Cinematic Paradise: The 2018 TCM Film Festival

It’s hard to believe that in just a few short days I’ll be winging my way to Hollywood for my sixth trip to the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival – but it’s true! As always, I’ll be sending out messages during the event via Facebook and Twitter, and providing year-round coverage with monthly posts here at Shadows and Satin. This year, for the first time, I’m also offering this pre-fest post, to discuss some of the movies I might be seeing and the many conflicts I’m facing, and ask you for your advice!

Here goes.

On the first day of the fest, Thursday, April 26th, I’ll kick things off by continuing my annual tradition of participating in the “So You Think You Know Movies” trivia contest hosted by Bruce Goldstein of New York’s Film Forum. The questions are always unbelievably difficult, but I’m proud to say that my team tied for first place in last year’s event (not because of me, but STILL). It’s lots of fun and it’s a great way to meet new film peeps. Plus, there are always special surprise guests in the audience like Diane Baker (I stood right next to her last year!), James Karen, and Norman Lloyd. Afterward, I hope to snag a spot in the bleachers to watch the red carpet arrivals for the opening night film, The Producers. And for my first film of the fest, it’ll be a no-brainer – I’ll be checking out The Sea Wolf (1941), starring Edward G. Robinson, John Garfield, and Ida Lupino. It won’t be my first time seeing it, but it’s a great movie and, as a bonus, it’ll be introduced by my pal, film historian Alan Rode.

Next day, Friday, I plan to watch Witness for the Prosecution (1957), which will feature a discussion with actress Ruta Lee, who plays a small but pivotal role in the film, followed by A Hatful of Rain (1957), where Eva Marie Saint will be interviewed. (I have to admit that I don’t especially want to see A Hatful of Rain, which centers on the effects of morphine addiction. It’s an excellent film, but it’s SO harrowing. Yikes.) The conflicts start with the next group of films. One possibility is The Odd Couple (1968), which I’ve seen numerous times and is always a treat – and the two actresses who played the Pigeon Sisters, Cecily and Gwendolyn (Monica Evans and Carole Shelley) will be on hand to talk about their experiences in the film. The other is None Shall Escape (1944), which depicts the misdeeds of a Nazi war criminal. This screening will feature an appearance by 100-year-old Marsha Hunt, who starred in the film. This is a toughie. My next conflict of the day is between Leave Her to Heaven (1945), which will be shown on nitrate film (should be gorgeous, as this color film is already a treat for the eyes), and Point Blank (1967), which I’ve never seen and always wanted to.

My first movie on Saturday will likely be When You Read This Letter (1953), a noirish French-Italian production, introduced by director Taylor Hackford, but I’d also like to see Outrage (1950), an Ida Lupino-directed film about a woman whose life is shattered when she becomes a victim of rape. Another time slot with several movies I’d like to see includes Heaven Can Wait (1978), which will feature an interview with Dyan Cannon, and The World of Suzie Wong (1960), where the film’s star Nancy Kwan will make an appearance. However, I’m almost certain to opt for Show People (1928), a silent film starring Marion Davies. I’m choosing this one because I always like to see one silent movie at the festival, and it’s being introduced by my friend Lara Fowler, who is writing a biography on Davies. The one film of the day that I unquestionably will be seeing is Sunset Boulevard (1950), where I will finally get the chance to see Nancy Olson, who played the gal William Holden should have wound up with (instead of winding up floating face down in Norma Desmond’s pool). I’ve been looking forward to this screening ever since it was announced several months ago. Another film I plan to catch that day is The Big Lebowski (1998), because I’m a HUGE Coen Brothers fan, but I’ve never seen it!

On the last day, I’d love to see Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), starring Henry Fonda, but I’d also like to check out the special event where festgoers can have their movie memorabilia appraised for free by representatives of Bonhams Auction House. A bit later, I may go for Places in the Heart (1994), which will feature a discussion with the film’s star Sally Field, but that will mean I’ll have to miss a presentation called “Growing Up Mankiewicz,” featuring the four Mankiewicz brothers: TCM’s very own Ben, Josh (of Dateline NBC), John (who writes for House of Cards and Bosch), and graphic designer Alex. Argh. An even more painful conflict is between Bull Durham (1988) — I’ve never seen it and the film’s star, Tim Robbins, will be there — and another special event, Mostly Lost, which is all about an annual Library of Congress film identification workshop where incomplete and unidentified films are shown to an audience that calls out anything they recognize on screen. So much good stuff, so little time. The only certainty on this final day will be the Closing Night Party, which is always a bittersweet blast!

And that’s about the size of it, y’all. What are your thoughts on some of my conflicts – any suggestions? What would you choose?

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~ by shadowsandsatin on April 22, 2018.

15 Responses to “Cinematic Paradise: The 2018 TCM Film Festival”

  1. You just HAVE to see the neo-noir “Point Blank”, especially on the big screen – you won’t be disappointed! And I definitely would recommend Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West”!

  2. I highly recommend The World Of Suzie Wong and Outrage. I bet Leave Her To Heaven will look stunning on the big screen. Have a lovely time.

    • Thanks so much, Maddy — for the recommendations and the well wishes! I really am leaning towards Outrage. I’m a big Ida Lupino fan, and I like Mala Powers, too.

  3. I’ll see you at Show People and None Shall Escape. Also the trivia contest – wanna team up?

    • Hi, Diane! I’d love to team up! I’ll be with my friend, Kim, so we’re three so far. I’ll be looking for you — I almost always sit on the left side of the room, where we were last year. See you soon! 🙂

  4. Here’s hoping you have an absolutely fabulous time! If I was going to this year’s festival, I’d definitely want to see Leave Her to Heaven, especially since it’s a nitrate screening.

  5. I agree on Once Upon a Time in the West. It’s great. Saw it on the big screen a couple years ago, and it would be that much better at TCMFF. I’ve never seen The Big Lebowski myself. It didn’t make the cut, but I might be swayed over to it especially with Jeff Bridges. If it helps, I saw Eddie Muller introduce, This Gun for Hire, last this month. He was really psyched on None Shall Escape.

  6. Just GREAT. Wish I could be there.

  7. The only one I would URGE you to go to is the intro by Marsha Hunt. I’m so jealous that you have the opportunity. I would love to hear her speak.
    Have fun.

  8. Yay, we picked a lot of the same movies. Hope to see you lots!

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