Our beloved TCM film festival starts tomorrow but I thought that I would give you a heads’ up on a few points of interest!
One question that is asked every year is: How many of these films are being shown ON FILM?
To a film archivist and preservationist such as myself, this is a critical question and very important thing to ask. While it is absolutely true that each time a print is shown we lose a generation and the ability to locate prints of many films is not a piece of cake (if it was, you wouldn’t need archivists! TOTAL SHAMELESS PLUG FOR MY PROFESSION), there are so many beautiful prints out there and one of the things that I love the most about TCMFF is how much film, ACTUAL FILM, they project every year.
I really believe that the fabulous programmers and hardworking folks at TCM really make it a point to put as much 35mm and 70mm into the festival as possible and this year is no exception. In fact, if anything, this year is even more exceptioNAL in that sense. There is one session that discusses the birth of Technicolor (something all classic film fans are familiar with but not too many know enough about) and one session where films will be HAND-CRANKED, the way films used ta be, back in the beginning!
And yes- the theme this year is his/her-story according to Hollywood. But they didn’t *have to* include these panels/screenings as part of the festival. Film history didn’t have to be there. There are certainly enough historically-based classic films to have 3 TCM Film Festivals. Trust me, as someone who has programmed before, I can tell you THAT. And anyone who has any familiarity with classic cinema would rightly agree.
In my role as TCM social producer this year, I want to celebrate what they do for film preservation and restoration. By continuing to show 35mm and 70mm prints for features, by showcasing 16mm, 8mm and other small-gauge in the “Home Movies Panel” with Lynne Kirste and Randy Haberkamp, TCMFF supports the fact that this is a format that is worth seeing and loving. In fact, some of the films shown (Too Late for Tearsfor example) may be projected on brand-new prints! You never know!
In this post, I am going to let you know what films are going to be showing this year at the TCM Film Festival on film. Feel free to tweet at me (@sinaphile) or comment if I have left any titles out. I think this should be pretty full. I feel that, in favor of projectionists everywhere, as audience-folk, always be appreciative of those awesome ladies & gentlemen in the booth. They’re working hard for ya and caring for those reels. Many of these prints come with VERY strict guidelines on how they are to be handled so that they remain in as good of condition as they are and will remain playable for years to come and the folks who are playing them are gonna do their best to make sure that they get shown beautifully. And entirely for our pleasure. HOW SPOILED ARE WE???
So let’s get on with the show!! Also- please note- I would say…screening location is subject to change. So these are based on the schedule as it is today, 3/25/2015. Please rely on the TCMFF schedule routing information as it is given to you and as you are directed by the lovely TCM humans. And be nice to them. They are awesome. And work super hard to make this run smoothly!
(1933, d. Rouben Mamoulian, 99m, 35mm) 6:30 PM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1949, d. Byron Haskin, 99m, 35mm) 6:45 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1940, d. Michael Curtiz, 127m, 35mm) 10:00 PM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(d. Bruce Beresford, 107m, 35mm) 9:45 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1960, d. Stanley Kramer, 128m, 35mm) 9:00 AM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1931, d. Ernst Lubitsch, 93m, 35mm) 9:30 AM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1985, d. Woody Allen, 82m, 35mm) 12:15 PM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1949, d. Anthony Mann, 89m, 35mm) 12:00 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1974, d. Bob Fosse, 111m, 35mm) 11:30 AM Egyptian Theatre, In Attendance: Dustin Hoffman, interviewed by Alec Baldwin.
