Dave Karger helps give TCM’s ’31 Days of Oscar’ its first full 2021 week

Annual salute to award-worthy films puts attractions in alphabetical order

Dave Karger of Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Mondays and Saturdays

Q: Since this year’s “31 Days of Oscar” festival offers the included films in alphabetical order, what do you think of pairings like your upcoming one with “Mighty Joe Young” followed by “Mildred Pierce”?

A: That’s what we call a pivot. “We’ll now be switching gears for a very different kind of film … .” We’re doing a lot of that in the month of April, but that’s the fun of it. The TCM programmers do such a great job month-in, month-out in figuring out ways to group films and theme them, and April is just this grab-bag of films that have nothing in common, except that they’re near each other alphabetically and they’ve either won or been nominated for Oscars.

Q: Are there any “31 Days of Oscar” titles that you particularly wanted to introduce this time?

A: I love it when we get the premiere movies that we’ve never shown before on TCM, and there are so many of those in April, like “Carol” and “Nebraska” and the version of “The End of the Affair” with Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get any of those, but I’ll be watching them.

One thing that I find interesting in looking at the whole month is that so many of (the films) have ties to movies that are in the Oscar conversation this year. You have “Mank,” and we’re showing “Citizen Kane” (which was co- written by Herman J. Mankiewicz, the subject of “Mank”). You have “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” and we’re showing “Inherit the Wind,” which Aaron Sorkin (the writer-director of “Chicago 7”) told me is one of his favorite courtroom dramas.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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