Revisiting movie “classics” that aren’t 1

It’s almost a dare. A film festival, in this case TCM Classic Film Festival 2014, which virtually took over Hollywood Boulevard for five days this past May, declares, in its title, its focus on movie “classics.” Nothing but “classics.” Really? Consider that perhaps a few of those “classics” are overrated. Then consider that some are ...

Fred Astaire’s songs that dance 2

Dance · Film · Music
If all you know of Fred Astaire is his movie dancing, the new two-CD set “Fred Astaire: The Early Years at RKO” (Turner Classic Music/Sony Masterworks) will be a revelation. With the possible exception of Bing Crosby, Astaire introduced more good songs — first on the Broadway stage, then in his movie musicals — than ...

TCM salutes Hollywood’s distinguished costume designers

Fashion · Film
We like Deborah Nadoolman Landis. She’s pretty, she’s nice, she wears spectacles, she has a cool husband, and she’s an arts·meme subscriber. Hey, she’s a Deborah! What’s not to love? More importantly, Ms. Nadoolman Landis is a huge expert in a super interesting field. She earned a Ph.D. in history of design from the Royal ...

Gene Kelly’s witty number in “It’s Always Fair Weather” 3

Dance · Film
We enjoyed watching Illeana Douglas host “It’s Always Fair Weather” (MGM, 1955, dir: Stanley Donen) recently on Turner Classic Movies. The song-and-dance number in the video above, Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks, bears so much influence of Jack Cole (he, too, worked with Gray, coaching the non-dancer in “Kismet” and “Designing Woman,” both at ...

The dancing Douglases

Dance · Film
Does love of dance run in the family? If so, then actress/producer Illeana Douglas has traced her dance gene. Illeana, a great film buff, is hosting Turner Classic Movies’ “Second Looks” programming on Friday nights of this month. Her marvelous, quirky film curation is catalogued in a wonderful essay written for TCM by Roger Fristoe. ...

Streisand’s “Funny Girl” on Grauman’s big screen 2

Fashion · Film
Director William Wyler’s “Funny Girl,” TCM Fest 2013‘s opening-night film, vividly restored and splashed across Grauman’s huge screen, proved a tour de force beyond our memory of it. In her motion picture debut, Barbra Streisand performs in every possible context: she’s sings in comic numbers and torch songs; she sings while dancing and amidst love ...

Fox to release “The I Don’t Care Girl” (1953) on DVD 1

Dance · Film
We just learned, courtesy of our good friends at Polly O Entertainment, personal managers to Mitzi Gaynor, the wonderful news that Twentieth Century-Fox will release arts·meme favorite, “The I Don’t Care Girl” on DVD April 8, 2013. The biopic, a relatively turgid mid-century look back at vaudeville hottie Eva Tanguay (pictured above with Mitzi who ...

Jerry Beck & the fine art of classic animation on TCM

Film · Visual arts
Expert Jerry Beck defines classic animation as “theatrically-released studio or independent animated shorts and features from 1906 through roughly 1976.” The fun, arty fodder is getting its due this Sunday, October 21, with “Rare Animation,” a six-hour broadcast on Turner Classic Movies. Jerry, who blogs at cartoonbrew, co-hosts the evening with Robert Osborne. I had ...

Thank you, Turner Classic Movies, for “Choreography by Jack Cole” 1

Dance · Film
May I express my gratitude to the wonderful classic-movie channel for “Choreography by Jack Cole” broadcast Monday night? I co-hosted the program with TCM’s great veteran host, Robert Osborne. Together, we screened four movies studded with dance sequences that were created by the massively talented American choreographer. And a huge ‘thank you’ to Mr. Osborne, ...

Robert Osborne asks: “Why did Jack Cole fade away?” 2

Dance · Film
A sample from “Choreography by Jack Cole” to be broadcast Monday September 10 (8 pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific) on Turner Classic Movies.