As I had briefly mentioned before, I’m very excited to be able to cover this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival as part of the press. The festival runs April 10-13 in Hollywood. After getting to peruse and stew over the schedule for a little while, here are my picks (full schedule here). I should preface this with my philosophy for picking this year, which is simply to try and see stuff I haven’t seen before!
The festival kicks off Thursday night with the Opening Night screening of Oklahoma! With that screening being reserved for certain levels of passholders, I’m looking at the other options in that time slot. There are some events in the afternoon at Club TCM as well.
Slot 1: I honestly might be at the El Capitan’s Throwback Thursday screening of The Lion King (big childhood favorite), but if not, I’ll probably be at Cheaper By the Dozen. 5th Avenue Girl is a fun film that’s also in this slot, but I just saw it recently at a retrospective.
Slot 2: Bachelor Mother – A new-to-me film that is a favorite for many others, and I love Ginger Rogers.
Slot 1: On Approval– It’s tough to pass up The Thin Man or Stagecoach on the big screen here, but this comedy sounded interesting.
Slot 2: Make Way for Tomorrow – One that’s been on my list for a long time, even though I hear it’s a tearjerker.
Slot 3: A Matter of Life and Death – I don’t think I’ve seen a Powell and Pressburger film yet, and this one comes highly recommended. Plus, acclaimed editor Thelma Schoonmaker will be in attendance to talk about her husband’s film. It was a little tough to pass up Meet Me In St. Louis with Margaret O’Brien in attendance.
Slot 4: A Conversation with Quincy Jones at Club TCM – My own interests have to do heavily with music and film, so this is a really wonderful opportunity to hear one of the greats speak about his work. I may have to duck out early to get into line for Harold Lloyd’s Why Worry.
Slot 5: Employees’ Entrance – Pre-Code. ‘Nuff said.
Slot 6 (Midnight Movie): Eraserhead- I have never seen this either, and apparently I may not be able to sleep afterwards, but I’m game.
Slot 1: Stella Dallas– So looking forward to finally seeing this. Barbara Stanwyck is another one of my favorites.
Slot 2: This is still a toss up for me. I may break my rule and see the new restoration of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town because I’m a Capra fanatic, or try I Remember Mama. But it’s probably going to be the former.
Slot 3: Everyone has a slot, or several, where the choices are insanely hard to make. I have How Green Was My Valley here because I haven’t seen it, plus Maureen O’Hara will be in attendance and that’s probably a once-in-my-lifetime kind of a thing. I’m sorely tempted by the Alan Ladd 1949 version of The Great Gatsby, which is definitely a hard-to-see film.
Slot 4: Kind of an awkward one schedule-wise. I want to see Hat Check Girl at 8pm, so that means either ducking out of something early, or seeing something and running over to try and get into the next screening. I’m tempted by both A Hard Day’s Night and Bell Book and Candle with Kim Novak in attendance, but will probably do either King Vidor’s The Stranger’s Return or Sirk’s Written on the Wind and then Hat Check Girl.
Slot 5: Noir time with The Naked City.
Slot 6: (Midnight Movie): Freaks. At this point I’ll probably be exhausted, but will go to this screening. Whether or not I stay awake is another question.
Slot 1: The Adventures of Robin Hood– This is one of my “it’s embarrassing you haven’t seen this” movies. What a fun way to start off the morning!
Slot 2: This slot is open right now. I might see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, or wait and see what the TBA ends up being.
Slot 4: The Quiet Man– after skipping Stagecoach I’ve got to get in a John Wayne film, and this is a favorite.
Slot 5: This is a toss-up as well. I just recently saw The Lodger on the big screen, but here it will have live accompaniment, which is always a treat. Or I might do The Lady from Shanghai, which I haven’t seen.
Closing Night Party!
I’m not a veteran compared to some of my fellow bloggers, who have been able to go each year, but I was able to go last year on a Matinee pass, and did standby screenings at night. For anyone who might be doing that, or is interested in trying to get in to individual screenings on standby, last year I had no issues getting into everything I wanted to, so it’s definitely worth a try. You do need to have cash with you, and students get half off standby tickets.
The venues are spread out within about a two block stretch of Hollywood Blvd., so walking from the Chinese to the Egyptian, Roosevelt Hotel, etc. is easy, and probably no more than a 10 minute walk depending on how fast you travel. For any events taking place at the Ricardo Montalban Theater on Vine, it’s probably about a 20 minute walk. The Metro Red Line train is an option to get down there as well. There’s a station right at Hollywood and Highland, and it’s only one stop over to Hollywood and Vine. A single ride is $1.50, so cheaper than a cab.
Weather-wise, it should be pretty pleasant. Some of the venues, like the Egyptian, will line up outside before screenings, so you could be standing in the sun for a while. On the flip side, the great part about standing in line is you finally get to meet your classic film family, people you’ve met through social media who you finally get to see in person for the first time. That’s probably the best part about the TCMFF, the chance to interact with people who all share the same interest and passion. So I look forward to hanging out with those who are coming out for the festival and seeing a lot of great films!