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Monday, November 28, 2005

An Ode to An Era

"You'll never want to leave this place."

That particular TCM slogan is a perfect introduction to this next entry. Yes, my friends. Turner Classic Movies in back. For those who don't know what TCM is, TCM was the channel formerly known as TNT which aired classic, Hollywood movies. It was indubitably my favorite channel. Actually, it wasn't even a channel. Every 9pm, this jester-ish cartoon character would "switch off" Cartoon Network and consequently "turn on" Turner Classic Movies. The clown did it every 9pm, much to my delight and to other people's disdain.

Anyway, the clown disappeared eventually, taking with him my beloved channel, but now it's back (sans the clown...kinda miss that little fella now that I think about it...). The following essay of sorts was something I wrote right after my wonderful discovery. I was very emotional when I wrote this piece, so don't laugh:




OMG! TCM is back! OMG! Turner Classic Movies has returned after five long years of seemingly futile anticipation. A lot of things have happened since the last time TCM broadcasted on Philippine TV. Five years ago, I was nearing the end of my elementary days, and TCM disappeared from the cable programming, leaving me brokenhearted and alone. Now, I'm a college freshman. I have changed physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, and my interests have broadened in scope, but TCM is back in the form of a test broadcast which heart-warmingly brings back memories and reminds me of the very reason of my being as a student right now. The classic film fan is now a film student; after five long years, I have come full circle.


For a few hours everyday, beginning at 9pm, I was transported miles and decades away, into a realm of imagination and fantasy, where the opening credits were longer than end credits and movie theatres were not located in shopping malls. Nothing ever really filled the void left by that channel. It's just fitting that the first thing I see on TCM after so long a time is the last part of the 3-part documentary on the fabled MGM film company which I religiously watched back in 1999. Things have changed. I have changed, but I never did forget Gene, Charlton and Judy. I never did leave Kansas, Burbank and Casablanca. It just so happened that I met new people and traveled to other places, but the spirit with which I lived at that Golden time in life, I took with me wherever I went.


That's why every time a man tap dances in a sailor suit, or whenever someone suddenly bursts into song, or every time the MGM lion roars, I once again experience that familiar, old feeling. That's why people like me never really felt like we belonged to our generation because people like me see realism in studio sets, experience worlds for 100 minutes or so, and view the whole spectrum of the rainbow in flicks of black-and-white.


No one may understand this, but TCM was the channel that whet my appetite for the Tinseltown of days gone by. It's quite safe to say that this channel was the direct reason for me taking Film & AV Comm. Yes, with this in mind, one sees the tremendous life-changing impact that this channel has had on my life, my planned career and the passion that I have for this art. Seeing this test broadcast now after half a decade moves me to tears. This was the world that I lived in for a few hours each day--a world a lot of people have never thought existed. It feels good to back. After all, "there's no place like home…"


____________________
TCM is airing on Destiny Cable, Channel 86.

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