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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

TCM Celebrates Trailblazing Women Behind the Scenes in Cinema

Next week, Women In Film (WIF) kicks off the third year of their Trailblazing Women partnership with Turner Classic Movies. For the past two years, WIF has spent Octobers with TCM, celebrating the history of women who have blazed trails in the film industry. In 2015, the focus was on female filmmakers of the twentieth century, from Alice Guy to Ida Lupino and beyond. Last year, audiences tuned in for movies featuring actresses who made a difference, including talented activists like Bette Midler and Lena Horne. This year will celebrate the little-seen creators who are essential behind the scenes: editors, writers, and producers.

Programming begins Monday, October 2, at 8 PM Eastern Time, and continues all night each Monday in October. You can view the whole line-up of films here. Be sure to tune in for Singin' in the Rain October 9. This is one of my all time favorite films (and the first one I ever owned on VHS). I watch this movie every time I feel down or blue, without ever tiring of it. One of the reasons I like it so much is because the unashamedly self-aware, film works both as a wry critique of the movie business and a classic musical. Obviously, screenwriter Betty Comden's (one of two screenwriters credited) and sole editor Adrienne Fazan contributed greatly to make the film everything it is. Its characters are written full, complex, and clever ("She's so refined! I think I'll kill myself"). It's also perfectly paced: it trusts its audience to engage a long dance sequence, but cuts smartly through comic scenes.

Each night of films will be introduced by TCM's consummate female host, Illeana Douglas, and include insights provided by alternating co-hosts (including Women In Film Board Member Stephanie Allain on October 30). Don't forget that you can use films written by women for your list of #52FilmsByWomen pledge. If you haven't made the pledge, or even know what the pledge I'm referring to is all about, then click here and find out how you can learn and see more about the great women of cinema.

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