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Attend A Film Festival! (you wont regret it)


Tikisoo
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CapitolFest was another hit this year with attendees from all over the globe viewing rare films & fascinating lectures. Sitting in the balcony I was surprised to see the main auditorium floor just about packed-I think it seats almost 1000. The balcony was only about half full because of course, heat rises and it was 90º out.


 


The star focus was on Gary Cooper, one of my least favorites. But it certainly was interesting to see his earliest efforts illustrating how he became a "star". In THE TEXAN '30 Coop was paired with Fay Wray and looked very handsome.


Texan.jpg


 


The program was full of great films but with decent sized breaks for intermission where attendees can schmooze & sift through the Dealers Room which greatly expands each year. I saw great selections of; authentic posters & lobby cards ranging from $3 to $300, notebooks full of publicity photos & movie books, some autographed and tables of very rare DVDs. You can find almost all of those rare titles we often talk about on this board for reasonable prices.


 


dealeroom.jpg


 


Sure, there's Cary Grant pix in there...but (like the festival itself) you'll find really rare items like a Frankie Darro autograph.


 


magazines.jpg


 


One of my favorite presentations was the next installment by James Layton of THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR-Musicals. It was a fantastic blend of slide show, digital clips & 35mm film clips illustrating the points. For once, technology has been used well - what do you expect? these people are professionals in the field.


Afterwards while waiting in line for the Ladies Room, we broke into Alice White's "You-o-o-o, I got my eye on You-o-o-o…"


 


I much enjoyed DUDE RANCH (Paramount 1930) starring character actors Jack Oakie & Eugene Pallette-a scream seeing Palette dressed as a Native American.


I can only get through silents at film festivals and this didn't disappoint, especially since the theater is equipped with a great vintage organ with "all the stops" meaning bells, knocks & whistle sound effects included.


 


We saw a great "black cinema" from the Maurice studio ELEVEN PM circa 1928 which can be found on Kino's DVD "Pioneers of African American Cinema", but so much better to see it projected on a big screen with an audience!


 


My absolute favorite was THE POOR RICH (Universal 1934) another vehicle STARRING character actors EE Horton, Edna Mae Oliver,Grant Mitchell, Thelma todd, Una O'Connor & more. What a scream-the audience hooted & howled over that one. (and of course, Ward Bond as a bit policeman)


 


Of course, schmoozing with other film fans is a huge part of the enjoyment and an enlightenment of information at every conversation. I couldn't help compiling some of the t-shirts seen on attendees:


 


composite.jpg


 


No Toronto Film Fest shirts this year, but several MOSTLY LOST shirts - that's a film festival put on by LOC where they show orphaned snippets of film and encourage film historians to shout out ANYthing they recognize to help ID the film- names, locations, music, anything.


The Vitaphone Project is an attempt at marrying Vitaphone disks to it's film and Rich is the King of Movie Music in my book. (known as musicalnovelty here) I particularly liked the title card designs & the Pola Negri shirt not shown here.


 


The TCM Film Festivals must be a ball, but are way too dear for my purse. Besides, I've seen all those movies. Smaller, rarer film festivals are much more affordable at around $20/day and you actually can see all the movies along with decent free time for shopping & relaxed socializing!

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What a great recap - thank you!  It looks and sounds like heaven for classic film fans.

 

I wish they would do something like this in Seattle.  Every once in a while a theater here and there will have a "noir film fest" or a "classic comedy film fest", so I shouldn't complain, but it's just the movies, and "catch as catch can" at that.

 

Tiki, just curious - do you know what year they started the CapitolFest?

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The TCM Film Festivals must be a ball, but are way too dear for my purse. Besides, I've seen all those movies. Smaller, rarer film festivals are much more affordable at around $20/day and you actually can see all the movies along with decent free time for shopping & relaxed socializing!

 

 

I'd, ahem, LIKE to save up for the TCM Cruise (and I confess I'm more excited about the idea of seeing movies in the Buena Vista Theater on the Fantasy a hundred miles from land than I am about disembarking in cruise-tourist traps of San Juan).

But I seem to have gotten in too late to afford getting in on next November's, so I've got time to save up for 2017....If it happens.  The preorders usually start around Feb./March, don't they?

(But wait, it says "Most Disney themed entertainment suspended"--Does that mean just no Pirate Night and Frozen Musical, which I can do without, or no Mickey Mouse or Stitch in the atrium?  Will I have to choose between meeting Leslie Caron or meeting Princess Tiana?)

 

As for my own experiences, I remember not so much a "film festival" as the all-night Marathon one of the local college-towns used to hold.

