Thursday, April 17, 2014

2014 TCM Classic Film Festival: Pre-festival festivities

This year's TCM Classic Film Festival kicked off a little earlier for me than in previous years.  I stopped by the Roosevelt Hotel Wednesday after work.  I wanted to scope out Club TCM and pick up my bag and program.  And also check out the boutique to see if there were any items I wanted to purchase (shockingly there were).  While at the Roosevelt I ended up catching a glimpse of Ben Mankiewicz.  This year I decided to stare at him and then kind of silently and awkwardly say "hi."  Last year I saw him wrestling some suitcases up the steps and I asked him if he needed help.  As you can see I'm really good at interacting with other humans. 
Love The Beatles!

Upon checking in, I got my festival bag and some other exciting goodies.  I was told that since I had attended the festival for all 5 years I was treated to the Conversations with Robert Osborne DVD and accompanying letter.  I was very touched!

And! Since I had used my Citicard to purchase my pass I also got this signed poster. It was exciting to get all of these things.  It was so unexpected. I ended up getting a second one through strange circumstances, perhaps I will do a giveaway or something.  I'll try to put that together.

I then made my way home so that I could get ready for the 2 tweet-ups I was planning on attending.  I also checked out the items in my festival bag:
This year it included the a beautiful book with a welcome letter from Mr. Osborne and great articles about movies that were screened this year and included Robert Osborne's top 20 moments with TCM.  A Bonhams guide, the 2013 edition of Noir City and The TCM Greatest Classic Films Family edition (fitting for the theme this year).

I was surprised and thrilled to be invited to the TCM tweet-up this year.  I decided that I would try to be more social and outgoing this year.  I tend to be a bit on the shy side or really just reactionary when it comes to social interactions, but it was such a treat to put so many faces to names and to connect with other classic film fans. And it was easy to engage with all of the wonderful classic film fanatics that I had the pleasure of meeting.  At the first meet up I spent a lot of time chatting with Jeff (@jlundenberger), Kristen (@salesonfilm), and TCM's own Scott (@bbunny1940).  I also got to meet Jessica (@hollywoodcomet) and chat more with Raquel (of Out of the Past fame).  There was also a very challenging trivia contest and an opportunity to chat with the TCM Party people.  All in all it was a great meet-up.

I also had a very strange moment at the first tweet up of the night.  At one point I was speaking with Mr. Mankiewicz, which is surprising in it of itself.  I was asking him which movies he was going to introduce and I asked him about Ryan O'Neal cancelling and then Illeana Douglas came over and tried to take a selfie with him, but it was dark and they needed the flash.  So I offered to take the picture of them, it turned into quite a to-do.  Illeana looked great in each picture, but Ben was having some trouble keeping his eyes open.  So I tried a couple of different ways to help Ben out so that he had his eyes open for the picture, I counted down from 3, tried saying "open" when he needed to be looking (we have to do this with one of my brothers too, cause he can never keep his eyes open for pictures).  I think overall it took about 10 tries to get a good one.  When I got home I was surprised to find:

It was exciting to have been the photographer for that shoot.  It was also fun to interact with Ben and Illeana on a very human level.  I'm such big fans of what they both do for classic film, so I was thrilled to be in their presence and if I had been slick enough I could've tried to nab a picture of with them, but I never think of those things until later.

It was then time to head over to the second tweet-up of the night.  I had the pleasure of driving Aurora (@citizenscreen), and Annmarie (@classicmoviehub) who didn't mind my messy car.  The second tweet-up was at the Formosa Cafe and had the added bonus of Warner Archive giving away free DVDs!   By the time I got there, there was slim pickings so I grabbed Soldier in the Rain starring Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen.  Seems worth checking out.  While at the 2nd tweet up, I had the immense honor of conversing more with Raquel, we discussed our game plans for the festival and getting to meet and talk with Will McKinley (@willmckinley and do yourself a favor check out his wonderful blog).  I also got to meet Kellee (@irishjayhawk66) who was super friendly and lovely and briefly met Marya (@oldfilmsflicker).

This was such a great way to gear up for the film festival.  I had a great time and am so honored to have been invited to the tweet-ups and get to meet so many lovely classic film fans.

Stay tuned for more recaps and fun memories from the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival.


  1. Thanks for the shout out, Diane. Next year you will be even more social and outgoing!

    1. Of course Will, I love reading your blog. Thanks so much for the comment and encouragement. Can't wait to read more of your updates about the festival!