Thursday, April 22, 2010


Anyone who loves movies and who has a good premium cable package (basic, if you’re lucky) or satellite viewing system already knows that in a few short years Turner Classic Movies has established itself among the front ranks of programming for American television, and in other lucky countries as well—Canada, Britain, Portugal, Germany, Spain are among the other countries that have their own tailored versions of TCM, as do many locales in Asia and Latin America. Turner Classic Movies began broadcasting on April 14, 1994, and the first film to show on the channel was Gone With the Wind, instantly assuaging the bittersweet nostalgia of viewers who bemoaned the passing of the late show to make way for the Age of the Infomercial. TCM essentially remade the Late Show in its own image, 24 hours a day, and has since then, some 16 years later, become one of the most revered and appreciated outlets not only for screening beloved classic films from the archives of the big Hollywood studios, but also a serious force for DVD distribution, film preservation and education regarding films that have not enjoyed as much time in the spotlight throughout film history. More than just one writer has opined about the luxury of having such a movable archive as Turner Classic Movies at one’s fingertips as being the equivalent of having a fresh semester of film school at the ready every

And now Turner Classic Movies is ready for its next big close-up, Mr. De Mille—the Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival gets underway here in Hollywood, California (what other location would be more fitting?) tonight, and if it’s as much of a success as the cable channel has been so far, then Los Angeles (with all due respect to the Los Angeles Film Festival and other programming that has sought to re-establish L.A. as a festival town in the absence of the late, lamented Filmex) may have found an annual film celebration for its very heart and soul. It’s a perfect extension for the TCM mission—in the same way that the channel managed to fill the gap left by the absence of all those movies programmed to fill late-night local programming slots, bringing us greater delights than could have ever been imagined by even the most insomniac classic movie lover, it is now poised to make seeing the movies the way they were always meant to be experienced—on the big screen—a regular, integral part of how the channel brings the movies back to the audiences who always loved them, and also to a new generation who may show a surprising openness to being seduced by the silver nitrate and Technicolor sirens, singers, dancers and bad boys of classic Hollywood cinema.

Like any good film festival, it’s all about those movies you’ll get to see projected, and for many viewers it will be the first time they will have had the opportunity to witness Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s notorious Cleopatra (1964), or Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959), or Billy Wilder’s Sunset Blvd. (1950), or Jean –Luc Godard’s Breathless in all their 35mm glory. In addition, the TCM Classic Film Festival promises all the glitzy personal appearances by icons of classic and contemporary movies, special events as well as a host of panel discussions all designed to whet the appetite for the glories of Hollywood’s past as well as perhaps a glimpse or two into its future as well. The screenings—more than 50 in all over the festival schedule Thursday, April 22 to Sunday, April 25—will include special presentations and guest appearances by some of those artists who were integral in creating the films themselves and bringing them to the attention of appreciative audiences. Among the numerous actors and filmmakers slated to attend and talk about their work are Mel Brooks, Luise Rainer, Ernest Borgnine, Alec Baldwin, Eva Marie Saint, Tony Curtis, Jon Voight, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Martin, Landau, Anjelica Huston, Danny Huston, Buck Henry, Eli Wallach, Esther Williams, Betty Garrett, Peter Bogdanovich, Stanley Donen, Norman Lloyd, Nancy Olson, Tim Roth, Illeana Douglas, Tab Hunter, Susan Kohner, Juanita Moore, Darryl Hickman, Curtis Hanson, Richard Rush and special effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull.

The four-day event kicks off in high style with the world premiere of a stunning new restoration of George Cukor’s A Star is Born (1954) Thursday night. (The restoration screening is a perfect way to start the festival off with a high-profile bang and also to promote the upcoming Blu-ray edition of the same beautiful restoration.) But of perhaps even more importance is the first North American screening of Fritz Lang’s reconstructed Metropolis (1927), featuring 30 minutes of additional footage discovered in Buenos Aires in 2008 unseen since the film’s 1927 premiere in Berlin that has been masterfully recombined with the film, creating the authoritative 147-minute version that will be seen here as Sunday night’s closing selection. (The film will be accompanied by a score performed live by the Alloy Orchestra.) Mel Brooks will discuss The Producers (1968) at a screening on Friday afternoon, on the same day that he receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (He doesn’t have one yet?) Jean-Paul Belmondo will touch down for a 50th-anniversary screening of the restored version of Breathless. And speaking of personal appearances, the presence of Luise Rainer, who will introduce a screening of The Good Earth (1937), and Ernest Borgnine presenting Jubal (1956), will give festival attendees the opportunity to see the eldest living Best Actor and Actress winners in person.

