Spotlight

Alicia Malone of Turner Classic Movies

Q: You’ve expressed on your Twitter feed what a big fan of 1950s science-fiction films you are, so are you particularly happy to host the Turner Classic Movies festival “Out of This World” on Tuesdays this month?

A: Oh, really! To get to do the whole history of sci-fi is such a pleasure — and I purposely watched everything in chronological order, so that in my mind, it could all fit together and I could start seeing what influenced the next thing and what influenced the thing after that.

There’s this great through line throughout the whole genre, but ’50s sci-fi is definitely my “jam.” I love the way that these movies can be so campy on the outside — monster films or alien movies — but when you really look at them, they’re speaking about the fears of the time, the nuclear age or the Cold War or other people in post-war America. That’s what I find really fascinating. And they’re also just fun to watch.

Q: You came to TCM via your work for the associated streaming service FilmStruck, which no longer exists. How do you reflect now on what you did there?

A: I feel so grateful that through FilmStruck, I was able to work with the team at TCM. TCM was always my goal when I moved to America all those years ago (from Australia) — and I not only got to know the TCM crew, I got that much more practice with the camera. So, when it came time to audition for TCM, I wasn’t nervous because I knew everyone and I felt comfortable. And they also knew me.

Since FilmStruck ended, a great thing also is that I asked if I could host “TCM Imports,” so that I could still have my finger in the foreign-film pie, as it were. I was so grateful that (fellow TCM host) Ben Mankiewicz was willing to give that to me, because he knows how much foreign films mean to me.