Monday, February 27, 2023

Briefs for February 27-March 1

March begins on Wednesday, and that means the start of 31 Days of Oscar on TCM. Apparently, this year the movies are going to be grouped by genre, although looking at the schedule I don't get all of the genres at first glance. It's also mildly interesting that the Oscars are back in March, which is the reason the programming feature was called 31 Days of Oscar in the first place. I'm guesing that when the Oscars moved to February it was cheaper for TCM to keep the rights to use the Oscar trademark if they kept calling the feature by 31 days, even though it would be longer than a month. That, and they'd been using "31 Days" long enough that there was some collective consciousness of the term.

I looked ahead to the first several days of the FXM schedule in March -- of course one can only go ahead two weeks through the various listings sites -- and didn't see anything noteworthy being brought into the FXM rotation, although there's a movie or two like The Blue Max that I hadn't seen yet, such as The Manhattan Project. I don't know when or if I'll be getting to those, however, becasuse...

It looks like my move is getting a lot closer. We had a bunch of legal stuff to go through to sell the old house which was in a family trust and make certain the new place would be in the trust, and then get the trust set up to handle disbursing money since downsizing to a new place meant the new house cost less than we sold the old one for. I'm not the trustee of the trust -- one of my more responsible sisters is -- so I haven't been that involved in all this. But we closed on the new place a few weeks back, and have slowly been moving small stuff over the past few weeks until the trust can pay movers to move all the furniture and big stuff. I've actually freed up the DVR to almost 20% free, and a bit of what's on there is sports and a week's worth of Jeopardy! episodes, but there's no way I'm watching everything on the DVR before the move. I've actually got a couple of movies watched and not posted on yet, so there may not be any hiatus in posting as a result of the move.

A couple of notable passings. Producer Walter Mirisch died over the weekend at the venerable age of 101. Mirisch actually won the Oscar for producing In the Heat of the Night, and was one of the founders of the Mirisch Company, which produced a number of other famous films, including another Best Picture winnner, The Apartment. However, Mirisch wasn't the official producer of that movie, so he didn't get the statuette. I actually thought it wasn't until the mid-1960s that they stopped giving the award officially to the studio, but the Academy's database has the first named producer (as opposed to a studio) back in 1951, with Arthur Freed winning for An American in Paris.

Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent also died over the weekend; he was 92. A stage, screen, and television actor, Pinsent's best known role might be in the movie Away from Her, where he's the husband of Julie Christie, who has Alzheimers and falls in love with another patient in her nursing home.

Finally, in non-human deaths, there's the end of TCM Underground, which aired its last installment this past Friday/Saturday. It was going to be taking March off for 31 Days of Oscar, but won't be coming back in April. In some ways, this isn't much of a surprise considering that programmer Millie De Chirico was let go at the end of last year. That having been said, I wonder just how many people it would take to program Underground. The feature also kind of sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of what's on TCM, although I happen to think there's a place for a lot of that stuff when discussing the heritage of the movies.

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