There are several fascinating special programs on tap too, including a three-film celebration of the Huston family entitled The Hustons: A Hollywood Dynasty (comprised of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Crimes and Misdemeanors and The Proposition, as well as appearances by Anjelica and Danny Huston; Vanity Fair’s Tales of Hollywood, a collection of movies and discussions with the actors and filmmakers who brought them to life; The Film Foundation presents, a series dedicated to screenings of films restored through America’s preeminent film preservation organization; Hollywood on Hollywood, a delightful and acerbic collection of movies in which Hollywood turns the camera eye on itself; film historian Leonard Maltin will curate and present Festival Shorts; and author Donald Bogle will introduce and discuss Removed from Circulation, a collection of cartoons removed from circulation due to their indulgence in negative racial stereotypes. (Among the cartoons included in the approximately 90-minute program will be the notorious Coal Black and the Sebbin Dwarves (pictured above) and Goldilocks and the Jivin’ Bears.) Finally, two of the world’s top film archives, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the UCLA Film and Television Archive, will join forces to present Fragments, a compilation of surviving segments from lost films through cinema history.

Each morning a 70mm presentation of a widescreen classic will inaugurate the day’s festivities, among them the road show edition of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra (1963) and Jacques Tati’s Playtime. And the rest of the days will include special screenings that would be the envy of any film festival, such as restored versions of Sunnyside Up (1929), considered one of the first Hollywood musicals, Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail (1930), Dirigible (1931), The Story of Temple Drake (1931) and The Day of the Triffids (1963); rare screenings of the Joan Crawford drama A Woman’s Face (1940) and the British noir No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948); classic Harold Lloyd in the form of An Eastern Westerner (1920) and Safety Last (1923); and the opportunity to see time-tested crowd-pleasers like Casablanca (1941), North by Northwest (1959), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Top Hat (1935), Some Like It Hot (1959), Pillow Talk (1959) and Saturday Night Fever(1977). Really, sight unseen, it seems that TCM has done an excellent job in programming a schedule of films that duplicate the riches and excitement which can be found daily right there on their premium channel, all by adding to that schedule the unique pleasures of seeing movies with other likeminded souls in some of the most wonderful darkened movie palaces in Hollywood.

Those venues, by the way, just happen to be the centrally located Grauman’s Chinese Theater (and two of the attendant screens in the Chinese complex) and the Egyptian Theater (home of the American Cinematheque), both locations providing their usual superb theatrical presentations of audio and picture. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, located across the street from the Chinese, of course has a longstanding role in movie history—it was the site of the first Oscar ceremony and is purportedly haunted by some of the very same Hollywood stars which will be celebrated during the weekend festival—will serve as the official hotel of the festival as well as a key venue for festival pass holders and the site of a special event or two and a series of terrific panel events. It will also house Club TCM, a perpetual party for pass holders located in the hotel’s Blossom Room. For those who can’t get in to the opening night extravaganza of A Star is Born at the Chinese, you can follow me across the street to the Hollywood Roosevelt where Esther Williams and Betty Garrett will introduce a screening of Neptune’s Daughter (1949). But here’s what makes the evening special—Williams and Garrett will be screening the movie poolside, where just before the show we will be treating to some live MGM-style water ballet courtesy of the Aqualillies. (No word on whether attendees will be required to bring their own bathing suits.) And throughout the festival there will be several special events, including a book signing and display of original art by Tony Curtis, a screening of some of Joan Crawford’s home movies, hosted by her grandson Casey LaLonde (Christina Crawford is not expected to attend), and several great panel discussions including one on special effects technology hosted by Douglas Trumbull, and others with topics ranging from “Casting Secrets: The Knack of Finding the Right Actor,” to “Location, Location, Location” (moderated by Anne Thompson), to “A Remake to Remember: Hollywood’s Love Affair with Updating Movie Classics.”

