|On train from San Diego, business class is about $20.|
This is what $20 worth of leg space looks like.
I cover the festival as media and normally, it's a rush to make it to the TCM press conference, that is usually starting about the time I'm popping my head out of the subway station and scrambling to get upstairs just a minute or two late.
TCM did things a bit different this year. Rather than the standard press conference in the early afternoon, TCM did a media mixer in the late afternoon. Though this was a nice change of pace, the timing of the event overlapped with the Going to TCM Classic Film Festival! Facebook group meetup at the pool. I really didn't want to miss the Facebook group meetup, I felt I should take advantage of the media mixer that was offered. I ended up touching base with people in the first half hour of the Facebook meetup and then coming back after it was in progress. Unfortunately, by the time, I got back it didn't seem worth the trouble of sticking around for the tail end. Plus, that was the only window I had to get dinner for my daughter who attends TCMFF with me.
|My daughter Jasmine and me, obligatory train selfie|
Oddly Jennifer Dorian sought me out to talk about the festival (it might have been the hat), but she was sincere. I'm sure there were many mainstream media outlets there. The fact that she took the time to track me down speaks volumes on how TCM as a whole feels about the classic movie blogging and social media community. The food was good, and I took advantage of the free drinks to sample the rather aggressively overhopped IPA (typical of most West Coast IPAs). Yes, I'm craft beer geek as well as a classic movie geek.
|Theresa Brown and me at Influencer Mixer|
|TCMFF breakfast at Mel's|
After breakfast, we ended up in the TCMFF Gift Shop in Sweet. My daughter wanted some me time, i.e., shopping, so I ended up hanging out with Ana Roland. We took a walk down Hollywood Blvd. The biggest benefit of this was discovering a way in and out of the Hollywood Highland mall all the way to the TCL Chinese Theater from The Egyptian side, while mostly avoiding Hollywood Blvd. Five years I've been coming to TCMFF, and I finally found a good way into the mall from that direction.
|Playing dress-up with Jasmine|
The other big thing Friday was playing dress-up with my daughter. Okay, that came out a lot weirder than I intended. A few years ago I bought a white dinner jacket, and TCMFF is the one chance a year I have to wear it. This year my daughter is a high-school senior, and I got to see more of her prom dress than just taking pictures before she wanders off into the night with her boyfriend.
The big thing of Friday was, Witness for the Prosecution. I had originally planned to skip it for Grand Prix, but that meant skipping two whole blocks of films, and I just couldn't bring myself to do that. Of course, I've seen it, but my daughter hadn't, and her face on the big reveal by itself was worth the cost of her Classic Pass. We only had a fifteen minutes between the end of Witness for the Prosecution at The Egyptian and How to Marry a Millionaire at the TCL. I would like to say that we set a world record on the trip, but we did have to wait a full two minutes at the light at Hollywood and Highland, so I doubt it was an actual record, but we did make it, and that has to count for something, right?
|Dennis Miller, Ruth, and me|
SaturdaySaturday kind of all came down to celebrities, and oddly the ones I'm going to talk about are the ones I wasn't planning on see. About a week before the Festival, TCM announced that Jeff Bridges would be appearing at the screening of The Big Lebowsky. I wasn't originally planning on seeing it, but the addition of Bridges was quite an enticement. Plus, I hadn't seen the film. I'm not sure how that happened. I would have sworn I had seen it, until a couple of months ago, when my wife was watching it.
The interview with Jeff Bridges was fun, mostly because of how far it went off the rails. Ben Mankiewicz was perfect because he just rolled with the punches and just let it unfold the way it was going to. Having now seen the film, I can safely say Jeff Bridges is the Dude. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I figure videos work about the same. The following videos are about the first 12 minutes of the interview.
The next big thing was, Night of the Living Dead as a midnight movie. Edgar Wright (director of Shaun of the Dead) was supposed to appear, but had to cancel at last minute. He was stuck in the UK with visa problems. Thanks, Obama. Oh wait, that wouldn't be Obama. That would be Trump. Anyway, rumors had been circulating that Edgar Wright was working on a surprise replacement. I don't know if it was Wright or the TCMFF staff, but somebody came through when Simon Pegg (star of Shaun of the Dead) came out to introduce the film. It was perfect. Simon Pegg is a huge fan of zombies, and I couldn't think of anyone better to introduce the film.
|Simon Pegg, photo courtesy of TCM|
|King of Cool at The Egyptian|
Animal House cast courtesy of TCM, left to right: Mark
Metcalf, Steven Bishop, Martha Smith, John Landis,
James Widdoes, Tim Matheson, and Bruce McGill
I sat with one of my Twitter friends I had met for the first time this year, Stacy Black from Austin. I had bought a bag of what I used to know as penny candy as a kid from the Sweet shop in the Hollywood Highland mall, Smarties, Tootsie Rolls, Dum-Dums, etc. I was offering them to people all weekend. By Sunday, I was down to my last couple of pieces. Stacy I had found out earlier on Twitter likes the same bourbon I do, Elijah Craig Small Batch. I just so happened to have a flask, so we watched the film over bourbon and Smarties.
As always, the closing party was great. For the first time, Jasmine stayed more or less until they kicked us out of Club TCM at midnight. It was great to talk and share a drink with the people I've met over the years, including those like Stacy and Ruth, I'd just met this year and Jeff Davis and Guy Priley, who were at the Festival for the first time and whom I know will be back. Again, I'm going to let the pictures do the talking here.
|Clockwise from lower right, Jackie, Jeff,|
Jasmine and me
|Jazzy and me|
|Stacy and me|
|Jeff and me, stolen from his Facebook feed.|
I love Jasmine photo bombing in the back
|Shot from the train|
I had some quarters, so I dropped a few in, fully expecting to never hear the songs I just selected, as is typical in a place like that. I put in the number for the Chi-Lites, "Oh Girl." The next song that came up "Oh Girl," the Chi-Lite. Jasmine punched in David Bowie, "Space Oddity." It came up. We played and heard all of the six or seven songs we played. I just love subjecting strangers to my taste in music.
|Reading material courtesy of TCM|