Tuesday, April 26, 2022

2022 TCM Classic Film Festival: Day #1 Recap

The festivities kicked off on Wednesday, the day before the 2022 TCM Classic Film Festival began. First up:

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

We trekked over to the Academy Museum for a pre-festival visit. I was very excited to visit as I'd heard great things since it officially opened in September of 2021. And unfortunately, it was a disappointment. I was hoping to see a rich array of artifacts from Oscar history on display. Instead the museum offers an immersive experience that is visually interesting but ultimately superficial. It focused more on the experience of the Academy Awards and also spotlighted a handful of filmmakers, both old and new. There was little by way of context and anyone not familiar with the history of the Academy Awards would leave not that much wiser. There were some elements I enjoyed including Pedro Almodovar's curated gallery, the display of Oscar statuettes (including Sidney Poitier's for Lilies of the Field), getting to see Rosebud from Citizen Kane up close and the overall focus on diversity. While the museum allows for photographs in all galleries except for one, the installations are difficult to photograph, especially since so many are active screens, so I didn't end up taking that many. There are several levels that lead to an observatory with fantastic views. And next to the museum is a dedicated theater. On the day we visited, they were preparing for the season premiere of the hit tv show Euphoria.

I have a phobia of oversized murals and installations and museums like this are incredibly triggering. While, I couldn't enter some of the rooms and I did my best to at least peak into the ones that I couldn't access and lingered in the ones that I could spend some time in. If you're sensitive to flashing lights, dark spaces and oversized installations, you may want to skip the museum.

Hollywood Boulevard

Before heading back to the Hollywood Roosevelt, the headquarters of the festival, we took a trip down the boulevard. It's gone through many changes during the pandemic, hardly any of them good. The Egyptian was closed for remodeling after Netflix acquired the property. The Pig & Whistle is no more but from what I understand the new owners plan to maintain the historic elements of the building.

While walking down the boulevard, we took a short detour to pay our respect to the late great Robert Osborne at his star.

Then we made it over to Larry Edmunds Bookshop which is a must for every TCMFF trip. They were hosting a book signing, had movie posters on displays and shelves stocked with all sorts of classic film books. I purchased a copy of Eartha & Kitt: A Daughter's Love Story in Black and White by Kitt Shapiro with Patricia Levy.

TCM Classic Film Festival Media Reception

After the bookshop, I headed over to the media room at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel to pick up my press badge and swag bag. The clear plastic tote came with a bottle of TCM merlot in a special carrier bag, a small tumbler, a copy of Danger on the Silver Screen: 50 Films Celebrating Cinema's Greatest Stunts and an issue of Movie Maker magazine. Due to COVID protocols, I also had to submit health information in order to get a wristband for entry into any and all TCMFF events. I had to wear this through the four days of the festival.

Members of the media were treated to a reception where we heard the big announcement that actress Pam Grier will be the subject of TCM's next season of The Plot Thickens podcast.

After we mingled with media and the TCM hosts, Pam Grier made a surprise entrance towards the end of the event. The video below offers a couple of clips of her appearance and chat. It's NSFW due to the subject matter discussed so put on those headphones!

Opening Night Red Carpet

On the first official day of the festival, I spent all day preparing for the opening night red carpet. Make sure you check out my previous post where I share photos of all the special guests I got to interview or photograph. Videos coming soon!

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Poolside Screening

I wasn't able to get to the screening of The Slender Thread in time. So after the red carpet, I headed over to the pool at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel for the 40th anniversary screening of Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). Dave Karger interviewed Topher Grace who is not only a huge fan of the movie but also was inspired by it to make his own film Take Me Home Tonight (2011). Karger and Grace's conversation was interrupted by a pizza delivery! 

Stay tuned for more coverage of the festival!

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