All in all, the Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival promises to be nirvana for the classic film fan, sating the nostalgia for Hollywood’s Golden Age while at the same time encouraging attendees to examine the lessons and practices of Hollywood’s bygone era in order to more thoughtfully examine the directions which the industry seems to be traveling in this more intensely technological age. And I am especially excited because, through the kindnesses and auspices of Keith Uhlich, Ed Gonzalez, The House Next Door and Slant magazine—ta-dah!—by God, I got my press credentials and will be reporting on the entirety of the four-day festival from up close, and not just from the other side of the velvet rope. I could not negotiate a pass to get in to the A Star is Born screening, but believe me, with the excess of opportunity afforded me for the rest of the festival, I will most certainly make do with that splashy Blu-ray and never once look back in anger, envy or any of those other emotional measures of the ingrate. To be turned loose on this programming is literally a dream come true, and part of the fun of preparing for it so far has been in carefully culling through the schedule and developing my “A” plan and my contingency plan for attending as much as my poor abused eyeballs and aural faculties can take. My thanks to Keith and Ed for facilitating my attendance and encouraging me to report on the movies, sure, but also on my experience (including all the cheap Chinese food I will certainly be gulping in between screenings in an attempt to avoid turning into a giant movie theater hot dog). I will post images and maybe a thought or two here at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, but my main reportage will be found on the pages of The House Next Door, a house presumably big enough for the lengths I am likely to go to in order to try and encompass the expected glories of this wonderful event. That piece will be posted within a day or so of the conclusion of the event.

So let’s take a quick look at the goodies available day by day. I’m gonna lay out all the screenings and times each day, just to show you the dilemmas I will be facing each moment in trying to choose which path to trod cinematically speaking, and then I’ll give up my “A” plan, my ideal attendance schedule, which is subject to length of films and discussions, inability to get from point “A” to point “C” in time, inability to get a seats for the more popular films, and even sudden debilitating illness. All that noted, I’m going into this fully expecting that my “A” plan is totally doable. I vow not to be disappointed if I can’t get in to any one or more of my preferences, because TCM has virtually ensured that anything I can see will be worth the energy and effort. Here then is the TCM Classic Film Festival day by day, and my highest hopes for it on a very personal level.



Opening Night Event: A STAR IS BORN (1956; George Cukor) 6:00 p.m., Grauman’ s Chinese
In Attendance: All the stars slated for the festival will arrive on the red carpet in front of the Chinese Theater to attend this screening.

Also on Thursday:

6:30 pm: DIRIGIBLE (1931; Frank Capra), Mann’s Chinese House 3
In attendance: Frank Capra III, Tom Capra

7:00 pm: MONKEY BUSINESS (1950; Howard Hawks), Mann’s Chinese House 1

8:00 pm: NEPTUNE’S DAUGHTER (1949; Edward Buzzell), Hollywood Roosevelt Poolside
In attendance: Esther Williams and Betty Garrett

10:00 pm: CASABLANCA (1941; Michael Curtiz), Mann’s Chinese House 1

10:00 pm: SUNNYSIDE UP (1929; David Butler), Mann’s Chinese House 3

My Plan “A”: Neptune’s Daughter, and if I can get across the street fast enough, Sunnyside Up. (If I can’t, well, maybe Kick-Ass is playing on one of the other three screens.)


