Friday, May 2, 2014

TCM Classic Film Festival 2014--All in the Family

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) recently celebrated their 20th anniversary in grand fashion at the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival.  More than 25,000 people came to collectively toast everyone's favorite network in Hollywood.  The crowds felt even busier than in years past and the programming more packed.  The theme of this year's festival was Family in the Movies: the Ties that Bind and, as many have already discussed, that turned out to be the overarching experience of the festival as well.  The classic cinema community is one that is passionate, strong, and supportive.  Many of us have gotten to know one another quite well over the years, fueled by active online communities.  And so, we all look forward to the festival as a way to see one another in person and enjoy the movies we love together at the most incredible historic venues.  At times, we looked like this photo for 1939's The Women (above, shown at the festival) as we strode along the sidewalks of Hollywood to see the next film at the Chinese or Egyptian theater.

My time at TCMFF began by picking up my friend and Roosevelt Hotel roommate Kay Noske (of Movie Star Makeover) at LAX and driving us to Hollywood.  It was a bright, sunny day, which would lead into warm weather for the festival...a welcome change for many flying in from across the country and much colder climates.  We checked into a room that overlooked Hollywood Boulevard with the Chinese Theater close enough to touch and a view that stretched from the Hollywood sign all the way to downtown Los Angeles.  Even though it was still the day before the festival officially began, there was already a lot of activity in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel.  As it was the center of the festival, every attendee seemed to pass through its doors.  Many also chose to stay and watch TCM filming on air interviews with its hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz.  Kay and I bumped into many of the folks we know, which resulted in what has since been called the TCMFF "Oscar-style" selfie (seen among pictures below).  Its nickname is fitting as it was taken only steps away from the Blossom Ballroom--the location of the very first Academy Awards in 1929.  We finished the day with dinner by the pool...watching the sun set over the water and enjoying the company of friend and fellow costume design historian Christian Esquevin (of Silver Screen Modes).  That conversation included everything from current projects to the pros and cons of beloved costume designer Edith Head.

The festival itself was filled with just about everything.  Morning at a Press Q&A where we asked questions of TCM host Robert Osborne, host Ben Mankiewicz, Programming SVP Charlie Tabesh, and Festival head Genevieve McGillicuddy.  Lunch at Musso & Frank Grill with many of the members of Twitter's #TCMParty.  Afternoon at the Egyptian Theater for a 'Meet TCM' discussion between senior leadership and a packed audience.  Evening on the Chinese Theater red carpet at the opening night gala for Oklahoma! (1955) and seeing stars Shirley Jones, Kim Novak, Tippi Hedren, Maureen O'Hara, and many more. And then, of course, watching movies throughout--American Graffiti (1973) at the Roosevelt pool, The Thin Man (1934) at the Egyptian, and Grey Gardens (1975) at the Chinese.

Though unfortunately I had to leave the festival early due to an emergency, in retrospect, I was still able to do so much.  There was wall-to-wall activity and it was incredible how many people I managed to meet, see, and spend some quality time together. This included Will McKinley (@WillMcKinley), Aurora Bugallo (@CitizenScreen), Kellee Pratt (@IrishJayhawk66), Elise Derby (@EliseCD), Lara Fowler (@Backlots), Paula Guthat (@Paula_Guthat), Alan Hait (@AlanHait), Joel Williams (@JoelRWilliams1), Patricia Schneider (@TheLaydeeEve), Kelly Kitchens Wickersham (@Kelly_Wick), and Carley Johnson (@MissCarley).  And those from TCM I was able to see and say hello to included Robert Osborne, Ben Mankiewicz, Charlie Tabesh, Genevieve McGillicuddy, Sean Cameron, Tom Brown, and Shannon Clute.  Of course there was more to do and people to see at the TCM Classic Film Festival--and I encourage you to check out everyone's reports--but clearly I made the most of my time there.  Thanks to all for your warmth and generosity.  Like many others, I'm already looking forward to 2015!

The Roosevelt Hotel opened in May, 15, 1927
by backers that included Hollywood luminaries Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Louis B. Mayer

Sid Grauman's Chinese Theater opened across the street only three days after the Roosevelt...
co-owners Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were first to leave their handprints in cement

The Chinese Theater and Roosevelt Hotel today

The Roosevelt Hotel front entrance on Hollywood Boulevard

The Blossom Room at the Roosevelt Hotel in 1929 (above)
and that same year hosting the first ever Academy Awards

The Blossom Room today (above)
and our own "Oscar-style" selfie only steps away from it

Windows to our room are likely in this shot...
we overlooked the Chinese Theater and other historic LA landmarks

The iconic Musso & Frank Grill was chosen for lunch on Opening Day
for many of the people who are part of #TCMParty on Twitter

Right next to Musso's famous bar (above), the #TCMParty does lunch--
Paula Guthat, Aurora Bugallo, William McKinley, Alan Hait, me, Kellee Pratt, Elise Derby, and Colleen and Nora
(Kay is behind the camera)

After lunch we crossed the street to 'Meet TCM' at the Egyptian Theater and
later joined press along the red carpet before the opening of Oklahoma! (1955) at the Chinese Theater

Standing across from my spot on the press line, right in front of the Chinese Theater

To show you the fan's vantage point, Kay and I also hopped into the stands for a while (second row, far left)

TCM VP of Original Programming Tom Brown entertained the fans and interviewed the stars,
including TCM's great host Robert Osborne and Oklahoma! star Shirley Jones

Shirley on the red carpet
and in her surrey with the fringe on top in Oklahoma! (1955)

Shirley's Oscar-winning role and the one I love best for Elmer Gantry (1960, below)

Kim Novak on the red carpet
and in her iconic gray suit for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958)

Tippi Hedren--another Hitchcock Heroine--on the red carpet
and in her iconic green suit for The Birds (1963)

Margaret O'Brien on the red carpet
and with Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944, shown at festival)

Maureen O'Hara on the red carpet
and in another great green suit for the film where I first met her--The Parent Trap (1961)

After the red carpet, I headed to the Roosevelt Pool for a screening of American Graffiti (1973)
where I met good friend Christian Esquevin and we watched 1950s dancers before the show

TCM host Ben Mankiewicz interviews three of the leads of American Graffiti (1973)--
(l-r) Bo Hopkins, Candy Clark, and Paul Le Mat

With its incredible soundtrack, American Graffiti starts being screened poolside for a packed crowd

Thanks to WireImage for event photos, Mary Mallory for historic Roosevelt Hotel,
and AMPAS for first Academy Awards


Silver Screenings said...

What a great collection of photos! They almost make a person feel like they were there.

Kimberly Truhler said...

Thank you! That's always my intention--I want those who weren't there to be able to feel what it was like, and I want those who attended to be able to relive some of the spirit of the event again. :)

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