- Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra in High Society (1956)
- Stanley Donen discussing directing icon Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face (1957)
- Robert Evans discussing the cultural phenomenon of Ali MacGraw and her style in Love Story (1970)
- Kim Novak discussing her own iconic performance in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958)
- Norman Jewison introducing sexy Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
- Two-time Bond Girls Maud Adams and Eunice Gayson introducing Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962)
- Grace Kelly in Edith Head in Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief (1955)
- Stanley Donen introducing Audrey Hepburn (and her Givenchy) in Charade (1963)
- Joan Crawford (and many many others) in The Women (1939)
- Closing the festival, Tony Roberts introducing Woody Allen's trendsetting Annie Hall (1977)
One of the great event highlights of the festival was covering Thursday's red carpet opening night gala for Cabaret. There I saw Liza Minnelli (of course), Hitchcock heroines Eva Marie Saint and Tippi Hedren, Woody Allen alumni Tony Roberts and Michael Murphy, and the viviacious Debbie Reynolds among many others. I also spoke with Patricia Ward Kelly, widow of Gene Kelly, whose vintage alligator handbag caught my eye along with her stylish suits from L.A. based designer Ali Rahimi for Mon Atelier. And then there was the experience of being photographed by the paparazzi while wooed by 1927's Wings star A.C. Lyles, who still had the moves at a frisky 93. But the ultimate highlight was probably Friday morning sitting on the red carpet right in front of Kim Novak as her hand and footprints were immortalized at Grauman's Chinese Theater. What a thrill!
With all this activity, it was a while before I even saw my first movie at the festival...Wednesday, much of Thursday, and even Friday morning was spent doing interviews and running around. This isn't a complaint--I was in heaven! In addition to the events I already mentioned, my time included talking with film critic Leonard Maltin and Film Noir Foundation founder Eddie Muller on style in the movies. I was also even interviewed on air by TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz on two separate occasions. Couldn't have asked for better birthday presents, let me tell you.
Happily, I met both hosts on Wednesday before the festival officially kicked off when we in the media were invited to press roundtables to ask a question or two. Of course mine were centered on style and I inquired as to what (or who) their personal style influences were from classic cinema. After a long pause, Robert told me it was a "great question." Growing up in Colfax, a small town near where I grew up in Washington State, he modeled himself on the entire way that stars of Old Hollywood carried themselves...how they behaved overall. From a style standpoint, he finally admitted to admiring his hero, the "daredevil" Alan Ladd. Incredible timing since I'm just about to see Ladd in a double feature at the NOIR CITY film festival this weekend, so I'll be admiring his style as well. Robert also discussed his relationship with the great Lucille Ball, who originally hired him in her cast largely because he knew and loved Old Hollywood while everyone else at the time did not. Feeling that he was born to be a journalist (his college major), Lucy mentored and encouraged Robert to write a book on the movie industry. The rest, as they say, is history.
When the hosts switched tables and Ben sat down, he too paused at the question of his style influences. Before answering, he shared a great story about Stanley Donen directing Audrey Hepburn in Two for the Road--the first movie since Roman Holiday that Hubert de Givenchy did NOT create her costumes. One can only imagine the "awkward conversation" Donen had with Audrey over his desire to use other modern designers. Instead of Givenchy. When Ben finally steered back to his own style inspiration, he said admiringly, "Cary Grant can wear a suit...and the way he wears it is still relevant today." He also mentioned another men's style icon, Steve McQueen, when talking about his excitement over the festival's Thomas Crown Affair and interviewing director Norman Jewison before the screening.
As you can see, TCM presented us with an incredible and often torturous line up of movies and events from Thursday morning (Wednesday for the press) until late Sunday night. Of course there were many more options beyond the ones I chose, too. These were difficult choices to make and attendees were always more willing to not eat or sleep than miss their favorites. This may be music to TCM's ears. "You want people to have to make hard decisions," Ben asserted. "You want people to suffer. You want people excited to come back for more."
Well, here I am back for more. Let the sublime suffering begin.
First signs of TCM welcoming me to the 2012 Classic Film Festival at the Roosevelt Hotel
A place familiar to festival goers, 25 Degrees at the Roosevelt was often our only food stop
for hours...and hours...and hours
The lobby and bar of the Roosevelt
Press Pass: a GlamAmor Original cotton gingham fit and flare dress, 1960s yellow wool coat,
1960s black leather frame bag, Charles David yellow strappy stilettos,
yellow silk cardigan (below), gold hoop earrings, and gold skinny bangle bracelet
BELOW: with TCM podcast host and promo producer (and friend) Scott McGee
Early morning in the Library Bar for press roundtables with TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz
sitting next to press pals Elise Crane Derby, Elizabeth Menzies, and Will McKinley (thanks for the photos!)
The TCM crew hard at work in the lobby starting to set things up for the festival
Walking out past The Bridge lounge to the pool at the Roosevelt
Even in the midst of an oncoming storm, poolside at the Roosevelt is still a favorite place to be
Next on the TCM Classic Film Festival coverage--