(1939, d. John Ford, 100m, 35mm) 2:45 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1965, d. Norman Jewison, 102m, 35mm) 3:15 PM Egyptian Theatre
(1952, d. Charles Chaplin, 137m, 35mm) 2:30 PM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1931, d. William K. Howard, 70m, 35mm) In Attendance: MoMA film curator Anne Morra, 5:30 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1933, d. James Whale, 71 m, 35mm) 7:30 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
[A Man For All Seasons](1966, d. Fred Zinneman, 120m, 35mm) 6:00 PM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1965, d. Peter Watkins, 48m, 35mm) In Attendance: Film Author and Professor Emeritus Joseph Gomez. 9:30 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1940, d. Alfred Hitchcock, 130m, 35mm) 10:00 PM Egyptian Theatre
(1940, d. Edward F. Cline, 72m, 35mm) 9:15 PM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1968, d. Joseph Losey, 110m, 35mm) 12:00 AM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1937, d. Mervyn LeRoy, 95m, 35mm) 9:00 AM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1945, d. John Ford, 135m, 35mm) 9:45 AM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1975, d. John Huston, 129m, 35mm) 10:00 AM Egyptian Theatre
(1948, d. Harold D. Schuster, Hamilton Luske, 79m, 35mm) 11:30 AM Chinese Multiplex House 4
[The Miracle Worker] (1962, d. Arthur Penn, 106m, 35mm) Arthur Penn, 106m, 35mm) In attendance: actor Andrew Prine 1:30 PM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1992, d. Spike Lee, 202m, 35mm) 1:30 PM Egyptian Theatre
(1932, d. John Ford, 84m, 35mm) 1:45 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1977, d. John Power, 99m, 35mm) 4:00 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1940, d. Preston Sturges, 67m, 35mm) 4:15 PM Chinese Multiplex House 6
Hollywood Home Movies – 6:00 – Club TCM at The Hollywood Roosevelt
>>Highly recommend attending this due to the exciting “behind the scenes” coolness factor! Various formats, various movie folks, various amazing things to see! If you can “Home Movie” it, do it!
(1952, d. Elia Kazan, 113m, 35mm) 6:15 PM Chinese Multiplex House 6
[The Wind and The Lion] (1975, d. John Milius, 119m, 35mm) 6:15 PM Egyptian Theatre
(1943, d. Mervyn LeRoy, 124m, 35mm) In attendance: Nuclear Chemistry Professor Emeritus Darleane C. Hoffman Phd. 6:30 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1950, d. George Cukor, 101m, 35mm) Note: The film will be preceeded by a 30-minute performance by Greg Proops, which will be recorded for use on his podcast, Greg Proops Film Club. 9:30 PM Egyptian Theatre
(1965, d. Tony Richardson, 122m, 35mm) 9:30 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1984, d. Tom Schiller, 82m, 35mm) 12:00 AM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1970, d. Franklin J. Schaffner, 172m, 70mm) 9:00 AM Egyptian Theatre
(1947, d. Edmund Goulding, 110m, 35mm) 9:45 AM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1963, d. George Stevens, 180m, 35mm) 12:30 PM Chinese Multiplex House 6
(1939, d. George Stevens, 117m, 35mm) 1:00 PM Egyptian Theatre
(1961, d. Stanley Kramer, 186m, 35mm) 4:00 PM Chinese Multiplex House 4
(1961, d. William Wyler, 107m, 35mm) 4:45 PM Egyptian Theatre
I hope that this list helps all of you who are looking for the “what’s on film” films. As someone who loves handling film and adores film as a format and a way to watch stories being told, I am beyond excited to see so many wonderful narratives being projected this year.
It is absolutelyand unquestionably a part of the history of Hollywood therefore it is only right that it should be such a beautiful and magnificent presence at the TCM Film Festival, 2015, as it has been each year.
Please stay tuned for another post that will celebrate the fantastic digital restorations being screened and discuss the importance that they have to our cinematic culture and to the TCM Film Festival as well.
The full schedule is up and we are only a few days away.
Yes, THAT schedule. The one that we have been impatiently waiting for with bated breath since our teary goodbyes and final hugs of “see you next year” last spring.
TCM FILM FESTIVAL IS ON LIKE TRON.
Last week, just before I left my house to join my colleagues and do some work for the Film Noir Foundation, I was alerted to the fact that the full schedule was up online and mine for the perusal. Getting that alert was Hell. On. Earth. There I was, rushing out the door, pushing my cats out of the way so that I could get on public transportation and make it to the lab on time, all the while knowing that the FULL LIST of films awaited me after my work was completed. But I love what I do and get completely entranced by it, whatever the particular job may be- print consultation, database research, repairing one of my own personal 16mm prints- so I almost forgot about it for that brief sliver of the day.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that film preservation isn’t an amazing gig. It’s the dream of a lifetime, especially working with the Film Noir Foundation. My gig with them is tops. So I got home and opened my computer. A multitude of Facebook “TCMFF 2015-what-I-am-seeing-lists” exploded after the schedule announcement. Some of them full of hard and fast absolutes, and others flexible but still completely booked-up in their calendars and planning their eating methods and what theaters they would be running back and forth from. All within less than 36 hours of the schedule being up online. My good pal (and excellent writer) Mr. Peel of Mr. Peel’s Sardine Liquor asked the reasonable question: “How can you all be so sure so fast?” The short answer for me was that I’m wasn’t. And, I’m still not. So this post, while a rumination on the schedule and a brainstorming, will also serve as a recommendation list. I am going to go through this year’s schedule selectively. I am only going to mention certain films. But I will likely mention more than I will be able to watch during the festival. And I’m going to look at them in a very particular manner. And here is why:
Along with several other worthy film fans and professionals, I have been asked by the TCM Film Festival to be part of a new program called the “Social Producers Team.” Each member of the team will be specializing in their own social media-thread or theme based on an aspect of the TCM Film Festival that they have proposed or that they are best at. For example: my theme/thread centers on film restoration, preservation, and rare films/discoveries. I made this my raison d’etre because (duh) I’m a film archivist and my aim (in life as well as at #TCMFF) is to raise more awareness, interest and understanding about film preservation.I hope to “stock up” those TCM social media channels with a better understanding and a great passion for this important part of the film world in addition to fun tidbits of specialized information that I can provide.
Due to my career specialization, my film interests and choices may seem a little “off,” even for a classic film fan. While many TCM-ites will jump at the chance to see a movie on its anniversary or a silent picture based upon a live orchestral arrangement (superfragalistically cool, no doubt), I feel that it’s actually my job to see the restorations that are programmed. And that is across the board- on every format, 35mm or DCP. And yes, sometimes that may include a more modern festival presentation like Apollo 13 (I haven’t decided on that though). This is one of the ways I am able to keep myself up to date on what my colleagues are doing, how technology is evolving and what works are being preserved and why. Watching a modern restoration and the work that has been done can assist an archivist’s work in any number of classic film preservations.
Eartha Kitten asks, “Why can’t I go to the Film Festival tooooo?”
My work as the Nancy Mysel Legacy Project Recipient at the Film Noir Foundation has allowed and given me special training and insight into the restoration and preservation processes of these films as well as a unique advantage as to the discussion of film noir and its cast of characters (both fiction and non-fiction) itself. So in the discussion of these films and recommendations, I will definitely use that training to guide (and suggest) audiences see these films. It is a huge chunk of my life.
So now that we’ve gotten all of that out-of-the-way and you, my lovely reading public, know how I’m going to be recommending and dealing with these films, let’s get on with it, shall we? I’m gonna go by the TCM Festival Schedule if you wish to open that in a separate tab and follow along, and list day by day.
OH! Before I forget! I want to give a few shout-outs to my #TCMFF homies! So my TCMFF bestie is Dennis Cozzalio and if you don’t know him, well you should. His primary writing zone is Sergio Leone & The Infield-Fly Rule but he also has a fab new column called Fear of the Velvet Curtainover at one of my favorite sites ever invented, Trailers From Hell. While he’s not part of the Social Producers Team, I always get super-stoked to get to go to the movies with him every year.
My pal Peter Avellino- mentioned in the very beginning? Check out Mr. Peel. You won’t be sorry.
Señor Dan Schindel. He makes amazing desserts, kicks ass at Cards Against Humanity, is one of the nicest & smartest humans, and I’m hoping that we can see some movies in the same vicinity. I know he writes for various publications. He tweets at @danschindel.
There’s more, but let’s get on to the movies, eh?
3:00pm: The awesome and fantastic Bruce Goldstein from Film Forum in NYC is doing Trivia. If you are unaware, this man is really pretty rad. Guaranteed, he knows more than you do. I’ve seen him at my film archiving conferences and he’s a genuine badass. The time I got to hang out & chat with Norman Lloyd was when we were all at an event together. Am I gonna do trivia because I think I will win? OH HELL NO. I am positive that there are some of you out there who have memorized people’s entire filmographies much more thoroughly than I have. Do I wanna do it because it’s gonna be a hellovalotta fun? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT. Now accepting offers for teammates…..
5:00pm: TCM PARTY – schmooze! Wheeee!
6:45pm: TOO LATE FOR TEARS: even if I am not there seeing it, watch out for my thread- I will be posting allllll about it. The restoration and the story behind it is MINDBLOWING. If you like film noir and you miss this film, I will question your commitment to sparkle motion. I have seen it 5 times now, never get sick of it. The restoration was nothing short of a miracle and the film content itself is just thrilling. Even my MOM loved it. She said, “I wanna see more films like that!” when I took her to the LA Restoration premiere. DO NOT MISS.
“Don’t ever change, Tiger. I don’t think I’d like you with a heart. “
10:00pm: MY MAN GODFREYPure and simple on this one, I’m a sucker for Powell and Lombard. I highly recommend BREAKER MORANThowever, as Beresford is fantastic and seeing it on 35mm is going to be great. Plus, going with the historical theme, I don’t think you could get much better. So I may end up there. But for now, I’m thinking GODFREY.
First up- THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLORDavid Pierce has done a great deal of writing on film preservation, silent film and archival topics. There is NO way I’m missing this. Technicolor is pretty much the coolest thing. You KNOW when you’re seeing Technicolor. This is one of the most thrilling things on the whole weekend for a n3rd like me. And in 35mm *and* HD? DUDE. I’m gonna be in a FRENZY when I get outta there…
Alternative to g33k lecture of amazingness? THE SMILING LIEUTENANT Ok, so if I wasn’t going to go do some Technicolor dorking out? I’d go and hang out with Ernst Lubitsch. I programmed this film in grad school as part of the film series I did at the New Beverly Cinema that celebrated archiving and 35mm. It played amazingly well and people loved it. This falls under “rarities and discoveries” and is a fabulous way to start your day. Highly recommend!
Miriam Hopkins is a goddess.
The next section is a doozy:
Probably hitting THE PROUDEST REBEL. This world-premiere restoration of a very rarely discussed Michael Curtiz film seems to hit a whole bunch of things I wanna check out. I’d like to see how Warner Bros did with this restoration and will be interested to hear David Ladd talk about his dad, Alan. For those of you not joining me there, I will make sure to set up a few notes to go out about REIGN OF TERRORbecause director Anthony Mann is The MAN. And you just can’t miss Norman Lloyd or John Alton’s cinematography. If you haven’t checked this out before…this is big screen French Revolution Noir. And yes- that *is* a thing.
I’m going to try to hit CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, although I feel it may be packed and difficult to get into. I have been wanting to see this since I was in my late teens-ish. So 20 years or so? The main draw for me, of course, aside from Welles, is to look at it critically and see what the visual quality is of this restoration is and perhaps look a little deeper into what elements were used to create this new digital version we are to see. If I do not get into CAM, I’ll go see THE CINCINNATI KIDbecause I’ve never seen it and my grandma’s in it. No-brainer.
I will stomp Hollywood-Blvd-Superhero-people out of my way to make certain that I get to DON’T BET ON WOMEN. It’s a restoration (points!!), it’s a rarity (major points!!) annnnnd it has Roland Young in it (OMGZ MAJOR POINTS!!!). It also has Anne Morra from MoMA in New York coming to talk and she’s a rock star curator. Great lady to hear.
Film Noir Alternative: RIFIFI – if you have not see this film, and you are looking for something to see during this time slot GO SEE RIFIFI. JUST TRUST ME. You will not be sorry. It needs to be seen on a big screen. It is delicious and exciting and everything that you could possibly want a film to be. It may be one of my very very very very favorite heist films of ever. And that’s saying….A LOT.
I’m going to see THE WAR GAME. I went to University in Kent, England and I would very much like to see how this banned doc looks at the place I went to school in, many years later. Also, my own personal work in 16mm educational films really made this one peak my curiosity as well, considering all the nominations and the subject matter. I think this film is going to be a “TCMFF Sleeper Success.”
And there ain’t NOTHING NO HOW that’s keeping me away from the midnight screening of BOOM!. I mean, come ON!!!
You can’t keep me away from a film that has a hairpiece like this. NO WAY.
I am going to WHY BE GOOD?because I want to see the film of course but also because I *love* the Vitaphone Project and I want to see their restoration work on this! Can you imagine that this film, with Jean Harlow, Andy Devine and Colleen Moore may have never been found let alone restored? *shiver*
I highly recommend that folks go to the World Premiere of Warner Bros’ Restoration of 42ND STREET. I love that film, Dick Powell & Ruby Keeler. But I will be likely trying to go for the rarity, SO DEAR TO MY HEARTdue to a love for Burl Ives, an obsession with Beulah Bondi and a serious interest in seeing what looks like it could be a very unusual work for Disney, even live-action/animation mixed.
John Ford. AIR MAIL. This was a rough choice due to the fact that I really wanted to go to MALCOLM Xin 35mm or what I believe will be an absolutely REMARKABLE restoration of1776 done by Sony. I mean, they’re using unseen footage and the restoration is done from the original negative…I’ve always had such a great experience from Sony’s restorations. They really care about the FILM side of things even if it’s a 4K, so I’m a little bummed that the John Ford is up against 1776. But what can you do? Maybe I will change my mind.
Think of me like a doctor and that is my prescription. I have my own 16mm print of it and a poster of it from Hungary. It’s a GREAT movie. Those of you who do go, FIND ME DURING TCMFF and let me know what you think, okay?
It is at this point that I do a “wacky weird archivist thing” again- I highly advise that any/all/as many of you as possible go and check out the Hollywood Home Movies over at Club TCM at 6:00pm on Saturday. Lynne Kirste, one of the most amazing women that I’ve been lucky enough to get to know over the years in preservation, will be there showing you GREAT stuff. Ever thought about what Alfred Hitchcock did at home with the family? Ever considered what your fave stars might have been filming on vacation or when they had a BBQ? THIS AMAZING SESSION IS FOR YOU. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. And if you meet Lynne or Randy Haberkamp (also a SUPER rockstar!!) tell ’em I sent ya!!
During this next block on Saturday night, TCMFF decided to play three of my very favorite films right up against each other. And not just a teensy bit favorite, take-to-a-desert-island favorite.
So, what I’m saying is…if you wanna just go check out a movie, you can’t go wrong with FRENCH CONNECTION, ADAM’S RIB or THE LOVED ONE. But one a scale of 1 to rare? Go for THE LOVED ONE. You can just never see it enough and it’s goddamn brilliant. Gets more brilliant every time.
But you wanna get SUPER RARE? Like still moo-ing? Like ordering your steak blue??? Then I suggest where I’m going.
I will be smashing myself into a seat to watch hand-cranked films from the early 1900s. If you remember my writing series that I haven’t worked on in a while, I mentioned Lois Weber? They’re playing one of her films. I am SO excited about this one. The theme of history this year is just mind-blowing for me. Every year at #TCMFF has been good, but this one…wow. So yeah. I’ll be at the RETURN OF THE DREAM MACHINE: HAND-CRANKED FILMS FROM 1902-1913if you need me.
One of the most awesome people I know in archiving & preservation: Dino Everett, hand-cranking some film!!!
I’ve seen NOTHING LASTS FOREVER on a big screen. But that’s exactly why Imna see it again. See y’all at midnight on Saturday, eh?
So there’s a bunch of TBAs on here.
My basic plan is pretty stable. I have to see Pattonbecause, well, 70mm and George C. Scott and I ain’t never seen the dang thing before and I’m a Scott-a-holic. Ever since FIRESTARTER. Yes, you read that correctly. The film I started loving him in was FIRESTARTER. Still like that film.
I plan on providing PLENTY OF INFORMATION for everyone about NIGHTMARE ALLEY, in my role as Social Producer. I’ve seen that film somewhere between 7-12 times in the theater and it’s one of my top 5 film noirs. If you have not seen it, but feel safe going into a movie blind, I highly recommend that. Tyrone Power has never been like that and the lady-love of my everything, Joan Blondell, is….well, you just gotta see it.
I’m an information specialist. If I don’t go see DESK SET, I feel like the data management system gods will strike me dead the next time I try to call on them for help. Plus? I REALLY LOVE THAT FILM SO DAMN MUCH. Why are there no good movies about archivists or librarians anymore? Enough Said with James Gandolfini was pretty good but where are the rest? Representation, man!
Then its magic time. I’m a carnival and magic junkie. I’m hitting up the discovery, HOUDINI with Tony Curtis & Janet Leigh and then, the film I have been waiting for ever since it was announced, it’ll be time for THE GRIM GAME restoration. I am SUPREMELY excited about being able to report on the details, especially noting that this film’s restoration was a combined effort between a private collector and studio efforts. These are very interesting elements in any case but the fact that the film and its restoration became the thing of primary importance is fabulous.
See you in the seats! Check you on the Internetz!
Really excited to be going to TCMFF again this year and even more thrilled to be part of the Social Producers Team.
This is going to be a great year and I’m looking forward to celebrating film preservation, restoration and classic film with all you guys! Check you on the Blvd!
If you want to follow my TCMFF adventures and my Social Producer documentation, you can find me in the following places: