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*News and views from the TCM Film Festival*


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*"I'm not trying to talk you out of lobbying for more, though!"* - 24fps

 

And feel free to add your voice to the lobbying effort too.

 

Thanks for the reminder of *The Blacksmith*. Sounds like it was a very interesting piece to see. What other screenings did you attend?

 

And did you make it to Clifton's for pie?

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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> {quote:title=24fps wrote:}{quote}

> Kyle, the festival had a little taste of Ford and Cooper. The "Fragments" screening shared the last reel of an otherwise-lost John Ford feature called "The Village Blacksmith" from 1922. It was one of the most dramatic films at the festival, with a paralyzed young fellow using his elbows to drag himself through a violent rainstorm on his belly in order to clear his name from accusations of theft. Then, Gary Cooper made a brief appearance as himself in the glamorous "Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove" (1934), part of Leonard Maltin's Festival Shorts program.

>

> I'm not trying to talk you out of lobbying for more, though!

 

GASP!!!!! WHAAAAT???? oOOOOOOOOOOOhhhh, the agony, the pain of it...here I was up to now not REALLY feeling pangs of regret so deep as to draw blood, but that finished me.

 

Kyle---I AM lobbying and will continue to lobby for more Coop, Ford (and maybe, Gable?) for next year till they throw in some of their films just to get me off their back! :D:D

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I'm so glad that you mentioned the Fragments program. I loved it. Fragments of Clara Bow's Red Hair and Three Weekends, Lotus Blossom, Connie Talmadge's Polly of the Circus, Colleen Moore's Happiness Ahead (with Edmund Lowe), The Last Warning (a trailer, but the film is being restored), and Beau Sabreur (with Coop). Kyle, was it you who noticed the credits and made the quip about John Waters being the director of this film?

 

This was a really wonderful program. I'd like to see more fragments.

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Cinemafan, if they used my interview, I'm talking mostly about Frank Capra's "Dirigible" and a little about blogging on the TCM website.

 

Here's how the process went. Some of you will be experiencing this next year! The staff member who had spoken with me asked me to come to the VIP Lounge at Mann's Chinese Theater. At one of the lounge was the camera set-up where Ben Mankiewicz was interviewing attendees. There were comfortable chairs for the people waiting to be interviewed. A very nice makeup artist named Stacy tried to get us ready for our close-ups.

 

After Ben M. finished one interview, a production staffer introduced me to him, mentioning that I posted on the website.

Ben: "What's your handle?"

Me: "Kingrat."

Ben (with a look and a perfectly timed line): "You write a lot."

Um, true.

 

He told me to imagine we were hanging out at a coffee shop talking. (That's the way his intros usually seem, come to think of it.) When the camera started rolling, he mentioned my posting on the website. We both talked about the great variety of people at the festival and I talked about how exciting it was to see the restored Dirigible on the big screen. At the end of the segment the cameraman asked Ben M. to redo his closing remarks, so he did.

 

Mr. M and all the TCM staffers did everything they could to make the process easy for all of us interviewees who are not used to being on camera. I hope some of you will be interviewed next year.

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> {quote:title=kingrat wrote:}{quote}

> Cinemafan, if they used my interview, I'm talking mostly about Frank Capra's "Dirigible" and a little about blogging on the TCM website.

kingrat, I missed it, but thank you so much for sharing that wonderful experience with us. It's great to "meet" someone from the boards who is a real fan and who uses words so well. So nice to meet you this way, and thanks again. I am looking forward to reading more from you. cinemafan

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> {quote:title=kingrat wrote:}{quote}

> After Ben M. finished one interview, a production staffer introduced me to him, mentioning that I posted on the website.

> Ben: "What's your handle?"

> Me: "Kingrat."

> Ben (with a look and a perfectly timed line): "You write a lot."

> Um, true.

>

 

How cool is that. Ben's familiar with your presence here.

You are the first person to get confirmation that Ben reads these Forums. I knew many TCM-ers visited but I didn't think the "talent" would set foot in here. It is often too "dangerous".

 

Glad you were sitting beside him because if it was me, I would have asked if it really is true that he has seen *Fletch* dozens (hundreds?) of times?

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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*" Kyle, was it you who noticed the credits and made the quip about John Waters being the director of this film?"* - countessdelave

 

Not me. I didn't catch the "Fragments" screening.

 

But I have a *Beau Sabreur* still for your scrapbook.

 

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Kyle In Hollywood

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LzCutter's Look Back at Four Fabulous Days!

 

Thursday, April 22nd:

 

*"Do I look hot?" SueSue Applegate aka Christy asks.*

 

Yes, she does. She is filming a Fan Retrospective this morning and we are rushing to get out of the house while giving MrCutter the space he needs to get ready for work.

 

We manage to get out on time and head over the hill (Laurel Canyon Blvd) to Hollywood. Laurel Canyon Blvd started out as a horse bridal trail a hundred years ago.

 

Forty years ago, it was ground zero for the numerous rock and roll and folk singers (Mamma Cass, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell, Mickie Dolenz, etc) who were making top 40 hits.

 

Today, it is one of four ways to get from the Valley to Hollywood.

