Although I am fortunate enough to attend both events, I am disappointed that CinemaCon and TCM Classic Film Festival (TCMFF) are both occurring next week. I have to leave Las Vegas Thursday morning, missing out on the final day of movie studio presentations and on the pre-TCMFF activities that will take place on Wednesday. Hopefully, I’ll make it in time for Meet TCM at Club TCM, so I can ask how the staffers react to the social media outage that their programming has generated over the past year.
Since I am not attending the official Opening Night selection, The Producers, I have a choice between Finishing School, which “was among the first films to be condemned by the newly formed Legion of Decency,” and the film noir Detour. The former is in the notorious House 4, the smallest capacity of all the theaters, and scheduled earlier, so I will give that a shot. If I don’t get a good seat, I’ll take a Detour.
The next block is tough. I am going to skip Stage Door, even though it boasts a great cast. It saves me a trip down to the Egyptian and a long walk back to my hotel. Plus, I found the praise for nitrate prints overblown. I have never seen Throne of Blood, Akira Kurosawa’s adaption of Macbeth, in a theater but I have seen it and own the Blu-ray. It would have been a toss up between Michael Curtiz’ The Sea Wolf and Sidney Lumet’s FAIL-SAFE, but with blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein in attendance to talk about his work on the latter, he makes the screening that much more intriguing.
I recently reviewed a collection of the first 20 Pink Panther cartoons and would like to see how they play with an audience, but I am more likely to skip the 9am slot for sleep and breakfast.
The next couple of blocks are interlinked because because I still have not decided between My Brilliant Career with director Gillian Armstrong in attendance, which I am leaning towards or Preston Sturges’ The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek. If I choose the latter, I will follow-up with How to Marry a Millionaire, but don’t think I can make it if I see the former. Then, I’ll choose the boxing noir The Set-Up.
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is a historic film, leading to the Blaxploitation movement. Director Melvin Van Peebles in attendance makes it a can’t-miss. If I need some laughs, I’ll go to Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? If I can stand more grittiness, I’ll take in Point Blank.
The midnight show is The World’s Greatest Sinner. Over the years, there have been more misses than hits in this time slot. I have walked out on a couple and I wish I had with Zardoz. Director Timothy Carey has 30 minutes to capture my attention with his social satire or I am off to bed.
Again, not sure about the morning slot, but I have seen the two classics His Girl Friday and Kiss Me Deadly. I could either way with The Ox-Bow Incident and A Letter to Three Wives, but Three Wives is closer to my hotel and I want to follow up with Jean-Pierre Melville’s When You Read This Letter, which would continue a theme and it plays in the same theater.
Am leaning toward Merchant Ivory’s Maurice, but An Invisible History: Trailblazing Women of Animation sounds like a wonderful tribute. If I do the latter, the clip show Crackin’ Wise seems an interesting expansion on the idea of honoring classic films.
I am a big John Sayles fan, so seeing him introduce Sam Fuller’s Park Row would be special. For the next block, I am thinking of Suspicion, but Hitchcock films get shown a lot, so I may skip it. Sara Karloff is always a riot and The Raven should be fun, but it’s going to be tough knowing I’ll be missing John Carpenter introducing Scarface. If that started before, I would try and see Carpenter and then The Raven, but would need a pal saving my seat. And all during this block, there is supposed to be hours of Mickey Mouse cartoons playing at Club TCM, which sounds delightful.
Might stop in to hear Edgar Wright talk about Night of the Living Dead, but since I don’t want to be a zombie on Sunday, I’ll skip the film, which I’ve seen.
Think I’ll start the day with Once Upon a Time in the West. I have never seen The Ten Commandments, and while not a religious person, this seems like a great way to see the epic. The problem is it takes up two time blocks and I know how it ends, so I think I would rather see Places in the Heart with Sally Field in attendance and Silk Stockings, because seeing Fred Astaire dance feels like a TCMFF tradition. Of course, I still need to hear about the TBAs, so those films plus A Star is Born might not make the cut. It’s not until the announcements on Saturday that a firm plan for Sunday can be made.
I will have attended all nine TCMFFs and picking what to watch never gets easier, but it certainly is a lot of fun. And there’s no guarantee I won’t change my mind on a whim or the circumstances on the ground won’t change it for me. Follow me on Twitter to know for sure where I am at, once I know.