9:00 am: 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968; Stanley Kubrick; 70mm), Egyptian
In Attendance: Douglas Trumbull

9:15 am: THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952; Vincente Minnelli), Mann’s Chinese House 1
In Attendance: Cheryl Crane (Lana Turner’s daughter)

10:00 am: KING KONG (1933; Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper), Grauman’s Chinese

10:00 am: MURDER, HE SAYS (1945; George Marshall) Mann’s Chinese House 3
In Attendance: Michael Schlesinger

11:00 am: PANEL DISCUSSION “Location, Location, Location” (TCM Panels Room)
Moderator: Anne Thompson Panelist: location manager Frawley Becker

12:00 pm: CARMEN JONES (1954; Otto Preminger) Mann’s Chinese House 1
In Attendance: Donald Bogle

12:30pm: THE BIG TRAIL (1930; Raoul Walsh) Mann’s Chinese House 3

1:00 pm : SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1956; Alexander Mackendrick), Grauman’s Chinese
In Attendance: Tony Curtis, Sam Kashner

1:00 pm: PANEL DISCUSSION “A Conversation Between Peter Bogdanovich and Leonard Maltin” (Club TCM)

1:30 pm: TCM Original Programming: “MOGULS AND MOVIE STARS”
In Attendance: TCM executives Michael Wright, Bill Haber, John Wilkman and Tom Brown

3:15 pm: JUBAL (1956; Delmer Daves) Mann’s Chinese House 1
In Attendance: Ernest Borgnine

3:30 pm: IN A LONELY PLACE (1950; Nicholas Ray) Mann’s Chinese House 3
In Attendance: Curtis Hanson

3:30 pm: IMITATION OF LIFE (1959; Douglas Sirk) Egyptian
In Attendance: Juanita Moore, Susan Kohner

3:30 pm: PANEL DISCUSSION: “TCM: Meet the People Behind the Network” (TCM Panels Room)

3:30 pm: PANEL DISCUSSION: “Douglas Trumbull: A Cinematic Odyssey” (Club TCM)

4:30 pm: THE PRODUCERS (1968; Mel Brooks) Grauman’s Chinese
In Attendance: Mel Brooks

6:15 pm: THE STUNT MAN (1980; Richard Rush) Mann’s Chinese House 3
In Attendance: Richard Rush

6:30 pm: WILD RIVER (1960; Elia Kazan) Mann’s Chinese House 1
In Attendance: Margaret Bodde, Curtis Hanson

7:00 pm: CASABLANCA (1941; Michael Curtiz) Egyptian

8:00 pm: BREATHLESS (A Bout De Souffle) (1960; Jean-Luc Godard) Grauman’s Chinese
In Attendance: Jean-Paul Belmondo

9:30 pm: TOP HAT (1935; Mark Sandrich) Mann’s Chinese House 1

9:45 pm: NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH (1948; St. John Legh Clowes) Mann’s Chinese House 3
In Attendance: Bruce Goldstein, Tim Roth

10:00 pm: MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969; John Schlesinger) Egyptian
In Attendance: Peter Biskind, Jon Voight

12:00 midnight: THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (1962; Steve Sekely) Mann’s Chinese House 1
In Attendance: Michael Hyatt, who restored the film

My Plan “A”: Murder, He Says, or “Location, Location, Location,” followed by Carmen Jones or The Big Trail (probably Carmen Jones, because it will get out around 2:15, leaving plenty of time to get to one of the big highlights of the festival for me, Dream Come True #1, Imitation of Life, with Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner in person! Then a quick dinner break. As badly as I want to see it, I’m going to skip Wild River and gamble on being able to get a seat at the 1,110+ Grauman’s Chinese for Breathless at 8:00 pm. If I somehow can’t get in there, I will lick my wounds with a sandwich and No Orchids for Miss Blandish, followed immediately by Dream Come True #2, The Day of the Triffids on the big screen. I shall then stagger home around 2:00 am and try to convince myself this is all really happening.


9:00 am: PLAYTIME (1967; Jacques Tati; 70mm) Egyptian

9:00 am: SUNSET BLVD. (1950; Billy Wilder) Mann’s Chinese House 1
In Attendance: Nancy Olson

9:30 am: THE MAGNFICENT AMBERSONS (1942; Orson Welles) Mann’s Chinese House 3
In attendance: Peter Bogdanovich, David Kamp

10:30 am: PANEL DISCUSSION: “Casting Secrets” (TCM Panels Room)
Moderator: Cari Beauchamp Panelists: Ellen Chenoweth, Fred Roos

