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*News and views from the TCM Film Festival*


filmlover

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lz - I just finished reading your followup description of the Festival.

 

Did I read correctly that the Festival will be in Hollywood again next year?

Also, is there anywhere that we can see the fan perspectives that were shown on TCM during the Festival?

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*Did I read correctly that the Festival will be in Hollywood again next year?*

 

Yep! Robert O announced at the *Metropolis* screening that there would be another Classic Film Festival and it would again be in Hollywood. The crowd roared its approval. There aren't too many cities that have two historic movie palaces able to each seat more than a thousand patrons and the anchoring historic hotel all within walking distance of each other. The two smaller theaters in the Chinese multiplex helped considerably as well.

 

The ClubTCM just off the lobby in the Roosevelt was always busy with movie fans talking to one another, panels, music and more and that helped foster the sense of community that classic film fans desire.

 

Here in the Southland we often can get jaded at the embarrassment of goodies we get served each month by the Academy, UCLA Archives, the Cinematheque, etc and we tend to forget that not everyone has those opportunities. For four days in Hollywood last week, people from all over the country and all over the world got a buffet of riches.

 

*Also, is there anywhere that we can see the fan perspectives that were shown on TCM during the Festival?*

 

The Fan Prespectives like the one SueSue participated in haven't aired yet and are probably be edited as we speak. The shorter pieces like the one Kingrat and I did as well as some of the other pieces that aired, unfortunately I don't think those are on-line.

 

Perhaps TPTB will see this and put them in the Media Room so that regular viewers and Festival participants can see what they missed!

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*"There aren't too many cities that have two historic movie palaces able to each seat more than a thousand patrons and the anchoring historic hotel all within walking distance of each other. The two smaller theaters in the Chinese multiplex helped considerably as well."* - lzcutter

 

I agree. (I also admit a certain "selfishness" in wanting to see the Classic Film Festival back in Hollywood.) The idea of the Classic Film Festival being a self-contained experience that one immersed one's self into was very important to the planners of the event. That desire kept TCM from using other sites around town - like the Motion Picture Academy, The Cinerama Dome or the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood - which would necessitate travelling outside of the "festival zone". It really is an enhancement to the festival to have all the attendees remain in a compact area where the visitors are the dominant group in the neighborhood. The sense of community and camraderie that develops when everyone is one central location added to everyone's enjoyment.

 

But I would be interested in hearing from others around the country who know their cities/neighborhoods well about the facilities available in their hometowns that could provide a viable alternative to Hollywood as the site of a future Film Festival. If TCM is considering "smaller" festivals that could be staged around the country, as has been mentioned, it is possible that many other areas have a historic theater, a large hotel and a multiplex with additional screens all within a few (four) blocks of one another that could be taken over for two or three days.

 

Maybe 'patful' would attend if the Film Festival was held in Texas.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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

> But I would be interested in hearing from others around the country who know their cities/neighborhoods well about the facilities available in their hometowns that could provide a viable alternative to Hollywood as the site of a future Film Festival. If TCM is considering "smaller" festivals that could be staged around the country, as has been mentioned, it is possible that many other areas have a historic theater, a large hotel and a multiplex with additional screens all within a few (four) blocks of one another that could be taken over for two or three days.

 

Seattle certainly has the infrastructure to do it, but the Seattle International Film Festival runs for 3 1/2 weeks from mid-May through mid-June in 11 theaters this year, and that would impact heavily on theaters that would be willing to commit. That festival takes up all of the Landmark properties (owned by my favorite basketball-team owner, Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks (see how I slipped that in?)), which are almost all historic, the Cinerama, and the two multi-screen (27 total) complexes nearby. The core 5 - 6 of those theaters show 3 - 4 films/ weekday and 5 - 6/weekend day for 3 1/2 weeks.

 

What can I say? It rains. We need something to do indoors. But, at least all our theaters serve coffee (hint, hint, Hollywood).

