Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 Turner Classic Film Festival

I, once again, attended my favorite event in Los Angeles, the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival.

This year, the festival had a bit of rain but it didn't dampen the spirits of the classic film fans. The festival had a multitude of options and though I could not make it to everything they had or even everything I wanted to see, I still had a wonderful time.

The Turner Classic Film banner that hangs over the Kodak Theater on Hollywood Blvd.

The first film I saw was the Howard Hawks, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn team in Bringing Up Baby. This film is one of my all time favorites, so seeing it on the big screen, like it aught to be seen was such a thrill. If you get the chance, see it this way. The already hilarious and well plotted scenes open up more for the eye. The film was there as part of an "architecture in film" exhibition. Truly a delight.
Robert Osbourne and Stanely Donen in the Egyptian Theater 

My film festivities were put on a slight hold for Thursday and Friday due to school and my family was in town. I unfortunately couldn't be in three places at once, so I missed Young Frankenstein and the Q&A with my hero, Mel Brooks. I hope that someone will screen this movie on the big screen soon, I'm dying to see it. Maybe Cinespia at Hollywood forever might do it, who knows?

On Saturday, a schoolmate gave me his matinee pass so I could take my sister to the festival. She had never been and she's not normally a huge black&white/classic film fan, but I convinced her that Casablanca was going to be worth the venture and that it would mean a lot to me if she would go. Well, we had such a blast! I don't know if I've been that happy in a long time. I was in my favorite place, watching Ingrid Bergman in a 70th Anniversary restored edition of the film and the host was Leonard Maltin. We sat in Grauman's and she told me that she was having a great time. I could have died right there. I was welling up with tears, tears of joy, but it was such a sincere and fantastic memory.
My beautiful sister, Erin, waits in line with me for "Casablanca"

In the lobby at Grauman's they had dresses and costume gowns in glass cases from various films. Here are some photos of the dresses. Just another, new added touch to the TCM Film Fest a much appreciated bit of history and it totally brings the films to life.

The Gowns and Costumes that were on display and a photo of my sister at #TCMFF

After my family flew back to the east coast, I luckily didn't have to worry about post visit blues. Sunday, I decided to fill my dance card with movie after movie. I started with The Black Narcissist, starring Deborah Kerr and cinematography by Jack Cardiff. I had never seen the film and it was spectacular on the big screen. Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese's editor and widow of the film's director, Michael Powell, talked after the film. It was wonderful to hear her talk about her husband, the film and her work.
Robert Osbourne claps for the director of "Charade," Stanley Donen

Stanley Donen (left), Ingrid Bergman and an unnamed hair stylist  on the set of "Indiscreet"

I then made my way to Charade, Stanley Donen's comedic film starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. I could have melted into the seat in the Egyptian theater. I love Stanley Donen films... Singin' In the Rain, Two For the Road and of course, Indiscreet. He is the type of director I'd like to be. His stories incorporate music, dancing, comedy, drama and life. So well done. I've met him once and heard him talk several times now, he's an inspiration. Charade was divine, as always. I'm now on an Audrey Hepburn bender, trying to watch everything in her canon. It's an enjoyable adventure, I advise doing it.

Robert Osbourne welcomes director Stanley Donen

After Charade and some California Pizza Kitchen to go (If you go to this film festival, know where the restaurants are... You can hit them up before going to the next film. Oh! And always have cash, the popcorn people at the Egyptian don't do plastic!), I went to the screening of The Pink Panther. I had never seen this film (I know, I know...) and I loved it. Blake Edwards didn't have to work very hard for my attention. I'm a huge fan of Breakfast At Tiffany's, which I saw last year when Julie Andrews spoke after the film... and The Pink Panther was a wonderful addition to my comedy quiver. I plan on watching Return of the Pink Panther soon because I've heard it's the best and I felt like the first one had a huge set up and not a lot of Peter Sellers. I'd like to see more of him.

Robert Osbourne interviews Robert Wagner from "The Pink Panther"

I was going to stay at the festival for another film, but I was too exhausted. I had planned on springing some cash on Annie Hall or Auntie Mame, but decided to go buy some DVD's at Amoeba Records instead. I bought Charade, Two For the Road and Breakfast At Tiffany's. Worth the buy.

I plan on going again next year. I hope that USC SCA gets the passes again (though I wish they were classic badges like the first year and not matinee, but I can't look a gift horse in the mouth). I will be in school for another year, so it's one sheer advantage!

 Audrey Hepburn's gown from Sabrina at Club TCM

 The Club TCM bar 
 Club TCM panel area
Inside the Roosevelt during the TCM Film Festival

The famous Roosevelt Hotel where Club TCM is stationed

If you were at the festival or have any stories to share, please feel free to comment or tweet at me @alexis_morrell I'd love to hear it!

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About Me

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An avid Ingrid Bergman fan, I am a student of her life and work as well as film, filmmaking and Classic Film in general. I have my M.F.A. in TV/Film Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and have been making a living in the business they call show. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexis_morrell