In 89 days (if I counted correctly) thousands of classic movie fans will gather in Los Angeles for this year’s Turner Classic Movies Film Festival (April 28 – May 1). The excitement started building for this year’s three-day film marathon as soon as last year’s event concluded. We’re excited because we can’t wait to see our friends again. We can’t wait to learn about the movie schedule. We can’t wait to see what classic stars will be invited. We can’t wait for the interviews, gatherings and panels. But most of all – for many of us – we can’t wait to get close to Robert Osborne who embodies why we want to be there.
Mr. Osborne is being honored tomorrow with the inaugural William Cameron Menzies Award presented and chosen by the Art Directors Guild. Named after the first art director to be bestowed with the title of production designer, William Cameron Menzies whose work has been spotlighted this month on TCM, the award is recognizing Osborne for the many roles he’s played through the years – historian, columnist, critic and host – through which he has fostered the art and legacy of film.
As much as I admire Robert Osborne for his knowledge of film, my affection for him is born of the fact that that he’s as down to Earth as he is the epitome of class. I’ve met him a few times – ever so briefly – but on every occasion when he stopped to say “hello” I’ve been the only person there. If you think of how present he is, how “in the moment” he is during his interviews on TCM know that he’s exactly the same way to fans. His love of the movies, their history and the players is infectious. We’ve welcomed him into our homes regularly since TCM launched in 1994 and although huge movie stars are in awe of him, although his circle of friends include the likes of Eva Marie Saint who will present him the Menzies Award, and despite the fact that his own life in the entertainment industry has been fascinating Robert is somehow also one of us, a fan who loves the movies and movie stars. He is our own in many ways and I’m sure I speak for all classics fans when I say I couldn’t be happier that he’s being recognized in this manner.