Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 3 of 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival

A year late and a dollar short...I don't know how or why this took me so long to type.  I'm gonna blame finishing grad school, traveling and being a substitute teacher.  However, I should've found the time to sit down and devote an hour or 2 to ranting and raving about the greatest classic movie experiences of my life, second only to 2010's Classic Film Festival!  So here we go, the much anticipated, long awaited Day 3 update! :)

From The Hollywood Revue
Day 3 became an accidental Charles Ruggles movie marathon day.  It started with, This is the Night, which was quite the little gem of a movie.  I had written in my notes that it may have been my favorite movie of the festival, or at least a close second to The Cameraman.  Anyway, the screening began with an interview with Cary Grant's daughter, Jennifer Grant.  She seemed like a lovely, well spoken woman with many fond memories of her father.  I did buy her book, Good Stuff, but I have to admit that I haven't had a chance to read it.  I should've brought it as my plane book this year, anyway I digress.  The man interviewing her, Foster Hirsch, seemed to be trying to get her to spill something or say something negative or disparaging about her father.  More specifically he seemed to want her to say that it was a mistake for her father to take a break from acting when she was born.  But instead she shared nothing but positive, lovely things about her father and of course she appreciated that he took the time off to raise her.  Maybe the interviewer was looking for a scandal.  Jennifer Grant talked about being out in public with her father and ultimately discovering him as a movie star.  She hadn't realized this about him growing up, and she loves that she has his movies to revisit now.  All in all a very sweet interview and maybe me very interested in the book.  Has anyone read it?  Thoughts?  Feelings?

 Anyway! back to the movie, this was a very silly love...square?!  I guess, starring Cary Grant, Roland Young, Lili Damita and Thelma Todd and co-starring Charles Ruggles.  Very funny plot with cheating husbands, fake wives and trips to Italy.  This pre-code film really had it all, I'm very thankful that I got to see it in a theater with the crowd, if anyone has the opportunity to see it, run, don't walk :).

After This is the Night, I made my way over to The Egyptian Theater for a screening of The Parent Trap, which also included a tribute to Haley Mills.  I have always, always loved the Parent Trap, and not just because I share a birthday with the twins (November Twelfth), but I've just honestly loved it.  I loved the twins, I thought Maureen O'Hara was beautiful! Brian Keith seemed like the most laid back Dad and Charles Ruggles looked like the best Grandfather anyone could ever have.  This was one of my first "old" movie loves, before I became a classic movie fiend!  So I knew this was one screening I couldn't miss.  And it ended up being a screening many people didn't want to miss:
Luckily I was able to get in and get a seat!  The tribute was led by Leonard Maltin, he first briefly spoke about her and then a little retrospective played that touched on her all of her memorable roles and highlighted her career.  It was quite a treat to see this tribute and it made me think of Haley Mills as more than just the girl from The Parent Trap, she had truly accomplished a great deal throughout her career.  Haley Mills then came up and looked viably touched by the tribute and looked to be on the verge of tears! She was very insightful and shared a great deal about her career, her friendship with the Disney family.  It was great to see her be so candid.  And then seeing The Parent Trap on the big screen, what a thrill!  My camera was a little wonky for these pictures, it seems to always misbehave in the Egyptian Theater.

The screening and tribute went a little longer than scheduled and that meant that I missed out on the beginning of a panel I had wanted to attend, but that also meant that I had some time to grab lunch and meet up with a friend of mine.  My friend Justin (who came to see Saturday Night Fever with me last year) stopped by the Roosevelt Hotel and we grabbed lunch at 25 Degrees in the lobby of the hotel.  Interestingly enough the TVs in the restaurant were tuned to TCM and I half watched An American in Paris.  However, it was wonderful to take a break to eat a real meal and have the opportunity to see my friend!  I think it was kind of lucky that we hadn't planned on going to a screening together, because I don't know if he would've been able to get in this year!  It seemed like all the screenings were at capacity and it seemed as if everyone had passes, I wonder how many individual tickets were sold for screenings in 2011.  I also wonder if there will be any opportunities for non-passholders to get into movies for the 2012 festival! I'll keep an eye out for it.

After a glorious lunch with Justin I headed over to the screening I had been anticipating the most!!  The Camerman with a LIVE orchestra!!  Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks Orchestra to be exact.  I had never seen a Buster Keaton movie in a theater before, nor had I seen any with a live orchestra!  And on top of that I had NEVER seen this Buster Keaton movie.  I was really looking forward to this!  I got in line super-duper early and actually ended up behind an organist who plays organ for silent movies at movie theaters both in NYC and on Long Island, I should've totally gotten his number or did a better job of remembering his name so that we could be best buds and I'd go see all the movies he plays for, but alas I'm not good at making connections, with humans.

Well this movie did not disappoint!  I absolutely loved and adored the movie, Buster! The orchestra, just everything about the screening.  The movie is so freaking sweet, Buster would've done anything to win that girl's affections and the scene in the changing room!  I was laughing so hard, along with everyone else in the theater, here's a little glimpse of it!
I never wanted the movie to end, but of course as all good things do, it had to.  The orchestra concluded the film by pulling out pork pie hats and it turned out one of them was a Buster Keaton original.  Oh and I neglected to mention that before the film they showed a Burns and Allen short that was simply delightful, I don't think I'd ever seen George Burns as a young man, he has kind of always been an old man to me, so it was amazing to see him in his youth and what a rare opportunity to see him interact with Gracie, in a movie theater, in 2011.

This concludes my Saturday at the Film Festival, I wasn't able to make it to the last block of movies.  Instead, I went to a 10 year!! reunion, I can't believe it has been 10 years, but it was for an Acappella group that began my freshman year of college, I wasn't actually in said acappella group, but many of my friends were in the group and it was a very large part of my college experience.  And it was quite fortuitous that it was the same weekend that I was in LA for the film festival.  It ended up being for the best cause I got to see so many wonderful friends who I, otherwise, may not have seen during this trip and I couldn't possibly have chosen between Gaslight, Shall We Dance and/or One, Two, Three :).  And!! it turned out that one of my acquaintances from college had worked on the restoration of West Side Story, which I was planning on seeing the very next day at the festival.  So all around a glorious Day 3/ Saturday at the 2011 Classic Film Festival!  Stay tuned for Day 4, there may even be a video involved.  Woo!

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