11:00 am: THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948); John Huston) Grauman’s Chinese
In Attendance: Anjelica Huston, Danny Huston

12:00 noon: LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1946; John Stahl) Mann’s Chinese House 1
In Attendance: Darryl Hickman

12:15 pm: PILLOW TALK (1959; Michael Gordon) Egyptian

12:30 pm: FESTIVAL SHORTS (1929-1948) Mann’s Chinese House 3
In Attendance: Leonard Maltin

1:00 pm: SPECIAL EVENT: “Joan Crawford’s Home Movies”
In Attendance: Crawford’s grandson Casey LaLonde

2:45 pm: NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959; Alfred Hitchcock) Grauman’ s Chinese
In Attendance: Martin Landau, Eva Marie Saint

3:00 pm: PANEL DISCUSSION: “The Greatest Movies Ever Sold” (TCM Panels Room)
Moderator: Pete Hammond Panelists: Terry Press, Marvin Levy, Julian Myers

3:15 pm: CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989; Woody Allen) Mann’s Chinese House 1
In Attendance: Anjelica Huston, Martin Landau

3:30 pm: A WOMAN’S FACE (1941; George Cukor) Mann’s Chinese House 3
In Attendance: Casey LaLonde, Illeana Douglas

4:00 pm: SAFETY LAST (1923; Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor) Egyptian
In Attendance: Suzanne Lloyd, the Robert Israel Orchestra

4:30 pm: “A Conversation with Norman Lloyd” (Club TCM)

6:30 pm: THE GRADUATE (1967; Mike Nichols) Grauman’s Chinese
In Attendance: Buck Henry, Sam Kashner

6:30 pm: THE PROPOSITION (2005; John Hillcoat) Mann’s Chinese House 3
In Attendance: Danny Huston,

7:00 pm: THE STORY OF TEMPLE DRAKE (1933; Stephen Roberts) Mann’s Chinese House

7:00 pm: SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952; Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly) Egyptian
In Attendance: Stanley Donen

9:15 pm: THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938; Michael Curtiz; William Keighley) Mann’s Chinese House 1

10:00 pm: SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (1977; John Badham) Grauman’s Chinese
In Attendance: John Badham

10:00 pm: ”Out of Circulation Cartoons” (Hosted by Donald Bogle)

10:00 pm: PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (1951; Albert Lewin) Mann’s Chinese House 3
In Attendance: Angela Allen

12:00 midnight: THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935; James Whale) Mann’s Chinese House 1

My Plan “A”: Playtime is a must, “a cultural imperative” (according to the notes on the TCM website), followed by Leave Her to Heaven, North by Northwest, The Story of Temple Drake and then a tough choice between Robin Hood, Pandora and those “Out-of-Circulation” cartoons. The evening must end, though, with the new audio restoration of The Bride of Frankenstein


9:00 am: CLEOPATRA (1963; Joseph L. Mankiewicz; 70mm) Egyptian
In Attendance: Martin Landau, David Kamp, Tom Mankiewicz

9:30 am: FRAGMENTS Mann’s Chinese House 3

9:30 am: DAMN YANKEES (1958; George Abbott, Stanley Donen) Mann’s Chinese House 1
In Attendance: Tab Hunter

10:30 am: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966; Sergio Leone) Grauman’s Chinese
In Attendance: Eli Wallach

11:00 am: PANEL DISCUSSION “Continuity” (TCM Panels Room)
Panelists: Script supervisors Angela Allen and Ana Maria Quintana

12:00 noon: SUNNYSIDE UP (1929; David Butler) Mann’s Chinese House 3

1:00 pm: TBA (Mann’s Chinese House 1)

1:00 pm: Tony Curtis Book Signing/Art Show (CLUB TCM)

2:45 pm: THE GOOD EARTH (1937; Sidney Franklin) Egyptian
In Attendance: Luise Rainer

3:00 pm: THE KING OF COMEDY (1983; Martin Scorsese) Grauman’s Chinese
In Attendance: Jerry Lewis

3:00 pm: PANEL DISCUSSION: “A Remake to Remember”
Moderator: Pete Hammond Panelists: John Carpenter, Dr. Rick Jewell, Charles Shyer

