It’s that time again! Time for TCMFF (TCM Classic Film Festival)!!!
Last year I decided to make an official film guides to assist in examining the program and schedule and use that data to do a format breakdown. Using my skills as a film archivist and preservationist, I thought that these things would be useful for fans and attendees to have.
This year I think this is an ESPECIALLY useful tool since we have an all new item to add for our viewing pleasure: 35MM NITRATE!!!
So first of all, let’s get a few rumors settled: nitrate is not OMGZFIRECAUSING and it will not blow up if you simply touch it. The chemicals that are released when the film begins to deteriorate (called “off-gassing”) can lead to some nasty toxicity though and the more you pack nitrate in…the more likely you are to cause a fire. Nitrate doesn’t like close quarters and it doesn’t like to to be under pressure. Think of Nitrate as the hippie film base- it just wants to chill, man. But if it gets a bad dose (ie, starts to deteriorate) or is put under bad pressure/circumstances, it could really blow.
BUT HAVE YOU SEEN A 35MM NITRATE PRINT??????????
Don’t miss the chance to do it this year.
PART I: PREPARATION & PLANNING
Listed below, in the alphabetized spreadsheet, is all the films that are playing as of Friday, March 31, 2017. The spreadsheet moves down and also moves to the right and includes notes, theaters, times, formats and all kinds of details!!
If you want to download the spreadsheet and organize it according to your own wants (format, notes, theater, day/time, etc.) that link is here:
PART II: DATA BREAKDOWN
This (obviously) is the way that the formats broke down this year. The wonderful thing to notice is that we still have a thick chunk of rare kinds of films to see, including different kinds of formats. While there is no 16mm or 8mm (except digitized in the Hollywood Home Movies program which usually occurs on Saturday afternoon in Club TCM), the Cinerama and 35mm nitrate is pretty nifty stuff. We’re pretty spoiled on basic technicals.
Last year’s stats looked like this:
So I think we’re doing pretty well for 2017!!! Analogue has gotten a more diverse face this year, which is definitely a plus. That is, of course, thanks to the Egyptian Theater/American Cinematheque for taking that risk and refitting their projection booth with all the necessary items for the projection of nitrate. Not every theater is able to project nitrate. We’re exceptionally blessed that they were able to do that in time to work with wonderful people like the UCLA Film and Television Archive and access prints from their MASSIVE nitrate collection.
I can personally assure all of you that UCLA FTVA’s nitrate collection is brilliant. I helped move their archive from where it used to be in Westwood and Hollywood to where it resides now, in a glorious archival palace in Santa Clarita. Their collection is beyond compare.
PART III: WHATCHA SEEIN’?
So I have some definite “MUST SEES” this year:
A film I’ve seen a gazillion times but it’s also one of my FAVORITE FILM IN THE UNIVERSE EVERZ, The Court Jester.
Last year I saw Larry Peerce’s One Potato, Two Potato at TCMFF and it was a revelation. This year I plan on seeing The Incident, come hell or high water.
I missed the screenings & talks for the restoration of The Front Page this year. But I won’t miss it at TCMFF!!! Especially with one of my favorite professors and awesome people from archiving school giving the intro!
There are plennnnnttttyyyyyy more that I’m thinking about & considering but that’s all I’m committing to on blog right now.
See ya at the movies!