San Diego Classic Film Calendar

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

TCMFF 2016 - Day 2

Friday at the TCM Classic Film Festival (TCMFF) started earlier than I would have liked. We had made arrangements to get into Club TCM early before it opened in the morning to place a Falcon. That meant that I had to be up, showered, shaved, and out of the room about 45 minutes earlier than I needed to be to make the first screening. Ah well, who sleeps at TCMFF.

My 16-year-old daughter and Social Producer partner Jasmine and I then went up the Social Producers office, where breakfast was waiting. Mmmm, real food. Then we headed out to the Egyptian for the first screening, The More the Merrier. When we got there, we found Joel Williams in pole position with the number 1 line number. 



We got in line behind a woman named Linda from San Francisco, who was totally rocking the 1940s glam:


Linda before The More the Merrier
Then it was into the screening for The More the Merrier and a heaping helping of Dingle. The film was great, an absolute treat in the theater. Jasmine loved it, her #TCMFF16YO review:

In conclusion, old kooky men are great matchmakers


After the screening we immediately got line numbers for the next showing at the Egyptian, He Ran All the Way. We ended up running into Linda again, and got a Reverse Angle interview with her:





We had a little time on our hands, so we went across the street to Starbucks. At this point Jasmine was complaining about being tired, so I convinced her to get a mocha frappuccino, caramel macchiato, or some other sweet sounding thing. Come on, all the cool kids are doing it. Yes, I'm a bad parent.

We got back in line and noticed that everybody was tweeting that they were being shut out for Double Harness, and they were all heading over to the Egyptian for He Ran All the Way. It turns out my wife had been shut out of Shanghai Express and when she came back for Double Harness, she got shut out of that as well. I told her to come over to the Egyptian for He Ran All the Way. We saved her a seat.

Also, I noticed this tweet from @tangypunch from Dallas, whom I had met for the first time earlier:


Happy winner of the #FindTheFalcon game.

Turns out Meghan found one too:




I had never seen He Ran All the Way, and I knew very little about it. In addition to John Garfield and Shelley Winters, the film also starred Norman Lloyd. And guess what, Norman Lloyd came out to see himself in the theater at 101 years old! How cool is that?

It was another great screening. Me, I was happy to see a movie with Shelley Winters where she goes swimming and survives the ordeal. Jasmine dug it as well. Her #TCMFF16YO review:

Sorry Nick, girls don't like sketchy, rapey, stupid, gun toting, mother abusers

Before we left we hid another Falcon at the Egyptian.

Next it was back to the Chinese IMAX for The Conversation. By the time we got there, we had numbers in the mid-300s. I wasn't too worried. The Chinese is huge and seats close to a thousand. While we were waiting, we had a nutritious lunch consisting of crackers, cheese, and lunch meat, yes, Lunchables.

The Ben Mankiewicz interview with Francis Ford Coppola was really cool. They spent a fair amount of time on The Godfather. Coppola said that when they were making it, there was no guarantee that it would succeed. Other Mafia films had failed miserably, and Coppola said it was a miserable experience. He had two small children and was afraid he was going to be fired every day. He also mentioned that the Baptism scene, that everybody thinks is so brilliant was not something that he came up with because he thought it would be especially dramatic. He said, he just needed to fit about 60 pages of the novel into a couple of minutes of the film.  

They moved onto The Conversation, and Coppola said he was heavily influenced by Blow-Up (1966) as he wanted to try to make a mystery that was also a very personal film. He said that veteran director Irwin Kirshner (best known for directing Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back) was very encouraging to him. The Conversation centers around Gene Hackman recording and reassembling a conversation of a man and woman in Union Square in San Francisco. They approached shooting that scene as if they were recording the conversation themselves, following the different positions of the different microphones, where different microphones might only get portions of the conversation. That way they assembled the scene similar to the way the Gene Hackman character would re-assemble the conversation in the film. 

Coppola was very funny with anecdotes of his career. I did a video of the entire interview. Apologies that the audio and camera is a little rough in spots:



The Conversation was incredible. This is a film that I have been wanting to see for probably 20 years, ever since I first heard about it. For whatever reason, I never got a chance to see it. Now, I know why, seeing it for the first time at the Chinese IMAX at TCMFF, wow. 

Jasmine's #TCMFF16YO review:

An award winning movie that didn't put me to sleep

If memory serves me, The Conversation had run long, and we figured we probably couldn't make Pleasure Cruise in one of the smaller theaters. We opted instead for dinner at Johnny Rockets. I seem to remember that the theater for Pleasure Cruise didn't fill, but scarfing down hot food for a change was still a good call.


6 Hours to Live screening (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/
Getty Images for Turner)
Next up was, 6 Hours to Live. It was kind of a fun movie, but it seemed odd to me. It was trying to be a little of everything, a sci-fi horror film, a romantic comedy, and a political thriller, all at the same time. It just seemed a bit scattered to me. That said, when I mentioned this to one of the other, Social Producers, Ariel Schudson, the next morning, she said that was exactly the reason she loved it. In fact, she would have gone and seen it a second time if it had made on of the TBD spots.

Jasmine's #TCMFF16YO review of 6 Hours to Live:

Didn't know angels dressed as Doctor Jeckyl and Mr Hyde

Finally, the last screening, The Manchurian Candidate with Angela Lansbury. My wife Mary and daughter Jasmine were too exhausted to attend, but there was no way I was missing it. The Alec Baldwin interview with Angela Landsbury was good. She said that her first love was the theater and that the last really good film role she got was The Manchurian Candidate. She also mentioned that her film career benefited from different directors seeing her differently, which kept her from being type cast. 


Angela Lansbury thanks the crowd.
(Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Turner)

I loved the film and seeing it on the big screen was a treat, but I was fighting falling asleep through practically the entire film. I now can see why, Mary and Jasmine opted for sleep.

Once again, I ended up in the Library Bar at the Roosevelt after the last screening. I ended up talking to Andrea Rosen (@AndWhatRosen) and her husband (@HubsRosen) for a while.


Andrea and me, stolen from her Twitter feed.

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