 

But, really, Hollywood is Hollywood, and that's why it should be kept there. Besides, parking is much tougher here than in LA. The issue wasn't exaggerated in *Singles*.

 

For anyone interested, here's a link:

 

http://www.siff.net/festival/prelaunch.aspx

 

David

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I'm a native New Yorker. I live in one of the great cities in the world: New York. Tokyo,

Barcelona, Cairo, Paris, Brazil, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Athens etc and many others

are great cities.

 

It was a lovely bouquet for TCM to throw those five cities pre-Film Festival. But let's face it

...they ain't Hollywood. And Hollywood is where a festival and network dedicated to classic

film belongs. (Ha! You wanna go to Fort Lee? No disrespect to New Jersey intended!)

 

The vividly expressed accounts I've read here and blogged there show that this was a suc-

cess for TCM and a success for classic film lovers. I'd say it was money well-spent on both

fronts. Save your money folks, and come on out to where magic made movies. I know I will.

 

Hollywood.

 

See you there?

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New York is really the only other city which would make sense. Many stars have preferred NY to LA as their primary residence, the film industry has its origins in the NY area, and even Robert Osborne lives in NY. Many films have been shot on location in NY, and it would be a much cheaper and more convenient destination for the East Coast classic film fans. Not to beat a dead horse, but it might also be argued that NY has always been the financial center of the motion picture industry.

 

Edited by: finance on May 4, 2010 4:47 PM

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

> New York is really the only other city which would make sense. Many stars have preferred NY to LA as their primary residence, the film industry has its origins in the NY area, and even Robert Osborne lives in NY. Many films have been shot on location in NY, and it would be a much cheaper and more convenient destination for the East Coast classic film fans. Not to beat a dead horse, but it might also be argued that NY has always been the financial center of the motion picture industry.

>

> Edited by: finance on May 4, 2010 4:47 PM

finance, if they were doing a festival of Broadway musicals, I might be able to see how they could maybe think of doing it in NYC, but, seriously, when one thinks of New York City, movies are not the first thing to come to mind. Maybe not even the twenty-seventh. When I think of NYC, I think of Broadway, the Empire State Building, Times Square, The Met, that sort of thing, but I don't think of movies. When I think of the golden age of motion pictures, there is only one place in the world I think of...H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D! NYC may have the money...but Hollywood has the glamour! The pizzazz! The California sun!!!! Beachers! Surf! Etc. (God, I love L.A. and California!)

 

And while it may be cheaper for East Coast Classic film fans, it then becomes a case of not being cheaper for West Coast fans. And I think you can find hotels cheaper here in L.A. than in NYC at almost any time of the year (speaking from experience having been a frequent visitor to New York.)

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

> New York is really the only other city which would make sense. Many stars have preferred NY to LA as their primary residence, the film industry has its origins in the NY area, and even Robert Osborne lives in NY. Many films have been shot on location in NY, and it would be a much cheaper and more convenient destination for the East Coast classic film fans. Not to beat a dead horse, but it might also be argued that NY has always been the financial center of the motion picture industry.

 

 

Whatever.

 

You should probably tell that to all the idiots at Telluride and Sundance and Toronto, and, yes, Seattle, that dare offer bigger and better festivals than anything NYC has, finance.

 

David

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*Doesn't NY offer more classic film screenings than any other locale except LA, (maybe even more than LA?)*

 

Finance,

 

Just to add a different pov to the discussion, I don't think it's about NYC film bonafides. The director of the Film Forum was one of the people introducing films during the Film Festival. TCM looked at various cities, big and small, when they were in the research stage.

 

I think one of the big draws to Hollywood for TCM, history notwithstanding, is that there are two former movie palaces (Grauman's and the Egyptian) that could each seat over 1500 patrons as well as the two smaller theaters that are part of the Chinese multi-plex with a historic hotel across the street.

 

The two movie palaces were in walking distance of one another and having the hotel with Club TCM inside right across the street from the Chinese helped foster a real sense of community.