 

We get to the Roosevelt and amazingly enough, they have our early check-in almost ready. We get checked in, stow our luggage (did I mention Christy travels with a small caravan of luggage - she has to for all her costumes and jewelry and accessories that I will borrow over the weekend.) and they tell us our room should be ready when she is done filming.

 

We go upstairs to the penthouse suite where Carol Lombard and Clark Gable once had a love nest. We meet a couple of TCM staffers that I knew from my trip to Atlanta and Christy tries to shake off her nerves. Before we can get comfortable (and get a Diet Coke, oh sweet elixir of life), we are whisked up the stairs to the rooftop where Christy is to film her piece.

 

We are in heaven. Christy and the crew are hitting it off big time. Me, I'm enjoying being up there with the giant rooftop neon sign. Where we came up from the stairs is a small cupola that reminds me of the Hotel Del Coronado down in San Diego where Some Like It Hot was shot.

 

For the next hour Christy charms the crew and answers all the questions asked of her. She does voices, talks about her mom and how she would make pies when ever a movie would upset Christy, she talks about costumes and how her mom and aunties would make the costumes that Christy loved on the silver screen, she sings songs from classic films.

 

All to soon the hour is over and we head downstairs. We get some swag on the way out. MrCutter will have a new TCM Film Festival tee-shirt and baseball cap to add to his collection.

 

We are able to check into our room and I get ready to go to the Academy Room to film my Fan Programmer Update spot with Robert Osborne. We go up to the Mezzanine to the Academy Room (which is not where the first Oscars were held). The crew is getting the set ready, putting a filter film on the window that overlooks Hollywood Blvd (which the portion directly below us has been named Turner Classic Movies Way).

 

Two other women are there. One is waiting her moment in the spotlight talking about the Film Festival with Robert O. Lo and behold, they are from Texas and Delana's daughter is from Baytown, where Christy is from! Old home week!

 

For me it is old home week as well. TCM's director, Sean Cameron, calls me over. We hug and I tell him I am ready. He tells me not to worry, I look great (I keep playing with my hair and wondering why I didn't get a haircut before this moment).

 

Next thing I know, there is our patron saint, Robert O. We hug and sit down in the chairs. Just before we are to start filming a loud noise comes from outside and down on the Blvd. We crane to see what the commotion is. All we can see is Tom Brown and a crowd crossing towards us. Tom is throwing kisses to someone we can not see.

 

The buzz on the set is that the noise problem is being taken care of. And just like that it is! Quiet on the set and we are off to the races. It is a quick shoot. I talk a bit about seeing films on the big screen and how important that is, the panels I want to see and my new job as the Digital Archivist at The Walt Disney Family Museum.

 

Next thing I known, Sean is calling cut. The shoot a pick up with Robert O to end the piece with and we are done.

 

We each get our picture taken with Robert O (hoping Christy remembers to send me mine) and we go back to our room.

 

The sunny weather has turned overcast. We change clothes and head down to the lobby to meet Filmlover and Kyle (and hopefully others) to go to In-N-Out Burgers for some much needed nourishment. Kyle calls me to say he is running behind schedule and will meet us later. We go down and check out Club TCM, in the Blossom Room where the first Academy Awards were held. TCM has turned the room into a nightclub setting with lots of places to sit, a bar, snacks and they are running montages on the screen and the side walls.

 

We meet up with Peter (Filmlover) and Paula (Countessdelave from TCM City) and her sister Tracy. We walk down to In-N-Out and order. Once we are seated, David (Kingrat) joins us. He'd been waiting at the other entrance and decided to come inside and look around. He finds us immediately. It helps that Paula and Tracy have vintage hairstyles (in anticipation of the big gala later in the evening.)

 

We are all getting along great. We enjoy our food and talk classic film.

 

Too soon, it's time to head back and get ready for the Welcome Party. Some are going to the Gala Screening of Star, David is going to Dirigible and Kyle and I are going to Neptune's Daughter.

 

I find a young man in a tux at TCM Club who is part of the hired staff to help out. I ask about lining up for Daughter and though he doesn't know the answer, he says he'll be back. When he comes back, he has all the info we need. He becomes our go-to guy at Club TCM whenever we have questions about events in the hotel.

 

The Welcome Party is fun. David and I stake out a spot on a sofa and observe the crowd. Guys in tuxedos, white suits, tails and top hats, women in long gowns, short cocktail dresses and some of us just in casual wear.

 

The Club thins out once the Red Carpet begins. We see Diane Baker leave with Robert O and she looks fabulous!

 

Christy, Paula and Tracy head for the Red Carpet, David for the Chinese. Kyle and I stay put and are joined by Peter. We make our way down to the pool to see Daughter.

 

As the crowd grows, there is no sign of rain. As the hour grows near, we are welcomed by Genevieve McGillicuddy, the director of the Festival who after a few words throws it to Ben Mankiewicz, who welcomes Esther Williams and Betty Garrett. Ben has three chairs set up but as soon as he realizes that Esther is in a wheel chair he deftly and without much notice (ie me and Kyle who are sitting right there to see it) quietly gets rid of the extra chair.

