It’s time for me to take a moment to reflect a bit on what I learned from my rather hectic but definitely fun and enlightening time at the TCM Fest. As previously reported here and everywhere else, it turned out to be a fairly roaring success and is promised to be repeated next year in Hollywood. Because of time constraints and because I wasn’t able to enjoy the truly titanic number of films seen by, say, a Dennis Cozzalio — currently working on a detailed and sure to be great summary of the event — I’m going to limit myself to a few random observations covering material I have not mentioned in prior TCM-centric posts. (Here, here, and here.) Naturally, it’ll still turn out to be much longer than I originally intended.
Borgnine, Donen, Rainer
As someone with parents in their eighties and nineties, I’ve become especially interested lately in the way things work for people of a certain age. So it was with some some special interest that I listened to the words of 100 year-old thirties star Luise Rainer, 93 year-old star character actor Ernest Borgnine (“Marty,” “The Wild Bunch”), and 86 year-old directing great and one-time boy genius, Stanley Donen — best known for co-directing “Singin’ in the Rain” and other MGM musical classics with Gene Kelly but also an outstanding director in his own right of both musicals and “straight” films.
I’m having a rough morning here. Not that it’s been all bad here at TCM Fest in the heart of Hollywood, in fact a lot of has been very good. I did catch three movies yesterday, each in their own way fascinating: the unusually emotional Delmer Daves western, “Jubal”; the bizarre and fascinating inept and inapt once ultra-scandalous wartime British gangster film set in America, “No Orchids for Miss Blandish”; and the first public screening of the 1963 sci-fi/horror hit “Day of the Triffids” in a genuinely impressive restoration which would have been even better if I hadn’t been so sleepy — or if the introduction hadn’t been so long. (It’s hard to blame a film restorer for excess enthusiasm, but, well, the garages close here at 2:00 a.m.). A post screening discussion between Leonard Maltin and Ernest Bognine after “Jubal” earlier in the day, on the other hand, was another highlight. I’ll be posting about that one a bit later, I think.
But then there was the hour I just spent trying struggling with IT people to try and use the wi-fi at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. (Absolutely no knock on the hotel, where everybody has more than helpful and I seem to be the only one having the problem. Apparently they’re system and my lousy Vista using laptop computer are just having a bad relationship.) And, so, I find myself back at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf trying to tie up loose ends, including feeding this here blog beast. And I’m in need of a bit of cinematic comfort.
Fortunately, tonight the festival is coming to the rescue with some old personal favorites of mine and about a gazillion other people. So, now a movie moment from “Singin’ in the Rain” showing tonight at the Egyptian Theater with its great co-director, Stanley Donen, appearing afterward. I wasn’t sure about it as I’ve seen it a million times, but I can definitely use the cinematic comfort. And here’s it is….
…No, actually, here it isn’t because suddenly all the clips I can find on YouTube on “embedding disabled upon request.” It’s been that kind of a morning. So, instead, here’s a pretty great clip from 1935’s “Top Hat” which showed last night.