I’ve been to the Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival, held annually in Hollywood, seven times now, every year but its inaugural year in 2010. I’ve met the late Robert Osborne several times. Not only was he sophisticated and knowledgeable – the perfect face of the network – but I can also say that, if he treated everyone he met with the kindness and respect he accorded me during our brief interactions, he truly was a remarkable man. I was interviewed by Ben Mankiewicz, who also treated me very kindly, despite the fact that I was a terrible interviewee. I walked the red carpet and I covered the red carpet. I’ve seen Kim Novak. Liza Minelli. Joel Grey. Michael York. Shirley Jones, Cher. I’ve seen silent films, Cinerama films, 3D films, and nitrate films. “Vertigo.” “Cabaret.” “Oklahoma.” “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “Grand Illusion.” “The Cameraman.” And I’m going back again this year for more, with one difference. I’m taking you ShowRoom fans along with me via social media.
The festival runs from Thursday, April 26 through Friday, April 29. I’ll be flying out Tuesday the 24th and the fun begins Wednesday morning at 11 AM with a special presentation by Alexa Foreman, the director of the new documentary “Scandal: The Trial of Mary Astor, followed by the TCMFF press conference in the afternoon, the Going to TCMFF Facebook party in the evening, the TCMFF Influencers mixer after that…well, you get the picture. And I’ll document it all. I’ll share with you the movies I see, the sights-historic and not so–on Hollywood Boulevard, the rounds of coffee I use to keep me running, and as important as anything else, the friends I’ve made over the years. The TCM Classic Film Festival, and TCM itself, is nothing if it isn’t a community-a community of like-minded, dedicated classic film fans, a community that you can easily become a part of, even if you can’t make it to the festival. Join the #TCMParty on Twitter, look for the various TCM fan pages on FaceBook, follow TCM on Twitter (@tcm), FaceBook (@tcmtv) and Instagram (@turnerclassicmovies). And follow my festival adventures on the ShowRoom Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts (theshowroomap) and my own personal accounts (Twitter and Instagram: @jlundenberger, Facebook: Jeff Lundenberger).
If you’ve been to Hollywood and Hollywood Bouldevard-something like Times Square on the west coast if you haven’t-you know that there are tour buses up and down the street, each one with its own aggressive hawkers trying to sell trips to the homes of the stars to the thousands of tourists gathered there on the weekends. Last year I was at the festival, waiting for the light to change to cross the street, when I overheard three said tour salesmen talking to one another.
“What’s going on with all the passes?” said one.
“It’s the TCM Film Festival said a second.”
Again #1: “What’s that?”
#3: “It’s something where people spend a lot of money to see movie they could see at home for free.”
I laughed to myself, thinking “He is definitely not of my tribe.” And I would guess that most of you ShowRoom Cinema fans would agree. The way you watch a movie matters. If the only way to see the film I really want to see is on a phone well, so be it, I’ll watch it on the phone. But nothing beats watching a film in a theatre, on the big screen, with others interested in the movie. That’s the way the cinema was meant to be and the TCM Film Festival, the ShowRoom Cinema, and all the festivals and cinemas around the world are here to keep that tradition alive.
JEFF WILL BE REPORTING FROM THE TCM FESTIVAL STARTING APRIL 24TH – MAY 2ND. CHECK IN HERE AND ON THE SHOWROOM FACEBOOK PAGE FOR UPDATES.