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midnight08

Did Anyone Attend Capitolfest?

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     Due to a sudden illness I was unable to attend Capitolfest this year. I was searching the forum for anything on this topic but no one thus far has made any mention of it.

 

Did anyone on this forum attend the film festival? If so, how was it? What were the highlights? I know that Fay Wray was the main star being honored this year.

 

Also, was it mentioned who the main star will be for next year?

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I attended Capitolfest. Next year's star is Ronald Colman.

 

My favorites? "Cheer Up and Smile" has the always whiney Arthur Lake whine some more as an underclassman in love with a girl who would love him if not for the usual misunderstandings. What makes this special? Whispering Jack Smith singing in what appears to be a china cabinet. Olga Baclanova  continues to try and save her acting career in the age of talkies by being a Russian who fakes speaking French and thus does not have to talk at all. The highlight of the film is seeing John Wayne in a modern dress role being handed some flowers from Franklin Pangborn and not punching him in the nose.

 

Innocents of Paris was a delight with Maurice Chevalier in his first talking film - at least in English. He comes on stage at first and explains that he is doing this film in English because of the trouble that he has caused before when he has spoken French to an American girl. He asked her if a guy she waved at was her father and in reply she kissed him. Phonetically what he said sounded in English to be "Come on and kiss your papa"!".  A predictable melodrama, but Chevalier's numbers and just his presence make it something special.

 

Wild Horse Stampede surprised me  - I generally don't like the western genre yet this one held my interest. We came in a few minutes late so I was confused by a couple of things. There are telephone lines everywhere and Faye Wray is wearing a dress from the 20's but everybody is using a horse and buggy.

 

I was surprised to see "Naughty Baby", a Mervyn Le Roy directed film starring Alice White from First National. The Capitolfest team managed to assemble enough of the Vitaphone score to give the organist something to go on in composing the accompaniment.  What surprised me is for years this film has been listed as lost, and "Broadway Babies" was long considered the earliest existing Mervyn Le Roy directed film. This was better than White's talking films and there are quite a few funny moments. Thelma Todd plays a gold digger, but it's not like Alice's motives are pure as the driven snow either in going after a seemingly wealthy young man. Benny Rubin, George E. Stone and Andy Devine show up as Alice's suitors who really don't have a chance.

 

There were quite a few WB vitaphone shorts that showed up. I don't remember that much from WB in the festival before, but this time they contributed their shorts plus the "Naughty Baby" feature film.

 

"Hail the Woman" was an odd film whose point was difficult to figure out. It was about a woman from a puritanical home in which her father rules the roost so absolutely in which his wife has become a mere shadow of her original self, the son is bullied into becoming a preacher just to make dad happy, and the daughter rebels and goes to the city to make a living for herself. The story is good enough but the surprise was having Vernon Dent show up as the dad approved suitor for the daughter before she made her way to emancipation. If you don't remember Vernon, he is probably best known as the exasperated straight man for the Three Stooges in the Columbia shorts that they made. Sadly, Vernon went blind from diabetes before the end of his life.

 

This is a very incomplete list, but it is my list of the highlights. If you want to know more ask.

 

If anybody else was there I was the woman with hair way too dark for my age (59) in the grumpy cat tee shirt and jeans with my husband who looks like the world's oldest living hell's angel.

 

Hope to see you next year at Capitolfest!

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If anybody else was there I was the woman with hair way too dark for my age (59) in the grumpy cat tee shirt and jeans with my husband who looks like the world's oldest living hell's angel.

 

I love people's descriptions of themselves.

 

This year I went as a patron instead of working the concession stand as I typically do. (I looked for you, midnight08) My Mom is in the hospital, so I only stole away for an hour or two Fri/Sat and wrote about the few films I caught in the I JUST WATCHED thread.

 

The theater's great staff set up vintage equipment on display; old 35mm projectors on the first floor and hobbyist projectors on tables in the balcony lobby (including some of my own) 

Here's a couple of photos:

 

capitolfest1.jpg

 

The guy in the hat Louie, keeps El Brendel's flame alive & actually converted me to a fan, bringing some of his great films to Capitolfest. It's great meeting others who appreciate these historic films & their projectors.

 

capitolfest2.jpg

 

The other side of the lobby. Before you think this is sparsely attended, realize this is over 1,000 seat theater. It's actually comfortable having empty seats for your tote bag next to you. And there's room no matter what your preference- balcony, front row, back row, etc. That's the theater organ lit up in front. Nothing like watching a "silent" with someone playing the organ!

