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Cinecon 53 Film Festival Review (2017)


HollywoodDispatcher

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Just wondering if anyone else has ever attended the "Cinecon" film festival in LA and what your impressions were? If you are a regular attendee I would like to correspond with you. I attended this your for the first time, myself.

 

If you have not, and are thinking about it, I strongly recommend you do so. My summary below:

 

I arrived on Thursday before the Labor Day weekend from Las Vegas and attended the opening night greeting/screening which was Buster Keaton's "Speedy". Cinecon is great if you love silent movies, as they show a good number and have live accompaniments. The festival lasts four days ending on the Monday Labor Day. I left Monday morning but squeezed in 3 days at the fest. Overall, I was so pleased with the content and type of pictures they showed. They were started by collectors in the San Fernando Valley back in 1965 who brought there own prints and reels to show each other, so it's a hardcore group of really die-hard old movie lovers and has expanded from there to the bigger venue and audience they now serve. The best part is they really don't show anything more recent than the 1940's, so if you are a lover of films circa 1920's - 1940's this is a great festival. They specialize in showing movies that are rare and can't be seen on TCM or bought on a DVD, etc. In 2016 (I did not attend that year) they showed "King of Jazz", a rare early two-strip Technicolor treat. This year they showed a couple great features I really enjoyed. One was "The Accusing Finger" from 1936 with Marsha Hunt. Universal struck a new 35mm print for them for free and they screened this. A real treat was 99 year-old Marsha Hunt was in the audience. They also screened a 1940 color nitrate print of "Untamed" with Ray Milland and Patricia Morrison. Patricia Morrison (She's 102!) attended and did and FAQ afterwards that was great. Other highlights for me were the screening of a Lon Chaney silent from 1914 that was recently restored and shown for the first time in 103 years (what a privilege!) and some Hal Roach shorts. Overall it was an amazing experience!!

 

In summary the highlights that make this a unique festival:

- An amazing and enthusiastic group of organizers and attendees

-Mostly rare movies and prints not available

-Nitrate prints at the Egyptian Theater (specially refurbished projection booth to do this)

-Interviews with remaining living stars and folks associated with these pictures (they won't be with us much longer!)

-Simultaneous old movie memorabilia show that is great!

-Prints come from some great collections at the studio/MOMA/UCLA archives

 

 If you have attended please let me know your thoughts. If you haven't make an effort to go. It's a great festival and a privilige as well as lots of fun people!!!

 

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I was there Saturday and Sunday and found it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  Wonderful to see some really interesting obscure movies, especially THE ACCUSING FINGER, UNTAMED, and CAPTAIN BLOOD (1924).  Glad you called attention to it here.  Highly recommended.

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