Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' The 10 Best Films Of 2004 The 10 Best Films Of 2004 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Ben Mankiewicz Talks TCM Classic Film Festival, Why 'Transformers' Is "Unwatchable" & The Movie He's Seen 40 Times

The Playlist By Diana Drumm | The Playlist May 14, 2013 at 2:59PM

Ben Mankiewicz is a man of many talents – weekend host on TCM (Turner Classic Movies), regular co-host of liberal YouTube show “The Young Turks” and its spin-offs “What The Flick?! Show” and “TYT Sports,” and he played a sportscaster on “Party Down.” And while it may seem like Mankiewicz plays to a particularly older audience, as a TCM host, Mankiewicz has an expanding flock of classic film fans and they’re not all blue-hairs -- just check out the twitter hashtag #TCMParty.
6

Some Like It Hot
What is a movie that regularly makes the top films lists, a critical darling, that you don’t quite agree with? For example, Woody Allen said “Some Like It Hot.”  
You’re kidding. That’s just what I was about to say… Some people think it’s the funniest movie ever and I’m like, “I got it. They’re in drag.” This feels like a really good episode of “Three’s Company” to me.  I’m overstating. Don’t get me wrong… Like “Ace in the Hole” would be on my top ten list. It’s not that I don’t have an enormous appreciation for Billy Wilder, I just don’t think it’s that funny. Again, I’m totally hesitant to say this in front of a tape recorder, but yeah, I would say that and I had no idea that Woody Allen felt that way… It’s fascinating, I feel better.

About “Vertigo” beating “Citizen Kane” in the polls, what are your thoughts on that? Could it simply be black-and-white vs. color or a new generation?      
I think that maybe critics didn’t get the chance to see “Vertigo” for a while, so long, that they just thought, “Vertigo, Vertigo, we’ve got to go see it.”… Without having a list written down in front of me, “Strangers on a Train,” “The Birds,” “Psycho,” “North By Northwest,” “Rear Window,” “Notorious,” those are six Hitchcock movies I like more than “Vertigo.”

“To Catch A Thief?”
No. It’s a little slow. Don’t get me wrong, I love “To Catch A Thief,” I like them all, but those are six right there that I just get more out of than “Vertigo.”

Marnie
And they don’t have Jimmy Stewart’s head bobbing mid-air.
Some of that’s Hitchcock’s love of German Expressionism and you’ve got to take that stuff for what it is. There’s a lot of that in “Marnie,” too. I like “Marnie.”…   The clear green screen, the clear fake backdrops and the painted boat in the back, but he didn’t care. He’s like it’s fine, they know what it is. They know the message we’re trying to pull of. So I don’t get, I wouldn’t say I don’t agree… but I don’t think they [“Citizen Kane” and “Vertigo”] are close, but it’s all right.  

What do you think of the TCM Film Festival in comparison to other film festivals? 
I think it’s the best. I don’t think there is any other network on television, almost any other entity accept maybe some sports teams, where the fans feel an obligation...to look after the network.

You’re like family at this point.
Yes… but it’s like we’re family and they [the fans] are the parents in some ways because they want us to succeed on our own. We have this huge responsibility, but they’re always watching us. They’re sort of keeping us in line. I go to Telluride every year and I love Telluride, but the sense of community here, like it’s not the same. At Telluride, it's film lovers so obviously there’s a connection there, but here these are classic film lovers... There’s this sense of community among the fans and this sense, that’s untrue of any other network on television, that they’re protecting us, looking out for us. I mean I watch a lot of television and I love TV… I love all of this great television that we have now -- “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Veep.” But I don’t feel any sense that I need to look out for HBO or AMC or ESPN, which I watch all of the time. Those are just networks that show shows I like. TCM isn’t just a network that shows movies you like. It’s like we have this responsibility as caretakers and the fans know that. I think that makes the relationship between the network and the fan unlike anything else. No other network on television could have a festival like this.

This article is related to: TCM Classic Film Festival, Interviews, Interviews


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates