John Burke from New York, NY
Aside from watch TCM, what do you do?
I write and blog on social media and on my own websites about culture, entertainment, aesthetics, politics, and current events, and how they all relate, reflect and influence each other in our lives.
What’s your favorite movie snack?
So many to choose from! Steaming popcorn with butter and Vernor's ginger ale, or osetra caviar with all the fixings and Veuve Clicquot champagne. But I've been known to down a T-bone with a heavily buttered baked potato too... followed by a big slice of chocolate cake. It all depends on the movie, doesn't it???
What’s your favorite part of TCM?
I love that TCM has returned films from the past to a readily available source for people to celebrate and cherish. Millions of people can learn from an art form that might have vanished completely from our culture and our zeitgeist. TCM in many ways functions as a library/museum that any citizen can visit in their own home at any time and see the truly iconic art form of the 20th century.
What’s your favorite movie genre?
Too many to pin one down... it's like being asked, "What's your favorite art medium?"... it depends on the piece. With film, it's the same for me... a great comedy, a great drama, a great biopic, etc.
Who’s your favorite actor or actress or filmmaker of all time? And why?
Same as above... I have twelve "favorite" directors... and actresses? How can I compare Greer Garson in Mrs. Miniver to Claudette Colbert in Cleopatra, to Elizabeth Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress to Judy Garland in... anything? Right?
Who would you be thrilled to meet, and what would you say?
I've written film essays and little bios for years on my blogs, etc. And everyone seems to get a kick out of my idea of Heaven. Perfection for me would be a beautiful open-air café, perfect late afternoon cocktail hour with Harry Davenport, Frank Morgan, Florence Bates, Patricia Collinge, Basil Rathbone, Una O'Connor, Lionel Atwill, S. Z. Sakall, Thelma Ritter, Lee Patrick, Edna May Oliver, Margaret Hamilton, Beulah Bondi, Marie Dressler, all the Barrymores... and that would be just the first arrivals. One of the most painful realizations of my childhood was that I would never get to know, let alone act with, all these geniuses. All of them, GENIUSES.
What do you collect?
I was introduced to antiques and memorabilia at about 5 years of age by grandmother, who taught me that there were just as many treasures waiting in an attic, basement, or alleyway as there were in an auction house or gallery. You just had to look for the "treasure" in each object... and its "life." I've collected the most eccentric and eclectic things.
If you had to pick just one, what would be your favorite movie?
Again... there's too much brilliance in the very art form of film for me ever "to take just one to a desert island!" I guess, to be honest, if I had to be consoled somehow in my exile, I'd rather take a simple still, the so-called "lobby photos," from each of my favorite 20 films and let them play in my head and heart and that would be more than enough.
Thank you John! For being in our Member Spotlight, we're sending you Picture Show, a beautiful book filled with classic movie poster art from the TCM Archives. Many of these posters were ignored in their time but then rediscovered later... we think you'll like it.
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