TCM: Turner Classic Mishpocha

At the Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel a cocktail reception celebrating 30 years of Turner Classic Movies: TCM. A classy affair with a real family feeling.

Mishpocha, in Yiddish, means “family.” One was struck, in attending Turner Classic Movies‘ 30th anniversary gathering, January 12, 2024, at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel, that, beyond the beautiful food and drinks; beyond seeing TCM’s cadre of impressive new advisors, Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Martin Scorsese (in absentia); beyond meeting, and photographing, the five charming-and-knowledgeable TCM hosts, there was an overriding feeling of family — call it community if you prefer. It’s an organizing principle that this channel, unique in the broadcast arena, has successfully fostered.

Over its three-decade existence, TCM, has not rested on laurels. Its stimulating programming, overseen by movie maven/television executive Charles Tabesh pokes into every niche and corner of film history, providing viewers with fun, education, delight, and did I mention, escape from the woes of the world?


Many a Friday night returning from an evening at the theater: the pour of a few fingers of scotch, a plop onto the couch, a click of the remote, and there unfurls host Eddie Muller introducing his nasty, gnarly, negative, noxious nuggets of NOIR ALLEY. A deep-dive into the dank, dismal, derelict, dastardly and dangerous doings of the guys-and-dolls who occupy the Muller universe. Other outstanding programming, for example last year’s incredible roster of Warner Bros. movies, unearthed the unseen, bathed us in black & white, and brought home the intense artistry of Jack Warner’s rep company of actors. Last month’s 100th anniversary of Columbia Pictures, this month’s honoring of MGM’s, and the upcoming on-air party marking the channel’s history, to encompass new film restorations, ideally all the stuff you may have missed when, age 11, you were watching midnight movies, trying, trying, to stay awake, but defeated, dozed off.

6/27/2012 Atlanta, GA Turner Classic Movies TCM Guest Programmer Debra Levine.
Photo: Mark Hill TCM

Which of you artsmeme readers saw, when, on April 14, 1994, media mogul Ted Turner hit the “on” switch of Turner Classic Movies, TCM, with host Robert Osborne introducing Gone With the Wind? I didn’t. But by the new millennium, I was pretty much a regular viewer. I was on the first TCM Cruise, covering it on the blog. I have attended every TCM Fest since inception in 2010 — missing but one year. I even co-hosted an evening on the channel, and now belong to a proud cohort of “legacy co-hosts,” those who were interviewed by Mr. Osborne.

The channel just announced that the 15th annual TCM Classic Film Festival will open on Thursday, April 18 with a 35mm screening of the classic neo-noir Pulp Fiction (1994) with two-time Academy Award®-nominee, Golden Globe and Emmy winner John Travolta in attendance to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film. The Festival’s salient theme, “Most Wanted: Crime and Justice in Film” as well as the 30th anniversary of the network are part of the weekend festivities. A very relevant subject to rouse the consciousness of attendees.

artsmeme has now been pounding the Internet arts beat for sixteen years. Our base in Los Angeles drives our decision to wrap the art of motion picture making into our mix. Central to that value is our appreciation of Turner Classic Movies. Thus we salute you, TCM, with a heartfelt wish, to borrow one of Tallulah Bankhead’s trademark droppings: “Press On!”

artsmeme founder debra levine’s tcm interview by robert osborne may be seen here.

leave a comment

Musica Angelica to honor Richard Colburn with mighty Bach St Matthew Passion performance


Last month we visited the welcoming campus of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles for a rousing and very spiritual rendition of Yuval Ron’s “Rumi’s Wedding,” an inspiring mashup of Jewish, Christian and Muslim music and dance.

Now the esteemed church will host a performance of the life-affirming Baroque music-masterpiece, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, performed in memory of Los Angeles arts philanthropist, Richard Colburn.

