Thursday, May 5, 2016

TCM Classic Film Festival 2016: Day #3 Recap

TCM Classic Film Festival 2016 Red Carpet

Thursday was the opening day of the TCM Classic Film Festival but day number 3 in my festival adventures. I spent the morning locked in my hotel room anxiously studying my notes, writing down questions, doing my hair and make-up and generally getting ready for my first red carpet event as a member of the media.

I was racked with nerves for a few weeks beforehand but once I got onto the red carpet my nervousness was gone and I was in my element. It's been my dream for years to be on the red carpet and interview people. Last year I begged my husband to get me a professional camera for my birthday. I wanted it so I could start filming more videos for my blog and to take it with me to TCMFF to capture some of the amazing moments I would experience there. The camera came in handy to film my interviews and to snap photos of stars on the red carpet. I'll be sharing full details on my red carpet experience here soon.

In the meantime, here are some photos of me on the red carpet taken by some friends who were sitting in the bleachers. Several friends were really supportive and said many encouraging things to me before and after the event. I appreciate all their kind words because I really needed them. Marya, now social media maven at TCM, helped us bloggers out a lot on the red carpet and directed talent our way. She was great!

Raquel Stecher 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival Red Carpet
Setting up for the Red Carpet along with Nora, Kim and Kristen (Photo Credit: Laura)
I was privileged enough to interview the following people:

Coleman Breland and Jennifer Dorian of TCM
Actor Darryl Hickman
Film Critic Leonard Maltin
Film Critic Sr. Rose Pacatte
Actor Chris Lemmon (son of Jack Lemmon)
Actress Gina Lollobrigida
Film researcher Lillian Michelson, Harold and Lillian director Daniel Raim and producer Jennifer Raim

Raquel Stecher & Gina Lollobrigida 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival Red Carpet
Interviewing Gina Lollobrigida (Photo credit: Jessica)
Raquel Stecher & Leonard Maltin 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival Red Carpet
Interviewing Leonard Maltin (Photo credit: Laura)

Raquel Stecher & Lillian Michelson 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival Red Carpet
Interviewing Lillian Michelson (Photo Credit: Karen)

There were other people I saw but didn't get a chance to interview. These include:

Actor Alec Baldwin
Journalist Carl Bernstein
Actor Salvatore Cascio
Actor Keith Carradine
Director Roger Corman
Actor James Cromwell
Actor Ted Donaldson
Actress Illeana Douglas
Actor Lou Gossett Jr.
Actress Anna Karina and Director Dennis Berry
Producer, Actor and Director Norman Lloyd
Producer and Actor David Ladd (son of Alan Ladd)
TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz 
Actress Lee Merriwether
Writer and Director Edoardo Ponti (son of Sophia Loren)
Actress Ann Robinson 
and more.

Norman Lloyd at the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival
Norman Lloyd on the TCMFF red carpet
I had a special moment on the red carpet with 101 year old actor/director/producer Norman Lloyd. I saw him walking past and knew he wouldn't be stopping for an interview. I called out to him and said "we love you Norman!" He stopped and looked around trying to find the face that matched the voice. I repeated "we love you Norman!". He spotted me and said "beautiful!". Then I replied "you're beautiful!" and blew him a kiss. And you know what, he blew me a kiss right back! It was such a delightful moment. A brief flirtation with one of the most fascinating entertainers in the history of film and television. I've had the pleasure of seeing Norman Lloyd multiple times at previous festivals but this encounter with him is my favorite by far.

Poolside screening of The Freshman at TCMFF 2016

I spent the majority of my time at the red carpet and missed the first block of movies. I wandered over to the Roosevelt Hotel pool where I caught the introduction to the silent film The Freshman (1925) which included Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation interviewing Suzanne Lloyd, granddaughter of actor Harold Lloyd.

Eddie Muller and Suzanne Lloyd
Did you know that Harold Lloyd lost a thumb and forefinger when a prop exploded in his hand? After the incident he would wear a prosthetic glove in his films.

The Freshman (1925) screened at TCMFF 2016
I couldn't stay for the whole film but enjoyed what I did see. I heard some complaints about the live music which was very modern. Personally I enjoy when contemporary music is matched with classic movies. I'm also the type of person who enjoyed all the contemporary pop and hip-hop included in the film The Great Gatsby (2013).

I headed over the Chinese Multiplex to get in line for the Argentine noir Los Tallos Amargos (1956) andhung out with some friends in line. A fire alarm went off and the multiplex had to be evacuated. Some festival goers were enjoying the last few minutes of One Potato Two Potato (1964), Dark Victory (1939) and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) when we all moved out into the courtyard. It was a funny moment that generated some chatter and gave us all an opportunity to socialize outside. There was no real fire from what I understand and we had photos and a story to share later.

Jessica and Raquel during the evacuation (Photo Credit: Jessica)
I sat with Paula, Karen, Jessica, Danny and Carlos for Los Tallos Amargos (English translation: Bitter Stems). I was quite tired and not fully awake for the film. I'll have to watch it again later for my review.

Paula, Karen, Jessica and Raquel

Raquel, Carlos and Danny

Thursday was a fantastic start to the festival. Stay tuned for more TCMFF recaps!

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