A Many Splendored Thing: The 2019 TCM Film Festival – Part 2

Hollywood Boulevard: The calm before the storm

Two weeks ago today, I was with my older daughter, Veronica, in sunny Los Angeles, joyfully immersed in the world of cinema (and the circus-like atmosphere that is Hollywood Boulevard) at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival. As I look I my window in Chicago now, at the snow that’s been falling all day (yes, SNOW – in APRIL!), I’m glad to take a look back and offer the next installment of my year-round posts on the 2019 event.

In my initial post about the festival, I outlined my plans for film screenings and presentation viewings. Today’s entry provides an overview of what actually happened, because for the first time in the seven years that I’ve been going to the TCM film festival, I actually changed my plans, not once, but several times! (And if you know anything at all about me, you’ll know that changing my well-laid plans is major!)

Cinema Central: The Roosevelt Hotel

The first change came near the start of the event, on Thursday evening. After participating in the annual trivia contest (I knew two answers this year – SCORE!), I hightailed it over to Grauman’s Chinese Theater to nab a seat on the bleachers and watch the red carpet processional. I found to my dismay, however, that the capacity of the bleachers was significantly reduced this year; in order to watch the proceedings (which typically go on for at least a couple of hours), I would have had to stand, and that was not happening. Disappointed but not defeated, Veronica and I hung out with my friend Dail at the pool at the Roosevelt Hotel and waited to see Angie Dickinson, who was interviewed by Ben Mankiewicz before the screening of Oceans 11. Good company, cold champagne, and tasty treats made for a great evening!

My plan for the next day included seeing Steel Magnolias, which was to feature a discussion with Shirley MacLaine. Unfortunately, before I even got to L.A., I’d learned that MacLaine had cancelled her appearance. Instead of replacing this film with another, I took the opportunity to nab a good spot in line for Do the Right Thing – my daughter and I were number 5 and 6 and got a front row seat!

Skipping one film got us in the front row at another!

My biggest changes came on Saturday, when I’d initially planned to see Raisin in the Sun and The Bad Seed, with discussions with Lou Gossett and Patty McCormack, respectively. Once in L.A., though, I decided to switch things up and take my daughter to see Nashville, for which Lily Tomlin was scheduled to appear; Veronica is a big fan of the Netflix series Grace and Frankie and I knew she’d get a kick out of seeing Tomlin in person (as would I!). Unfortunately, on the day of the screening, I learned that Lily Tomlin wouldn’t be able to come! This completely threw my schedule into an upheaval but, ultimately, in a good way. We wound up seeing Love Affair, Blood Money (a 1933 pre-Code that I’d REALLY wanted to see in the first place!), and Samson and Delilah. For the latter, we had VIP tickets (I felt like such a big shot!), courtesy of my pal, film historian and author Alan Rode, who interviewed Victor Mature’s daughter Victoria before the film.

Finally, on the last day, after seeing two Club TCM presentations, I overruled Veronica’s pick of My Favorite Wife in favor of A Woman of Affairs, a silent film starring Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, which was accompanied by a full orchestra. It was one of my better decisions as a parent!

And that’s about the size of it – quite a few modifications from my original plans, but all things considered, everything worked out! I’ll be covering these and other screenings and events from this year’s fest, starting in May and continuing in the months to come, so be sure to tune in!

Guess I’ll go shovel some snow now . . .

~ by shadowsandsatin on April 27, 2019.

6 Responses to “A Many Splendored Thing: The 2019 TCM Film Festival – Part 2”

  1. I know this misses the point of your fab post, but your daughter is so beautiful!

  2. This sounds like so much fun! Reading about your experiences makes me consider going.

  3. Sounds like so much fun. I’m so happy that Veronica enjoyed the festival as much as you did. I have longed to come to this festival for ages, but unfortunately ill health prevents me from making the trip over the pond. 😦

    • I’m so sorry that you haven’t been able to make it to the festival, Maddy. I’m thinking good thoughts for you, and sending healing vibes across the pond.

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