A Personal Look at the TCM Classic Film Festival 2011
The final day of the festival started with Trevor and I going to a screening of Night Flight, a film that features Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, John Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore, which hadn’t been screened for nearly 60 years. This film was introduced by Robert Osborne, who sat in the audience for the entire screening. Following the film, Drew Barrymore and Osborne had a discussion of her family’s legacy and how she is a TCM addict herself (it’s the only channel she ever watches).
Next up was a screening of A Place in the Sun at the Egyptian. While in line for this I met up with fellow Twitter film fan PeterAPeel (we had a great conversation about Lew Ayres and Planet of the Apes sequels) and the guys from the WarnerArchive Twitter account. This was a film I’d seen before and wasn’t too crazy about, but after seeing it on the big screen am now completely in love with. Rose McGowan introduced the film and Eva Marie Saint talked about working with Elizabeth Taylor afterwards.
The last film I saw during the festival was West Side Story, also at the Egyptian. One of the film’s stars, George Chakiris (who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as Bernardo), Marni Nixon (who dubbed Natalie Wood’s singing) and Executive Producer Walter Mirisch talked for a good thirty minutes about the film’s complicated production. This is a film I have loved since I was a little girl, so I can’t think of a better way to have ended the festival. During the “Officer Krupke” sequence I may or may not have actually been shaking and crying, it was such a powerful cinematic experience.
The final event of the festival was an after party, which Trevor, Kristen and Jennifer of Dereliction Row and I mostly spent poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel with some delicious mojitos.
I think the best thing about the festival, despite how wonderful all the guest speakers and screenings were, was meeting with other film fans. Every time you stood in line (which was often) you had someone to talk to about anything and everything classic film related. Even TCM host Ben Mankiewicz said that it was this interaction with the fans, fans who care deeply about these films and their history, that made this festival something more than just a film festival. It’s a celebration of film and everything that makes us love it and want to share it.