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 (4.10 thru 4.13) 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).
After Oklahoma‘s opening-night showing on Thursday night I have a mild interest in seeing the following films: (Friday, 4.11) Zulu at 11:45 am at the Egyptian, an alleged (i.e., vaguely suspect) 70th anniversary restoration of Double Indemnity at 6 pm at the TCL Chinese, and a 7pm Egyptian screening of Harold Lloyd‘s Why Worry? at 7pm; (Saturday, 4.12) The original 1954 Gojira at the Egyptian at 11:45 am, sAND the digitally-restored version of William Friedkin‘s Sorcerer at the TCL Chinese at 9:15 pm; (Sunday, 4.13) Nothing pops out.
The only objection I have to this festival (and I admit it’s a neurotic one) is that the attendees are all slow-walking, out-of-town tourists. As I wrote last year at this time, “Nothing says visiting from Flagstaff, Arizona for the weekend like a short-sleeve madras shirt.” It half-bothers me that the price of watching these films under optimum conditions means sitting in a theatre packed with 70something retirement-village types. They bring me down. (It’s the same vibe I get when I attend the Palm Springs Film Festival.) I want to see these movies with an audience of semi-cool, Prius-driving, marketplace-striving, snap-crackle-poppers under the age of 50.