Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TCM Film Fest Day 2

Our second day at TCM began with 40s-inspired dresses and a 10am screening of Murder, He Says, an absolutely ridiculous 1945 Fred MacMurray picture. I am shocked that this film has never been released on home video or DVD, as it's super entertaining and stars Ma Kettle. Right?! ...right?
We then decided to check out two panels instead of screenings, probably the best of many tough programming decisions throughout the festival. The first was A Conversation with Peter Bogdanovich, hosted by my soulmate, Leonard Maltin. I've met Bogdanovich before, but this was a very different experience, sitting casually around Club TCM listening to him tell stories about Orson Welles (who convinced him to shoot The Last Picture Show in black and white), Hitchcock and Fritz Lang. He discussed his films, his choices and the fact that the B pictures have become the A pictures and the A, the B (in terms of content vs. funding and success). This was all made even more lovely by the fact that Leonard Maltin, who I watch religiously on Reelz Channel and am convinced would be my best friend if he knew me, was so kind as to have a conversation with me afterward. We also got to meet Robert Osborne, the hero of the week and King of TCM, who listened to and discussed our project idea in more depth than I ever expected. Ashley was near fainting the entire time. These are our heros.
Brittan + L.M. =
Next was the TCM: The Network panel, which was essentially all of the TCM big wigs telling us about what they do and answering our questions. With my background in festivals and current work in preservation, I found this panel fascinating and inspiring. I gained new respect for TCM and the people who run it for their diligence and passion for preserving and sharing these films. I also learned that they took out the projectors in the (absolutely stunning, legendary) theatres they used, and brought in the projectors used at the time each film was released. This was one of many times that tears were shed by yours truly. We shared our project idea at the panel and were encouraged by so many people on staff and in the audience for carrying forth this important work. (Side note: I'm pretty sure we were the youngest people there who were not volunteers, the youngest women anyway, and this became a common topic of praise and conversation as we met people and made friends throughout the week.)

By the time I made it to the 8pm screening of Godard's Breathless at Grauman's, I had worked myself into a complete tizzy (if you will). Jean-Paul Belmondo, who I have been desperately in love with since I first saw this film years ago, was there to speak his beautiful French to us and make me fall in love all over again. This man has had a stroke and he is still one handsome devil. Yow! I quite literally leapt to my feet to cheer and applaud him.... twice.
It was really like seeing Breathless for the first time. Grauman's is the perfect large theatre and with the screen masked to 1.33, crisp sound and a fully engaged (and civilized) live audience, I can't imagine there being a better way to experience this beautiful film. Again, tears.
I met back up with Ashley (who passed on Breathless for No Orchids for Miss Blandish--we share a similar fanaticism for very different periods of film) for the midnight screening of The Day of the Triffids, a sci-fi, Cinemascope beauty, but couldn't make it all the way through and had to head back for sleep and recharging for Day 3, which I was most excited for...

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