I’ve never been head-over-heels in love with the TCM Classic Film Festival, but I’ve always liked watching restorations of classic films (DCPs and not the dreaded 35mm) on the big screen. I’ve been attending since 2011, or the festival’s second year, and I’ve always been press-credentialed. This year, however, I didn’t request the press pass soon enough and the Ginsberg-Libby p.r. guys are telling me they can’t bend the rules to help me out. If I want to see something I guess I can just show up and buy a ticket. Not worth fretting over but a bit of a pain.
I have two good excuses for dropping the ball. One is that I was assuming the festival would happen in either mid-April (last year it ran from 4.10 through 4.13) or late April (in 2013, or the year of the 1.37:1 Shane, it ran from 4.25 thru 4.28). This year it’s happening from 3.26 through 3.29 — a full month earlier than the 2013 fest and two weeks earlier than last year’s. On top of which Chelsea Barredo, the gracious and compassionate Ginsberg-Libby publicist who took care of me in ’13 and ’14, is no longer with GL and her replacement didn’t send me a friendly reminder or nudge about the earlier dates. She didn’t get in touch at all about anything.
It’s my responsibility, of course, to keep up on these matters and request my press pass within the proper time frame. I’m just really busy and it slipped my mind. I know that if Chelsea Barredo were still with GL I’d be in good shape, but that’s water under the bridge.
The good news is that the festival is kind of a bore this year. Same old titles, same old lore. There are no big restorations to see like Shane in ’13 or Oklahoma! or A Hard Day’s Night last year. The big opening night film is Robert Wise‘s The Sound of Music, celebrating its 50th year, but who with a modicum of taste and cultivation cares about sitting through that?
Posted on 4.25.13: “The Hollywood Roosevelt is jammed with a mixture of movie lovers of this or that denomination, second- and third-tier industry hobknobbers and poorly dressed out-of-towners (many of them wearing sandals with socks, kakhi shorts and madras short-sleeve shirts) in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Really…nothing says ‘visiting from Flagstaff, Arizona for the weekend’ like a madras shirt. Don’t these people realize this? Or don’t they care? I’m walking around in my dark jacket and black shades like Napoleon Solo, casually noting their behavior and acting all neutral-like.”
Filed last year: “With the exception of a very occasional brand-new restoration (like Thursday night’s presentation of Schawn Belston‘s 30-frame Oklahoma! or last year’s special Shane restoration), the TCM Classic Film Festival is about savoring films you’ve seen several times at home but via expert big-screen projection with good (or at least fairy good) sound. If, that is, they’re being shown on (a) the big Chinese TCL IMAX screen or (b) on the almost-as-big screen at the American Cinematheque Egyptian. (All TCMCFF projection is handled by Boston Light and Sound’s Chapin Cutler, one of the best guys in the business, but the architecture of at least one of the Chinese multiplex houses is seriously flawed).”