Mar15

Kris C. Jones from Chattanooga, TN

@mrkris1026 on Twitter

 

Aside from watch TCM, what do you do?

I help run an arts & civic center where I program a (public domain) classic & foreign film series.

I also freelance occasionally in the art department as a set dresser. 

Lastly, I'm working on my first book -- an academic tome on the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth starring David Bowie.

 

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Popcorn with just a little butter and a box of RAISINETS! (Oh, and a glass of Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke to wash it all down, of course!)

 

What’s your favorite part of TCM?

The amount of catalog depth that TCM goes into in their offerings -- films that need to be seen but probably never got their due when originally released.

Also, as a former filmmaker myself, I can especially appreciate all of the wonderful supporting materials from the TCM archives -- the "making of"s and related materials such as screen tests, behind-the-scenes footage, advertising ephemera, and the like.

Lastly, I'd like to thank TCM for giving Mr. Martin Scorsese a featured role in picking and highlighting classic films. As much as I admire him as a filmmaker, he has done wonders for the appreciation and restoration of our film heritage. More power to him!

 

What’s your favorite movie genre?

Don't have to think too hard on this one -- science-fiction!

Like every other teenager in the summer of 1977, I was blown away by the original Star Wars. However, with no immediate bumper crop of sci-fi blockbusters coming soon to the local cinema, I soon sought out older, albeit relatively recent (and rather curious!) examples of my newfound interest to satiate an ever-growing yen.

Many of the films I devoured at the time were staples of weekly broadcast airings on the family Quasar. 

They included such well-known titles as The Omega Man (Boris Sagal, 1971); Silent Running (Douglas Trumbull, 1972), Soylent Green (Richard Fleischer, 1973), Westworld (Michael Crichton, 1973), Phase IV (Saul Bass, 1974), Logan's Run (Michael Anderson, 1976), Slaughterhouse-Five (George Roy Hill, 1972), Sleeper (Woody Allen, 1973), and The Andromeda Strain (Michael Crichton, 1971). 

Other, slightly more obscure titles took a bit more effort, and I would often catch them at science-fiction conventions, where films as unique and once-obscure as THX-1138 (George Lucas, 1971), A Boy and His Dog (L.Q. Jones, 1975), and that most unusual SF film of all, Zardoz (John Boorman, 1974) would be highlights of the weekend. With their adult content and almost 70s-mandatory nudity, circumstances merited that they be shown at special midnight room-party and 16mm showings, where I.D.s were usually checked at the door. 

Midnight screenings were just starting to become a thing at the time, and the exorbitant cost of pre-recorded cassettes in the early VHS video era ($80 was not unusual for a mainstream title) gave these late-night viewings additional cult cachet’ as must-see events.

 

Who’s your favorite actor or actress or filmmaker of all time? And why?

Another easy one -- (not to sound 'trite' or 'obvious,' but . . . ) Orson Welles is the man!

What is great about Welles is the fact that, besides being a solid film, radio, & stage actor, he was both a master and innovator of cinema. 

Sure, everyone's seen Citizen Kane (1941), but he was much more productive and ground-breaking in his later career than the general public is aware of. Films such as the classic noir Touch of Evil (1958) or the Shakespearean epic Chimes at Midnight (1965) prove that his creative power never diminished, it merely adapted itself to new situations and mediums.

 

Who would you be thrilled to meet, and what would you say?

Film editor Walter Murch.

If I met him, I'd probably (after I picked myself off the floor) thank him for serving as a constant fount of both inspiration and knowledge. (His 'zen of editing' handbook, In the Blink of an Eye, should be on every film student and cineaste's top shelf.) 

When I was in film school and during my first video editing job (for a local tv station), Mr. Murch helped to keep my spirits high even as I cut away into the wee hours of the morning.

Don't forget that Walter Murch has been involved in both the sound & edit capacity on so many of the seminal films of my generation: The Conversation (1974), The Godfather, Part III (1974), and Apocalypse Now (1979). 

He also won a double-Oscar for serving as editor and sound designer on The English Patient -- a beautiful and deeply moving film. (One that I feel has been unjustly lambasted of late -- and all because of a Seinfeld episode.)

 

What do you collect?

Classic film scores on vinyl (many times the only way you can find the older ones).

Also, I was a 'first generation' Star Wars collector, but sold off my collection to pay for film school back in the 90s. (Kind of appropriate, though, in a way don't you think!)

 

If you had to pick just one, what would be your favorite movie?

Now, that's torture!

But if I had to pick one . . . 

I'd have to say Forbidden Planet (1956) -- directed by Fred McLeod Wilcox: Just the fact that a science-fiction film in the "pulpy 50s" would be given an 'A' film budget is some sort of minor miracle.

Everything about this film is first rate: great performances, a pioneering (and extremely creepy!) electronic score by Bebe & Louis Barron, art direction by the legendary Cedric Gibbons, a story based loosely on Shakespeare's The Tempest, and breathtaking special-effects courtesy of the Disney Studios. What more could a fifties sci-fi geek ask for?

(Oh, and star Anne Francis looks like a million dollars in this movie, which doesn't hurt one bit!)

 

Thank you Kris!  For being in our Member Spotlight, we're sending you a set of vintage TCM greeting cards featuring art from Forbidden Planet!  Postage from Altair IV not included.

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