A star sighting, an author meeting and a marionette.
After the morning double feature of amazing westerns, there was enough time to visit the Hollywood Roosevelt (pictured above) and catch a glimpse of Ann-Margret being interviewed by Ben Mankiewicz. I’d decided against attending The Cincinnati Kid later that afternoon, but really wanted to see this awesome and multi-talented lady so that mission was accomplished. Lots of people listening in there, but I managed to squeeze through and get some decent pictures.
While at the Roosevelt I had the pleasure of meeting Alan Rode, noir expert and author of the excellent Charles McGraw: Biography of a Film Noir Tough Guy. He’s currently hard at work organizing the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs as well as his new book on Michael Curtiz.
My only pic of the El Capitan facade, from Thursday morning. Lesson learned: take more pictures.
Friday afternoon I initially planned to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at the El Capitan theatre, which was only showing TCM fest movies that day. I decided against Raiders mainly because its timing would block out some other screenings I was interested in, but I was determined to see something at El Cap on my trip, so I went for Pinocchio (1940). From the broken record department comes the news that I am really happy with that choice. This movie palace is a gorgeous venue and we were treated to organ music before the show.
(also with us were Stephen and Casey) The introductory talk by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg was really enjoyable; these men who know a thing or two about animation and the magic of childhood stories. I hadn’t seen Pinocchio since I was little and though I remember it was able to put across its lessons with some frightening images, I was astounded at how scary this movie still is when you’re an adult!
From the black lumpy henchmen turning naughty boys into braying donkeys on Pleasure Island, to the gigantic, voracious and fast-moving whale Monstro, the disturbing voice and nefarious intentions of Honest John, or the sick feeling you get in your gut when Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket come home to find an empty house and Papa Gepetto gone, this movie has several images and ideas that are downright terrifying. Good thing it also has plenty of cute characters, beautiful animation, valuable lessons and wisdom for balance. The collection of cuckoo clocks and other Gepetto contraptions, the lifelike movements of Figaro the cat, the iconic songs; those are just a few of many delightful elements that make Pinocchio’s journey from naive, empty-headed wooden marionette to wiser flesh-and-blood boy one of Disney’s best and most magical pictures. Speaking of pictures, took lots of the interior that hopefully convey how gorgeous the El Capitan Theatre is. So glad I made it there.
Next: an evening at The Egyptian with comedy and Hitchcock.
*all photos are mine except for Pinocchio scene