Wednesday, August 23, 2017

We Get Real About Movies & More

I've got a movie talk podcast for you.  It's time to bring some color into the classic film conversation.  Have you seen African Americans on TV as weekly movie critics or as movie hosts?  No.  Well, it's time for a change somewhere.  We're testing a possible new project. Since movies are my passion, they're a major part of this possible new project I host.  If I picked films on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) for the 4th of July, I would air 1776, the strong historical musical about our Founding Fathers.  I'd also air YANKEE DOODLE DANDY starring James Cagney and the 1950 Oscar winner, BORN YESTERDAY.  Judy Holliday repeated her Broadway triumph as Billie Dawn in this social comedy and won the Oscar for Best Actress.  William Holden (left) co-starred with Holliday and George Cukor (right) directed.
This is not just the story of a dumb blonde New Yorker with a funny voice who went from being a chorus girl to being the girlfriend of a thug tycoon.  Billie Dawn is living large with diamonds and furs, clueless that her tycoon boyfriend has taken them to Washington, DC so he can basically buy a Congressman to help him with some shady financial deals.  Her boyfriend's a bully.  Billie doesn't realize that he's slowly chipping away her freedoms bit by bit.  In the classic gin rummy scene, the lovable and ditzy Billie will give us musical cues to the quality of show biz establishment she worked in and we will see that she always plays fair.
He doesn't.  A journalist, played by William Holden, will become Billie's tutor and travel guide.  He'll show her the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.  She will come to an enlightenment and make her own personal Declaration of Independence when she's physically abused by her thug boyfriend and forced to do as he says.  She revolts against his tyrannical treatment and liberates herself.  This is a patriotic comedy telling Americans to not be "dumb blondes" when it comes to their liberties.

Mike Sargent, a filmmaker and film critic -- and a good buddy -- dropped in to the studio to chat with me about movies.  We delve more into the film art to show why we love them.  I tell Mike about the riveting Netflix documentary called FIVE CAME BACK.
Meryl Streep narrates.  Steven Spielberg, Guillermo Del Toro and Lawrence Kasdan appear and add meaningful, intelligent viewpoints.

Five top Hollywood directors -- Frank Capra, William Wyler, George Stevens, John Ford and John Huston -- enlisted in World War II and documented the war on film for the U.S.  When Hitler was devouring Europe, Americans didn't have TV news footage. These 5 filmmakers helped the government with the war effort.  They captured the true carnage and horrors of war and showed we needed to fight.  They showed the almost unimaginable evil of Nazi concentration camps that were really death mills to exterminate millions of Jews.  Capra and Wyler also fought U.S. racism towards our Black troops.  The war experience changed all five filmmakers.  It also changed the tone of Hollywood films they made after the war.

Here's Frank Capra on the right.
See FIVE CAME BACK on you will have a greater, deeper appreciation for his long unappreciated classic, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
On MOCHAA -- Man Of A Certain Hue And Age -- I talk about all this.  We did a couple of impromptu podcasts.  Please listen and leave comments, etc.  Here's the link:

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