I spent four days in cinematic heaven thanks to TCM's 2012 Film Festival
. I've gotta tell ya, attending the film festival is not for the faint of heart. You've really got to have stamina and endurance b'cuz TCM offers so much for its classic film lovers; souvenirs
and movie stars
. You've got to invest some time standing on line if you want to get a good seat for the films you'll want to see. You'll have to make tough choices in the films you want to see b'cuz many good ones were scheduled opposite each other. Sleeping...eating...even catching up with old festival friends can be sticky b'cuz there's just no time.
And it's ALL fun.
I attended the Red Carpet festivities as I did last year, but this
year, I opted to sit in the bleachers and watch the stars go by: Liza Minnelli, Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, Robert Wagner, Barbara Rush, Bob Mackie, Marge Champion, Tippi Hedren, Margaret O'Brien etc.etc.etc. were just some of the stars we cheered and waved at. I saw some fantastic interviews and introductions by Angie Dickinson, Sara Karloff & Bela G. Lugosi, make-up master, Rick Baker, Carla Laemmle, Mel Brooks and more etc.etc.etc.
And as for the ten films I chose to watch this festival...all of them I've seen on tv or dvd, but there's nothing like seeing them on the big screen (I love Graumann's Chinese theatre), and with an appreciative audience. I sank into my seat, usually in the first three rows, and let these movies envelop me:"The Wolf Man"
- Lon Chaney Jr. does a fantastic job as the haunted Lawrence Talbot. I felt incredibly sorry for his pain.
"Criss Cross" - Burt Lancaster in tight undershirts, Yvonne DeCarlo at her most sultry, Dan Duryea...sleaze incarnate. Double crosses never looked so good on the big screen."Young Frankenstein"
- Still Perfect after forty years!!!) perfect casting ("Frau Blucher!!!") and directed by a man who totally understands the genre he spoofs. "I was going to make some Espresso!!""Dr. No"
- The film has not aged a bit. It really seems quite modern to me. Sean Connery is lethally dazzling. Now that's my idea of a Man. "The Black Cat"
- What a kinky cheeky film. I love David Manners, but of course, the picture belongs to the Masters: Karloff and Lugosi. The S & M quotient was turned on high and the art deco design...to die for. Dwight Frye definitely committed to his role. Aahhh, Renfield...crazy as a loon!"Dracula"
- the film that immortalized Lugosi...and sealed his fate. It's just a good creepy classic. Lugosi as Vampire. Whew!"Cover Girl"
- Long ago...and far away...they made movies then. And to see Rita in color on the big screen, youthful, energetic, dancing and so very beautiful...why, she IS
a dream. "The Women"
- I came to the screening late having wanted to see the Angie Dickinson interview by Ben Manckiewicz at Graumann's, but I know "The Women" backwards and forwards. I didn't miss a beat. And the audience really enjoyed it. Each time a star was introduced in the film, she received a warm round of applause; each time a bit of comic business ensued, more applause. ("I'm thinking of the tips you never gave me!!") Crawford and Shearer and Russell and the foxy Paulette gave the audience a swell time. L'amour, l'amour...toujours l'amour!"The Macomber Affair"
- This was the only film I've never seen and I was blown away by it. I'm still trying to digest it. Gregory Peck was dashing and sensible as the great white hunter; very virile and alpha. Robert Preston impressed the hell out of me with a wonderfully layered performance. But it's Joanie...Joan Bennett takes the cake as a wife who has to deal with her husband's cowardice. I have so many favorite femmes fatale, but I am inclined to put Joan Bennett at the top of my very short list of Lethal Ladies. Her glances are withering and her words are deadly. She'll lead a man to hell if he lets her. And he usually wants to go.
The highlight of the festival for me was, of course, meeting KIM NOVAK
. Robert Osborne's interview of her was very emotional and moving. She was gracious with her fans at her hand/footprint ceremony at Graumann's. And I surrendered to "VERTIGO"
again watching it on the big screen. She really gives a magnificent performance in that film.
I am taking AMTRAK right now from L.A. to N.Y. (we just stopped in Buffalo, New York). I'm editing footage I hope to share with those of you who might be interested in watching what I saw. this past weekend. As I travel cross country back to reality, I've had time to reflect on these four days. And my conclusion: I had a blast.
My thanks to all those TCM staffers who remembered me (by name?!!!) You have created incredible memories for me...and for everyone who had the chance to make it this year.
No time like the present to save up for next year.
COMING SOON...soon as I catch my breath: Video & photos of the 2012 TCM Film Festival.* ( 2011 TCM Festival experience: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5143&p=83495&hilit=Cinemaven%27s+Tales#p83495 )* ( 2011 TCM Festival photographs: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5571 )