Turner Classic Movies released the schedule for the upcoming TCM Film Festival (TCMFF) over a week ago.
Then there was frenzy. Twitter was instantly abuzz and I was in the midst of it, reading everything and anything I could get my hands on. Many bloggers published their personal plans and picks and many others tweeted images of their printed schedules marked up and ready for action. In the meantime, I glanced at it – got palpitations – put it aside. Then I just held onto it. I ruminated. I stewed. I mediated. I contemplated. And in the final analysis all I can do is speculate about what will actually be. But I gave it a hell of a try and the list, my plans for the TCMFF follows…
Thursday, April 25th:
- Looks like I’ll be a fixture of Club TCM at the Roosevelt Hotel during the afternoon of the first day, leading up to the Opening Night Party, which I plan on attending for only a bit before heading off TO THE MOVIES…
- Ernst Lubitsch’s, Ninotchka attended by Nicola Lubitsch – I adore this film – Garbo laughs and I want to be there! – one of the greatest romantic comedies ever made, in my opinion with an outstanding supporting cast. You can read a bit more of my commentary on it here, if interested. My second choice is Stanley Kubrick’s, The Killing.
- William A. Wellman’s, Safe in Hell is next attended by William Wellman, Jr. and Donald Bogle. I know little about this film but since it’s Wellman and takes place in hell it should be a great ride.
I must add that I’m a huge admirer of Barbra Streisand and adore Funny Girl, the film chosen to premiere the festival this year. My heart will break a little to not be at that event and screening. I considered grabbing a spot on the bleachers or requesting red carpet access, since I have media credentials. But both those choices underwhelmed me when I think about the doors closing on the screening of Funny Girl with me outside and I’ve missed two other valuable screenings. And so it goes.
Friday, April 26
- I’m leaning…leaning for Charles Laughton’s, stunning The Night of the Hunter! I’m as excited to see this film on the big screen as any other. It’s probably on my all-time top ten “big screen wishes.” If I have to sleep in front of The Egyptian Theater, trample children or stomp on old ladies this one is a MUST. There is a bit of heartache here though as Jack Conway’s, Libeled Lady is playing at the same time (inhale/exhale).
- Heading over to Club TCM for “A Conversation with Carl Davis and Kevin Brownlow.”
- Back at The Egyptian for one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films, Notorious, which features one of my favorite screen kisses of all time. (By the way, I’m figuring putting all that “my favorite” out there will tip movie karma my way).
- Back to Club TCM for “Hollywood Home Movies,” which sounds like loads of fun and a chance to meet/see Mitzi Gaynor and Fay McKenzie.
- The Egyptian again (not sure how that happened) for Clarence Badger’s, It, starring Clara Bow for a “presentation that will feature a live performance of the orchestral score commissioned by Photoplay Productions for the Thames Silents series, conducted by its composer, Carl Davis.” That sounds thrilling and will be my very first big-screen silent film with orchestral accompaniment experience. My favorite! 😉 Although in truth I’d adore watching The Twelve Chairs, which is being screened opposite It and may well try for it – Twelve Chairs, not It. Problem is that with Mel Brooks in attendance it’s highly unlikely I’d make it for this one if I take part in the “Hollywood Home Movies,” which I really want to do.
- I then step foot in Grauman’s for the first time ever for Elia Kazan’s, On the Waterfront, which features an appearance by Eva Marie Saint. And even as I type this I’m tearing up.
- I end my second day at TCMFF with Edward D. Wood Jr.’s, Plan 9 from Outer Space. PK, who am I kidding, cannot wait for this one either!
Saturday, April 27
THE toughest day of the schedule for me and I’m unsure of many of these choices. But I venture forth…
- To the Chinese Multiplex 1 for Bugs Bunny’s 75th Birthday Bash with Leonard Maltin and Jerry Beck. I’m simply mad about the rabbit!
- Alfred Hitchcock’s, The Lady Vanishes at the Chinese Multiplex 4 offers an opportunity to see Norman Lloyd up close, an actor I greatly admire. However, the screening of Frank Capra’s, The Donovan Affair, a film I’ve never seen and “A Conversation with Tippi Hedren” at Club TCM are close seconds.
- Next is a screening of Mark Rydell’s, On Golden Pond and chance to see Jane Fonda up close and personal, a consideration since I missed her handprint/footprint ceremony at Grauman’s early.
- On to The Egyptian for Ingmar Bergman’s, The Seventh Seal and a tribute to Max von Sydow with the star in attendance. Alternate at this time is the 60th Anniversary presentation of George Stevens’, Shane, which is a must-see big screen Western. Host of Essentials Jr., Bill Hader will be in attendance. Tough choice.
- Then on to a most coveted screening and a personal favorite – Michael Curtiz’, Mildred Pierce with star, Ann Blyth in attendance for a tribute in her honor. This one’s a big slap!
- I end this day with what I consider one of the most terrifying films ever made, Erle C. Kenton’s, The Island of Lost Souls. “Are we not men?” Jaysus!
Sunday, April 28
- By this morning I expect to be “Cock-eyed! All cock-eyed!” which is perfect for a screening of Charles Vidor’s, compelling, Gilda – another film I’m excited about seeing on a big screen. Debra Winger will be in attendance at this screening, which is yet another thrill as I’m a big admirer of her work.
- Next is another conundrum – The “big ticket” screening seems to be Stanley Kramer’s, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World at the Cinerama Dome, which was dampened by the recent death of Jonathan Winters, beloved jack-of-many-talents who was to be on the panel. Hoping not to sound cold though, I think the rest of the list expected to be in attendance is still worth a wait in line – Barrie Chase, Marvin Kaplan, Mickey Rooney and my favorite Carl Reiner. So, I intend to be on that line. The problem is this screening is opposite two Club TCM events I’m also very interested in attending, “Women of Early Hollywood” and “Hollywood’s Silent Echoes.” Ain’t fittin’!
- Now I head on over to, where else? The Egyptian for the world premiere of the new, TCM original documentary on the life and career of Richard D. Zanuck, Don’t Say No Until I Finish Talking.
- Finally, I’m hoping to end my 2013 TCMFF filmgoing experience with the “World premiere restoration of actor/director Buster Keaton’s death-defying and hilarious action-comedy about a southern train engineer trying to save the loves of his life—his train and his girlfriend—from the hands of Union troops. This presentation will feature a live musical score written and performed by the world-renowned Alloy Orchestra.” (TCM) – The General. My close second choice here is John Huston’s, The African Queen another I wouldn’t mind as a final screening for this event.
PHEW! I’m exhausted from this planning business but can barely stand the excitement.
I’m goin’ Hollywood people…
Stay tuned as I’ll be covering the TCMFF in some capacity on this site or follow me on twitter @CitizenScreen for pictures and snippets of whatever I can take in. I warn that I want it all!
I end this with a reminder to myself…I’m going to TCMFF for the movies. They are first and foremost. However, as a life-long fan of all that is Hollywood, I want to soak in that part of it as well. So my planned schedule is not film-heavy, by some standards. I want a balance of all that is the TCMFF. And with that in mind I will arrive…with heart in hand, hope alive and looking forward to what dreams may come…
I mentioned some other bloggers who also published their picks for the TCMFF and because I’ve so enjoyed reading their choices and the “whys” behind them, I thought I’d share links to a few as alternates to my own picks noted in this post:
Cinematically Insane (a must read for everyone whether you’re going to the TCMFF or not)