The 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival came to an end last evening; the past few days are now just memories -- but what memories!! As Leonard Maltin wrote this evening, the TCM Classic Film Festival was "movie-buff heaven." I knew the festival would be wonderful, but the experience far exceeded my expectations.
As I posted last Wednesday, the festival was an early morning-till-midnight experience. In the coming days I plan to recap the festival in a series of posts providing an overview of each day's experiences, as well as reviewing several of the films I saw in more detail. As my posts go up I plan to also add the links to the bottom of this introductory post, so they can all easily be found in one place.
The festival was remarkable on several levels. First, there were so many options that I could attend the identical festival a couple more times and choose totally different films and events in the future, yet still come away completely happy. The festival schedule was comprised of a rich, diverse list of titles along with many special appearances and introductions.
It was a marvelous opportunity to see a significant number of classic era actors who are still with us and happy to share their memories, along with a chance to listen to great film historians. One could turn a corner in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel or a theater and bump into Robert Osborne, Ben Mankiewicz, Leonard Maltin, Kevin Brownlow, Eddie Muller -- or Norman Lloyd, a surprise guest at the trivia competition.
Seeing so many films with an audience that "gets it" was a real treat. Where else could you enjoy a film with an audience which applauds Ward Bond when he comes on screen as the bus driver in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934), or which applauds the entrance of John Williams in DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954) with such warm and delighted enthusiasm?
Last year, when I saw a film at the festival with a standby ticket, I was able to meet a number of classic film bloggers who visited the festival from out of state, but this year it reached critical mass, as many of those folks who couldn't be here last year were determined to make it this year. For those of us in the classic film blogging and Twitter community, it was as though there was a joyous party in the midst of the festival, as each of us connected with friends we have known online for years. Getting to know fellow film fans "in person" and enjoy so many wonderful experiences together was very special indeed.
Between Thursday night and Sunday evening I saw a total of 11 films, plus 90 minutes of Technicolor home movies and several other events. Staying in Hollywood during the festival is a future goal; my late-night drives home to Orange County meant I wouldn't get enough sleep if I tried to get up and make it back through traffic to L.A. in time to get in line at 8:00 for a 9:00 a.m. show!
The festival ended in style Sunday night with fond farewells to friends and a reception line for Robert Osborne, where he signed my pass:
For more on the festival, be sure to visit the TCM Festival website, which has a blog, photos, and videos. Some bloggers already have posts up; I don't know how she did it, but Jessica of Comet Over Hollywood managed to post from her phone! Raquel has several posts up at Out of the Past, and so does Lara at Backlots. If any other bloggers have written festival posts, please feel free to share links in the comments.
I'm very much looking forward to sharing my TCM Classic Film Festival experiences in the days to come, and I particularly hope that my posts will help persuade classic film fans who haven't yet been to the TCM Festival to attend next year. Living in Southern California, I've been blessed to enjoy a number of special classic film events over the years, but I can easily say that the TCM Classic Film Festival was one of the very happiest movie experiences of my life, and I'd love for others to enjoy it too!
Previously: TCM Classic Film Festival Preview (April 24, 2013); The TCM Classic Film Festival 2013 Schedule (April 10, 2013); Film Festival Coverage This Month at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings (April 2, 2013).
TCM Festival Posts: The TCM Classic Film Festival: Media Day; The TCM Classic Film Festival: Day One; Tonight's Movie: The Killing (1956) at the TCM Classic Film Festival; The TCM Classic Film Festival: Day Two; Tonight's Movie: Notorious (1946) at the TCM Classic Film Festival; The TCM Classic Film Festival: Day Three; Tonight's Movie: They Live By Night (1948) at the TCM Classic Film Festival; The TCM Classic Film Festival: Day Four; Tonight's Movie: Kismet (1955) at the TCM Classic Film Festival; Tonight's Movie: It Happened One Night (1934) at the TCM Classic Film Festival.