My favorite time of the year isn't my birthday. Who likes to grow older anyhow?
It isn't Christmas. I hate the phoniness of it and the crowds and spending too much money of that time of the year. It is in early April, when my wife and I can spend too much money and fight the crowds at the #TCMFF, a place completely void of phoniness. Everyone there is passionate, supportive of each other, friendly and all share the same interest. I also get to spend some time dating the wife again, without the kids, and among other like minded adults. Even though we live about 25 miles away from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the epicenter of the Festival, we get a hotel room (usually over priced and crummy) and pretend we are far away and a long time ago.
Then comes the schedule, just a few weeks out from the festival. We pay for these tickets 6 months before the event, wait with Antici......pation and happily eat up all of the tidbits of info that leak out about #TCMFF and run to Twitter to share it with our friends. Then comes the love/hate part of the event, when the full schedule comes out and you have to make decisions. Sometimes there is 4 movies that you want to see SOOOOOO bad but they are all on at the same time (i.e. High Anxiety, Laura on Nitrate, 20th Century, Those Redheads from Seattle) then there are other parts of the schedule where you aren't interested in any of the movies, but you don't want to NOT see any of them and feel like you've wasted all that money buying the passes to sit out a round of movies (i.e. Sunday's Singing in the Rain which I like but have seen 1000x, What's up Doc, Hell is for Heroes). So decisions have to be made and I have to make them---that is why they pay me the big bucks. SO for our 5th TCMFF, here is our plans...
My lovely and wonderful wife
We will be staying for the always wonderful,
And will head all the way back home afterwards. Last year our Thursday night movie ended early when the fire alarm went off ending our movie with Bette Davis in Dark Victory, hopefully we are able to make it through this Bette Davis movie without a hitch.
Got to get our little munchkins to school.
So the new plan is to check out the Hand & Footprint ceremony out front of the IMAX as long as we can before we head into line for:
next up for us is:
Learning our lessons from years past we have scheduled a break for food after this. It is important to have something else besides popcorn and candy. So a Burger, Salad and strong cocktail at 25 DEGREES at the Roosevelt will be welcome. Then just a few feet away we go to CLUB TCM to see:
Bring em Back Alive
Moderated by Eddie Muller
An event I am really excited to see. Over the years that we have been coming to TCMFF, some of our favorite events have been the CLUB TCM events. And we always make it a point to get to a few during the Festival.
After the Bring em back Alive lets out, we jam over to the EGYPTIAN to see:
Red Headed Woman
Now comes the first big test of the Festival for us. Do we stay and see LAURA on Nitrate? Go over to Chinese #1 and see 20th Century? Or go to the IMAX to see Mel Brooks conversation and his Hitchcock satire:
We are choosing High Anxiety mainly on the strength of the Mel Brooks conversation. I am leery about seeing too many movies in the IMAX and this year is testing my preference for staying away. But, last year we thoroughly enjoyed Angela Lansbury for Manchurian Candidate at the IMAX so I am willing to make the same effort to see Mel Brooks. But the line might be long, and if so we jam back to the Egyptian to see LAURA.
No time for breakfast, the day starts early as we go to Chinese #4 for:
Arsenic and Old Lace
My wife is a sucker for anything with Cary Grant and really, who can blame her? For those of you scoring at home; I believe he is her favorite Actor. Those of you who run into us around the Festival this year can ask her in person to see if my husbandly intuition is correct.
My aversion to the IMAX venue is tested for a second day in a row as we queue up in line to see:
The Awful Truth
Cary Grant again! Are you noticing a trend? last year we checked into the "Art of Subtitling" and it was surprisingly fun and super-informative. "The Great Dictator" is one of my favorite movies, but that is just the problem, I have seen it 100+ times and so "The Awful Truth" at the IMAX is the best bet.
I can't go to the IMAX for 2 movies in a row can I? I love the movie The Jerk, and I bet the conversation with Carl Reiner will be great...maybe I can be talked into this one at the last minute. But, for now we are scheduling:
Plus, this works out great since the gap between The Awful Truth and Underworld Story gives us a chance to catch our breath, get some food in us and most likely a cocktail too. I have never seen this movie and have no problem following Eddie Muller into the Egyptian to check it out.
Back in line once we exit the Egyptian to catch:
Theadora Goes Wild
Every time I hear Irene Dunne's name I always, embarrassingly so, get her confused with Irene Ryan:
but in my defense the resemblance is uncanny.
To end the night on Saturday comes one of my most difficult decisions of the festival. I really want to go see at least one movie on nitrate and I have never seen "Black Narcissus" all the way through and this seems like an opportune time to do so. I predict this will be the most crowded movie of the festival. However, the wife doesn't seem too excited about the movie and I have to admit that "Unfaithfully Yours" a great Preston Sturges movie in Theater #4 sounds pretty great too. But, I have to make a decision so I am going with:
What put it over the top for me was the opportunity to see it on nitrate.
Now the schedule gets complicated. I am not enjoying the planning of this. In some instances I have little interest in the movies being shown at a certain time block and others I have to wait and see what the TBA's turn out to be. Tentatively, I am only going to lock two movies into our schedule for a couple of reasons. First, I believe we will want to see at least 2 of the TBA's. Second, There is always late additions to events at Club TCM, or at the Roosevelt, or from the TCM Backlot (if our membership is still good)
So I can only guarantee wee will see 2 movies on Sunday that is currently on the schedule. the first being:
The Palm Beach Story
asked commanded to add this movie to the itinerary, and being a good husband... I did.
I believe we will also see:
But, it all depends on the timing. We will also be considering "The Egg and I", and "Cock of the Air".
I am usually pretty good about picking the TBA's to be and in years passed am usually about 50% correct on my picks.
So without further ado:
(wish I could predict what time slot they'd be in too)
If I am right, this will work out because I would see any one of these if they were in the right time slot. IF the TBA's work out we might catch one of those and work in the movie "Lured" into our schedule.
- Go see an event at CLUB TCM. Support the fun and interesting things the TCM people put on there and give the info desk feedback on what you did/didn't enjoy.
- Make time for food. Go outside of the "Strip" if possible. The food and horrible street vendors on Hollywood Blvd are gross and while you'd have to get in a car and drive or LYFT/UBER to get to anything worth while, you can find stuff away from the hustle and bustle
- - Rafallos Pizza- Go west of the Roosevelt, a short walk and this pizza joing/Italian restaurant is never busy, decent food, decent prices and a chance for you to sit and rest. It is only a 3-5 minute walk.
- - The Pikey- A little too far to walk, but a short LYFT/UBER ride down Sunset Blvd. good food, good cocktails, shops to walk around and see. If you need a break
- If you are a late night cocktail enthusiast I would recommend: Dirty Laundry, an underground speakeasy that used to be owned by Errol Flynn and is also next door to the hottest speakeasy bar called No Vacancy which is super cool and will make you feel like a movie star. Good Time Davey Wayne's which is a fun 70's house party themed bar that is conveniently located within walking distance of Roscoes Chicken and Waffles. Rincon Oaxaqueno is a hole in the wall Mexican food joint that is close the Egyptian that has good, quick Mexican food.
- Stretch, especially the lower back
- Bring a small bag to hold water, snacks and in our case caffeine pills.
- Meet people. Talk to others in the line with you. When you recognize people you saw from other years Festivals say hi, shake their hand, chat them up... we are all like minded people who come to this event for the love of the movies and the camaraderie of being able to share these movies with your TCM friends.
Have fun and come say hi to us when you recognize us!
SEE YOU THERE!