Saturday, May 1, 2021

Briefs for May 1-2, 2021

Today is the final day of 31 Days of Oscar on TCM. They've been running the movies alphabetically, and the final film will be the Costa-Gavras movie Z, tomorrow morning at 4:30 AM, a political thriller loosely based on events in Greece in the early 1960s but still relevant today considering how authorities lied for months about the death of a Capitol police officer and the media willingly peddled the government's lies.

But that's not why I'm mentioning Z. I was wondering if there were any other movies beginnign with the letter Z that could have been used in 31 Days of Oscar. There's one pretty obvious one that's aired on TCM in the past, Zorba the Greek. There's also Zelig, which got cinematography and costume design nominations. Everything else is much more recent; a couple of foreign films, the animated Zootopia, and Zero Dark Thirty. (No nominations for Zoolander, in case you were wondering.)

After 31 Days of Oscar, we get 24 hours of Satyajit Ray on TCM starting Sunday at 8:00 PM as this will be a centenary salute. Most of the movies will be new to me and I unfortunately don't have any room on the DVR to record them. One interesting choice might be An Enemy of the People at 4:00 PM Monday, based on the play by Henrik Ibsen and turned into a movie in the 1970s by Steve McQueen.

It's been a while since I've mentioned Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and it's back in the FXM rotation. It has an airing tomorrow at 7:45 AM, and another one this coming Thursday. It's fun enough, but you can't help but think the big names in this (Walter Pidgeon, Joan Fontaine, and Peter Lorre) were in it for the paycheck.

Apparently the AFI is coming up with some website of Robert Osborne's TCM intros. I have no idea what they're going to have that TCM's Youtube channel won't have, and that doesn't seem to have at all even since their site redesign. The Watch TCM app also only seems to have features right now, although I don't know if that's because of 31 Days of Oscar and the smaller number of shorts aired.

And now for the deaths. We'll start of with Kirk Douglas' widow Anne Buydens, who died on Thursday at the age of 102. Anne, who was married to Kirk for 66 years until his death, worked peripherally in the movies as a publicist and several other things, and also did a lot of philanthropy.

Johnny Crawford is better known for his TV work, although he was in El Dorado along with John Wayne. Crawford, who played son Mack McCain on The Rifleman, also died on Thursday, aged 75. Dad and I watch The Rifleman every Saturday at dinner, and it's to the point where I know most of the plots, although it's fun seeing who the guest stars are because the show got some guest stars who would become surprisingly well known, such as a young Dennis Hopper. It's also surprising how many movies Paul Fix had bit parts in back in the day.

Finally, Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis died today aged 89. Dukakis won a Best Supporting Actress oscar for Moonstruck.

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