 

Esther and Betty are great. They have great banter.

 

"Everything sounds better underwater" says Esther.

 

"I can't hear everything you are saying so if it's something bad, I'll hear about it and smack you later." says Betty.

 

The Aqualillies are a big hit, performing their synchronized water ballet the perfect tribute. Once the movie starts, Kyle and I move back inside to Club TCM where it is warm. Christy goes off to the Vanity Fair after party having scored an invitation from someone who can get her in.

 

David (Kingrat) comes back and tells us about the Capra boys introducing Dirigible.

 

We have a drink or two and call it an evening knowing that tomorrow starts early.

 

Christy gets in about 3 am having had the time of her life and getting to meet everyone from Alec Baldwin to Diane Baker. I am glad for her but to tired to stay awake to hear the stories!

 

Coming up: Friday!

 

Edited by: lzcutter on Apr 29, 2010 8:58 AM

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LzCutter's Look Back at Four Fabulous Days!

 

Friday, April 23rd

 

*"There's some fiddle-faddle going on here." Marjorie Main, Murder, He Says*

 

Up and out the door early Friday morning for the screening of *Murder, He Says*. One of the best things about the Festival is the fact that you can roll out of bed and walk across the street to the Chinese for the morning screenings. The Egyptian is only a few blocks down the street. Having the Roosevelt as the anchor turns out to be wonderful. No cabbing, no driving, no subwaying, it's all within easy walking distance.

 

While waiting to be let in, I met Liz. She's a wonderful woman from Vancouver. She walks with a cane and we are sitting waiting for them to let us in. She tells me she saw *Monkey Business* on its initial release and has loved movies ever since. She's never seen this one and is looking forward to. When she was a child, there was a fire in a theater and children died. Instead of strengthening the fire code, they made it illegal for children to go to the movies. Her mother used to smuggle her in. She is loving the TCM Film Festival over the Toronto and Montreal Film Festivals because this one is so easy to maneuver.

 

We get let in and pick easy chairs to get in and out of in the back of the theater.

 

We are in Chinese #6, one of the smallest theaters, seats 177. The place is full. My buddy, Mike Schlesinger, who was instrumental in bringing Sony to the table to deal with TCM for the Columbia library, introduces the film. He is hysterical, comparing himself to Marjorie Main, asks how many have NOT seen the film and 3/4 of the audience raises their hands.

 

Mike talks about the early split screen work that was done and credits cinematographer Ted Sparkhul for his great work in the twin dim-witted sons of Marjorie Main. He points out this film was made possible by the Broadway success of *Arsenic and Old Lace* because it made comedic works about murder possible.

 

The movie unspools and is wonderful. Starring Fred MacMurray, Marjorie Main, Helen Walker and Barbara Pepper with Peter Whitney as the dimwitted brothers and features Francis Ford.

 

The audience loves the film and it is an absolute hoot.

 

Couple of things that stand out, early Friday morning the escalators going up (there are none going down) aren't turned on. Neither is the air conditioning in the Chinese complex. Luckily that gets resolved by the next day.

 

After the screening, I grab a bite to eat at one of the numerous pizza places on the Blvd.

 

In front of the Egyptian, Mel Brooks has just received his Star on the Walk of Fame. The street is still closed off and the emergency teams are still standing by.

 

After the Star ceremony, Mel and Robert O walk back towards the Egyptian for a short interview session.

 

They are not passing out Queue Cards at the Egyptian they way they were at the Chinese. At the Chinese, you get one of the Queue cards and walk around. At the Egyptian, they want to stand in line when you get the Queue Card.

 

I am going to see the first episode of *Moguls and Movies*, the seven part series that TCM Original Programming produced.

 

*"This is the series we should be making" Tom Brown, VP of Original Programming*

 

I meet up with Kyle and we join the line up.

 

Once inside, we get the usual introduction of turn off cell phones, no texting, no talking.

 

The episode is amazing. After years of various documentaries that claim to be on the history of American Film, I think we may actually have the real deal in this one.

 

With a diverse group of film historians from Leonard Maltin to Robert Birchard, the first episode is called *Peepshow Pioneers*. It begins with a history of magic lantern shows and takes us through the 1910s of movie making.

 

You have to pay attention as this is filled with historical information and rarely seen footage.

 

When it is over I feel like I have seen the first documentary that might actually be able to complement Kevin Brownlow's wonderful *Hollywood* series. It has taken almost thirty years for me to feel that way.

 

The Q & A is headed by Michael Wright, the head of Turner Broadcasting, Jon Wilkman whose company did the heavy lifting and created the series and Tom Brown, the VP of Original Programming who produced the series.

 

The series is two years in the making. It was originally planned as a 10 hour series but they realized that the Mogul and studio era ends in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

 

As Tom Brown pointed out, two great docs have been made about 70s filmmakers, *Raging Bulls, Easy Riders* and *Decade Under the Influence*. Also they feel that not enough time has passed to properly put the 80s till today's films in their proper context.

 

If the next six hours are as good as this first "rough cut" hour we saw, we will all learn more about the era of film making we love.

 

The show begins airing the first Monday in November and each Monday after that. Each week the previous eppy will air before the new one. Sometime in late December, they will air all seven hours back to back.

