The first TCM Classic Film Festival has just come to a close, but Turner Classic Movies has already given the go-ahead for a second edition slated for Spring 2011.
TCM primetime host and film historian Robert Osborne announced the news on Sunday night, right before the North American premiere of the restored Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 science-fiction/political drama.
The 2010 edition of the four-day festival included screenings of more than 50 films, among them A Star Is Born (1954), Breathless, Imitation of Life (1959), Saboteur, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; celebrity appearances; and panel discussions.
Among those present were two-time Oscar winner Luise Rainer, nouvelle vague icon Jean-Paul Belmondo, MGM swimmer emeritus Esther Williams, and Oscar winners Martin Landau, Anjelica Huston, Ernest Borgnine, and Eva Marie Saint.
According to a festival attendee, London-resident Luise Rainer’s earpiece broke after her arrival in Los Angeles. Rainer, who turned 100 this past Jan. 12 and who was at the festival for a Sunday screening of The Good Earth (1937), couldn’t hear anything Osborne was asking her. Someone in the audience then suggested Osborne write down his questions on a notepad, which he did.
No follow-up questions were possible, but that didn’t seem to matter. Rainer rattled on for minutes at a time about her life and career. Rainer, by the way, was the first performer to win back-to-back Oscars for acting: for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth. Among her other 1930s vehicles, all for MGM, are Dramatic School, The Toy Wife, and The Great Waltz, all released in 1938.
Rainer’s Hollywood career was all but over that same year; she’d make only one more American movie, Hostages, in 1943. The “Oscar jinx” nonsense began as a result of Rainer’s professional path.
TCM Festival website
Photos: TCM Classic Film Festival
Screened last night at the TCM Classic Film Festival, currently taking place at Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, was a new restoration of the George Cukor-directed, Judy Garland-James Mason version of A Star Is Born (1954), among other features. Present at the A Star Is Born screening was Lorna Luft, Garland’s daughter with Sid Luft.
Among the other film personalities attending the various screenings were Betty Garrett, one of the stars of the Gene Kelly-Stanley Donen musical On the Town (1949); MGM’s swimming sensation Esther Williams; and Gone with the Wind‘s Ann Rutherford.
Also, 1955 Best Actor Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine; veteran Eli Wallach; 30 Rock‘s Alec Baldwin; North by Northwest’s Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau; L.A. Confidential‘s Curtis Hanson; and, inevitably, TCM’s Robert Osborne.
Later this evening, the festival will offer an eclectic mix: John Schlesinger’s Academy Award-winning Midnight Cowboy (1969), with Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman; Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ Top Hat (1935), directed by Mark Sandrich; Steve Sekely’s The Day of the Triffids (1962), starring a post-MGM Howard Keel, Nicole Maurey, and Janette Scott; and what sounds like a must-see: (the now very much forgotten) St. John Legh Clowes’ British crime drama No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948), mentioned on the TCM site for its “its brutality and overt sexuality,” and featuring Jack La Rue and Linden Travers.
The TCM Classic Film Festival comes to a close on Sunday, April 25.
Photos: TCM Classic Film Festival
Marilyn Monroe’s Writings in Upcoming ‘Fragments’
Marilyn Monroe’s thoughts on life, career, romance, and other issues will be published under the title Fragments by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in October.
According to editor Courtney Hodell, Fragments will include poems, photos, Monroe’s musings about husbands James Dougherty and Arthur Miller (it’s unclear if there’s anything on Joe DiMaggio), and a letter she wrote to Actors Studio head Lee Strasberg.
Also, Monroe’s ideas about works by Samuel Beckett, James Joyce and other authors, and her thoughts on acting and her own movie roles. Among her best-known films are Henry Hathaway’s Niagara (1953), Howard Hawks’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Jean Negulesco’s How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch (1955), Joshua Logan’s Bus Stop (1956), Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (1959), and John Huston’s The Misfits (1960).
Monroe was fired from George Cukor’s Something’s Got to Give in 1962. She was found dead, officially a suicide, later that year.
