Sunrise, playing on Monday on TCM
This week’s installment of TCM’s Moguls and Movie Stars film history series takes on the golden age of silent cinema, with some great films to go along with it, including Sunrise, early John Ford western The Iron Horse, and films starring Garbo and Valentino on Monday, then silent comedy – Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd – on Wednesday. Get your stop-motion fix with Harryhausen’s Jason and the Argonauts, then check out the convoluted but visually stunning Night Watch, both on Tuesday. And TCM has a trio of Peter Weir films on Friday, just in time for our discussion on his career as director. And there are a few other newly featured ones scattered throughout our mainstays of repeats.
Monday, November 15
7:45am – IFC – Mr. Hulot’s Holiday
French writer/actor/director Jacques Tati specialized in nearly-silent physical comedy that reminds one at times of Chaplin or Keaton, but with a slightly more ironic French flair about it. In Mr. Hulotís Holiday, a trip to the seashore turns out to be anything but relaxing.
1953 France. Director: Jacques Tati. Starring: Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Micheline Rolla.
(repeats at 1:15pm)
11:00am – TCM – Summertime
I havenít seen this David Lean travelogue drama, but Kurt and rot were talking about it in some comments recently, and made me more interested in it than I ever have been before. So maybe Iíll check it out.
1955 USA/UK. Director: David Lean. Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Rosanno Brazzi.
3:45pm – TCM – The Big Heat
Director Fritz Lang came out of the German Expressionist movement of the 1920s, so itís not surprising that he ended up making some of the better noir films, given film noirís borrowing of Expressionist style. Glenn Ford is a cop working against his corrupt department, but the parts youíll remember from the film all belong to Gloria Grahame in a supporting role as a beaten-up gangsterís moll. Her performance and Langís attention to detail raise the otherwise average story to a new level.
1953 USA. Director: Fritz Lang. Starring: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame.
5:30pm – TCM – The Lady fom Shanghai
Most of Wellesí films, no matter the genre, feel a little noirish in mood, but The Lady from Shanghai is the real thing, complete with fatalistic hero who gets dragged into a murder plot by a femme fatale (Rita Hayworth). And noir set-pieces don’t get much better than the chase sequence set in a bewildering hall of mirrors.
1948 USA. Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth.
8:00pm – TCM – Moguls & Movie Stars: The Dream Merchants
TCM moves into the golden age of the silent era, showcasing the height of cinematic artistry before sound came in and forced everyone to relearn how to make films.
9:00pm – TCM – Sunrise
One of the finest artistic achievements in cinema history – the story might be a little flimsy/far-fetched these days, of a man tempted away from his wife by a loose woman but later reconciled – but the use of cinematography and expressionist art direction to create a mesmerizing mood has rarely been matched since. A breathtaking experience still.
1937 USA. Director: F.W. Murnau. Starring: George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston.
12:00M – TCM – The Iron Horse
One of director John Ford’s earliest films, in the genre where he would stake his most enduring claims to cinematic greatness. I’m really looking forward to seeing this for the first time.
1924 USA. Director: John Ford. Starring: George O’Brien, Madge Bellamy, Charles Edward Bull.
12:15am (16th) – IFC – The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Any half-decent film about three drag queens driving a bus through the Australian outback in outlandish costumes (and sometimes lipsynching to opera while sitting in an enormous shoe strapped on top of the bus) pretty much has to be fabulous, and this one is. Hugo Weaving is the one with the secret former marriage and son, Terence Stamp the aging one who tends to be somewhat bitter but can also be the consummate lady, and Guy Pearce is the flamboyant youth. As they move through the Outback toward their next proposed gig as lipsynching dancers, they run into mechanical difficulties, bigotry, and interpersonal conflicts that get into more thoughtful territory than you might expect.
1994 Australia. Director: Stephan Elliott. Starring: Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Terence Stamp, Rebel Penfold-Russell.
2:30am (16th) – TCM – Flesh and the Devil
Not my favorite Garbo film, but it is a good example of her silent melodramas, and it is opposite her most common leading man, John Gilbert. So it’s a good one to check out if you’re interested in seeing one of the most popular screen couples of the era.
1926 USA. Director: Clarence Brown. Starring: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert.
4:30am (16th) – TCM – Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
I haven’t seen this Rudolph Valentino film yet, but any excuse to see a film from one of the first great screen heartthrobs is worth a look.
1921 USA. Directors: Rex Ingram. Starring: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Pomeroy Cannon.
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