Monday, March 31, 2014

The Yellow Brick Road to TCMFF 2014

 I belong to a select group of obsessed film geeks aka "Old Movie Weirdos" that watches classic film at a dizzying pace. We eat, breathe and sleep old movies. We talk about it, we blog on it, we spend our hard-earned cash on it. Undeniably, we watch it. There are many ways one can get their fill of ole black and white classics. But for many of us, we have discovered a common home to enjoy these films... Turner Classic Movies.

I have happily taken pleasure in my cinema addiction via TCM ("Turner Classic Movie channel") for years. Then the good folks at TCM started an annual film festival to bring all of us "old movie weirdos" together. This year marks the 5th annual celebration as such and the 20th anniversary of this marvelous network. Living in the middle of the country and as a married, working mom of 4 teenagers, this annual trek to Hollywood was simply not feasible. After pinching every penny, and months of obnoxiously obvious hints to my poor dear husband, he gave me the ultimate birthday present- a trip to TCM Film Festival! My birthday was November 14th- the very day TCMFF passes went on sale. 

So here I am, little over a week from my first ever trip to Hollywood, California and my very first TCM Film Festival. The official schedule of screenings and events has been released and thus the planning and re-planning has begun. I've heard of the long lines, the near-misses and finely-tuned  strategies involved in this process from other like-souls who have made this journey before me. My strategy? Make my favorite picks in each time block then happily 'go with the flow' when any of those well-laid-out plans fall through. My goal? Have the time of my life as this Kansas gal makes this magical journey to Tinseltown, meet up with friends (my modern-day online 'pen pals' oft from far, far away) and who knows... perhaps some celebrity sightings as icing on the cake?!

Here is my 'well-laid-out plan' of a schedule:

2pm- "Meet TCM" at the Egyptian Theatre
5pm- Welcome Party/TCM at 20 Exhibit at Roosevelt
7pm- 5th AVENUE GIRL/ plan B: 7:30pm- AMERICAN GRAFFITI poolside with discussion
9:45pm- THE HEIRESS/ plan B: 10pm- JOHNNY GUITAR

Friday: (this is the day I will camp at the TCM Chinese IMAX)
9am- THE THIN MAN (The Thin Man on the big screen! O.M.G.)
3pm- MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS with discussion from Margaret O'Brien
9pm- BLAZING SADDLES with discussion from Mel Brooks (Dream come true!!)
midnight show- ERASERHEAD at Chinese Multiplex 6, discussion from Patton Oswalt (very cool...)
*plan B- my back-ups are "A conversation with Richard Dreyfuss" and WHY WORRY? with conversation from Suzanne Lloyd, Carl Davis 
9am- CITY LIGHTS or STELLA DALLAS- complete toss up
11:45am- GODZILLA: The Japanese Original (how could I NOT see Gojira on the big screen?!)
3pm- HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (with LEGENDARY personal-fave Maureen O'Hara live!!)
6:15pm- THE NUTTY PROFESSOR with discussion by Jerry Lewis or plan B: A HARD DAY'S NIGHT with discussion by Alec Baldwin or... plan C: THE MUPPET MOVIE with discussion by Bill Hader (this time slot I'm kinda more interested in seeing the presenters than the movie itself)
9pm-ish: this slot is a free for all for me- no real commitments at this point

9:15am- Academy Conversations: THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD or... sleeping in & brunch (perhaps plan B may rule by day 4)
noon: Judy Garland: A Legendary Film Career
4:30pm- THE QUIET MAN with discussion by Nancy Schoenberger (no brainer here!)
7:30pm- THE WIZARD OF OZ or... THE LODGER with Mont Alto Orchestra - This a toughie. As a Kansas gal, I want to see Oz on the big screen since I've only seen it on tv, especially with the 75th anniversary. Then again, I've never seen Hitch's THE LODGER on the big screen with Mont Alto Orchestra live musical accompaniment either. Aargh!
9pm- Official Closing Night Party!

I'm both exhilarated and exhausted already just thinking about this incredible event. Not sure how I'll cover some basics with this frenetic pace, like going to the bathroom or eating. But I'm certain even with a four day diet of popcorn, it will all be completely worth it. See ya at the movies, fellow "Old Movie Weirdos"!


  1. Fantastic list!! I'm so excited for you that you get to make this list and go to LA and carry it out!

    I won't see you at any films on Sunday, but our paths will cross a few times each of the other days, I think. See you Thursday night at 5TH AVENUE GIRL!! (I know Aurora's going to be at that screening, too :)

    1. Thanks, Joel! I'm super excited!! I'm equally excited about meeting you, Beth, Aurora & the whole gang in person! As enthusiastic as I am about this list, I really will be just as happy to go to any of these screenings. So we'll see if my well-laid-out plans go as planned. So you & Beth might just get tired of seeing this ole freckled face more than you bargained... Lol ;)

  2. This is my first year with a pass (and not just hanging out in the back of the line hoping for an empty seat) so I'm somewhat overwhelmed being able to choose one of EVERYTHING! I definitely need to sit down and lay out my priorities this weekend—the best part of having such a robust schedule though, is knowing that pretty much any choice will be a great one!

    1. I so happy for you that you're getting to enjoy this year's Fest in all it's full glory! If you recognize me in the lines- please come say hi & introduce yourself, ok? (I'm the freckled gal with a smile you can see from space... Lol)

  3. I enjoyed reading your picks, Kellee -- and I look forward to meeting you! If I don't see you anyplace else, I'll surely see you at Double Indemnity and Blazing Saddles -- two of my own must-sees! (Although I have seen DI so many times I could get up and act in it, and have even seen it on the big screen, I just can't pass it up.) And Mel Brooks -- fuggedaboutit!!! Excuse me while I whip this out!

    -- Karen

    1. Karen- I cannot wait to meet you- please come introduce yourself if you see me! I pretty much look exactly like my profile photos, so I hear, so please say hello! By the way, Blazing Saddles is my #1 pick to see at this Fest so we def gotta get into that one. See ya there, sweetie!

  4. Great list. I think we're going to be stumbling over each other two or three times a day.

    1. Coolio, Chris! It'll be awesome to hang in lines with fellow #TCMparty friends! Looking forward to meeting you! :)

  5. Amazing line up! Can't wait to hear all about it (might even have to get on twitter, gulp!)

    1. SO thrilled to ahare all the fun details, sis! XoXo

  6. Have a wonderful time! I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences! :)

  7. Greetings, Kelle! I’ve just nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award, because I genuinely enjoy reading your posts (and not just because we finally met up at #TCMFF ;-) ).

    I totally understand that these awards are not for everyone (and you may already have it), but should you choose to accept it, here’s the link to your nomination: