Archive for the ‘TCM Film Festival 2012’ Category
You are currently browsing the archives for the TCM Film Festival 2012 category.
You are currently browsing the archives for the TCM Film Festival 2012 category.
On the last day of the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival, Angie Dickinson was briefly interviewed by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz before a screening of the 1959 John Wayne western, Rio Bravo. Ms. Dickinson talked about getting the part in this, her first starring role in a feature film. She was recommended to Rio Bravo director Howard Hawks by the director of a Perry Mason episode she had done. She auditioned, got the part, and was signed to a contract with Hawks’ company.
Being new to film, Dickinson said she was looking forward to having Hawks as a mentor and hoped that he’d cast her in future projects. After months of silence from Hawks, she was sent to an audition on the Warner Bros. lot. At the main gate, the security guard handed her a permanent parking pass and that’s how she found out that her contract had been sold by Hawks to WB.
Reminiscing about costar John Wayne, Dickinson described him as “tender and sweet.” She called Rio Bravo his “cute movie” and said he was “a giant in every way.”
Director Stanley Donen was on hand to introduce his 1963 film Charade this past Sunday at the 2012 TCM Film Festival. Starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, Charade is a romantic mystery that takes place in Paris. Mr. Donen was fun to listen to, as he’s sharp and energetic even at the ripe old age of 88. In the interview, he spoke very fondly of working with Grant and Hepburn and said he had a wonderful professional and personal relationship with each of them.
Mr. Donen was also asked what he thought the main difference was between movies then and now. He believes that aside from technological advancements, the main difference is that in the Golden Age of Hollywood, movies were made primarily for an adult audience and people with more life experience, whereas he believes that movies today cater to a younger audience. He also noted that while studio moguls back then wanted their films to make money, the execs also were concerned with making quality films that would improve their standing within the film community. They wanted to be respected as master filmmakers as well as successful businessmen. He believes that today, execs are held so tightly to the financial success of their studios that having a box office hit is the priority.
Kim Novak was honored this morning with a handprint ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Actress Debbie Reynolds and TCM host Robert Osborne were in attendance. Letters of congratulations from Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger were read, as they could not be present at the ceremony.
Despite a few rain showers, the TCM Film Festival was in full swing for day two. I saw three films today, two of which I had not previously seen.
I’m No Angel (1933)
This was my umpteenth Cary Grant film, but first Mae West film. I was surprised to learn that she wrote the screenplay, which was stuffed to the brim with innuendos. Clearly, this was a pre-Code film. In my opinion it was a good, not great film but I would absolutely recommend giving it a watch to see the very unique style of dialog and acting. It’s bolder than I imagined a film from ’33 would be and some of the lines are quite funny.
Nothing Sacred (1937)
I enjoyed this film, starring Carole Lombard and Fredric March, because it’s the rare screwball comedy that isn’t over-the-top silly. Lombard proved herself again to be a very gifted comedic actress. After seeing this film, it made me wonder what else she could have done in her career if not for her tragic death at age 33. The only thing I didn’t like about this film was the color palate. It was strangely like the muted color palate of the late 60′s/early 70′s instead of the brighter Technicolor look typical to classic films in color. I’m interested to know if anyone has seen a version where the color is vivid, as it the subdued color could just be found in the particular print I saw.
It’s indicative of the effectiveness of Hitchcock’s storytelling, James Stewart’s acting, and Bernard Herrmann’s score that each time I see this film, the ending leaves me breathless. The first time I saw this film was my freshman year of college. Even though I watched it on a 13-inch tv while wearing headphones so my roommate could study, it was gripping. Eight years later, I was able to watch it in the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theater with the same exhilarating effect. Kim Novak was on hand to introduce the film that I consider to be Hitchcock’s finest.
Last night officially kicked off the 2012 TCM Film Festival. One of my favorite movies, High Society, was set to be screening poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel. What a perfect setting it would be, as there are even a couple of pool scenes in the film. Unfortunately, the wind knocked the screen down just prior to the start time and the screening was moved indoors to a gathering space known as Club TCM.
Nevertheless, it was still great to hear Tina Sinatra talk about what Frank was like as a father, their relationship as she got older, and his style. She said his favorite saying was “do as I say, not as I do” which got a laugh from the crowd. In this excerpt from the interview, Tina discusses Frank’s offscreen personality as well as his relationship with Bing Crosby, who co-stars in High Society.
TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz gave roundtable interviews this morning at TCM Film Festival Headquarters, the Roosevelt Hotel. Both were friendly and approachable, as expected.
My table got to chat with Ben first. My takeaways:
- His favorite thing about the festival is the fans because they are so incredibly passionate about classic film. He noted that unlike any other TV network, TCM fans have a strong devotion to the network, the hosts, and the films. He couldn’t imagine ESPN fans coming to the defense of the network or being so vocal about the programming like TCM viewers.
- His most challenging classic film interview was Mickey Rooney at last year’s festival. He didn’t elaborate on the specifics of why that was, but I’m not surprised. His most challenging interview overall was with Alexander Payne and George Clooney for The Descendants. Apparently, Payne got upset at a misinterpreted question, but George Clooney charmingly disarmed Payne and saved the interview. He was most initially intimidated by an interview with Peter Bogdanovich. He describes Bogdanovich as an incredible storyteller.
- His favorite interview from last year was Jane Powell at the screening of Royal Wedding. He’s not the biggest fan of musicals, but said that she was delightful and really fun to interview.
- He thinks that classic film fans should ease up a bit about the planned Thin Man remake. (I agree!) He thinks that Rob Marshall is a director who has some reverence for films that came before and that Emma Stone might make a good Nora.
Next up was Robert Osborne. A few choice quotes:
Q: Do you have a cutoff in terms of years for classic film?
A: For me, the real classic era of Hollywood is the one that went from like the mid 30′s to I would say, like 1959. I always think of Ben-Hur in ’59 as being a cut-off for that era that was the studio era when they had all the resources that they could put a film together easily because they controlled the stars, they had warehouses full of costumes…the factory days.
Q: Who at the network came up with the idea for guest programmers?
A: It was actually my idea originally to do guest programmers because Stephen Sondheim and I were having a talk. That happened because he’s a big movie fan and we have a relationship because I know nothing about music and everybody that is around Stephen is into music and that’s all they talk about so I’m kind of fresh air because I don’t know anything about music. But he was the one that said, ‘well if I was ever going to program, I’d do this and this and that’ so I took that idea and said ‘let’s do a night of Stephen Sondheim selections’.
Q: Do you think the younger generation cares about classic films?
A: I think there’s a big element that are learning to really love them because we’ve been how big our audience is of younger people.
Q: Is there any person that you’ve been longing to include in the festival and have yet to get?
A: There are a lot of people. We’d love Doris Day to come and participate and we get a little closer all the time because now she’s done a big promo for us – the voiceover. It’s just convincing her that she should be on camera because she hasn’t been seen for a long time and she’s aware that everybody’s going to say ‘how does she look?’ and everyone’s going to say ‘oh, she’s older, she doesn’t look like Doris Day in 1958′. We’d love to get Olivia de Havilland. Michael Caine. We’d love to get Sean Connery. You understand their reticence, too. They have nothing to sell and they don’t have to do a film festival or anything else to get attention. Most of them really don’t want attention anymore. They’ve done all that.
Fun fact: Robert Osborne is part-owner of a movie theater in Port Townsend, Washington. (WA represent!)
We are thrilled to announce that for the second year in a row, Anatomy of a Classic will have coverage of the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival!