Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lead up to the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival

I've decided to dive right in with my lead up to this year's TCM Classic Film Festival.  I do plan on updating the blog with pictures and commentary from the 2012 Fest, sometime soon, but for now I'm gonna get 2013 underway.

This post will contain some events leading up to the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival (AKA- the best 4 days of my life) and my initial plans for the festival.

Leading up to the festival this year there were some very exciting events around LA.  Oh, I should mention I've moved back to Los Angeles.  I moved in July of 2012 for a Preschool Special Education teaching position.  I don't really want to get into that now, that would require an entire post or maybe another entire blog, let's just say it takes up a lot of my time.  Anyway, The New Beverly had a Charlie Chaplin Double Feature of 'The Gold Rush' and 'The Kid' on Sunday, April 21st.  I've been very busy this year and don't usually get to do things for fun, but I decided to reward myself with a trip to the New Beverly for this Double Feature and I'm really glad I did.

Both of the films looked spectacular and it was so wonderful to see these films with a crowd.  I noticed that a few parents brought their children to the screenings and I think that was one of my favorite things.  There was something so lovely about hearing a child genuinely laugh at all of Charlie Chaplin's shenanigans.  Now that I've gotten back into the swing of going out on school nights and not being completely preoccupied with work, I hope to go to more screenings around LA, especially at the New Beverly.

 On Tuesday April 23rd, I ended up going to the Wayne's World reunion at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, it was an academy screening and reunion.  I had heard about it through the Going To TCM Classic Film Festival group on Facebook.  Originally, I had read that it was going to be a screening with a Q&A with Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey, which is of course awesome, but it turned out that it was Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, Lorne Michaels, Rob Lowe and the movie's director, Penelope Spheeris.  And those were not the only people involved in the movie who were there.  While waiting for the panel to begin I spotted, Tia Carerre, Lara Flynn Boyle and Brian Doyle-Murray in the audience. 

The emcee for the evening was Hawk Koch, who is the current president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and who was a producer on the film.  He started the night off by drawing attention to the number of people who had worked on the film who were in attendance that night.  He listed names upon names and various jobs, some of the people who showed up were the wardrobe and hair people, grips, cast members etc.  All in all there were about 20 or so people who had worked on the film in attendance.  Mr. Koch said that this was the biggest turnout of people who worked on a film to show up to a reunion screening.  He then invited all the panel members onto the stage and they began.  It seemed like this was the first time in a long time these people had been together to discuss this movie.  Some funny tidbits:
Mike Meyers didn't know how to drive, so he took driving lessons during the shoot.  His name was perpetually left off the list at the studio so he constantly thought the movie wasn't really getting made and he was in the wrong place.
This was Rob Lowe's first experience with comedy and he has Lorne Michaels and Mike Meyers to thank for his current comedy career.
They did some test screenings and were worried about the reception at a dinner after the screening a numbers expert told them, "Don't worry, it's Ghostbusters numbers."  Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey had a big laugh about remembering this and kept repeating the phrase.

At one point Mike Meyers talked about a couple jokes that he didn't enjoy, he thought that they weren't organic and those jokes were the girl (Lara Flynn Boyle) hitting a parked car with a bike and the Terminator joke.  He didn't feel like those were organic jokes, but he warmed up to them eventually.  They also discussed the Stairway to Heaven joke and how that came about, Lorne Michael and the director joked that it was due to a licensing issue, they could really only use 3-5 notes or the song.  Oh and this was really funny, at one point the director talked about how much fun they had on the set and that Mike Meyers would do impressions while scenes were being set up.  One of those impressions was of the...I want to say DP, the narcoleptic DP.  So Mike Meyers did the impression for us and it was Goldmember from Austin Powers!  He actually said "smoke and a pancake" in that voice.  This was particularly funny for me because that phrase has become a joke within my family.  We say it quite often.

In the end Lorne Michaels explained why he thought the movie was so successful.  He equated movies and movie stars to the zoo, he said you usually go to the zoo to see the beautiful, powerful lions and tigers, those are the big draws, then you make your way over to see the bears, which are also beautiful to look at.  But sometimes you just want to go straight for the monkeys, at this point Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey got up out of their seats and pretended to have a little pow-wow and said things to each other over the mics like, "did he just call us monkeys?"  Should we be insulted by that?"  "I think it's ok."  And then they went and sat down.  The audience laughed very hard and with that they said their good-byes, got their standing ovations and then the movie started.  This was a really wonderful experience and I'm so glad that I got to attend.

Now, the part many of you have probably been waiting for, getting ready for the film festival.  On Wednesday, April 24th, after school I made my way over to the Roosevelt Hotel.  I wanted to pick up my bag and get my cousin's pass so I wouldn't have to worry about it once the festival got underway.  I walked into the hotel and the first thing I encountered was Ben Mankiewicz.  He was coming down the stairs wrestling with 2 or 3 suitcases.  I was immediately starstruck and also decided to say something clever, I don't know what is up with that lately and what I usually say isn't very clever, so I said 'you couldn't find someone to help you with that?'  He laughed and said, 'it's ok'  So I went on my way.  I got the pass for my cousin and picked up my bag.