 

Those who stayed outside the Festival zone only had to drive in, come by subway or walk to the Festival zone. Once there, there was no reason to have to leave to drive to the Dome or the Billy Wilder or any of the other theaters around Los Angeles.

 

I think having everything within walking distance truly helped foster a sense of community among the film goers and I think that was part of TCM's decision to have the festival in Hollywood.

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No one is opposed to possible alternative sites for the festival. However, Hollywood has these advantages, let alone the convenience for the stars:

 

1. Affordable hotels. I belong to an organization which would love to hold its annual convention in New York but cannot find a hotel that offers both adequate convention space and reasonable rates.

 

2. Major airport with no need for rental car. This rules out attractive locales like Santa Fe. You can fly into LAX and go directly to the Roosevelt without needing to rent a car. Those who drove to the festival could leave their cars parked for four days because everything was within walking distance.

 

3. With the theaters so close together, if you missed one screening, you could easily get to another venue in time for another film. This was also good for people with limited mobility.

 

4. There were many options for quick and inexpensive meals. I believe there were seven fast-food places around the perimeter of the Mann's Chinese Theater (second floor of the open-air Hollywood & Highland mall), and many more within a block. An acceptable meal with drink for under $10 was not hard to find.

 

If you know of other locations that can also provide this combination of plus factors, by all means let the TCM people know.

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I think it would be possible to call into question that NYC has more classic film showings. You would have to fill me in on what NYC has. (It's funny, though, they say L.A. has more stage theatre productions than NYC, if you include all the small theatres.)

 

L.A. has a pretty good selection of places that show classic films (I know I will forget several, so lz or anybody else, please fill in): The Egyptian, The Aero, the Nuart, the Silent Cinema, Hollywood Forever showings at the cemetery, the different Arclight theatres in the chain usually have a night a week of a classic film, the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the Academy, the Linwood Dunn Theater on Vine, the Billy Wilder Theater, L.A. County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hollywood Heritage Museum, and the New Beverly Cinema, to name a few. As I said, there are likely lots more, but I can't think of them now.

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Tonight is the first chance I've had to post about my festival experience, and I have so many great memories to share. I got into Los Angeles shortly before the festival began, and took the opportunity to visit the El Capitan theatre (loved the "Alice" pre-show spectacle), the Griffith Observatory, Skylight Books and Clifton's Cafeteria (where I enjoyed a slice of banana cream pie made with tender California walnuts- yum!).

 

Thursday night, I went to see "A Star is Born" and my first thrill of the night happened at the concession stand where I was told, "Help yourself to drinks and popcorn- it's all free!" Woo hoo! Butter stains could have ruined my cocktail dress, but I grabbed some refreshments anyway. Then, I took my seat, and was awed when Martin Landau sat in the row behind me. I told him how much I love his work, and he was so gracious and warm. His guest that evening was Gretchen Becker, a film director whose latest short "Finding Grandma" features Landau, and I really enjoyed speaking with her as well. At this point, Robert Osborne comes out on stage, and asks Alec Baldwin to join him. The two men introduce the film, and the screening begins with a vintage news reel showing the original premiere of this version of "A Star is Born". As various movie stars appear on screen to share kind words about the film, the audience applauds each one with affection and enthusiasm, as if they were actually appearing before us. At this point, a gentleman joins Martin Landau behind me, and begins to impersonate some of the actors on screen. I thought, "Who is this guy?" After the feature begins, he continues to make occasional cracks, but he's genuinely funny, so it's not annoying. When the intermission comes, I turn around and am truly staggered to see that the color commentary I've been hearing is coming from Rich Little. Wow.