Mr. Colburn, a longtime supporter of classical music, regularly visited Naarden in the Netherlands and was greatly moved by the Netherlands Bach Society’s performance of St. Matthew Passion, which has taken place on Good Friday annually since 1921. In his memory, The Colburn Foundation has provided a special grant for this performance in hopes that the Bach masterwork for instrument and voice will become an annual tradition in Los Angeles.

Two Baroque orchestras will perform with a double choir and an award-winning cast of American and European vocal soloists. This thrillingly intense music will soar in the beautiful acoustics of the First Congregational Church.

Hey, arts people, this day-long dalliance with Bach begins at 10:30 am with an organ prelude and Sunday service into which Musica Angelica’s sound will be interspersed. This Sunday daytime stuff is free — and seems like a wonderful opportunity for meditation and thought. The Passion, a ticketed event, rolls out at 6 pm. It’s a life experience to hear this mighty score performed live. Parking and a six pm reception included. So go!

J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion | Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra | First Congregational Church | Sunday March 24, 3 pm

leave a comment

Artist George Evans: Native son in perpetual motion 2

Visual arts
If you walked into the intimate Matter Studio Gallery and were told nothing about the current exhibit, you’d be forgiven for wondering what unites the group of artists represented. Large neon figure slashes dance through space over dark brown-magenta grounds. Brilliant photographic prints capture big-sky panoramas with low horizon lines. Muted watercolors of figures and ...

Pina Bausch, Matthew Bourne in dance takeover of Bunker Hill

Dance · Reviews
ROMEO AND JULIET director/choreographer matthew bourne, photo credit: johan persson It warmed my dance critic’s heart to see swarms of Angelenos flocking onto the Plaza of the Los Angeles Music Center to enjoy two impressive and complex dance showcases, both running, separately, at the stalwart performing arts center’s active houses. The 2,000-seat Ahmanson Theater is ...

A still-timely revisit to TMB’s ‘Tiny Little Town’

When I saw it in a workshop production in July 2022, I immensely enjoyed “Tiny Little Town, A New Musical” by the witty folk who comprise Theatre Movement Bazaar. A thinly veiled allegory to our own society’s serious malaise rendered laughable in the guise of theater, the show gives a reprieve by hinting that our ...

A closer look: “Worker and Machine” (1928) at The Huntington

Ideas & Opinion · Visual arts
Hugo Gellert, Worker and Machine, 1928, oil on board, 30 1/2 × 30 7/8 in. Collection of Sandra and Bram Dijkstra The anonymous working man in this painting, “Worker and Machine” (1928) by Hungarian-born artist Hugo Gellert, is one of nineteen striking canvases exhibited in “Art for the People,” a boutique collection of paintings, a ...

A rousing banquet of New Orleans jazz: Delfeayo Marsalis at The Soraya

ed. note: This story by jazz writer, Kirk Silsbee, was commissioned by The Soraya in advance of Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra on Wednesday February 7. It is published with permission. Brass bands smear the air with unbridled exuberance. A second line of dancers swagger-and-cut in their wake, goosed by the popping rhythms ...

Radical reading room: Shepard Fairey at Glendale Central Library

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
Well we love libraries. And don’t you sense they are coming back? It was wonderful, the other night, to see scores of people milling about, chatting, in the grand-scaled lobby of Glendale Central Library … a safe public space. The reason for their visit was “Peace is Radical“, a solo exhibition by renowned street artist ...

REVIEW: A well-heeded call for community: DIAVOLO’s ‘Existencia’

Architecture & Design · Dance · Music · Reviews
We all knew why we were there. We were there to remember and commemorate — most of us having lived through it. We were there to ruminate, and then, to thank our lucky stars. For, in the ashes of the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake, a 6.7-magnitude tumbler that overturned the campus of Cal State ...

Dance of death and renewal by Pina Bausch at The Music Center

How would you dance, if you knew you were going to die? This is the central question the late choreographer Pina Bausch (1940-2009) asked of her dancers in 1975 when she created her seminal work The Rite of Spring. The work examines an unyielding ritual in which the sacrifice of a “chosen one” changes the ...