 

After that screening, Kyle and I head over to the Roosevelt for the TCM: Meet the Network panel.

 

*"You're Our Heroes!" Audience member to TCM Panel.*

 

The room is full of TCM fans including us, David and Paula. The panel is moderated by Scott McGee, a producer for TCM On-Air Promos. Panelists include Pola Changnon (yes, named for Pola Negri and proud of it) with TCM On-Air promotions, Charlie Tabesh the VP of Programming, Tom Brown, the VP of Original Programming, Richard Steiner with the TCM On-line group, Digital Platforms and Darcy Hettrich, the VP of Talent.

 

Darcy is late getting to the panel because she is busy dealing with last minute problems. She does announce that Luis Rainer has arrived safely and will be part of the Festival. Seems Rainer was on the last flight out of Paris before flights were once again canceled.

 

They start the panel by reiterating their commitment to their mission statement and how they feel they are one of the last channels still adhering to their original mission statement.

 

They reiterate their commitment to remaining commercial free.

 

An audience member from Canada asks why he has such a hard time trying to see *Topper Takes a Holiday* . Each time it is on the American schedule, it is pre-empted in Canada.

 

Charlie Tabesh fields the question and explains about the problem with Canadian rights and how 95-99% of the films there are no problems with but a small handful like Topper are. In fact, they are not sure who owns the rights to *Topper Takes a Holiday*. It is one of those rare RKO films where ownership is cloudy at best.

 

Various ideas are bandied about including Tom Brown's idea "Show it just once without obtaining the proper clearance and we'll hear from a lawyer first thing the next morning telling us who has the rights to the film."

 

The conversation continues and finally Tom says "Charlie doesn't want you to see Topper" which brings down the house.

 

A couple of college students talk about trying to restore a movie theater in Denton, Texas. There's lots of talk of "inspiration" and thanks to the channel for being there 24/7.

 

Charlie also talked about a new idea he is working on with studio libraries, which would be fewer encore runs for the chance to pick more films from the Paramount and Fox libraries. Here's hoping......

 

The one TCM employee that wasn't on the panel did garner a lot of attention. Genvieve MacGillicudy, the director of the Festival and a VP of Brand Marketing received a number of positive nods and remarks from her co-workers.

 

* "I could talk about Brainstorm but I won't." Douglas Trumbull.*

 

I caught the last portion of Trumbull's talk in Club TCM. When I came in he was recounting his work at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas with Showscan.

 

He also talked briefly about *Brainstorm* but without going into detail.

 

He raises donkeys in Massachusetts.

 

Worked with a writer on elaborate bonus features for 2001 including being able to access Kubrick's archives. Unfortunately, WBHV wouldn't go for the idea.

 

Says Spielberg came to him to solve the special effects problem with the original *Back to the Future.*

 

He would still love to work in the industry.

 

Friday night I chose a nice meal in the 25 Degrees restaurant in the hotel and then hung out with friends as they came back from screenings.

 

Saturday morning would start early enough.

 

Up in our room TCM is running Hell's Angels '69. It is really bad and I go to sleep with no problem. (Sorry Bronxie, I know it's Jeremy Slate).

 

Edited by: lzcutter on Apr 29, 2010 8:53 AM

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Great recollection of day one and two, my friend. You took some really great notes.

 

*"I find a young man in a tux at TCM Club who is part of the hired staff to help out. I ask about lining up for Daughter and though he doesn't know the answer, he says he'll be back. When he comes back, he has all the info we need. He becomes our go-to guy at Club TCM whenever we have questions about events in the hotel."*

 

Rich! He definintely needs to be back next year. He so enjoyed presiding over Club TCM - and he was born to wear a tuxedo.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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*Peter is absent from some of our group festivities because he is charming a blonde whom he escorts to many of the films.*

 

Peter,

 

Far be it for me to steal your thunder. I was leaving that for you to write about. I still have no idea how it all worked out for you two crazy kids!

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lz, I didn't get to read this til today. You made it feel like I was there, right down to your meals! Thanks so much for your description of the people and films you saw. And for helping us to get to know some of our fellow poster attendees a little more. You're probably still flying high. Good for you!

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Saturday, April 24th:

 

*"Bring me some kleenex, I think I'm going to cry." Nancy Olson to her daughter, Liza, at the standing ovation she receives at Sunset Blvd.*

 

Out of bed early in the morning and across the street to the Chinese where I anticipate a crowd for Billy Wilder's masterpiece and classic film fans don't prove me wrong. The film is screening in the medium-sized Chinese 6 and there seats are hard to come by for late arrivals.

 

Noted film historian and author Cari Beauchamp introduces the film but first reminds us to turn off our cell phones, no texting, no talking, etc. Then she introduces Nancy Olson. Ms. Olson comes out and looks splendid in her fitted purple suit. She is using a cane having recently had knee surgery (ha! we are sisters in arms without knowing it!)

 

She mentions off-handedly about watching too much news while recovering. Ms. Beauchamp tells her "she should stop watching less MSNBC and more TCM." The crowd agrees.

