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Interview: Talking 31 Days of Oscar with Dave Karger

Currently on TCM, Dave Karger is hosting their 31 Days of Oscar programming. Those of you who don’t know what this is,’s fairly self explanatory.  The channel runs 31 days of movie marathons, consisting entirely of Oscar nominated/winning films. For this year, they’ve opted to program it in blocks divided up by genre. Those blocks include True Crime, Sports, Literary Adaptations, Musical, Gangsters, Epics, Heists and Capers, Stage to Screen, Sea Adventures, Sci-Fi and more. Recently, Karger and I corresponded via email to talk about this programming.

Below, you can read Karger’s responses. I was curious not just about what 31 Days of Oscars means to him, but what he thought of this year’s Oscar race. Be sure to take a look at his answers, stay tuned for the Academy Awards, and of course, tune in for the end of 31 Days of Oscar on TCM. Thanks again to Dave Karger for doing this, as well!

Here are Karger’s answers to my questions about 31 Days of Oscar. Enjoy:

•             What does 31 Days of Oscars mean to you?

It’s always my favorite month of the year on TCM. I find that the overall quality of the films is the absolute highest, and the theme allows us to include a few more films from the last few decades like Lost in Translation and The Color Purple. It’s super fun for me when a movie that I covered at Entertainment Weekly back in the ‘90s ends up on TCM. Even if it makes me feel old.

•             Do you notice anything about the evolution of the Oscars while watching the films programmed?

I’m generalizing here, but it’s interesting to see how in the first decade of the awards they recognized many war films and musicals, then it turned more toward the big-budget spectacles of the ‘50s and ‘60s, the socially conscious films of the ‘70s, the indie prestige films of the ‘90s, and then lately the focus is more on stories of diversity of representation like CODA, Parasite, Moonlight, and Everything Everywhere All At Once.

•             Are there any similarities you’re seeing between this Oscar race and the ones sometimes depicted during the marathon?

Well, it seems like the Academy has always loved it when actors and actresses play real people. I’m hosting an entire day of Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated biopics later this month, including Lust for Life and Yankee Doodle Dandy. 

•             Is there a favorite part of the marathon for you?

Musical day, of course! We’re doing Gigi, The Music Man, the Judy Garland version of A Star Is Born, and An American in Paris back to back.

•             Do you have a favorite nominee this year? What about all time?

I’m a big TÁR fan. Cate Blanchett is just spectacular, even more than usual. And I also love Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. As for all time favorite winners? All About Eve, Lost in Translation, and three Best Supporting Actors: John Gielgud for Arthur, Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda, and Christopher Plummer in Beginners.

•             Which films this year do you expect to see in a future 31 Days of Oscar program?

TÁR for sure. That’s an instant classic. And certainly All Quiet on the Western Front—we show the original Best Picture winning version occasionally on TCM.

•             Are there hopes you have for the Oscars going forward?

Just that they survive! TV shows have stolen the thunder from films lately, and the ratings will never be what they were decades ago. But it’s still a very big deal.

31 Days of Oscar continues on TCM!


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