Wednesday, May 1, 2013

TCM Classic Film Festival 2013, an adventure.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to experience the 4th Annual Turner Classic Movie Classic Film Festival, in Hollywood. This festival is unique but it will screen rarely seen films, new restorations and unique exhibitions, such as a rare screening of Cinerama Holiday at the Cinerama Dome. I began my weekend watching the premier of a restored digital print of Funny Girl inside Grauman's Chinese Theater. It was my first time in the theater and my first time watching the film. Streisand could not make it due to an invite to the White House. Instead, a surprise guest appeared and sat to chat briefly with Robert Osborne. That surprise guest was Cher.

Many of the screenings began with short question and answers from stars in the film. My two favorite were Tippi Hedren before a screening of The Birds and Max von Sydow prior to watching Three Days of the Condor. Both of those were also screened at the Chinese, which incidentally began a major renovation today, just three days after the festival ended.


An interesting screening was that of The Desert Song. Robert Osborne had been encouraging people to go see this film. TCM had been trying to get the rights cleared for several years and it finally became available. Osborne was even there to give the introduction to the film. My friend and I sat down and watched this movie with musical numbers. Musical numbers were presented usually as a entertainment in bars and clubs around Morocco, where the film took place. There was some Nazi's, some French and some oppressed Moroccans building a railroad.  There was a also a contrived love story mixed in. The plot was lame, the dialogue horrible and the acting, mediocre. Perhaps RO just had some nostalgic memory for this film, but I didn't get it.

The last film of the weekend for most, was a screening of Buster Keaton's The General inside the Chinese theater. It played with a live accompaniment. I left before that, so my last film was Condor.  I look forward to next year. Meanwhile, join many of my cinema compadres on Twitter under the hashtag #TCMparty. We live tweet along with TCM films. It's a guaranteed good time with snark and some great trivia as well.

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