It's one thing to be with the relatively same audience as we all know we're generally watching the same films, it's another to be in the SAME audience all night, especially as sleep deprivation and running-jokes start to get a little creatively punchy.   B)

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Tiki, just curious - do you know what year they started the CapitolFest?

 

This was it's 14th year for CapitolFest, held in Rome NY (near Utica) 

 

Cinefest, the Syracuse based rare film festival ran for 30 years, discontinuing 2 years ago. It's getting much harder to get FILM since most restorations are done digitally, making Capitol's gathering a special treat.

 

Along with the great theater organ, the Capitol Theater has 2 carbon arc projectors, making an incredible, almost 3 dimensional screen image.This is no small feat, replacement carbon rods are tough to find. (so are projectionists!)

 

Rochester NY's Eastman House Museum holds it's own regular "series" and hosts Toronto Film Society's festivals. And at home, TFS has incredible series: a SILENT Film Festival, For The Love Of Comedy Festival, Noir Festival, etc. 

 

I urge you all to seek them out - LA has CINECON, there's also a Cinecon in Ohio...Cleveland, I think. Most major cities have some kind of classic film group of varying levels of "rarity".

 

The Syracuse Cinephiles still host a Monday Night Series which is fantastic. They show the same type of movies TCM does, but you're viewing it with others who love classic movies. Even the silliest movie becomes enjoyable fun when you hear someone gaffaw from the back of the room.

 

This season's schedule is killer:

http://syracusecinephile.com/mondayns/

 

Syracuse is directly in the middle between Utica & Rochester-my deciding factor for settling here. Toronto is only a 5 hour drive. Classic Movie Lovers Heaven.

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I don't know of any film "festivals" ever being held in MY neck, and the locations you mention aren't really that "handy" considering my situation right now.

 

The furthest I drove to see a "classic" movie was when a buddy and me drove to Ann Arbor's U-M campus to see KING KONG in an old theater on campus.

 

But, THAT was near 40 years ago, and I was that much younger, and from where I was it was only a 25 minute drive.

 

Sepiatone

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Thanks for the writeup, TikiSoo. Unlike yourself, I am a fan of Gary Cooper and would have been interested in the tribute to him. The Texan, which you mentioned, was considered to be a lost film for a number of years, I believe. I wonder how many prints of it exist outside of the one shown at your festival.

 

I believe that Wolf Song, with Cooper teamed with Lupe Velez, was also scheduled. Now that one in particular I would have liked to have seen. There were actually two versions of this film, one silent, the other largely silent with a few talkie sequences (making it Cooper's talkie debut). However, to the best of my knowledge, only the silent version exists today.

 

velez-cooper.jpg?w=798

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...I believe that Wolf Song, with Cooper teamed with Lupe Velez, was also scheduled. Now that one in particular I would have liked to have seen. There were actually two versions of this film, one silent, the other largely silent with a few talkie sequences (making it Cooper's talkie debut). However, to the best of my knowledge, only the silent version exists today.

 

 

So Tom, you're sayin' the very first time Coop utters the word "yup" on screen is now lost to the ages?!!!

 

(...well ain't THAT a fine howdy-do, huh!)

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So Tom, you're sayin' the very first time Coop utters the word "yup" on screen is now lost to the ages?!!!

 

(...well ain't THAT a fine howdy-do, huh!)

 

I wouldn't know how much dialogue Cooper had in the part talkie version. Probably not much, but it still makes Wolf Song his talkie debut, even if those clips are now lost with time. Most Cooper fans mistakenly regard The Virginian, his first all talkie, as his talkie debut.

 

Lost are two songs by Lupe Velez, and a bit of dialogue between she and Coop. At least, that's my understanding.

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If you like Coop, you should have come, Tom, we would have loved having you. 

 

Even if you don't like the star, there's always great stuff to see. Like I said, that Technicolor presentation was very enlightening. They showed some Edison Kinetoscopes, novelties really.

 

But the best part is listening to REAL film historians discussing what they've just seen. No posers, no braggarts, no TV host wannabees. 

 

Fewer & fewer theaters have kept their film projectors, those dedicated to classic film have retained their equipment. Why not reward their dedication by supporting their effort? You'll find like minded people there who will point you to other venues. 

 

 

This is why I urge all of you to seek out rare film festivals on your own-they're out there. They may be a "3 day vacation" in another state, but it's well worth every penny. 

 

If you just make a little effort, I'm sure you can find a great rare film festival to attend.

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Just curious - do you know what year they started the CapitolFest?

