So, for my forty-schmismosh birthday last week, my wonderful husband treated me to my ultimate fantasy: The TCM Film Festival in Hollywood.
(Don’t even want to know what you were thinking.)
For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram or are related to me or are my friends or were standing next to me in the grocery line yesterday, I apologize for showing this yet, again.
But, holy hell. THIS. HAPPENED.
Don’t you just love the way he is cozied up to me? Like we’re old friends. Well, to me, he is. He will always be. I love Robert Osborne. He was as gracious and dapper as I thought he’d be. The perfect host. Lark just has to deal with it.
I will be waiting with bated breath this fall, when tickets for next year’s film fest will go on sale. Larkin and I had the time of our lives and have vowed to go back every year.
Many of the movies I attended, I admit, I have seen numerous times. But, never on the big screen.
Some digitally remastered, some not. All amazing.
But, even more fascinating than re-watching them, as they were meant to be viewed, were the introductions. Legendary filmmakers, actors, directors…discussing the details, the memories, the experience of taking part in creating these classics.
Tears filled my eyes, when we all gasped in surprise when Cher was introduced to kick off “Funny Girl”. (You may remember, she was one of my first mentors. See “About Lola”)
I heard Tippi Hedren and Norman Lloyd speak of working with Alfred Hitchcock. I was totally amazed by The Birds; a film I’ve seen many times. It sounded absolutely terrifying in the historical Grauman’s TCL Chinese Theatre. It felt like a totally different film.
I swooned over Cary Grant in Hitchcock’s Notorious. In my opinion, he is the most gorgeous, debonair male lead of all time. All these years, watching all of his movies, but finally…there he was….larger than life. I sigh, just typing this.
Albert Maysels discussed his capturing the infamous “killing” on film while working on the Rolling Stones documentary, Gimme Shelter. The creators of Aiplane!, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and star Robert Hayes had us all rolling in the aisles before the film even started. Laughing and reciting the lines of Airplane! with 1100 other fans is something I will never forget.
I cried along with Jane Fonda as she recalled the therapeutic making of her father’s last film, On Golden Pond; triumphantly winning Henry Fonda his first Best Actor Academy Award, at the end of his life.
So many touching stories behind the camera, enriching the 40 foot screen dramas that lit up my face for those four amazing days. It was nothing less than movie magic.
Since it was my first festival, I paced myself and actually ate meals. There are many passionate fans that survive on popcorn and protein bars and fill 12 hours a day with films. I took “Happy Hour” at the Roosevelt Hotel quite seriously. We all have our different means of survival. And, hey, it WAS my birthday weekend.
On a personal level, I finally met Twitter friends that follow TCM and share an affinity for classic films. Putting names to faces is nothing like putting names to avatars to Twitter handles to real names, then real faces. I kept smiling like a jack ass to people I was sure I knew. But, did I?
Sometimes there are 100 of us watching an old film together via Twitter, sometimes just a handful. With one hashtag, we connect in some sort of modern, technical, pen pal, friends from camp that you only see once a year, kind of way. We assemble from all over the country and beyond, sharing trivia, tidbits and stories. And, with no one shhh-ing us. It’s pretty damn cool.
I treasure my true, real-life, talk-on the phone, “help me bury the body” friends; they know everything about me and still love me. (And politely gloss over my TCM obsession.)
I have Twitter friends that share like-minded interests and know nothing about me except what I tell them in 140 characters or less. I love the daily banter, links, recipes and revelry that fill my time line.
My TCM Twitter friends and I share a true love of classic films that will live forever.
And, that is a love that will outlive us all.
Kind of like my love for my husband. And, Robert Osborne.
For a true classic film education, I highly suggest the following blogs: