TCM Classic Film Festival Diary, Evening 1

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First movie of the fest: attending The Sound of Music. (photo from tcm)

Opening night screening was a 50th Anniversary celebration of The Sound of Music, presented in the roadshow version, with overture and intermission. I went with friends Karen and Kim, and part of our fancy experience was a walk on the red carpet along with the VIPs there that evening, which I felt totally out of place and awkward doing, so I zipped along as quickly as possible. Thanks to Laura and Raquel who took these photos of us from the bleachers where they were baking in the sun most of the afternoon; I really appreciate that they even thought to get us these souvenirs of our wild carpet ride.

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The nice thing about being on the red carpet was that I was close enough to take this picture of Dame Julie Andrews:

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This was my first time inside the “big” Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and I spent a good deal of time just marvelling at the ornate ceiling and decor of the place. DSCN1845WP_000199DSCN1846

I love The Sound of Music, so seeing a favourite musical on such a grand scale, on this special occasion and sitting with friends, proved to be a fantastic and emotional start to my TCM fest experience. It started with us finding seats a just few rows away from Andrews and Christopher Plummer (and former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis) as they told stories about the making of the movie, talked about the reasons it endures and praised each other’s performances. Andrews said Plummer brought an “astringency” to the potentially sappy story, which he explained came from his deliberately bad behaviour–he didn’t want to “be a sissy.” They talked about the man who destroyed the artificial stream they created on his property, when he sneaked out in the night and stabbed the stream’s rubber lining with a pitchfork. They spoke of the nasty winds that came over from Italy (“why must you blame the Italians?” said Plummer), and how most musicals lose magic and spontaneity when transferred to the big screen but The Sound of Music gains so much grandeur from the cinematography, the mountain scenery and expansive settings. Plummer even seemed to surprise Andrews when he said that he was offered the Broadway role when the movie was being cast. (none of my photos of the discussion came out)

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As for the film itself, you can imagine that hearing that beautiful music soar and ring through such a unique theater was incredible. No sing-alongs but reverent and rapt silence followed by applause after each song– the glorious “Climb Every Mountain” deservedly got the most thunderous round. The expected lines got laughs, like Plummer’s dismissing his kids in the trees as “nothing – just some local urchins,” and the gorgeous Eleanor Parker got just the right reactions when she went into full scheming Baroness mode.

Present at the screening were Heather Menzies Urich (Louisa), Kym Karath (Gretl) and Debbie Turner (Marta), plus three of Julie Andrews’ daughters, as well as many celebrities and guests who were to speak and appear at festival events in the coming days. It was a total pleasure to enjoy this movie with friends and in such a once-in-a-lifetime way.

All dressed up with Sound of Music buddies Karen and Kim (thanks Karen for this photo)

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10 thoughts on “TCM Classic Film Festival Diary, Evening 1”

  1. Oh, goodness…I don’t think I realized you went to the red carpet event. How fun! And you got all dressed up for the event. Good for you for doing things proper!

    I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself, but it was great to finally meet you at the festival. I hope we have the opportunity to meet IRL again (hopefully at another TCMFF 🙂

    1. Yup, very fun night even though the red carpet walk was a little nerve wracking ha. As for dressing up, guess what: I made my own dress. Too bad nobody asked me “who I’m wearing” on the carpet, 🙂

      Don’t be sorry, I am more than happy to repeat myself endlessly that it was fabulous meeting you & Beth and everyone that I did, and look forward to another TCMFF! Thanks & cheers

    1. Speaking of material, do you know how much I wanted to make that Carol Burnett joke about the dress? “I saw it in a window and couldn’t resist!”

  2. I loved your wave on the red carpet! You looked very elegant to me. Definitely not as hot and sweaty as the guy in the leather lederhosen 🙂

    1. I thank you for that fine compliment, if I came off as elegant then the royal wave was a good crutch indeed. Way too hot for lederhosen or nun’s habits and probably for all of you in the bleachers, I don’t know how you stood it.

  3. I was a first-timer with “The Sound of Music.” A friend told me to see it in this setting, with the stars speaking and it didn’t disappoint. The movie was the highlight of the festival for me. Thanx for reaching out and saying hi to me in Club TCM during the Home Movies. Your first time at the festival…glad folks reached out to you as well.

    1. Your friend was right, it had the same effect on me even after seeing it many times, nothing compared to that setting! Very fun and moving wasn’t it?
      I’m glad I had the chance to say hello, it was a pleasure meeting you and the whole tcmff experience was so great, many great memories 🙂

  4. Cool that you saw a movie at the Chinese! I’ve seen only one film there, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ back in ’89, and it was a great experience. Did anyone ask for your autograph when you walked the red carpet?

    1. No thank goodness, ha, but some funny mystery woman watched me getting my picture taken, apparently thought I wasn’t doing it right, and came up to “pose” me to look better, so that was a funny experience I’ll never forget. Gorgeous, amazing theater, I was straining my neck trying to get a look at the decoration on walls & ceiling etc.

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