Up next was Funny Face at Grauman's Chinese. There was an interview with Stanley Donen by Robert Osborne before the screening. I always enjoy a nice Stanley Donen interview, he's very candid and doesn't sugar coat anything. He means what he says and says what he means, shoots from the hip. In regards to Funny Face he candidly told us that it was a challenge, he didn't have theater people, or show people, what he had was Audrey, Fred and Paris and the challenge was to fill the space and hold the interest, while also not going over budget. He also talked about his love of film and fascination with the screen. He thinks of film as an elastic medium and that they can be so many different things.
They also surprised Stanley with a birthday cake!
We all sang Happy Birthday and Robert asked him if he found any significance in the piano design, Stanley immediately said the 88 keys for his 88th birthday. There was also a wonderful video tribute to Stanley Donen. Seeing Fred Astaire dance on the big screen is always a treat and it was fun to introduce my mom to another movie she hadn't seen before. Her first comment after the movie, "wasn't Fred Astaire a little old for her?" Yes mom, but that's when we suspend our disbelief and focus on the pretty costumes, music and dancing.
Nothing Sacred starring Carole Lombard and Fredric March, it was introduced by Deborah Nadoolman Landis. Before the movie, Landis talked about the amazing Carole Lombard and the costumes and beautiful NY sets. I believe this was the first technicolor film shot in New York. I found this movie to be very humorous and a great showcase of Carole Lombard's talents. This was a fun movie to get to see for the first time at the festival.
in case you haven't noticed) and was so thrilled that Kim Novak who had been out of the spotlight for such a long time would be there to discuss both her career and work in the movie.
I found Kim Novak to be a little nervous and slightly guarded, while still kind and willing to discuss working with Alfred Hitchcock and the movie. She was interviewed by Robert Osborne who, as always, was a very calming presence. She said that she liked working with Hitchcock and that she was able to give up control when it was necessary. Robert asked about the very famous suit that she wore throughout the movie and Kim said that it felt like a strait-jacket and that it didn't feel comfortable, but she used that discomfort and made it work. She determined that it was good and right for the character.
Young Frankenstein, co-written and directed by the one and only Mel Brooks. He was also on hand for an interview before the movie. I had the enormous pleasure of getting to see The Producers at the first TCM Film Festival and hear Mel Brooks speak before the screening and knew that I had to see him again. He is so funny and engaging, he's what I always imagined a grandfather would be like (one of my grandfathers passed away before I was born and the other passed away when I was less than a year old). He kept saying how ridiculous we all were for staying up late and paying to watch his little movie, in fact to quote him, " you're fans, you're nuts." But I couldn't imagine a better way to end the day.
Mel started off the conversation by talking about having seen Frankenstein in 1931 when he was about 5 years old with his mother. When he got home from the movie he was he was so terrified of the monster he wanted to close all the windows so the monster wouldn't come and bite him, eat him and kill him. But his mother said that it was too hot to close all the windows in the apartment, and he explained again that he was scared the monster would come and bite him, so his mother sat him down and explained that, if the monster wanted to come and find him he'd have to take a train from Transylvania and find his way to Williamsburg, I guess humor ran his family.
The interview was equal parts entertaining and informative. He talked about the meetings he had at Columbia and their reaction to wanting to film it in black and white (they were not thrilled). He also talked about Gene Wilder having written the premise for Young Frankenstein, on the condition that he wouldn't also star in the movie (that did not come to pass). And he also let us know that the movie is 1/2 comedy and 1/2 tribute to James Whale, it's always great to discover an amazing contributor to the film industry is himself a fan and wants to honor the past.
|it's (almost) alive!|
|Weird to see them in color|
All in all this was another fabulous day at the TCM Classic Film festival. Going back through the pictures and trying to remember everything that happened is so wonderful and makes me even more excited (if that's even possible) for the next TCMFF.
Up next: Day 3 which includes: Auntie Mame, first thing in the morning, Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, Counsellor at Law, Singing in the Rain, and Marathon Man!