Brent Reilly from San Diego, CA
@RocnredProd on Twitter
Aside from watch TCM, what do you do?
People actually do something besides watch TCM?
I spent the first part of my life as a recording engineer in Burbank/Hollywood, working in some of the greatest recording studios, but moved to an IT career in the early 2000’s.
I am very passionate about Formula 1 racing. My wife is very supportive of that. The races take place all over the world and I have to drag her along with me. She’s such a trooper, she never complains about traveling all over the world to go to races. My friends think that it has more to do with shopping and traveling than Formula 1, but what do they know. We love to travel and she is my best friend. This year we went to Hoh Rain Forest, the Rocky Mountains, the Smokey Mountains, Savannah, Tampa Bay, London, and Vegas, Baby. I guess I love traveling too because none of those places have a Formula 1 race track.
What’s your favorite movie snack?
I do not eat anything during a movie. I just turn off the lights and turn up the volume… ”Here’s Johnny”.
What’s your favorite part of TCM?
I love that TCM embraces all aspects of cinema from all genres and eras. I feel a deep connection to them. Film is a part of me and they get that. From silent, foreign, B-movies as well as shorts and the classics, they do it all. I am constantly learning something new about film from TCM and that gives me joy.
Everything is in the original format, uncut, and commercial-free. That may be a direct quote from a promo spot, but it is true!
What’s your favorite movie genre?
I know it is not really a genre but an artistic movement, but I am absolutely mesmerized by crime dramas, aka film noir. It was a true creative and experimental time in film. It was constantly pushing the envelope of a creative style which had a strong influence from Europe, but the stories were pure Americana. We were witnessing a lot of film techniques for the first time. Filmmaking owes a lot to film noir. I love the camera angles, the darkness, the lack of blood, and the Production Code. The stories just happen to be based around sex, murder, greed, the double-cross, dames, cigarettes and booze. Is this a great country or what?
Who’s your favorite actor or actress or filmmaker of all time? And why?
Okay, the questions just started getting really hard.
TCM was showing The Gold Rush with an extended introduction about the film. I have never really seen a silent film, it sounded interesting. I was in awe. I have seen every Charlie Chaplin film and many of his shorts. Then I saw a TCM documentary on Lon Chaney, I was hooked. I have seen or collected as much Chaney and Chaplin as I can. My city has a local symphony and they played Phantom of the Opera on a big screen while the symphony musicians played the music score. It was incredible. Thank you TCM for introducing me to the wonderful world of Chaney, Chaplin, and the silent era.
Who would you be thrilled to meet, and what would you say?
Any femme fatale from the 40’s or the 50’s. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I would tell them how fantastic they were. That they were under-appreciated and how much they did for women in film and women in general. They didn’t need a man for anything except how to manipulate him and get him to do what they wanted. They were strong, smart, and in control right up until they shot you in the back. I would tell them what fantastic roles they had and that they were my favorite part of the movie, and I love every single one of them. I was always sad to see them go at the end of the film; usually in a car over the cliff, a bullet in the gut, hot coffee in the face, or just sent up the river.
What do you collect?
Lately I have been collecting books by Eddie Muller, which are not easy to find. I enjoy his writing. I love his vast knowledge and his dry sense of humor. He really is very funny. My latest obsession is trying to find Dark City and then have Eddie sign it. So far I have 3 signed books by him. I just keep showing up at events where he is hosting or is a guest speaker. I will make the trek to the 2019 Film Noir Festival in San Francisco and have him sign something else. I might also watch some old movies.
If you had to pick just one, what would be your favorite movie?
They saved the hardest question for last. The Wizard of Oz. It is the earliest movie I remember watching as a child and I still watch it to this day. I never get sick of it. It was magical. For a 6 year old it was an adventure, it was funny, very scary, and colorful (mostly). It had lovable characters and a story where good triumphs over evil. Wow. As an adult I was no longer scared but found amazement in what a technical achievement it was for 1939. Then I found out how hard it was to make this film with all the troubles they had. I love to see how they edited in earlier versions of the film with the newer one. All the dialogue started making more sense as an adult. There was so much underlying humor you do not pick up as a child. It was so well written. You throw in fabulous music, flying monkeys, fire, a tornado, a cast that is over-flowing with talent and you have a hit movie that stands the test of time. Watch the scene where the cowardly lion first meets the group and chases Toto. When Dorothy hits him on his nose he starts crying and grabs his tail. You can see Judy Garland holding back her laughter. You wonder how many takes it took to do that scene and that was the one they kept because she probably laughed through all the other ones, classic. How can you not laugh at anything that Burt Lahr did? “What puts the ape in apricot? Courage.” Gets me every time.
FYI: My other choices were Mulholland Drive and Psycho, but they had a 2500 word limit. Don’t get me started on why those are amazing films.
Thank you Brent! For being in our Member Spotlight, we're sending you the Batman in Noir Alley comic book, which features Eddie Muller teaming with the Caped Crusader... and this copy is personally signed by Eddie as well!
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