3:00 TBA (Mann’s Chinese House 3)

3:30 pm: SABOTEUR (1942; Alfred Hitchcock) Mann’s Chinese House 1
In Attendance; Norman Lloyd

5:30 pm: TBA (Mann’s Chinese House 3)

6:30 pm: TBA (Mann’s Chinese House 1)

7:00 pm: METROPOLIS (1927; Fritz Lang) Grauman’s Chinese
Live accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra

7:15 pm: SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959; Billy Wilder) Egyptian
In Attendance: Tony Curtis

8:00 pm: TBA (Mann’s Chinese House 1)

My Plan “A”: Sunday morning provides probably the most agonizing choice of the entire festival for me. Should I grab the chance to see Cleopatra in 70mm at the Egyptian Theater!? Or should I get up late and catch the 10:30 am screening of one of my all-time favorite movies, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly in the presence of Tuco himself, Eli Wallach, at the Grauman’s Chinese!? (By the way, I am not above groveling for your advice on this matter, Dear Reader.) Again, should I opt for the panel; discussion on remakes over seeing The Good Earth in the presence of Luise Rainer? The only sure thing, if I can score a seat, that is, is Metropolis at the Grauman’s Chinese, perhaps the most important screening of the entire festival. Otherwise, Sunday is probably the least defined day in my plans so far. And when you throw in a grand total of five slots as yet to be announced, well, Sunday is a real surprise basket—I’ll definitely be keeping my phone handy for last-minute updates from the Internets.
Speaking of which, for full information, including an interactive daily schedule at a glance, information on tickets and other information about the festival, do not hesitate to click on the TCM Classic Film Festival web site which will keep you up to date on all this plus any further changes or developments in that schedule.

So, now it’s time to go to bed and get some rest in preparation for the first brief evening of festivities. (Esther and Betty, watch out—I may bring my Speedo!) I sincerely hope that if you’re in Los Angeles this weekend you’ll be taking part in what I hope will be a singular showcase for some of the greatest movies ever made, and a few that are maybe less great but still damned good. Again, thank you to Keith Uhlich and Ed Gonzalez for helping to make it possible for me to attend my first big film festival—those press credentials would likely not be in hand without your support and your allowing me to contribute to your pages with my random thoughts. Here’s to a great festival!



Peter Nellhaus said...

Having seen both Cleopatra and GB & U, I say, go with Leone. I'm not sure how much better, Taylor and co. would be on the big screen as I've only seen it on TCM, but after the first hour or so it is less interesting. Besides, I'm sure you'll have fun seeing Eli Wallach who probably has some great stories. And you're seeing Tati in 70mm which for me validates such a trade-off.

le0pard13 said...

I agree with Peter, go with The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (especially if Eli is there!). My problem is that TCM scheduled this the same weekend as the L.A. Times Festival of Books! I'm committed with friends (online and local) for that event. I'll try for some of the evening film presentations, but it'll be last minute and walk-up. Of course, we expect a wrap-up post of your experience ;-). Have a great time, Dennis!

p.s., I hope TCM does it again next year (preferably not on the same weekend as FoB, though).

Mark said...

I say go with Cleopatra. GB&U will screen often at either the Egyptian or Aero, so there will be plenty of second chances. The opportunity to see Cleopatra in 70 mm just doesn't come around that often (deservedly since it's not in the same league as GB&U).

As a regular reader of your blog, I hope to meet you sometime this weekend. Perhaps I'll see you poolside tonight (I have the poor man's classic pass). Movies I'm looking most forward to are Story of Temple Drake, and Out of Circulation Cartoons. I'm guessing that the empty slots on Sunday may be for films that overflow. I think Metropolis will end up being the most difficult screening to get into, and will have no opportunity for an overflow screening.

Adam H said...

Not only is this the same weekend as the Festival of Books, but it's the same week as 4 other film festivals in LA: City of Lights/City of Angels (French); Polish Film Festival; Indian Film Festival; and Japan Film Festival (which is actually in Orange County this weekend). The lack of coordination is maddening.