As per an Associated Press report, the writings found in Fragments begin in 1943, when Monroe was 16-17, and go all the way to near the end of her life.
The book was commissioned by Lee Strasberg’s widow, Anna Strasberg, the manager of Monroe’s estate.
Frank Capra Movies, Clint Eastwood Book Signing
Frank Capra’s American Madness, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, Terrence Malick’s Badlands, and Bertrand Tavernier’s Coup de torchon are among the classics to be screened in late April 2010 at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va.
Starring Walter Huston (father of John Huston, grandfather of Anjelica Huston), American Madness’ theme remains as relevant today as it was nearly eight decades ago: banks’ loan practices and the money supply.
Raging Bull isn’t one of my favorite Scorsese efforts, but many consider it the director’s masterpiece and one of the seminal works of the 1980s. Tavernier’s Coup de torchon, for its part, was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1981.
Badlands, though hardly a blockbuster, is one of the most important movies of the ’70s. It’s also my #1 Terrence Malick film. Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek are excellent as the violent rebels in 1950s Middle America.
Movie programs are preceded by a slide presentation about the film, with music selected by the Library’s Recorded Sound Section. Some screenings will also include short subjects before the main feature. Titles are subject to change without notice. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.
Schedule and synopses from the Library of Congress press release:
Thursday, April 22, 7:30 p.m.
“American Madness” (Columbia, 1932)
A bank president’s liberal loan policies are scrutinized when a robbery at the bank raises questions about the money supply. Starring Walter Houston and Pat O’Brien, the film was directed by Frank Capra.
Friday, April 23, 7:30 p.m.
“Raging Bull” (United Artists, 1980, R-rated*)
This is the story of prizefighter Jake La Motta’s successes in the ring and failures in life. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film was named to the National Film Registry in 1990. It stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty.
*No one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or an adult guardian.
Saturday, April 24, 2:00 p.m. (Double Feature)
“The Jungle Book” (Walt Disney, 1967)
The last animated film that Walt Disney personally supervised is Rudyard Kipling’s tale of a small boy who is befriended by a collection of jungle animals. Featuring the voices of George Sanders, Sterling Halloway, J. Pat O’Malley and Phil Harris, the film was directed by Wolfgang Reitcherman.
“Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree” (Walt Disney, 1966)
Christopher Robin’s bear gets himself in trouble while pursuing his favorite food. Featuring the voices of Sterling Halloway and Sebastian Cabot, the film was directed by Wolfgang Reitcherman.
Thursday, April 29, 7:30 p.m.
“Badlands” (Warner Bros, 1973)
After a parental attempt to break them up, a young couple goes on the road and on a crime spree. Directed by Terrence Malick, “Badlands” was named to the National Film Registry in 1993. It stars Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek and Warren Oates.
Friday, April 30, 7:30 p.m.
“Coup de Torchon” (Biograph International, 1981, R-rated*)
The police chief of a small town takes revenge on those who wronged him. Produced in French with English subtitles, the film was directed by Bertrand Tavernier. It stars Philippe Noiret, Stéphane Audran and Eddy Mitchell.
* No one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or an adult guardian.
Photo: Courtesy of the Library of Congress
On Wednesday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m., Hollywood’s Larry Edmunds Bookshop welcomes Miami author David Frangioni and his new book, Clint Eastwood: ICON.
According to the Larry Edmunds’ press release, Clint Eastwood: ICON “is the ultimate collection of ‘Clintibilia.’ I’m not sure exactly what that entails, but Eastwood fans should have their ears perked up.
Frangioni will be signing copies of his book, and will do a presentation on poster art featuring the star of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Play Misty for Me, Dirty Harry, Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, and Gran Torino. Eastwood posters will also be on display throughout the store.
Those who can’t make it to the book signing/poster presentation in the heart of Hollywood can request a signed copy of Clint Eastwood: ICON via mail order.
Larry Edmunds is located at 6644 Hollywood Boulevard.
Also, check out how Anthony Steffen’s The Strangers Gundown, which seemingly inspired Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter.
