The TCM Mantra

The Turner Classic Movies Mantra

The Business
TCM is in the business of keeping classic movies alive. Our role is not only to shore the wealth of classic movies, but also to preserve it, and create a new and growing audience. Our mission is to turn fans into zealots, casual viewers into fans, and newcomers into the classic movie lovers of the future.

The Aspiration
TCM is proud to play a unique role in American culture. We will defy categorization and advocate risk-taking as we meet the challenge of expanding the relevance of classic movies transcending the limitations of television. TCM will be the leading source of new perspectives on classic movies.

The Experience
The TCM experience will express unconditional love of classic movies and provide unrivaled pleasure and satisfaction. TCM will always be fun, smart. cinematic and trend setting. TCM understands why we need movies, and the importance of classic movies as the intersection of entertainment, culture and history. Our commercial-free programming and our unmistakable style produce a special and intimate dynamic with our audience, and a unique TCM state of mind.

The Bottom Line
TCM believes that movies matter. TCM is dedicated to the art of film, the value of movies and the intelligence of our audience. We accept the responsibility of advancing the art and commerce of classic movies. Without TCM, classic movies will die and with them, part of our culture. TCM is the guardian of classic movies, the keeper of a cultural flame.

Ken Loach on Kes

“I’m always aware that it was Barry Hines’ book, and I met Barry through Tony Garnett the producer, so I’m always embarrassed when they say, ‘That’s your film’. It’s our film. And Barry’s book is a real classic. I think the problem with our business is that it does create egotists if you’re not careful. A film ‘by’ the director is embarrassing. A film is by Kodak if it’s by anyone.”

— Ken Loach on Kes (via)

François Truffaut in 1957

“Let us deplore the fad that seems to be shared equally by the audience, producers, distributors, technicians, actors, and critics who fancy that they can contribute to the ‘creation’ of the films being shown by deciding how they should have been edited and cut. After each showing, I’d hear things like ‘Not bad, but they could have cut a half-hour,’ or ‘I could have saved that film with a pair of scissors.’ A pair of scissors in his hand, each one of them discovers his vocation as a filmmaker. I find it despicable.”

— François Truffaut

Ken Loach on movies

“I never said to myself that my films could change things. With Cathy Come Home, something exceptional happened that was impossible to predict or reproduce. After that I simply went on doing my job. A movie isn’t a political movement, a party or even an article. It’s just a film. At best it can add its voice to public outrage.”

— Ken Loach

Howard Hawks on directing

“All I’m doing is telling a story. I don’t analyze or do a lot of thinking about it. I work on the fact that if I like somebody and think they’re attractive, I can make them attractive. If I think a thing’s funny, then people laugh at it. If I think a thing’s dramatic, the audience does. I’m very lucky that way. I don’t stop to analyze it. We just made scenes that were fun to do. I think our job is to make entertainment. “

— Howard Hawks (via Hawks on Hawks)

James R. Russo on Jacques Rivette

“Rivette’s film is multifaceted in its cinematic re-education of viewers. Céline and Julie Go Boating presents its audience with a vision of what is cinematically possible, filtered through a study of the rigidity of the forms of the past. This begins with issues of film length and respect for the audience. Rivette rejects the notion of the democratic principle whereby filmmakers are encouraged to continue making rehashes of the same ideologically nonsensical fluff, due to a history of filmgoers’ paying their money to see such films. The tradition of rigid adherence to the ninety-minute to two-hour time frame, enforced by the laws of free-market capitalism, is exploded by Rivette. As a maker of films of epic duration, he refuses to confine himself to these arbitrary lengths, or to the even more arbitrary, if unspoken, rules about demands on subject matter and mise-en-scène. Instead, Rivette extends the lengths of his films to a point beyond necessity, where it is understood that the film’s length, in and of itself, is a statement about the system the director works in and rebels against.

Rivette furthers this impression by seemingly wasting the first twenty minutes of Céline and Julie Go Boating extending the opening chase beyond any narrative obligation. He has thus expressed his belief in the ideal cinema as one of ordeal: namely, a cinema that challenges its viewers to break through mainstream, middlebrow notions of narrative and cinematic technique, into a wider view of acceptable filmic topics and methods. Céline and Julie works off this premise, challenging its viewers with the relatively sparse narrative in its opening sequences in order to prepare them for the breakthrough of the film’s second half, in which the pleasures of storytelling are superbly-at times, whimsically-explored.”

— James R. Russo (via)

Tron’s Logo Design

Tron logo concept by Syd Mead

“The name ‘TRON’ was derived by Steven Lisberger from the simple fact that the word appeared in so much of the terminology relating to science and computers. When Lisberger and Kushner brought the project to Disney, they owned two versions of a logo – one styled in neon light, the other with the letters in the title designed in a circuit pattern.

Syd Mead’s full color logo design

Early in 1981, Syd Mead designed the lettering which became the final ‘TRON’ logo. Richard Taylor added a hard metallic edge and a texture designed to resemble gradations on a video screen. He also moved the ‘R’ slightly away from the ‘T’ to make the title more readable. He based this on a test he performed with his children, who could not read the title with the ‘R’ close to the ‘T.'”

Final logo by Richard Taylor, John Scheele, Marta Russell and Douglas Eby

— (via The Art of Tron)

Ken Russell on Savage Messiah

"You can always tell a bad artist, like a bad doctor, by the fact he surrounds his work with some sort of hocus-pocus. Sure, there’s a mystery. But it’s as much a mystery to the one doing it as to the one who’s looking at it."

“I wanted to show artists as workers, not people who live in ivory towers.”

“Guider’s life was a good example to show that art which is simply exploiting to the full one’s natural gifts is really bloody hard work, misery, momentary defeat and taking a lot of bloody stick – and giving it…if you want to show the hard work behind a work of art, then a sculptor is your very best subject. I was very conscious of this in the sequence where Gaudier sculpts a statue all through the night. It’s the heart, the core of the film, the most important scene to me.”

— Ken Russell on Savage Messiah (1972)

Gilda Farrell in Design for Living

Gilda Farrell in Ernst Lubitsch’s Design for Living (1933):

“Don’t ever bow to double chins. Stay an artist. That’s important. In fact, the most important thing.”

“I’m fed up with underwear, cement, linoleum! I’m sick of being a trademark married to a slogan! Tell ’em I’ve got the advertising blues, the billboard collywobbles! Slogans and sales talks morning, noon, and night…and not one human sound out of you and your whole flock of Egelbauers!”

Real Genius on loving your work

Chris: When I first came here, for three years, I studied all the time. Then one night, sitting in this chair right here, I had a vision: Hollyfeld. Lazlo Hollyfeld. And I followed him into the closet, down into the steam tunnels.
Mitch: So?
Chris: So? I talked to him, and he used to be the number one stud around here in the 70s. Smarter than you and me put together.
Mitch: Well, so what happened? Did he crack?
Chris: Yes, Mitch. He cracked, severely.
Mitch: Why?
Chris: He loved his work.
Mitch: Well what’s wrong with that?
Chris: There’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s all he did. He loved solving problems, he loved coming up with the answers. But, he thought that the answers were the answer for everything. Wrong. All science, no philosophy. So then one day someone tells him that the stuff he’s making was killing people.
Mitch: So what’s your point? Are you saying that I’m going to end up in a steam tunnel?
Chris: Yeah.
Mitch: What?
Chris: You are, if you keep up like this. Mitch, you don’t need to run away from here. When you’re smart, people need you. You can use your mind creatively.
Mitch: I noticed you don’t study too hard.
Chris: Bingo.

— Real Genius (via