Adam H said...

Oh, also, Playtime in 70 mm plays in LA at least once a year at the Egyptian or the Aero. It is essential, but if you live in Los Angeles, you should track the American Cinematheque calendar, see it another time, and see your other film in that slot. And it's probably the same print - the 70mm print of Playtime lives in Hollywood.

WelcometoLA said...

Have a great time, Dennis!

Unknown said...

Oh man, that's going to be an amazing festival, enjoy! I would really love to see the Removed from Circulation pieces...amazes me how much of our perceived cultural history has been manipulated by exclusion and whitewashing.

Lang. Fritz Lang. said...

Lang, no?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Fritz! Lang, si! Si! This is why I shouldn't write past 3:00 a.m.! Thanks!

(Besides, Murnau did Stagecoach! Everybody knows that!)

Robert Fiore said...

The restored Metropolis starts its regular L.A. run at the Laemmle Royal in the first week of May, if that makes anything easier for you.

Your reference to the Late Show brings to mind memories of a feeling that went out of the world with the days when there were only 13 channels in the whole world. That's the feeling when you're up at 2 in the morning watching something like a Humphrey Bogart movie or the Marx Brothers or W.C. Fields and knowing that there were hundreds of people all around the city, alone and unknown to each other, experiencing this same dream on a flickering black and white screen, like candles, while the regular, normal people were asleep. I wouldn't at all trade those times for these as far as what you can see on TV goes (TCM being a prime example), but with the television audience chopped up in to so many fragments you don't have that feeling anymore. (Then there was the old Creature Features feeling with your local horror host, which is a whole other thing.) On the other hand, I remember back before the VCR or cable movie channels thinking what a shame it was that there was this huge swathe of cinema – movies that were not notable enough to make it to revival theaters – that would never be seen except in a chopped up version interrupted by commercials. It's actually more the revival house that the TCM Festival schedule reminds me of than the late show, particularly in the way revival houses used to emphasize classic Hollywood movies. The classic revival house feeling is something that people who grew up with the VCR will never know. But then, one thinks of the trade-off: Back in the revival house days I think I had two chances over a period of ten years to see any Buster Keaton movie other than The General, and then you'd have to come night after night. These days you can order the whole oeuvre on DVD and have it in your hand the next day.

Tom B. said...

How many times does a film have to be restored? In Kansas City in the mid-80s I watched a celebrated restoration of A Star Is Born, which toured repertory theaters back when many large cities had those. I wonder what is different about the latest version.

Tony Dayoub said...

I'm so disappointed I didn't make it out to L.A. for this. It snowballed overnight from what initially sounded like a smallish festival.

I hope you have a great time, Dennis.

Anonymous said...

This is blowing my mind. Thank you for this comprehensive list of films to check out, though I've already seen all of them. This was so such a lift to my spirits!

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Tom B.: I have an answer to your question (I think), and I will include it in my comprehensive festival report to be plublished this week on The House Next Door.

Yes, Robert, the whole weekend has been like being let loose on a great revival house multiplex, with movies to appeal to the mainstream classic movie lover as well as those looking for surprises and heretofore unknown treats. I can't wait to tell the whole story, but I still have one day left!

Anonymous said...

"Yes, Robert, the whole weekend has been like being let loose on a great revival house multiplex, with movies to appeal to the mainstream classic movie lover as well as those looking for surprises and heretofore unknown treats. I can't wait to tell the whole story, but I still have one day left!"

That pretty much sounds like my idea of heaven. I hope you're having a fabulous time. I love seeing movies at "Mann" Chinese Theater.

Nothing sweeter than the sound of shoes sticking to a rival theater tile floor.

The Mysterious Ad[ B)e;ta]m.a.x. said...

Why aren't they showing Don Siegel's Rough Cut with Burt Reynolds?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

You little rascal.

Andrew said...

I hope someone from TCM reads this. if so, i'd like to take the opportunity to say that TCM in the UK is a very poor relation to the US version. I despair of the number of fascinating lost movies that get shown on TCM in the US while in the UK we have to put up with repeated screenings of the same seven films every week.

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