 

During the intermission of "A Star is Born", I see my chance to approach Robert Osborne and thank him for his contributions to TCM. I bolt over towards him, but at the last minute I'm cut off by a woman escorting a little bearded fellow. Once again, I think, "Who is this guy?" The woman steps in front of me, presents her friend and says, "Robert, this is Norman Jewison." Jewison then says, "I had to come and see her," and Osborne makes a nice remark about how Judy is just great in the film. So, I'm standing there half-wanting Norman Jewison to stop talking about Judy Garland and get out of my way, but half-wanting him to talk for hours and give some insight into his experiences working with her. After that conversation finishes up, I take the rare chance to thank Robert Osborne for his great work on TCM. I step back towards my seat and notice a crowd of people lined up behind me. Now, I knew that I was going to lose my mind over Robert Osborne at the festival, but I didn't know that literally hundreds of other people were also going to lose their minds over him. Day after day, I heard countless stories about how kind he was to all of the festival attendees who approached him.

 

I return to my seat, and even though I've seen the film before, the second half of "A Star is Born" is devastatingly heart-breaking. There really is an extra kick to seeing it on the big screen, and it is deeply moving. The lights come up, and I try to dry my eyes while hustling over to Mann's Chinese theatre number 3. While I wait for this show to begin, some folks share stories about the earlier screenings of "Dirigible" and "Neptune's Daughter", both of which sound wonderful. I wish I could have somehow experienced all of it. After a great introduction from a representative of New York's Museum of Modern Art, "Sunnyside Up" comes on-screen, and its charming story mends my broken heart. The film is truly a laugh riot, and the audience roars at some of the gags. After true love wins out, and the film ends, I join a crowd of people swarming towards Club TCM, but as soon as I step inside the Roosevelt, I head for my cozy bed. Coming to the TCM Film Festival was a really big financial investment for me, but the last thought I had before drifting off to sleep was, "I think I already got my money's worth from this pass."

 

That was just one night! It was an extraordinary festival experience.

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Before turf war breaks out, it was great reading your post, 24fps. It gets this thread back to where it started. You are yet another confirmation of how great the TCM Film Festival was, and how much attendees got out of the experience. Who can put a "price" on memories. Thanx for sharing yours. Share more of your other days there, if you have a chance. And thanx again TCM!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi David,

 

I'm one of the two guys from Toronto that chatted with you on the Paramount Studio tour a few days before the start of the festival... the one that mentioned Sunset Blvd as a favorite movie. It was so interesting seeing it a few days later at the festival. For some reason, I haven't visited these forums before today... visiting because I was curious if the date had been set for next year's festival since I'm planning on attending again. Wasn't April's festival amazing!?

 

I was interested in reading your comments because it sounds like you had a similar approach to the proceedings. I had visited LA & Hollywood only once before fresh out of university in 1984 (similar is seems to your time frame) and wanted to recreate old Hollywood in my mind not only through the film festival but by touring old sites in the 3 days before & 1 day after the festival. Brian & I rented a car and were able to go on some hikes in Runyon Canyon & Malibu and also visited Warner Bros Studio the day after the Paramount tour which we thought was great. I still feel on a bit of a high thinking back fondly on the experience (and being reminded of it through my yellow film canister keepsake from Paramount in my home office). Glad to hear that you enjoyed yourself. Are you planning a return visit next year?

 

Glenn

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Glenn,

 

Great to hear from you. It was an amazing experience. I still haven't posted any experiences during the festival itself, and now I'm busy with the Seattle Int'l Film Festival.

 

Saw *On the Town* yesterday. They're following a couple of different "archival" tracks, along with the standard indie programming - *The Film Foundation: 20 Years/20 Films* and *Seattle Celebrates Bernstein*. There are also a couple of interesting documentaries *How Sex Sold Hollywood* and *Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno*. And, they have a couple of works from 1959 & 1961 by Polish director Jerzy Kawalerowicz *(Mother Joan of the Angels* and *Night Train)*.

 

Seeing these films here really makes me appreciate the great work TCM did with the Classic Film Festival. I think SIFF gives short shrift to classic works. The projectionist yesterday was sub-par, the sound weak. At least the theaters are beautiful, and it is on the big screen.

 

I absolutely intend on making it next year, too. Though I'm going to make every effort to get into the Roosevelt this time around. Hopefully I'll see you guys there!

 

David

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