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