Wednesday, May 2, 2018

TCM Classic Film Festival 2018: Recap #5

The last day of the TCM Classic Film Festival is always bittersweet. It's a day of goodbyes and farewells. Carlos and I kicked off the day with a family breakfast at Mel's Diner with Jessica of Comet Over Hollywood and Brandon who is currently working on a documentary about Bernard Herrmann.

At TCMFF, bloggers and writers love to pass out buttons. This year Jessica and Brandon passed out Bernard Hermann M&Ms! Follow the @HerrmannMovie account on Twitter to keep up-to-date with the documentary.

After breakfast, I headed over to Larry Edmunds Bookshop for a very special event: A Morning with Marsha Hunt. I won't go into great detail now as I plan to do a full post on this event. It consisted of a presentation, a chat with Marsha Hunt hosted by Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode and an amazing birthday cake to celebrate her 100th year. 

While at Larry Edmunds' Bookshop I also got a copy of Alan K. Rode's new biography on Michael Curtiz which he signed for me! I'm glad I waited until now to pick up a copy. 

Afterwards I headed over to Club TCM which is in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. There I met this couple. This is their first TCMFF and they went all out with two Spotlight passes, the highest level pass that offers lots of access and bonus perks. They purchased this canvas bag during their trip and it was covered with celebrity guest autographs from the festival. I thought this was a marvelous idea. The festival isn't really intended for autograph seeking but it was a clever idea nonetheless.

At Club TCM, members from the Library of Congress hosted a 2-hour interactive workshop/panel called Mostly Lost. Back at the LoC, they host movie screenings where they show clips of films that have been found but are unidentified. They are usually very obscure silent films. Film buffs and historians sign up to participate. They sit in a theater with laptops, reference books, smartphones, whatever they want, watch clips and try to identify actors, actresses and things like clothing, calendars, props, logo, anything that will help identify the film, the period, etc.

Because many of the film clips are silent, they have a few house silent film accompanists, including Ben Model who was at hand to play music for the clips shown at the Club TCM event. Model also did his own presentation about how silent film comedians mastered the art of their comedy in that format. It was called Undercranking: The Magic Behind Slapstick. I love Club TCM events and while I was only able to catch one I was so glad it was Mostly Lost!

One of the great aspects of TCMFF is seeing many of my internet friends in person. I took a lot of selfies with these friends, including Jeff (above) who I've spoken to on Twitter but never met before.

After my time at Club TCM, I headed over to the TCL Chinese IMAX for my last film of the festival. While I was in line this passholder was being interviewed by TCM. I love that her lanyard was decorated with Kate Gabrielle pins!

Confession: I have never seen Animal House (1978). This was a good a time as any but boy did I feel out of the loop. People were dressed in togas (and chanting Toga! Toga!) and in College sweatshirts and geeking out about their favorite scenes. I was a total newbie and had no clue what I was getting into.

The introductions and interviews before a film usually last 15-20 minutes and 25 minutes is pushing it. I thought to myself, with so many special guests, how are they going to cram an interview in a brief time with all of them? The solution: it went on for an hour! Ben Mankiewicz was on hand to interview 8 cast and crew members including director John Landis, a studio exec (forgot his name), Stephen Bishop, Tim Matheson, Bruce McGill, Mark Metcalf, Martha Smith and James Widdoes. There were only supposed to be 7 guests and they had 8 chairs but 8 guests Ben Mankiewicz had to stand for the interview and share a mic with Metcalf.

The hour long interview provided the audience with one of the most thrilling pre-production stories I had ever heard. Landis and the cast went on about the two pivotal weeks before filming began and how they prepared for the role. They also talked about working with John Belushi, how this film almost didn't get made and much more. Even for someone like myself who knew very little about the film, I was enthralled.

In the end I quite enjoyed Animal House. I wanted it to be funnier, I wanted to laugh more but overall I thought it was an excellent comedy and one I'd watch again.

After Animal House, it was time to head to Club TCM for the closing night party. I had an early flight the next day so I only had a little time to say my goodbyes. My good friend Jessica treated me to some champagne and we made the rounds having brief chats, taking selfies and saying our goodbyes.

Sorority squats are a must at TCMFF.

A big thank you to everyone at TCM who worked tirelessly to make the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival. A special thank you to Marya Gates who is always an incredible help on the red carpet. And a special thank you to all of my friends. Whether we had a brief moment to say hello or we enjoyed a long one-on-one chat, it means the world to me to spend quality time with you all. Until next year!

Stay tuned as I'll have a recap post on my thoughts on the festival and who I saw. Also I will have several in-depth posts about specific events. Thanks for following along!

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