editing and some direction on Avalanche Express after Mark Robson died.

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