 

As TikiSoo said, this year was the 14th Capitolfest, starting in August 2003. I've been to every one of them, and look forward to them every year. It's a 4 to 5 hour drive for me, but well worth it. I addition to the rare films, it's great to meet new friends and catch up with old ones who are also into the good old stuff. (Of course, TikiSoo is one who I look forward to seeing again each time!)

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I love CapitolFest and was sorry to miss it this year. The theatre is amazing (I am a constant balcony sitter!) and you can pick up some books and other pieces of memorabilia at great prices. Also, I love CapitolFest's cat mascot!  One year that I particularly remember was the year they saluted William Powell (could not miss that) and it was a rare treat to see more of his silents.  They also had the author of a new William Powell book in attendance and I was able to pick one up at the festival.  Going to Rome, NY is a long trip for me (6-7 hours) and my only gripe with the festival is that they seem to put many of the best films on late Sunday afternoon continuing into the evening.  For those of us who have a long drive home (and work on Monday) it's just not possible to stay for those films so I'd love to see more films moved to Friday or Saturday with the festival ending around 4 PM Sunday.  But, that's just me. Overall, there is just a great spirit about CapitolFest --  everyone who attends just loves vintage films -- it's always an enthusiastic crowd and the festival seems extremely well organized.  

 

In addition to some of the film festivals Tiki-Soo mentioned, there is also one in Marie Dressler's home town in Canada which sounds like fun.  For more info, check out their website at: http://www.vintagefilmfestival.com

 

Lydecker

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I love CapitolFest and was sorry to miss it this year. The theatre is amazing.... Also I love CapitolFest's cat mascot!  

Lydecker

Love that cat too! His name is Kallie (after the Kallet Brothers, original 1920's owners & managers of the theater). Kallie lives in the theater but spends most of his time in the office and sitting (or sleeping) in the front window display areas where people can admire him from the outside. He is even listed among the theater's staff, as Kallie T. Cat, Mouse Exterminator. 

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CapitolFest was another hit this year with attendees from all over the globe viewing rare films & fascinating lectures. Sitting in the balcony I was surprised to see the main auditorium floor just about packed-I think it seats almost 1000. The balcony was only about half full because of course, heat rises and it was 90º out.

 

The star focus was on Gary Cooper, one of my least favorites. But it certainly was interesting to see his earliest efforts illustrating how he became a "star". In THE TEXAN '30 Coop was paired with Fay Wray and looked very handsome.

Texan.jpg

 

The program was full of great films but with decent sized breaks for intermission where attendees can schmooze & sift through the Dealers Room which greatly expands each year. I saw great selections of; authentic posters & lobby cards ranging from $3 to $300, notebooks full of publicity photos & movie books, some autographed and tables of very rare DVDs. You can find almost all of those rare titles we often talk about on this board for reasonable prices.

 

dealeroom.jpg

 

Sure, there's Cary Grant pix in there...but (like the festival itself) you'll find really rare items like a Frankie Darro autograph.

 

magazines.jpg

 

One of my favorite presentations was the next installment by James Layton of THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR-Musicals. It was a fantastic blend of slide show, digital clips & 35mm film clips illustrating the points. For once, technology has been used well - what do you expect? these people are professionals in the field.

Afterwards while waiting in line for the Ladies Room, we broke into Alice White's "You-o-o-o, I got my eye on You-o-o-o…"

 

I much enjoyed DUDE RANCH (Paramount 1930) starring character actors Jack Oakie & Eugene Pallette-a scream seeing Palette dressed as a Native American.

I can only get through silents at film festivals and this didn't disappoint, especially since the theater is equipped with a great vintage organ with "all the stops" meaning bells, knocks & whistle sound effects included.

 

We saw a great "black cinema" from the Maurice studio ELEVEN PM circa 1928 which can be found on Kino's DVD "Pioneers of African American Cinema", but so much better to see it projected on a big screen with an audience!

 

My absolute favorite was THE POOR RICH (Universal 1934) another vehicle STARRING character actors EE Horton, Edna Mae Oliver,Grant Mitchell, Thelma todd, Una O'Connor & more. What a scream-the audience hooted & howled over that one. (and of course, Ward Bond as a bit policeman)

 

Of course, schmoozing with other film fans is a huge part of the enjoyment and an enlightenment of information at every conversation. I couldn't help compiling some of the t-shirts seen on attendees:

 

composite.jpg

 

No Toronto Film Fest shirts this year, but several MOSTLY LOST shirts - that's a film festival put on by LOC where they show orphaned snippets of film and encourage film historians to shout out ANYthing they recognize to help ID the film- names, locations, music, anything.

The Vitaphone Project is an attempt at marrying Vitaphone disks to it's film and Rich is the King of Movie Music in my book. (known as musicalnovelty here) I particularly liked the title card designs & the Pola Negri shirt not shown here.