Here are some pictures of the fun stuff contained inside my bag.  This year was a treat because they included a TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection DVD, I was lucky enough to get the Marx Brothers collection.  This is a set that I have been thinking about getting for a few years now, so I'm thankful to have it.  Another treat this year was a poster.  I actually didn't open up the poster tube until later in the week and imagine my surprise to find a poster autographed by BOTH Ben Mankiewicz AND Robert Osborne, so lovely.  I've been really happy with my Essentials level pass for the last three years and this was a special added bonus.

There was also a beautiful notebook, which was a nice surprise and a mini-flashlight (like last year).  It looks as though they enjoyed using the samurai and dancing feet image this year.  My favorite was the couple trying to kiss, I took many pictures of it before the screening of Lady and the Tramp and also may have purchased the mug and hoodie with that image from the online TCM Shop.  I may have gone a little overboard on keepsakes this year.  I tend to do that.  On Wednesday while I was checking out the boutique and Club TCM I stopped by the information booth to find out about the pins they'd be giving out for social media this year.  I was able to get 3 of them right off the bat, but had to return the next day to get the remaining 3.  Reception in the lobby of the Roosevelt was not very good, it has never been, so I couldn't all of my
apps up and running.  Luckily, I was able to get all of my pins the next day.  If anything I am a complete-ist.  You can also see some of the pins, the football player one was included in my bag, I purchased the kissing one :).  I also purchased the pen.  I told you, I went a little overboard.  They are all resting upon the the pocket-sized program that was available in many locations throughout the festival and was very helpful for reading about unknown films.  After checking out the Roosevelt I decided to grab dinner and head over to the ArcLight for yet another fun screening.  Again thanks to the Going To TCM Classic Film Festival group on Facebook.  This time it was AFI's Night at the Movies.  They were screening 12 amazing films and each film was to be introduced by a star of the film.  I was definitely conflicted, I didn't know if I wanted to weep in public, go to the screening for the celebrity, too many choices!  After hemming and hawing, I had made my choice, Blade Runner introduced by Harrison Ford.  I wanted to see this because Harrison Ford was the subject of one of my first 'Actor Phases' when I was younger.  I watched the Mosquito Coast for him!  I tried to purchase tickets right when they went on sale, but alas I was too slow and couldn't get tickets for that screening.  Since I was using my phone and felt nervous about not being to get ANY tickets, I quickly bought a ticket for Moonstruck, with Cher introducing it.
I've only seen Moonstruck 1 or 2 times, but have always enjoyed it.  I'm glad that I selected this, it was interesting to see Cher in person and she shared some fun stories.  She also seemed very down to earth and soft spoken.  One thing that I thought was interesting that she shared with us, is that she felt so relaxed and laid back on the set she never thought it would be a good movie.  She thought they were having too much fun and not "acting' and working so it couldn't be good.  She had just gotten done with 2 very intense movies so this was a nice change for her.  She worked on her accent all of the time and got along really well with all of the cast members and crew.  She also made it sound like she fought for the casting of Nicholas Cage, which is mighty interesting.

All in all these events were fabulous, a great rehearsal and warm up for the fabulous TCM Classic Film Festival, it reminded me of some things I'd need to do for the actual festival, I realized that I had neglected to bring my good camera, something I definitely wouldn't do for the film festival, I practiced staying out past 10pm and I got used to classic film crowds again.  This was a great way to get ready for what I was about to experience over the next 4 days.

I know most people posted about their game plan BEFORE the festival, but apparently this is how I roll.  Here was my game plan for the festival, you will notice in future posts that my game plan was slightly altered.  When the schedule for the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival was first released I was over the moon! And completely overwhelmed.  It's hard for me to make decisions in general and very difficult for me to make decisions about classic films specifically.  I had decided to make a tentative plan, but then see where the festival took me, I've learned over the last 3 years that it's not worth it to fully commit.

I was immediately conflicted about the opening night movies.  I have always enjoyed the opening night movie, red carpet experience, but was a little wary that they hadn't announced a guest and my belief that Omar Shariff and Barbra Streisand were going to make a surprise appearance was waning.  Plus, attending Funny Girl meant missing the second wave of movies Thursday night, so I was tempted to skip Funny Girl and see Ninotchka and Summertime instead.  I couldn't decide between My Fair Lady and Libeled Lady on Friday morning, next would be Notorious, then The Great Escape and On the Waterfront.  The plan for Saturday had been, first Cape Fear, then Lady and the Tramp, after that I couldn't decide between Guys and Dolls or On Golden Pond, followed by the The Lady Eve and then Mildred Pierce. Then on Sunday I had planned on seeing Gilda, then Kismet, It Happened One Night and end the festival with Buster Keaton and The General.  I ended up sticking pretty close to my schedule, but you'll see how it changed if and when I get my next post up, which I'm hoping will be soon!!

Thanks all for bearing with me and my procrastination.  I hope to get my posts and pictures for the Film Festival up soon!


  1. Diane - Wow you got a whole lot of cool swag! This was a great post and am looking forward to hearing more about your TCM festival experience. It was great meeting you there.

    1. Thanks Raquel! It was so nice meeting you there too. Thanks for the compliment and the support! I need it pretty much all the time. I enjoyed reading all your updates too, I'm so impressed that you updated while attending the festival. Thanks again.