Friday, March 27th
The dawn portended a hot day in the City of Angels. We were up early as in if we were going to work early. But no work for us today- we were up at the crack of dawn because of the first event of the day, the Dawn of Technicolor
presentation. Everything I had read online and everyone I had talked to all said this was going to be a popular event. Having read the book that the presentation was based on, I knew we had to get there early so we would not get shut out.
The dog looked at us quizzically as if to ask, why are both leaving together? He then seemed to realize it might be a long day and we got the “you people suck” look.
Oh well, we had places to go and people to see! And the dog was right, it was going to be a long day.
Traffic was not great for rush hour on Friday morning but it could have been worse. As it was, no accidents, just distracted drivers. We made it to Hollywood and found parking at the lot across the street from the Egyptian.
We got in line and David joined us soon after. We talked about our excitement at seeing The Man Who Would Be King
the next morning. He told us about the Too Late for Tears
screening and we told him about Liberty Valance
. We soon spotted Paula getting in the line of Spotlight passholders. Not long after that Texas Theresa joined her.
Texas Theresa- she always looks ready for close-up!
This year, they provided shade for Passholders lines. Luckily for us, it was still early morning and the sun was on the opposite side away from us. As we were talking, we noticed Larry getting in the Spotlight line. A quick text to Paula and Texas T to increase the number of seats we would need was in order. While we were waiting Alexa joined us.
By the way, the Festival App, at least on the Iphone 5s, was a thing of beauty this year. It allowed users to create easily create their own schedules so you knew where you were supposed to be with the tap of two buttons. It also allowed you to share with others. I hope they bring it back next year.
The theater opened and we were let in. We quickly found Paula, Texas Theresa and Larry and we had great seats. Christy wasn’t able to join us as she was covering Christopher Plummer’s handprint ceremony in the forecourt of Graumans but Theresa’s hubby, Joe, soon joined us.
The presentation by authors David Pierce and James Layton was wonderful. Concentrating on the early history of Technicolor, which is celebrating 100 years, they presented an array of clips mostly from the early sound musicals. Trying to perfect the two-color process, many of these films are either lost or only survive in black and white.
So it was quite thrilling to see these musical numbers as the audiences had over eighty five years ago. It was also the perfect way to see these films - if you ever sat through Hollywood Revue of 1929
, you know how tedious some of those early musicals can be. Spotlighting the crazy musical numbers was certainly a better choice than an entire day of watching them.
Highlights included a “twin” number featuring famous twins including Loretta Young and sister, Polly Ann; Jeanette MacDonald and sister Blossom Dearie and others.
The Golddiggers of Broadway
stills provided us a look at the Warner Brothers sound stage, the icebox where the camera was encased and the the massive lighting grid. All those lights were needed to get the film to expose properly. It often reached 160 degrees on the stage and I can tell you as someone who grew up in the west with our simmering summers, that is not some place I would wanted to have been. It also included a musical sequence set to Tip-toe Through the Tulips which many of us were very familiar with having come of age in the era of Tiny Tim.
The Sultan’s Jester
was the most harrowing to watch as two male dancers literally threw their young female partner through the air throughout the entire sequence. We joked afterwards that she must have made them all promise not to drink the night before because one wrong move and she could have been seriously injured.
It was a delightful and informative presentation and made getting up so darned early well worth it.
After the presentation, it was time to gather the troops and go to lunch. A friend of ours had snagged an individual ticket for the presentation and we ran into him on the way out of the theater. He joined our brigade for lunch.
We trooped over to the California Pizza Kitchen at Hollywood and Highland. When we got there, it was not open yet, so we waited for about 15 minutes and when they opened the doors, we snagged the patio table.
Alexa and Larry talk numbers
David and Jon are just glad not to be in the sun
We had a delicious lunch and it was fun getting the chance to relax and talk without having to worry about the time.
After our leisurely lunch, most were going back to the Roosevelt to hang out. Jon was going to see Pinocchio
for the first time on the big screen ever. He would have about 45 minutes before he had to get in line for a seat.
I was going to the Club TCM discussion on A Surreal Existence
with panelists Tony Mendez (Argo
), Mark Schultz (Foxcatcher
) and Aron Ralston (127 Hours
) so I had a little time.
I drove home (the thermometer in the car computer said it was 97 degrees outside) and let Mr. Bo out. He was confused as I had left with Jon and come back alone. It took some persuading but he finally went out and did his duty.
Back in the car and back to Hollywood. This time I parked at the Roosevelt. Walking into the lobby, it was nice and cool. I went over to the bar and found that guardian angels (Paula and Alexa) had intervened and stopped Christy from having a minor meltdown due to lack of food. She was in much better mood, nibbling on her lunch and writing about the Plummer ceremony. Leaving her in good hands I wandered into Club TCM to scope out for the upcoming panel. Rory Flynn was talking about growing up with her father, Errol Flynn. I found Larry sitting on one of the sofas. He was hoping to talk to Rory after the discussion.
I got a beer and listened to Ms. Flynn talk. She had quite a childhood from what I could gather coming into the discussion so late.
Luckily for me, when her discussion ended, people emptied the booths. I grabbed another beer (they were complimentary this year) and our corner booth, texted the usual suspects that I had the booth and would be in Club TCM for not only the upcoming discussion but the one that followed, Scott Eyman interviewing Peter Fonda about his father.
More to come!