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Midday Movies: TCM’s Charles Tabesh

UCSD Alum Programs Films For TCM

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Above: "Double Indemnity," directed by Billy Wilder and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred McMurray, has one of TCM vice president of programming Charles Tabesh's favorite directors and actresses.


Charles Tabesh, Vice President in charge of programming at Turner Classic Movies and UCSD alumni

Beth Accomando, Author of the blog Cinema Junkie


Not many people can claim Martin Scorsese, Carrie Fisher, Alec Baldwin and Cher as fans of their work but Charles Tabesh can. He is the vice president in charge of programming at Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and a UCSD alumni. The fifth annual TCM Film Fest kicks off Thursday in Hollywood.

Almost three years ago, I did a profile on fellow USCD alumni Charles Tabesh for the UCSD alumni magazine. The story led to Tabesh meeting some family members for the first time. It also introduced me to the vice president of programming at Turner Classic Movies.

TCM is addictive for anyone with a love for cinema. There's even a group on Twitter, @TCMParty that describes it self as "Watch and tweet along to Turner Classic Movies with hashtag #TCMParty. We don't work for TCM. Just love classics."

The station provides smart, brilliant programming with things such as guest programmers, stars of the month and themes such as "Asians in movies."

A fairly recent addition to his programming duties is the TCM Film Festival in Hollywood, now in its fifth year. Tabesh said that TCM wanted a real festival where people could meet fellow fans and see films in theaters. This year the festival runs at multiple venues in Hollywood starting Thursday with a newly restored print of the 1955 musical "Oklahoma." This festival theme this year is family. Here's the trailer for the festival.

TCM Film Festival

TCM Film Festival Trailer

The film festival is in its fifth year but it will be celebrating 20 years of TCM as a broadcast station. There will also be 75th anniversary screenings of digitally restored prints of "Gone With The Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz" (this one will actually be in IMAX 3D). The festival will also host tributes to Richard Dreyfus and William Friedkin (who will be screening his overlooked film "Sorcerer"). The festival will also host "discovery" films like the pre-code "Employee's Entrance." The festival is modeled in part after the Tellurude Film Festival in which films play continually at multiple venues and attendees have to make some hard choices about what to see.


TCM vice president of programming Charles Tabesh discusses some of the film choices for this year's TCM Film Festival running April 10-13.

Further proof that TCM knows how to do things, there is a YouTube channel with trailers and clips for all of this year's films playing at the festival.

Tabesh admitted that his job is a bit like being a kid in a candy store. He said he tends to favor directors over actors when listing favorites so at the top of his list is Woody Allen, Billy Wilder and William Wyler. A couple of his favorite stars are Cary Grant and Barbara Stanwyck.

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