This year will be the first year since 2016 that I won't be headed to Los Angeles this spring. I knew the cancellation was coming, but it still hurt after a year of planning and saving.
Many of us talked and decided that we would dress up, call our local food establishments to order dinner out, and chat and watch some of our favorite TCM Film Festival movies. TCM had the same idea when they announced they would have a "TCM Classic Film Festival Home Edition," April 16-19. The network will show moments from past festivals, interviews, and some of the most popular films they've shown.
I was excited because now I can go to the festival with all of you.
They released their schedule along with their announcement. Since we're all stuck at home, now is the best time to discover and fall in love with these classic films. Trust me; I'm going to give you a list of must-see movies that will make you forget all about what's happening outside.
Thursday, April 16, everything kicks off at 7:00 p.m. with A Star Is Born (1954).
Listen, I'm going to make a bold statement that I haven't shared with anyone. I have friends who would disown me if they knew this, but I'm not a huge Judy Garland fan. She's alright, I respect her, but this film is pretty good. We all know how the movie ends, so if you're like me and feeling a little low these days, have a small snack or shower during the last half an hour or so.
The rest of the night's line up is pretty good, but Friday afternoon is when things start to take off.
1:00 p.m. Friday, April 17, an interview with Eva Marie Saint.
They'll be showing an interview with Eva Marie Saint live from the 2014 Classic Film Festival. 2:15 p.m. North by Northwest (1959)
Immediately following, they'll be showing North by Northwest, presented from the 2010 TCM Film Festival with Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau in attendance.
4:45 p.m. Some Like It Hot (1959) - This is one of the greatest films of all time. If you've never seen a classic movie, please start here and fall in love. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon are incredible, and I guarantee that you will completely forget about your worries as you join the fellas on this adventure.
7:00 p.m. Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2015) - I haven't seen this Documentary, but I've only heard fantastic things about it. Storyboard artist Harold Michelson and his wife, film researcher Lillian Michelson were once considered the heart of Hollywood. They worked on hundreds of iconic films including, The Birds and The Apartment. Their contributions remain mostly uncredited. This has been on my radar for five years now, so I'm excited to see this film. My pal Raquel has been gushing about this film for a while, so I am beyond excited to see this one.
Saturday, April 16
12:30 a.m. Grey Gardens (1975) - If you want to stay up late, join my beloved Big Edie and Little Edie Beale for Grey Gardens. This movie just makes me want to burst. I wish everyone I knew would watch this so I could say things like, "Little Edie was the first and ultimate Social Distancer," that's funny stuff! I have been drawn to this Documentary by Albert Maysles (who will be in attendance) since I saw it. There is something so endearing about Little Edie; I just love her, she's wacky, interesting and tragic. Grey Gardens is my favorite Documentary of all time, so please consider recording it or staying up to watch it.
7:00 a.m. Mad Love (1935) Saturday, April 18 - The day kicks off with Bill Hader and actress Cora Sue Collins introducing Mad Love. Peter Lorre stars in this horror/sci-fi film. A lot for a Saturday morning, but that's how it goes when you're trying to marathon 20 movies in three and a half days.
8:15 a.m. Double Harness (1933) Oh, Double Harness. Say this movie title to any TCMFF attendee, and they'll have flashbacks of standing in line for hours to get into this William Powell pre-code. I got up early and stood in line for hours for this film. I didn't get it, so on Sunday, when they scheduled it again, I stood in line for a while and gave up. I finally had a chance to see in months later at home-I was so underwhelmed. I think enough time has passed for me to give it another shot. I've forgotten how angry I was at wasting hours in line to miss it on the big screen. It has William Powell enough said.
9:30 a.m. Vitaphone Shorts: Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder (1929); Don't Get Nervous (1929); Lambchops (1929); The late, great, founder of the Vitaphone Project, Ron Hutchinson, presented a program in 2016 called "90th Anniversary of Vitaphone." The work Ron did with Vitaphone was inspiring. He found, restored, and preserved hundreds of films from the early 'talkie' era. The Vitaphone Project brought films to life when sound reels and picture reels had to be cued up separately. Many times the movie would survive while these shellac records containing the sound were missing. Ron tracked down these records and put them together with the films they belonged to. His presentation in 2016 of these Vitaphone shorts is to this day, my favorite presentation I've attended. To sit in the Egyptian Theater so early in the morning and laugh myself silly to The Beau Brummels (1928) is something I'll never forget. It was absolute magic. Ron passed away in 2019.
12:30 p.m. Safety Last (1923) - You better believe I'm going to beg you to watch the local boy, Harold Lloyd, in this fantastic film. If you've never really liked silent films, give this one a shot. Its lovely, crisp, and fun. Just a perfect silent movie by our Nebraska boy!
4:45 p.m. Network (1976) - Network was the last film I saw at my first film festival. I went to see Faye Dunaway speak about her career and followed it up with this film. It was the first viewing for me, and I was blown away. I loved it; it's heavy, I mean heavy. Again, if you're feeling a little down being stuck at home, skip this one.
7:00 p.m. Casablanca (1942) - What can you say about this little slice of perfection? You all know the lines, "Here's looking at you kid;" "We'll always have Paris," and "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." It's classic movies personified.
12:30 a.m. Norman Lloyd: Live from the TCM Film Festival (2016)- Mr. Lloyd was 100 at the time of this taping. Some friends and I bumped into this magical man last year when he was attending the festival as a guest. He is just happiness, orneriness, and love in one beautiful package. Stay up for this interview if you can.
Sunday, April 19
1:00 p.m. Red-Headed Woman (1932) - Let me count the ways I love this pre-code treasure. This film stars Jean Harlow and Chester Morris. My newest dog's name is Chester after Chester Morris. I love him and this insane movie.
5:00 p.m. Singin' In the Rain (1952) - I'm not a fan of musicals, but give me this one, and I'm here for it. The film and music is beautiful, and it's just a fun movie.
7:00 p.m. Floyd Norman: An Animated Life (2020) - This was scheduled for this year's festival, and I would have been front and center. I have goosebumps typing this and thinking that I missed getting to see Normal speak this year. He was at the festival last year to discuss his animation on Sleeping Beauty (1959). He showed us the moments he animated in the film and what it was like in the animation studios back then. Sleeping Beauty is my favorite animated Disney film, so seeing an animator talk about it left me in tears. I cried all the way through the presentation and the movie. It was such a moment and probably my favorite from last year.
8:45 p.m. The Hustler (1961) - Paul Newman, that's all I need to say.
I hope you get a chance to lose yourself for a while in a great classic film during this 'At Home Festival." I'll be here in my living room dressed in a few of the outfits I bought for the fest enjoying what I love best, beautiful storytelling.