If you’re reading this right now, you know that the humble writer of this blog is a classic film fan. And if you happen to follow me on twitter, you would be aware that I’m young. Almost all of my film knowledge is about films prior to the 1970s. The number of new releases I’ve seen in this decade could probably be counted on both hands. This certainly isn’t a normal thing for someone my age. So what is responsible for my film preferences?
Turner Classic Movies is the sole reason.
It was TCM that first introduced me to classic films just a few years ago. I tuned in a lot during October one year, as at the time I enjoyed horror films. Psycho opened the door to my love of Alfred Hitchcock, and in no time I was trying out tons of other films on the channel. Who cares if other people complained that the movies moved too slow, or were too old, or were in black and white. These movies were good. Really good.
TCM provided me with a crash course in film history, taking an oblivious young man and exposing him to all kinds of films I’d never seen before. These films were more heartbreaking, funnier and thrilling than any films I’d ever seen before. They touched on subjects better and more important than in most films I’d ever seen. I fell in love with musicals, foreign films, silent films and so much more.
I also joined a community of film lovers, people who love to watch movies together and make commentary. Coming to “meet” these people changed my whole movie watching experience, making it more enjoyable than ever.
TCM is the reason why the classic film community thrives to this day. It is the reason young people like myself have any knowledge of the classics. People of my generation would have no exposure to these films otherwise, as no other place is willing to show films like this uncut and commercial free.
The preservation of film is an idea that’s never gotten respect. Throughout history, films weren’t saved properly, stars were forgotten and legendary moments vanished. TCM has given life to stars and films that otherwise would have been completely forgotten. In short, it has saved and given life to a vibrant community of classic film fans.
If TCM is the victim of Time Warner cutbacks and dies, the classic film community may die with it. We can’t afford for that to happen. TCM is a national treasure, one of historical and cultural significance. Film history cannot die with it. It’s just about time classic films get the respect they deserve.
Make your voice heard on twitter with #DontTouchTCM and contribute to the letter writing campaign.