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« On the DVR | Main | Avoiding Demographic Doomsday »

October 18, 2005

TV Alert

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I notice that some good viewin' is nearly upon us.

* The Trio network is re-running a four-hour, four-part documentary called "Lost Highway: The History of American Country." It's an English production narrated by Lyle Lovett, and it's intelligently informative, stylish in a non-obtrusive way, and helpfully organized. It's as full of vintage footage, sincere interviews, and heart-rending, real-people music as you could hope. Bluegrass, singing cowboys, big hair, honky-tonk, hippie-outlaws -- all are present and all are very well-accounted-for. Is there a better video overview of country music than "Lost Highway" available? I'm not aware of one. The first episode of "Lost Highway" will be broadcast on Trio tonight, Tuesday, from 9-10 pm EST, and later at midnight. The subsequent episodes follow on the following evenings: episode two on Wednesday; episode three on Thursday; and episode four on Friday.

* This Wednesday evening, TCM celebrates the film producer Val Lewton by broadcasting some of the horror pictures Lewton is famous for. Working in the 1940s with tiny budgets and on short shooting schedules, Lewton became a legend for creating quiet, small movies that got their scares via suggestion and mood. A few shadows ... Some well-chosen rustling noises ... And chills run up and down your spine. If you don't know Lewton's movie work, I urge you to give a couple of these films a try. As far as I'm concerned, "Cat People" and "I Walked with a Zombie" -- both of them directed by the sophisticated Jacques Tourneur -- aren't just neato scare movies; they're eerie and erotic poetic gems, as stylized, exciting, and altered-state-inducing as expressionist operas, or the best silent movies. "Cat People" will be broadcast on TCM Wednesday, from 8:00-9:15 pm EST. "I Walked with a Zombie" screens Wednesday from 10:30-11:45 pm EST. Here's a good website devoted to Val Lewton. I notice that Warner has just released a boxed DVD set of all of Lewton's horror movies.

* I wrote enthusiastically about the 1957 Elmore Leonard/Delmar Daves western "3:10 to Yuma" here. Short version of a long posting: I found the film very enjoyable -- tense and turbulent, fast and brilliant. If these judgments were up to me, I'd call "3:10 to Yuma" a classic. TCM broadcasts "3:10 to Yuma" Saturday, from 2:30-4:30 pm EST.



posted by Michael at October 18, 2005



How 'bout Nip/Tuck? Hey we can't have our brains running all the time. It's like an olde-tyme 80's vacation hour!

Posted by: Matt Lyons on October 18, 2005 10:32 AM

Matt -- Is Nip/Tuck fun? I haven't given it a spin yet. Isn't Joely Richardson on it? I'm a big fan ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 18, 2005 12:17 PM

Oh! Oh!

Do yourselves a favor: order a bunch of takeout, get a big bottle of bourbon and rent Season One.

Almost as good a marathon as "Rome" or "Prime Suspect".

Posted by: Colleen on October 18, 2005 4:03 PM

Yes, Joley is in it as well as her mother - as her mother! Very decadant, very nourishing in a guilty way. !0:00 tonight on f/x, with a rerun immediately following.

Posted by: Matt Lyons on October 18, 2005 8:59 PM

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