Thursday, April 17, 2014

Who I Met, Who I Saw and My Thoughts on the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival

This year's festival theme was Family in the Movies: The Ties that Bind. While the movies screened fit this theme, this idea of family goes beyond just the schedule. The people who attended the festival are like one big family and the tie that binds us is classic movies. When you go to the TCM Classic Film Festival, you're with family. It doesn't feel like you're with a bunch of strangers because you are with your people. Whether you're seeing a familiar face, meeting someone for the first time after talking with them online for years, or bonding with a complete stranger in line for an event, you know you're with like-minded people who want to celebrate a shared love of classic movies.

Laura, Jessica, me and Aurora

I really felt the family vibe even more so this year than last year. And leaving the festival was especially painful because it hit me all at once that these wonderful classic film fans were not going to be making the trek back to Massachusetts with me. They were going back to their homes, all over the country, all over the world, all hoping to reunite for next year's festival.
Carlos, Robby and me

Max and me

The last film I saw at the festival was the 75th anniversary screening of The Wizard of Oz (1939) in 3D at the TCL Chinese IMAX. It was the perfect way to end the festival because it really spoke to what was happening to all of us at that very moment. We were all in the land of Oz, with new friends whom we feel like we've known for a lifetime, but now it's time for us to go back to our own Kansas.

Casey and Jessica

Me with Casey and Sarah

This year I was more excited to see folks I had met at last year's festival and to meet people I've only known online. The other friends I made were an added bonus!

Here are some of the wonderful folks that I got to spend some quality time with.

Angela of Hollywood Revue
Annmarie from Classic Movie Hub
Ariel of Sinamatic Salve-ation
Aurora of Once Upon a Screen...
Carley of The Black Maria and The Kitty Packard Pictorial
Casey of Noir Girl
Daniel of Celebrity Cafe
Diane of Classic Movie Blog
Drew of The Black Maria
Jessica of Comet Over Hollywood
Jill of The Black Maria
Joel of Joel's Classic Film Passion
K.C. of A Classic Movie Blog
Karen from The Dark Pages and Shadows and Satin
Kate Gabrielle of Scathingly Brilliant
Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled
Kristen of Journeys in Classic Film
Kristen of Eat Cinema. Drink Coffee. Live Forever.
Lara Gabrielle of Backlots
Laura of Laura's Miscellaneous Musings and her wonderful husband Doug!
Lindsay of Lindsay's Movie Musings
Lou Lumenick from The New York Post
Marya of Cinema Fanatic
Matt from Warner Archive
Millie of ClassicForever
Nicola of Vintage Film Nerd
Nora of The Nitrate Diva and her mother Colleen
Paula of TCM Party and Cinema Detroit
Raquel of Now Watching
Robby of Dear Old Hollywood
Sarah of The Wicker Bar
Trevor of TCM Party

If I forgot to include you, let me know and I'll add you to the list!

Candid from the TCM Tweet-up

Here are some of the special guests I got to see:

Bo Hopkins - American Graffiti (1973) screening poolside
Candy Clark - American Graffiti (1973) screening poolside
Jane Seymour - TCM at 20 Exhibition
Jerry Lewis -  Jerry Lewis Hand and Footprint Ceremony
Kim Novak - TCM at 20 Exhibition and Bell, Book and Candle (1958) screening
Leonard Maltin - A Conversation with Quincy Jones at Club TCM and in the Roosevelt Hotel
Margaret O'Brien - Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) screening and twice in the Roosevelt Hotel
Maureen O'Hara - How Green Was My Valley (1941) screening and On Air interview
Mel Brooks - Blazing Saddles (1974) screening and On Air interview
Merrie Spaeth - The World of Henry Orient (1964) screening
Paul Le Mat - American Graffiti (1973) screening poolside
Paula Prentiss - The World of Henry Orient (1964) screening
Quentin Tarantino - Jerry Lewis Hand and Footprint Ceremony
Quincy Jones - A Conversation with Quincy Jones at Club TCM

And I can't even count how many times I saw Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz! I was also happy to regularly see the fantastic staff of TCM including Scott McGee, Tom Brown, Genevieve McGillicuddy, Charles Tabesh as well as Nora and Katie!

Press Photo. Source: Getty Images

My favorite moments from the festival:
  • Watching my #1 favorite film Bachelor Mother (1939) on the big screen.
  • Meeting Robert Osborne for the first time. He's just as friendly and generous as you'd imagine him to be.
  • Getting the opportunity to spend so much time with friends (both new and old). I treasured every hug, every conversation, every moment.
  • Talking to Margaret O'Brien in the Roosevelt Hotel bathroom
  • Seeing Jerry Lewis for the first time
  • Greg Proop's introduction to Bachelor Mother (1939).
  • Cheering for Kim Novak at the Bell, Book and Candle screening.
    Shaking hands with director Quentin Tarantino at the Jerry Lewis Hand and Footprint Ceremony
  • Everything about the Charlton Heston Stamp Dedication Ceremony
  • Watching The World of Henry Orient and discovering this film as a new favorite.
  • Watching Quincy Jones fist bump Leonard Maltin
  • Laughing as Jerry Lewis gave us all the middle finger.
  • Seeing Maureen O'Hara twice. It wasn't enough for me to see her once. I needed to see her again!
  • Making friends and chatting with my new buddies Max and Eva.
  • Going to the El Capitan theatre for the first time.
  • Every single appreciative applause from the audience. We all applaud before and after the interviews and introductions, several times during the credits, after wonderful scenes or musical numbers, when we see a notable star for the first time in the movie and at the end.
  • 20 Years of TCM on Air panel at Club TCM which featured a lot of the TCM promos.
  • Seeing The Wizard of Oz (1939) in 3D IMAX on it's 75th anniversary and in the same theatre where it premiered.
  • Crying buckets of tears during How Green Was My Valley (1941).

My least favorite moments from the festival:
  • The line for The World of Henry Orient. The lines are managed very well but this one was a little tricky. Kudos to the TCM staff who managed to fix the problem.
  • Being sick most of the festival because of an irregular eating schedule.
  • Having to leave the screening of Blazing Saddles early because of said sickness.
  • Falling asleep during two films because I forgot to have some afternoon caffeine.
  • Missing out on the Ask Robert Osborne Q&A which ended up being something completely different. Jill St. John was there! ::sobs::
  • Seeing comedian Jamie Kaler and choking up. I wish I could have been calmer so I could tell him how much I loved his character on the show My Boys.
  • The Genworth charging station. I couldn't charge any of my devices there. The overall lack of places to charge devices is an issue especially when you take photos/videos and share on social media! I bought a Mophie which extended the life of my iPhone battery. It helped immensely!
  • Saying goodbye to all my wonderful friends.
Overall the experience was glorious. It was even better than the 2013 festival and that one was hard to top! I'm sure next year's festival will be even more wonderful and I'm saving my pennies now so I can go to that one too.


  1. Great post. Nice have the people you met listed, bloggers and celebs. So glad you had the experience.

  2. Before I wrote a film blog, I wrote a comics blog, and whenever I'd go to conventions, I had a similar rapport with the friends I saw every year at one con in particular in Maryland. So I know exactly how you feel.

    1. I've often referred to TCMFF as a classic film "Comic Con". I'm sure the experiences are similar. It's wonderful when like-minded people can get together to share their passion.

  3. What about me? Laura's male companion

    1. Sorry Doug! I added you above. I hope you saw that I referred to you in a previous post as "my hero". It was such a pleasure hanging out with you.

    2. WOW, "Wonderful Husband" thank you. Next year we will save a day for the Untied Federation of Classic Film Bloggers, including grave stocking.

  4. Great post. Sounds like a wonderful experience.thanks for sharing.

  5. Great recap and I do feel like I know everyone from #TCMParty. I think I'll be there next year. Saving my pennies!

    1. Stephen - It would be great to hang out with you at the next TCMFF!

  6. Oh, you have a picture of Max! I was next to him on line for Godzilla and we talked for about 20 minutes about how he started a small 'film class' where he lives. Very interesting guy, I enjoyed our conversation a lot. Well, honestly I enjoyed talking with everyone on line while waiting for films to begin.

  7. Hi Raquel! I've been linking to your posts but want to let you know directly how much I'm enjoying them all! Your photos are wonderful. (And you were so sweet to add Doug, LOL! He loved getting to know you and Carlos!) Your posts really capture the special time we had. It meant a lot to share so much of it with you. Can't wait to do it all again next year!!

    Best wishes,


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