 

capitolfest3.jpg

 

Equipment as "art"

 

The dealers rooms were great, sadly I had no time to browse. Lots of rare movie related books, magazines & autographs. Tables of rare & obscure DVDs, CDs and even videotape & laser disks. A few booths of all sizes of posters, lobby cards & other vintage euphemera. And the always tempting new releases & blu-ray.

 

capitolfest4.jpg

 

The great Bob Hodges, projectionist at the carbon arc projector. Considering all the reels he has up in that tiny room, it's amazing the entire festival goes off without a hitch. This was the first year for any digital presentations sprinkled in, and even the changeover went smoothly.

This p-booth is WAY UP the stairs, but worth the trek. Carbon Arc projectors are really something to see (and see movies through!)

 

None of us are happy about the "digital", but most restorations are not ever struck on film anymore. And way too many of the old prints are not even projectable any more. Sad, but we have no control over it. But sitting in the room, hearing the clicking of the sprockets....there is nothing like it.

 

I urge all real rare film lovers to give these film festivals a go-a blast!

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So you didnt see the Colleen Moore film?

 

Yes, I saw it. You so very rarely get to see films with Colleen in them. I had never heard of the film before so I didn't know what the plot would be. I thought it was interesting that Annie ended every fable with "The Goblins will get you if you don't watch out", because my grandmother, born in 1899 -same year as Ms. Moore - always said that to us as kids when we were growing up as some kind of cautionary tale. I wonder if it was a generational thing?

 

I'm going to do a Capitolfest core dump on everything I saw in the "I Just Watched" thread, probably tomorrow night.

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Hibi, I made sure I saw the Colleen Moore film. I posted about it in I JUST WATCHED thread....I posted once for each day attended, so it's further down. I much prefer her later talkies, although the costumes and special effects for the witches & goblins were pretty exciting in this film.

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Tikisoo, so happy to hear that you were able to attend Capitolfest in Rome, New York! For those of you uninformed about this festival, here is some information on the website:

https://www.romecapitol.com/capitolfest/

 

Several previous TCMFF pass holders were also able to attend this year's event, too, and a few of them are TCM Message Boards members.

 

Calvinnme, so happy that you were able to attend, too!

 

Socializing with our fellow cinephiles in person is always exciting. Sharing what we love about classic films make us connect in ways that we can't otherwise experience unless we engage on social media.

 

Midnigth08, so sorry you had been ill and weren't able to attend.

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i know, I kind of enjoy meeting "TCM-ers" in person. Most are unpretentious with real special interest knowledge. This is no Wizard of Oz movie fan, but encyclopedic knowledge of a concentrated subject example;  Vitaphone movies & disks (musicalnovelty)  er, anything rare film, projecting, & collecting (RayFiaola) pre-code (midnight08) 

 

I love describing "how to ID" each other in a crowd. Luckily I had met musicalnovelty previously through friends. But it's fun when you can put a face with the avatar & motto.

 

Anyway, it's an inexpensive fun rare film gathering in an awesome setting, a picture palace with it's own theater organ. Geek out.

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i know, I kind of enjoy meeting "TCM-ers" in person. Most are unpretentious with real special interest knowledge. This is no Wizard of Oz movie fan, but encyclopedic knowledge of a concentrated subject example;  Vitaphone movies & disks (musicalnovelty)  er, anything rare film, projecting, & collecting (RayFiaola) pre-code (midnight08) 

 

I love describing "how to ID" each other in a crowd. Luckily I had met musicalnovelty previously through friends. But it's fun when you can put a face with the avatar & motto.

 

Anyway, it's an inexpensive fun rare film gathering in an awesome setting, a picture palace with it's own theater organ. Geek out.

 

Wow sounds great.   Are people that mistake Crawford for Swanson welcome?   ;)

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Haha! Jamesjazzguitar, I have trouble with these two...

6q2MEoR.jpg

 

Tikisoo,

I'm so glad you've had such positive experiences with "Friends of TCM." Most of the network fans are unpretentious, but enjoy celebrating and viewing classic film. It is fun when we can put a face to a name or an avatar, or meet someone in person whom we've connected with on social media.

 

That has been such a joy for me. I've been very lucky to meet so many TCM Message Boards members, members of The Silver Screen Oasis, and TCM Backlot members. Thanks for sharing your Capitolfest fun!

 

Who doesn't love "a picture palace with its own theater organ?" That's one reason TCMFF screenings in the El Capitan and silent film showings at the TCMFF are so enjoyable and evocative of original presentations.

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