 

Ms. Olson talks about her early career and making *Canadian Pacific*. "Here I am a Swedish-Norwegian girl from Wisconsin playing a half-breed from Canada with Randy (cue chorus, my addition) who is old enough to be my father."

 

*On Sunset Blvd:*

Billy Wilder kept taking her to lunch until she agreed to be in the film.

 

Edith Head, the famous costume designer was assigned to the film. She had a hard time designing for Ms. Olson's character, Betty Schaefer and Ms. Olson ended up wearing many of her own clothes including the off-the-shoulder cocktail dress in the New Year's Eve scene at Artie's where she meets Joe Gillis again. That dress was from her wardrobe and was forest green. The cameo she wears in that scene was a gift from her father.

 

On her love scene with Bill Holden. It was shot at Paramount, on one of the second floor balconies. Wilder had invited a number of people to the set including Holden's wife, Brenda. When it came to film the scene, Wilder said to hold the kiss until he called 'cut'. Holden and Olson acted the scene and kissed, they held the kiss as Wilder instructed. They kept expecting to hear Wilder say 'cut' but the kiss went on and on, finally they did hear someone yell "Cut, god-da**it, Cut!". It was Holden's wife, Brenda.

 

It was a 35mm print shown and looked beautiful! I ducked out just before the final reel to head over to the Grauman's Chinese auditorium for the Q&A with Anjelica and Danny Huston.

 

*The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of." The Huston's: A Hollywood Dynasty*

 

The tribute to John Huston kicks off with a wonderful tribute to the Huston family compiled and edited by TCM's Scott McGee, of the On-Air Promotions team. Afterwards, Robert Osborne introduces Anjelica and Danny Huston.

 

"Is it tough being a Huston?" he asks

"Not this morning." they reply. The crowd is in the palm of their hands.

 

Danny Huston's voice sounds a great deal like the family patriarch, John. Talking about growing up in Ireland, Anjelica says,"I thought I had died and gone to heaven."

 

They used to watch Treasure of Sierra Madre on " a deliriously noisy little projector. They've seen the movie somewhere between 50-75 times.

 

They thank Robert O for "being a champion of these films".

 

When he asks what they miss most about their father, they both reply they miss his voice. (I'm in total agreement with them on that one!)

 

They appreciate Dodsworth and Treasure for the performances of their grandfather and they both feel that watching his films makes him more real to them.

 

They end with Anjelica calling Robert O a "rock star" and a new print of Treasure begins to unspool.

 

I run for the Chinese 6 again and the screening of *Leave Her to Heaven.*

 

*"I'm not sure Ms. Tierney liked me." Dwayne Hickman*

 

The theater is packed. Shawnn Belstone, Head of Restoration at 20th-Century Fox introduces the film and talks about the difficulty and joy of restoring a movie shot in Technicolor. There is also a wonderfully edited piece for the Film Foundation (who paid for the restoration) by the TCM On-Air Promo department.

 

The film is beautiful to behold. I am sitting right behind Dwayne Hickman and his wife. About 15 minutes into the film, I notice a man walk up to the top of the ramp that leads into the theater. It is Robert O. I wait for him to walk across the sight line and sit next to the Hickmans.

 

But he doesn't. He stands there for the remainder of the film, hears the audience gasp at the appropriate moments and sniffle at the end. The man is a God because I am 30 years younger and could not have stood there as he did.

 

When the film concludes, he comes on stage and introduces the forever-young looking Dwayne Hickman. The audience provides a standing ovation.

 

Robert O asks about working with Gene Tierney and Dwayne replies that it was a difficult shoot and he thought Ms. Tierney didn't like him. Robert O offered the idea that it was the first real out of character dramatic role for Ms. Tierney and she may have been trying to stay in character. By the time the discussion is done, Hickman has been convinced that was the case.

 

I join the crowd leaving and manage to see my old film professor, Rick Jewell with his wife who were in the audience and say hello. Then I run for Grauman's and *North by Northwest*

 

*We love you." An audience member to Robert O.*

*I love you, too." Robert O responds.*

 

Before the screening of *North*, Robert O introduces Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau. Eva calls Robert O "a rock star" and the crowd goes wild.

 

It's hard for Landau to get a word in while Eva is talking but he finally manages to talk about how he wanted to play his character, Leonard, as gay and how Hitch encouraged him to work with the screenwriter, Ernest Lehman to make it so.

 

Eva talked about how Hitch worked with her and though other actresses had "complicated" relationships with him, she didn't.

 

I wanted to stay and watch the movie in all it's mid-century modern beautiful decor but Norman Lloyd and Mr. Cutter called.

 

Norman Lloyd was holding a Q&A in Club TCM in the Hotel Roosevelt. He talked about working with Hitch in *Saboteur,* working with Welles, playing tennis with Chaplin (they were a great tennis duo) and then working with Hitch on his television shows as not only a producer but also director. He showed clips from some of his *Alfred Hitchcock Presents* and the *Alfred Hitchcock Hour* including *The Jar*.

 

Mr. Cutter showed up to take me to dinner and off we went to 25 Degrees in the Roosevelt. The hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches are great and you can get a mix of sweet potato and regular fries. Their Happy Hour takes the sting out of ordering more than one Sam Adams (my tribute to Danny Huston) Noble draft beer.

