April 27-May 1 I’ll be at the TCM Classic Film Festival, my second time attending. TCM just released their full schedule–four amazing days packed with great movies, guests and events. The theme for this year is Moving Pictures, with subcategories like discovery, love and loss, coming-of-age, animal stories, and inspirational sports and religious stories. TCM should give out some branded hankies because there will be tears of all kinds, starting with the ones shed over the brutal choices on this schedule.
Last year at this point, I thought picking things to attend was so easy, but once I got there, time was tight, my priorities changed, and often last minute impulse decisions turned out to be my most memorable experiences. So my picks here will change with the flow but I’m drawn to: things I’ve never seen, with a unique guest or experience attached; one or two favourites with a once-in-a-lifetime bonus; rare movies and favourite genres tough to see anywhere else; time slots that work with the above.
Most of Thursday is free to see nearby sights, do a little walkabout and theater locating/orientation if it’s your first time, and hang out at Club TCM. My pass doesn’t get me into All The President’s Men (1976), so in the first block I could pick from Dark Victory (1939) or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), but the interracial marriage indie One Potato, Two Potato (1964) looks interesting. Next block, Los Tallos Amargos (1956) is an Argentinian noir I’ve been interested in since I read Andy’s recent review at Journeys in Darkness & Light. Playing at that same time is David Lean’s great romantic drama Brief Encounter (1945).
First thing Friday, I love The More the Merrier (1943), but Shanghai Express (1932) has a big edge because Josef von Sternberg’s son will be there to introduce, and just experiencing Marlene Dietrich on a big screen in such a movie seems like a must for any buff worth the name. Ida Lupino’s directorial debut Never Fear (1949) is at this time too, but something to keep in mind with many of the shorter multiplex films is, they might pop up again in Sunday’s 6 TBD slots. This year I’m guessing and hoping a lot of the rare pre-Codes will get repeat screenings, so it helps to strategize around that possibility.
Speaking of pre-Codes, next up I wouldn’t mind seeing Double Harness (1933) again, and the only other movie that might interest me here is He Ran All The Way (1951). Another option is the conversation about adapting journalism for the screen. After that the Serge Bromberg presentation on the greatest finds in film preservation history looks good. Other things showing are Gina Lollobrigida at Trapeze (1956), Francis Ford Coppola at The Conversation (1974), or the Cary Grant-Grace Moore drama When You’re in Love (1937). Up next, I’m dying to see Pleasure Cruise (1933), but hoping it will get a repeat on Sunday, so I can check out the Warren Oates noir Private Property (1960). Those would leave time to follow up with the sci fi 6 Hours to Live (1932), or new-to-me The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) with live orchestra and vocalists. Next is The Manchurian Candidate (1962) with Dame Angela Lansbury present, a hard event to pass up no matter how many times I’ve seen the movie. But showing in that same time block is Joan Leslie in Repeat Performance (1947), which is well-regarded and one I’m curious to see. Midnight show is Roar (1981), which I’d miss if I go to Manchurian.
Saturday morning starts out with a tough block. I’ve seen One Man’s Journey (1933), Ace in the Hole (1951), Bambi (1942) and Field of Dreams (1989), so I’m really leaning toward The Anniversary of Vitaphone to see Project founder Ron Hutchinson present all those early sound gems. Next I’m really wanting to see A House Divided (1931), which I could follow with Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (1934) or leave a long free block of time until what’s sure to be an info-packed presentation on War of the Worlds (1953) courtesy of Oscar winners Ben Burtt and Craig Barron. Or, do I skip War and go see Burt Reynolds at his interview?
Last year, I enjoyed the collection of Hollywood home movies which returns in the early part of this next time slot, which features the new-to-me I’ve Always Loved You (1946), or The Long Goodbye (1973) with Elliott Gould. Next up I’d like to finally see Band of Outsiders (1964) which will be introduced by Anna Karina, and that or Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) leave time for Gog (1954) in 3D! But maybe Rocky (1976) at the Chinese Theatre is too tempting…
Sunday is tricky, with those 6 TBD slots I might get the chance to take in something I missed but picking from known titles, I could stay close for The Fallen Idol (1948) or make the trip to the Cinerama Dome for the unique Holiday in Spain (1966) a mystery with Peter Lorre, in Smell-O-Vision! Going that far out would mean missing Law and Order (1932) and/or a couple TBD films. The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966) with Eva Marie Saint present or Fat City (1972) featuring a discussion with Stacy Keach? Leaning toward the John Huston movie. Closing block has a couple more mystery slots, and Cinema Paradiso (1988).
Throughout the weekend you can also get books signed by Mark Vieira, Illeana Douglas, Jeremy Arnold, Rita Moreno, and Cari Beauchamp. Tons of diverse and tough choices to make, and that’s a win-win for any movie buff.
Here’s the whole schedule (click here to see it all on one sheet), here’s more detail on what’s playing, and what’s at Club TCM. Take a look, feel free to leave your thoughts on my so-called plan, and speak up for any must-sees that you agree with or think I overlooked.
Can’t wait to be there, see friends and fellow fans I met last year and meet some new ones (a couple bloggers I know will be experiencing this for the first time). I’ll be sharing all the fun here and on twitter @HQofK so follow along, have fun with us vicariously if you can’t be there, and if you are there, be sure to say hi!