Roger Ebert Film Festival Screening ‘Pink Floyd The Wall
The 2010 edition of Ebertfest, Roger Ebert’s film festival of overlooked (and not-so-overlooked) movies, kicked off at 7 p.m. this evening with a screening of Alan Parker’s (not-at-all) overlooked Pink Floyd The Wall.
(I’m no fan of the film; I was told that to you need to be on acid to appreciate its artistry. I have no intention of ever taking up that suggestion.)
Ebertfest 2010 highlights include Roy Andersson’s totally overlooked (in the United States, at least) You, the Living, which consists of dozens of vignettes featuring average people and their oftentimes comic/bizarre problems; Lee Isaac Chung’s Rwanda-set Munyurangabo, a slow-moving, episodic tale featuring two friends roaming that country’s war-scarred (but quite beautiful) countryside (Ebert calls it “a masterpiece”); and Yojiro Takita’s anything-but-overlooked Departures, the surprise winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award last year.
Departures, the tale of a musician who ekes out a living as a corpse “beautician,” was much criticized in some quarters for its sentimentality.
I haven’t seen either I Capture the Castle or The New Age, but both sound intriguing. More information on both films on their Ebertfest pages.
Ebertfest, which is being held at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, Ill., comes to a close on Sunday, April 25.
FESTIVAL SCHEDULE 2010
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21
Pink Floyd The Wall in 70mm (R; 95 min)
You, The Living (95 min)
Jessica Lundberg Actor, Johan Carlsson Production Manager & Assistant Director
THURSDAY, APRIL 22
Munyurangabo (97 min)
Lee Isaac Chung Director, Sam Anderson Co-writer & Producer, Jenny Lund Co-Producer
The New Age (R; 112min)
Michael Tolkin Director & Writer
Apocalypse Now/Redux (197min)
Walter Murch Sound & Film Editor/Sound Designer
FRIDAY, APRIL 23
Departures (PG-13; 130min)
Yôjirô Takita Director
Man with a Movie Camera (68 min)
Synecdoche, New York (124min)
Charlie Kaufman Writer & Director, Anthony Bregman Producer
SATURDAY, APRIL 24
I Capture the Castle (R; 113min)
Bill Nighy Actor
Vincent: A Life in Color (96min)
Jennifer Burns Director & Producer, Vincent P Falk Star
Trucker (R: 90min) James Mottern Writer & Director, Michelle Monaghan Actor
Barfly (R; 97min)
Barbet Schroeder Director
SUNDAY, APRIL 25
Song Sung Blue (85min)
Greg Kohs Director, Claire Sardina “Thunder”
Norman Lloyd in Hollywood: Alfred Hitchcock & Charles Chaplin Actor
Actor Norman Lloyd, 95, will discuss his lengthy film and stage career on Wednesday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hollywood Heritage Museum in the Lasky-DeMille Barn across from the Hollywood Bowl. The evening will include a screening of Matthew Sussman’s documentary Who Is Norman Lloyd?.
Lloyd, seen above with Priscilla Lane in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1942 thriller Saboteur (in which Lloyd had the title role), worked with an array of top film and stage names, among them the aforementioned Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Charles Chaplin (Limelight), Jean Renoir (The Southerner), Lewis Milestone (A Walk in the Sun), John Houseman, Peter Weir (Dead Poets Society), and many others.
On stage, Lloyd studied with legendary actress Eva Le Gallienne, and began appearing on Broadway in 1935. He joined Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater in 1937 in Julius Caesar, in which Lloyd played Cinna, the Poet. Later on, he produced the American stage premiere of Berthold Brecht’s Galileo, starring Charles Laughton.
More recently, he was seen as Dr. Daniel Auschlander on television’s St. Elsewhere. He has also guested on the TV series Seven Days and The Practice, and had a supporting role in the 2005 Cameron Diaz vehicle In Her Shoes.
The Hollywood Heritage Museum is located at 2100 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. Refreshments available. Free parking. Admission – Members: $5 Non-Members: $10.
Doors open at 7:00 PM. Limited seating.
For more information, visit: hollywoodheritage.org or call (323) 874-2276.