This month I head back to the Sixth Annual Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival in Athens, Georgia where I’m privileged to be a panelist for the fourth time. Any true classic movie fan recognizes Robert Osborne as one of the most knowledgeable experts about classic movies as well as an enduring and congenial host of TCM’s movie channel.
Athens, Georgia and the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication (this is its annual nonprofit event) eagerly await the Festival’s arrival each year. The town’s 2,000-seat Classic Center Theater is transformed into a world-class movie palace for the four-day festival, Thursday through Sunday, March 25-28. With the installation of a motion picture screen and state-of-the-art 35mm projection and sound systems, it’s movie magic every year.
Osborne taps into his movie expertise to choose the film lineup and executive festival director Nate Kohn and director Pamela Kohn set about to fill the guest list of invitees. This year’s film lineup includes the classics To Catch a Thief, Double Indemnity, Stand By Me, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Shining, All About Eve, Steamboat Bill, Jr., The Godfather II, and The Wizard of Oz.
“It's an exciting adventure to see these films the way they were meant to be seen,” Osborne said. “The big screen gives a different dimension and vitality to these extraordinary films.”
Guests this year include Marshall Bell (Stand By Me); Corey Feldman (Gremlins); Cloris Leachman (The Last Picture Show); Caren Marsh-Doll (Babes in Arms); John Bengtson (Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin, and its Buster Keaton counterpart, Silent Echoes); Eddie Muller, founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation; Gray Frederickson and Fred Roos, who worked with Francis Ford Coppola on The Godfather and Apocalypse Now; Leon Vitali, who worked with legendary producer/director Stanley Kubrick on four of his films including The Shining; and Turner Classic Movies vice president Tom Brown.
These guests will appear on stage after screenings for a candid discussion with host Osborne and members of the audience. Guests present on Saturday morning March 27 will form a panel and discuss “Social Change: How Film Reflects and Inspires a Shift in the Collective Cultural Climate—Propaganda or Art?”
For more information about the films, guests or tickets visit the festival's official web site.
Note: films and guests are subject to last minute changes.