Sci-fi makes a fantastic beat for TCM’s Alicia Malone

Host is presenting fantasy classics Tuesdays in July

Alicia Malone of Turner Classic Movies

Q: You’ve expressed on your Twitter feed what a big fan of 1950s science-fiction films you are, so are you particularly happy to host the Turner Classic Movies festival “Out of This World“ on Tuesdays this month?

A: Oh, really! To get to do the whole history of sci-fi is such a pleasure — and I purposely watched everything in chronological order, so that in my mind, it could all fit together and I could start seeing what influenced the next thing and what influenced the thing after that.

There’s this great through line throughout the whole genre, but ‘50s sci-fi is definitely my “jam.” I love the way that these movies can be so campy on the outside – monster films or alien movies – but when you really look at them, they’re speaking about the fears of the time, the nuclear age or the Cold War or other people in post-war America. That’s what I find really fascinating. And they’re also just fun to watch.

Q: You came to TCM via your work for the associated streaming service FilmStruck, which no longer exists. How do you reflect now on what you did there?

A: I feel so grateful that through FilmStruck, I was able to work with the team at TCM. TCM was always my goal when I moved to America all those years ago (from Australia) – and I not only got to know the TCM crew, I got that much more practice with the camera. So, when it came time to audition for TCM, I wasn’t nervous because I knew everyone and I felt comfortable. And they also knew me.

Since FilmStruck ended, a great thing also is that I asked if I could host “TCM Imports,” so that I could still have my finger in the foreign-film pie, as it were. I was so grateful that (fellow TCM host) Ben Mankiewicz was willing to give that to me, because he knows how much foreign films mean to me.

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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