The Sunny Side of Sad
This morning I was having my usual idle TV watching session and was disappointed to find that Turner Classic Movies replaced their longstanding “Sunny Side of Life” movie intros with a more generic intro showing contemporary footage of morning commuters, pigeons and tall buildings. Yawn. This was inevitable, since the channel’s previously chaotic on-air visual identity has been gradually moving to a more consistent “cityscape” theme over the past year. Supposedly this is part of an overall effort to attract more youthful viewers, but mostly the new imagery comes across as safe and borning. One TCM forum poster likened this new intro to a late-’80s Levis ad, and I’d have to agree. “Sunny Side” must have played in our home at least a thousand times, but I never got tired of the spot’s calming animation, Edward Hopper-like visuals, and Chet Baker’s voice/trumpet. Oh well.
At least TCM still does one visual identity with a sense of style and panache: the “This Month” promos. Vintage clips expertly edited with a current, edgy song on the soundtrack can actually make old movies look hip. Look at the beautiful job they did using Beck’s “Lonesome Tears” (this one’s from 2003, I believe):