May classic films, special movie events in Buffalo area

Hi again film fans – here is the monthly listing of classic and repertory films being shown in the Buffalo area during May. This month look for a series of special screenings, held in conjunction with Nickel City Con,  featuring live appearances and talks by stars.

May 3

Labyrinth,” 7:30 p.m. Screening Room Cinema Café (Boulevard Mall). Jim Henson musical fantasy about a teen (Jennifer Connelly) who must solve the mystery of a labyrinth to save her brother from the Goblin King (David Bowie). Also see May 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11.

May 4

“Labyrinth,” 7:30 p.m. Screening Room Cinema Café.

“Batman” (1989), 1 p.m. May 4 at Regal Elmwood and Transit theaters. Michael Keaton is the Caped Crusader in Tim Burton’s darkly majestic film. Part of 80th anniversary “Batman” celebration.

Continue reading “May classic films, special movie events in Buffalo area”

25 favorite films I wouldn’t have seen without Turner Classic Movies

A magical cottage where people see others with their hearts, not their eyes. Death taking the form of a mortal to see why people fear it so much – and discovering love. Society women dealing with gossip, infidelity and friendships. Soapy melodramas where barriers block love and success.

These are the plots to some of my favorite films – and they are all films I was introduced to by Turner Classic Movies. There are hundreds of others I  saw for the first – and perhaps only – time on TCM. I thought about this remarkable fact watching fan tributes to TCM for the network’s 25th birthday.

It made me realize a gift TCM gives to so many of us is the chance to watch  films we would never see otherwise. It’s not the only place I’ve seen classics, of course. My horror and B-movie education came from dad who let me stay up late to watch films with him (that’s why there is only one horror film on the list) and the Sunday afternoon movie with mom (which is where I’m sure I fell in love with “Picnic”). But the bulk of classic movies in my life came to me for the first time from TCM.

For my tribute to TCM, I thought of 25 films the network gifted to me. I could have listed 100 just off the top of my head, but 25 seemed appropriate for this special anniversary. They are listed in alphabetical order and I’ve included a brief description. I’ll take time later to celebrate each film separately. I hope this might inspire you to watch some of these movies and make your own list to share.

“The Best of Everything” (1959)
This is a favorite soapy melodrama and it’s on my desert island list. It swoops in and grabs me with that great music and the wealth of characters. I’m caught up in the lives of these people working their way up the big-city ladder (or down in some cases). I’m fascinated by the pool of secretaries in the publishing office (did they all really sit in rows of desks like that?). The cast is fantastic with Joan Crawford, Hope Lang, Diane Baker, Stephen Boyd, Louis Jourdan, for starters.

This is a beautiful still I own of Ronald Colman and Ann Harding from “Condemned.”

“Condemned” (1929)
This early talkie about a fugitive and a warden’s wife who fall in love on Devil’s Island is the definition of a film that wouldn’t get seen without TCM. The story is dated and the acting stagey, but I was transfixed by a very young Ronald Colman and Ann Harding. I already liked Colman from seeing “Random Harvest” on TCM, but this is where I became a devotee. This film was an introduction to Harding who has enchanted me ever since with her lovely etherealness. Since “Condemned,” I watch everything I can with them. Continue reading “25 favorite films I wouldn’t have seen without Turner Classic Movies”