|Home||Mail Hal C F Astell - Site Map|
My latest long term project has to do with watching classic films. As many as I have managed to pick up on DVD, to really catch up with the great actors and directors I've had to start watching television again.
Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Sundance and the Independent Film Channel (IFC) are my channels of choice, as they tend to show films as they should be shown: uncut, without commercials, and in their original aspect ratio. Purely because of their age most TCM films are fullscreen, as that was how they were originally made; but TCM are very good about screening more recent movies in excellent widescreen prints. It's very rare that they disappoint.
On occasion I'll also watch Flix and the Starz Encore channels, which are also commercial-free and uncut but which are unfortunately almost always fullscreen. I was impressed (and very thankful) that one of the Encore channels showed an uncut Pink Flamingos recently, but I'd be a much more avid viewer if they didn't crop everything to fullscreen.
On the other hand I avoid American Movie Classics (AMC) as much as is humanly possible, along with films shown on Comedy Central, Spike or the Sci-Fi Channel, as quite apart from frequent commercial breaks and fullscreen prints, films are frequently cut for content and/or time.
Anyway, I soon found that downloading the latest schedules for certain channels was a must and here are where you can find them online.
Any investigator of classic films has to start here. TCM doesn't just have large quantities of great MGM movies, on occasion it also plays foreign classics and features silent gems, often obscure ones too.
The really good news here is that TCM makes its schedules available online two months in advance, making it easy to plan your DVR recordings well in advance of any potential conflicts. Each month is a separate page, meaning that initially you'll be downloading three pages. The url follows the following pattern:
The 11/1/2006 is the month, day and year. The MST is the timezone. Simply change these to fit the month and timezone you require.
Note: If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat installed (not just the Reader), you can use the plugin to Internet Explorer that allows you to save a web page as a PDF. If you're using Firefox, I believe that there's an extension available to do the same thing. If not, there are online services to save pages as PDFs. Worst case, just save it as an HTML file.
Sundance broadcasts a lot of independent film, including documentaries and short films. Unfortunately only the current month's schedule is available for download, and each new month isn't available until the very end of the old. There are two pages dedicated to schedules each month: one with details and one without. As these are often obscure films, the detailed schedule is far more useful. The url follows this pattern:
The 2005-12 is the year and month, and the time zone is presumably chosen by either 'west' or 'east' and 'pt', 'mt', 'ct' or 'et'. However this doesn't seem to make a lot of difference and sometimes I've found everything listed to be a day early and an hour late.
IFC is a wonderful channel that unfortunately doesn't make its schedule particularly easy to get to. You'll have to work through the front door with extras that are painful on a slow dialup connection. Also unfortunate is that there is no page dedicated to the month's schedule: rather you can view the listing for the next thirty days. This is good in that you can always see what is coming up, but bad because the only way to capture a month at a time is by visiting the site on the first of the month.
To get to the listings, click on Schedule, select your time zone and choose the 30 Day listing.
The Flix listing is the least descriptive of any of these schedules, as not only do they avoid schedules but years and directors too. However they are still useful and Flix hosts its schedule as a downloadable PDF, making live nice and easy for us. The url pattern to follow is:
05-12 is the year and month.
The Encore channels are also made available as PDFs, which are very large (in size, not filesize). The url template is as follows:
0511 is the year and month, and the three letter code distinguishes between the different Encore channels: enc (Encore), act (Encore Action), lst (Encore Love Stories), wst (Encore Westerns), mys (Encore Mystery) and tst (Encore Drama or True Stories).
|Home||Mail Hal C F Astell - Site Map|