 

*I'm quite happy they remember anything." Stanley Donen at Singin' in the Rain*

 

We get to the Egyptian with time to spare but before long the line is growing and ends up going long. There are a number of what appears to be single tickets being sold and those ticket buyers talk in line about seeing the promos on TCM over the last 24 hours and wanting to be part of the fun.

 

The screening is sold out and Christy literally gets the last seat in the house. The Egyptian seats a little more than 1700 including the balcony and tonight they are here for their favorite musical.

 

Mr. Cutter has seen the films plenty of times but never on the big screen and I have seen it more than a few times on the big screen.

 

He is there for the film, I am there for him and Stanley Donen.

 

Sean Cameron, the in-house director for TCM introduces Robert O. He talks about he started out as a PA on the set, getting Robert O hot water for his tea. He would occasionally snap his fingers but almost always it was "Excuse me, Sean, can I get some hot water?".

 

Sean reminds the audience that Robert is not an actor hired to look good but the "real deal".

 

He then told the story of how a number of years ago, Robert O did an interview with one of his favorites, Barbara Stanwyck. At the end of the interview, as he was leaving, Ms. Stanwyck had this to say, "Remember, I don't walk on water." He then went on to say that Robert O was more than just a work colleague, he is "My friend, Robert Osborne."

 

Sean messed up the story and made it sound like Robert O had said that. When he came on stage, Robert O gently corrected Sean. You could see his cheeks turn red all the way in the back of the theater where Mr. Cutter and I were. Sean and Robert O hug. The crowd goes wild. Anjelica and Eva are right, the man is a rock star.

 

Our patron saint then introduces Stanley Donen who gets a standing ovation.

 

He reminds the audience that *Rain* wasn't a big hit when it was initially released. He then goes to relate a story about how Jules Dassin called him in the 1960s and talked about wanting to make a movie about the transition from silents to talkies and focus on an actress who has a problem voice.

 

"I told him, Julie, I made that film. It's called *Singin' in the Rain*. Jules hadn't seen it, so I offered to fly to Paris and bring a print. Before I left, I reedited the film (what do you think he cut out?) and flew with a print to Paris. I screened it for Julie and he said, "You're right, you made the film."

 

Robert O also asked what Stanley Donen liked most about events like this and Mr. Donen replied, "I'm quite happy they remember anything!"

 

Watching the film with the audience was total fun. They laughed in all the right places and applauded after each dance number. They loved Donald O'Connor and it was exhilarating to see the film on the big screen. Whenever I looked over at Mr. Cutter he had a big smile on his face.

 

Watching the now iconic dance number in the rain, I suddenly found myself caught up in not only the exuberance of the number but also Kelly's enthusiasm in performing and for the first time in years, I was reminded why this dance sequence is always included in montages on the history of American films and American musicals. For a moment, it was like seeing the film on the big screen again for the first time.

 

After the screening, Mr. Cutter decided to head back towards the house. He's been working crazy insane hours seven days a week and this was the first weekend where he didn't have to work.

 

We said good-bye and I joined Kyle in line for *Out of Circulation: Cartoons.*

 

Film historian and author, Donald Bogle, curated this program of eight cartoons that haven't been seen since 1968. He explained the various stereotypes we would be experiencing in the cartoons. He told us Coal Black was so named to avoid litigation with Disney over Snow White.

 

The first cartoon, a Merrie Melody, was direct 'homage" to Disney's *Steamboat Willie* in many ways.

 

People were taking pictures and video with their cameras despite the warning at the beginning of the program by the Programming Maven who handles TCM Underground. At the intermission, they said if it continued, they would take phones and cameras away.

 

At the end of the program, I said goodnight to Kyle and headed back to the Roosevelt, running into TCM Staff along the way. By the time I got to the hotel, it was almost midnight.

 

I ducked into Club TCM for a nightcap. They had a band there, Mike Gurley and the Jazznotes, a quartet who played swing and jazz standards. They were on their last song, Sinatra's *In the Wee, Wee Hours.* Rich, our favorite staffer at Club TCM, was dancing with a TCM fan who was dying to dance at least once that evening. The band was great and I hope TCM brings them back next year as I want to have more time to listen to them!

 

After Club TCM called it a night, so did I. Christy was in Club TCM (along with CountessDelave and her sister) and we decided to call it a night.

 

The next morning was *Fragments* and sleep was calling.

 

Edited by: lzcutter on May 1, 2010 9:34 AM

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Day Four, April 25th

 

Fragments A program of snippets of lost films. Curators include Mike Pogorzelski of the Academy Film Archive, Jere Guildon from UCLA Film and Television Archive and Joe Linden also from the Academy.

 

Got there a bit late, having overslept, so I missed the opening remarks. But snippets I did see included two Clara Bow features:

 

Red Head and Three Week End

 

Happiness Ahead with Colleen Moore (can we get Her Wild Oat next year?)

 

Ramon Navarro in a turban (giving Tyrone Power a run for his money) in Love's Oath.