 

The TCM Film Festivals must be a ball, but are way too dear for my purse. Besides, I've seen all those movies. Smaller, rarer film festivals are much more affordable at around $20/day and you actually can see all the movies along with decent free time for shopping & relaxed socializing!

Holy cats! I think I know Rich. Is he from the Worcester area?

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Going to Rome, NY is a long trip for me (6-7 hours) and my only gripe with the festival is that they seem to put many of the best films on late Sunday afternoon continuing into the evening.  For those of us who have a long drive home (and work on Monday) it's just not possible to stay for those films so I'd love to see more films moved to Friday or Saturday with the festival ending around 4 PM Sunday.

 

 

Lydecker

 

It's not as nice as Cinefest (held in a hotel, rather than a theater), but I'd recommend Cinevent, in Columbus, OH as an alternative.  This year, it was held 02-05 Jun, with the last movie finishing up around 6PM.  The night before, there's always a double bill (separate fee) playing at the Wexner Center, which is located on the campus of Ohio St. 

 

We're still talking actual film, rather than digital, and silent films have live piano accompaniment. 

 

I see you're from Pittsburgh, so depending on actual location (I used to live SE, near Kennywood Park) it should only be about a 4-5 hour drive.

 

http://www.cinevent.com/index.html

 

This year's Cinevent was its 48th, probably one of the oldest festivals of its kind in the country.

 

I forgot to add, you might have enjoyed Cinesation, in Massillon, OH.  That was held in the Lillian Gish theater until just a few years ago.

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I'm in Framingham, Mass. now, but grew up in Wayland. I do visit Worcester every week for a movie night where we run films (on real film, not video!)

 

 

I remember Worcester, MA (can't get there now, though)--Where do you run them?

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     Thanks to "Tikisoo" for starting this thread and to all the others for their comments on Capitolfest.

I couldn't make it this year due to health reasons but I was there last year. It was my first Capitolfest and it was awesome! It was well worth the 6-7 hour drive. Last year they featured Nancy Carroll as their headline star.  I loved the theatre, the rare films which you'll only see at a venue like this one and the camaraderie among the film fans.  The dealers room was a great place for all types of movie memorabilia. I purchased several rare DVD's and a movie book.

     I was unaware of Cinevent in Columbus Ohio until I read a previous post. I'll definitely keep that one

in mind as it's only 2 hours away. I went about four years ago to an annual film festival in Massillon Ohio

but unfortunately it turned out to be their last one.

     I would heartily encourage anyone interested in older films to attend one of these. It's magnificent to see these rare films projected on the big screen. The silent films are a special treat. I had never heard an organ accompaniment until I saw "The Shopworn Angel" with Gary Cooper and Nancy Carroll last year.

 

By the way, does anyone know who the main star will be for Capitolfest15 next year?

They usually mention it at the conclusion of the festival.

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Let me try this again. Sunday nights at B l a c k i e ' s?

Yes, that's the place! Our irreplaceable host passed away on April 30, 2011 but we're carrying on the weekly film screenings as we know he would want us to. 

Janet 0312, were you a friend of his, and did you come to the movie nights?

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     Thanks to "Tikisoo" for starting this thread and to all the others for their comments on Capitolfest.

I couldn't make it this year due to health reasons but I was there last year..... 

By the way, does anyone know who the main star will be for Capitolfest15 next year?

They usually mention it at the conclusion of the festival.

I too wish you could have been at Capitolfest this year. I'm sure you would have enjoyed it, and it would have been nice to meet you. We saw the usual assortment of rare films with the usual group of good film fans (including the charming TikiSoo!)

 

Next year's featured star will be Fay Wray. I'm sure we'll be getting to see some of her rarely shown Paramount late silents and early talkies, and I hope some of her never revived 1930's Universals such as "Madame Spy" (1934), "The Countess of Monte Cristo" (1934) and "Cheating Cheaters" (1934). 

 

Hope to see everyone there!

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I remember Worcester, MA (can't get there now, though)--Where do you run them?

 

We get together every Sunday evening for a night of films, starting about 8 P.M. and usually a card game or two afterwards (and sometimes before too). Traditionally we start with a serial chapter, then a feature, then assorted shorts (one of our guys has a great collection of shorts, mostly comedies). We meet at the home of a friend with a big film collection who started the tradition way back in the 1960's. He passed away in April of 2011 but we carry on with the same gang and utilizing his collection which his widow is keeping intact. Not only is it a great experience to see films projected on a real screen by a real film projector (no video/DVD) but many of our films are rarities we know we'll never see on TV or home video. 

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