 

Ms. Guildon had received a reel of film as a Christmas gift. When she unspooled it, she discovered that there was a copy of a Hallmark Boys comedy on the end.

 

The Village by John Ford included a partial reel of a disabled brother who crawls on his ends and knees to exact vengeance for his family.

 

Trailers for Lost Films included The Patriot and Beau Sabreur starring an incredibly handsome and young Gary Cooper.

 

The curators hope to return next year with another program of Lost Films!

 

I found out after the fact that they were showing a 70mm roadshow version of Cleopatra at the same time with introduction by some of Ben's cousins. Had I known it would have been a Sophie's Choice between Cleo and that shot of Gary Cooper in Beau.

 

From there, I go to line up at the smaller Chinese #3 for Sunnyside Up.

 

I meet up with Liz, my new found friend from Vancouver and we compare films we have seen since Friday morning.

 

*50,000 theater musicians lost their jobs." Cari Beauchamp*

 

This eccentric musical made on the cusp of sound is introduced by Cari Beauchamp. She points out that at "the end of 1928, there were 15,000 theaters in America. Only 400 were wired for sound. Many studio heads and critics thought it was a novelty.

 

The Gershwins became millionaires because EVERYONE wanted to use their music in musicals.

 

There is good, fluid camerawork and it reminds us in the audience that not every musical has Singin' in the Rain problems.

 

Thank god, Marjorie White (as Bea, Janet Gaynor's BFF), El Brendel as Eric, and Frank Richardson as Eddie are in this film because otherwise it would be a dog. Gaynor can sing but while Charles Farrell looks handsome, he can't sing.

 

"Turn Up the Heat" is the big musical number that has to be seen to be believed. Dancing girls, melting igloos, melting ice, palm trees and inflating bananas, this number has to be seen to be believed.

 

Once the Code began to be enforced, musicals like this would no longer be made.

 

Coming out of the film, I run into director Curtis Hanson. I take the opportunity to thank him for making *LA Confidential*, one of my favorite films.

 

That's the joy of this Festival, the ability to not only meet people you know on-line but also those special actors and directors who make the films we love.

 

Due to the lateness of the hour, I figure there is no way I can get to the Egyptian in time to see Luis Rainer, so I opt for the panel on *Remakes* in the Blossom room at the Roosevelt.

 

*"It takes guts." Prof. Rick Jewell*

 

The *Remakes* panel is moderated by Pete Hammond of the LA Times, director/producer Charles Shyer; director/producer John Carpenter and Film historian and teacher, Dr. Rick Jewell.

 

Hammond throws the first question to Rick who reminds the audience that remakes have been part of Hollywood history since the silent days. Of the films Warner Brothers released in 1940, 15 of the films were remakes including Bette Davis' *The Letter* and Errol Flynn's *The Sea Hawk*.

 

There is a long list of potential films that are up to be remade including *The Thing* which John Carpenter remade in the 1980s from the Howard Hawks/Christian Nyby film of the same name. According to Carpenter, the script for the remake will focus on the Norwegian scientific camp that is mentioned in his version of *The Thing* but not the original. Carpenter is not happy because he is not receiving a check for them using an idea that he essentially thought of.

 

Charles Shyer and Nancy Myers were basically clueless about the original *Father of the Bride*

and *Daddy's Little Dividend* before they remade those films.

 

It was brought up that *Taxi Driver* is up to be remade.

 

"That takes guts." Rick says, pointing out that Scorsese is still alive.

 

John Carpenter points out that after Rob Zombie remade *Halloween* (that Carpenter had made in the late 1970s/early 1980s) he received a call from the studio asking whether or not he would be interested in remaking *Halloween* after Zombie:

 

"Are you f***ing kidding me?" he said.

 

The Q&A with the audience is great,. Many great questions asked. The last one being "Do you want to remake one of your films?"

 

To which John Carpenter said emphatically, "NO!"

 

Afterwards, I get a chance to talk to Rick and tell him how thrilled I am to see on a panel.

 

Hopefully next year, he will be on a panel with Scott Eyman, Dan Ford, John Carpenter, Walter Hill and Harry Carey, Jr about John Ford.

 

Downstairs, I run into David (Kingrat) and we head off to Baja Fresh for a quick bite before the big event of the evening.

 

*Metropolis*

 

Introduced by our rock star and patron saint, Robert O. He introduced Genvieve McGuillicudy as the driving force behind the success of that schedule.

 

Robert O announced that there would be second film festival. Robert O thanked everyone for a successful festival and announced that there would be another Classic Film Festival next year in Hollywood. The dates to be announced.

 

*Metropolis* looked beautiful even with the new footage. The Alloy Orchestra never took a breath for 2.5 hours and they were wonderful.

 

It's not the recently found footage that's the problem. The recently found footage really adds to the story. What distracts is all the extra endings that go and on.

 

Brigette Helm is amazing in a dual role. Amazing Art and Set Direction.

 

I'm glad we had the opportunity to see this one especially with the live orchestra because it's an experience that can't be duplicated watching it on DVD.

 

*Closing Night Party*

 

Lots of fun, even though we were all tired, especially the TCM crew. Peter was in a tuxedo and despite our best efforts to get his attention, he must have only had eyes for the young lady he met on Thursday.

 

I say goodnight to Paula and her sister. I promise David to stay in touch and say good-bye to Kyle. We all talk enthusiastically about coming back next year.

 

I hope they plan to do so. Bottom line is: I plan to be there.

 

I hope you do as well!

 

Edited by: lzcutter on May 1, 2010 9:42 AM

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It's interesting how so many folks had a different festival experience. I'm a theme guy. The last, and only, time I was in Hollywood was over 20 years ago. At that time, Hollywood Blvd. was pretty seedy, and a major disappointment. I'm happy to see that the good folks of L.A. have done such a good job of bringing the area back!

 

I left Seattle for the festival on Monday at noon, and arrived in at LAX around 2:30. I had decided beforehand to take mass transit, to the extent possible, during my visit. I had also decided I was going to follow the Vanity Fair theme as a guide to working through the festival. Well, one out of two ain't bad! Guess which?

 

Wrong. LA's mass transit system is vastly improved since my last visit, and even though I was sure the Red Line was going to come tumbling off it's tracks during a catastrophic earthquake that left the city in shambles, it just turned out to be very efficient in getting me from the W to the festival.

 

I got a lot of exercise during my stay by walking to a lot of areas, including Whitley Heights and up to Yamashiro. That was the only thing that kept me from gaining weight when my impromptu goal became eating at every great Hollywood dive during my stay. I managed to hit Pink's Hot Dogs, Musso & Frank's, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, In 'n Out. I even ventured downtown for the requisite breakfast at The Pantry. Just like I remembered it, but, the neighborhood has changed a little.

 

On Monday night I took in "Alice in Wonderland 3-D" at El Capitan. What a great start to my trip, and what a great venue for watching a film. The film itself was okay, but the experience, complete with a live organ pre-show was A-OK!

 

The next day, after touring the west end of Hollywood Boulevard, following some of lzcutter's suggestions, I tucked into the Roosevelt to see them actually putting up Club TCM. I wouldn't be back until the opening party, and it was a different place.

 

That night, after getting the a deep muscle massage at Bliss Hollywood, I ventured up to the fabulous Hollywood Bowl to see the Eagles, in what can only be described as a Seattle-like night. In the words of Joe Walsh, "I'm freezing!!!" The show was great, but, for me, the real star was the Hollywood Bowl. Absolutely the best venue I've ever seen a show in, and that's saying a lot, believe me.

 

By Wednesday, after spending the morning in the Hollywood Forever Memorial Park and touring Paramount Studios, I was leaning towards a re-thinking of my festival plan-of-attack. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Hollywood, checking out places like the Montmartre Cafe site, the Pig 'n Whistle, Egyptian, Larry Edmunds bookstore, and the Hillview Apartments. Then, back in my room, I watched my beloved Mavs go down to the brutally evil San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of their ill-fated playoff series.

 

Thursday, more touring north of Hollywood Bvld. where I ran into Will from Michigan, who became my companion for the day. I did a rather poor job of filling in for his girlfriend until her arrival in Hollywood that night. At the opening party, I recognized lzcutter from her pic, and introduced myself. I would have offered to buy her a drink, but, the bar was open at the time, so it might have come across as disingenuous.

 

Once I attended *"A Star is Born"*, my plan had changed dramatically. Vanity Fair had become secondary to me. I was now focusing on Hollywood on Hollywood. What a blast to tour these great old sites and hear them referenced in movies. Now, that's why they have this in Hollywood, folks!!!

 

More, later.

 

David

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*At the opening party, I recognized lzcutter from her pic, and introduced myself. I would have offered to buy her a drink, but, the bar was open at the time, so it might have come across as disingenuous.*

 

 

David,

 

I didn't know the bar was open then! If I'd known, we could have escaped the guy who came out of nowhere and interrupted our conversation with his observations about arcane stuff like the only Robert to win an Oscar was DeNiro.

 

Whenever I was in Club TCM I would look for you as I wanted to take you up on that offer of a drink and hear about your adventures seeking out Old Hollywood.

 

I'll take a raincheck if that's okay till next year?

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

>we could have escaped the guy who came out of nowhere and interrupted our conversation with his observations about arcane stuff like the only Robert to win an Oscar was DeNiro.

 

Too funny! I couldn't figure out what that guy was talking about or why. Next year, for sure!

 

David

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'mavfan4life' -

 

Very nice recap of the beginning of your week in Hollywood. I am happy to hear that my neighborhood was welcoming to you. And you sure made your way around - searching out as you did Whitley Heights and Yamoshiro's. On Foot!

 

I was so happy that it didn't rain on the Eagles concert. And I think they must have done some major work on the Hollywood Bowl recently because I had no fond memories of the place after attending an Elton John concert. And happy to know you got the full experience at the El Capitan. (Are there still three (or is it four?) individual curtain openings at the start of the picture?)

 

I'd love to hear more about the *A Star Is Born* premiere/screening. Most everyone I know was poolside with Esther Williams.

 

Sorry we didn't connect last week so I'm looking forward to hearing more about the rest of your weekend.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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