festivals

The Road to TCMFF 2017: Early Announced Films, How Classic Are They?

TCMFF 2017 Banner

When the TCM Classic Film Festival announced a smidgen of its schedule, fans poured over the listings to see what movies were included and did they fit their definition of classic. TCM fans are vocal on social media praising the network when pleased and passionately-yet-constructively criticizing it whenever they think their definition of classic has been strayed from. From what’s been released, I see a good mix sure to make a lot of fans happy. When I was considering whether to attend this year, I definitely felt the pull of the schedule. Let’s review what’s being offered together!

Since so many TCM film fans want to see classic era (i.e. studio era) movies, here’s how the offerings break down by time period. Of the thirty-two films or programs announced so far, twenty-four of them were made before 1970. Seven are from the 1970s or later.

The silent era (1910s-1920s) has two offerings:

The 1930s has eight offerings, half of which are pre-codes:

The 1940s have five offerings:

The 1950s have six offerings:

The 1960s have four offerings:

 

The 1970s have six offerings:

The 1980s have no offerings.

The 1990s have one offering:

While the bulk of the schedule fulfills the most traditional and constrictive definition classic film, the 1970s, the post-studio era, is very strongly represented. Only the 1930s has more selections; the 1950s ties with the 1970s. Obviously later made films are more likely to have guests that can attend the festival, but I don’t see that as the single motivation for programmers to include such movies. If we go by a broader definition of classic, something that is of its time yet timeless in its ability to be enjoyed repeatedly now and for years to come, then almost all the 1970s programming can be defined as classic. THE LANDLORD sticks out as rediscovery championing.

The post featuring my TCMFF picks will go live soon! In the meantime, feel free to comment on the 2017 schedule’s classic credentials.

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San Francisco Silent Film Festival Official Press Accreditation

San Francisco Silent Film Festival Poster 2015

Saturday’s post was the start of my San Francisco Silent Film Festival coverage. I’m happy to announce Spellbound by Movies has received official press accreditation to the festival! In the coming days, look to this blog for an in-depth preview to the festival, an interview or two, and onsite write-ups. I’ll be live-tweeting the event here as well.

If you’re attending the event, please comment and let me know! If you cannot attend, I hope my posts will give you a sense of what the festival and this years’ films are like.

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Supporting the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

San Francisco Silent Film Festival Membership Card

As part of my preparation for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, I renewed my membership to it. As a film fanatic with a particular passion for silents, I recognize that many of the specialty screenings I frequent only occur because of the efforts of non-profit groups. Attending their events and buying tickets or passes are two ways to help.  There’s nothing more emotionally rewarding for organizers than to get their audience into seats. Every sold-out screening I’ve attended has been proudly announced as such.

While paid attendance must help defray programming costs, there are expenses to running their organizations year-round. That’s why they fundraise and apply for cultural grants, and that’s I renewed my basic membership. Besides providing coverage to the festival, I wanted to give back to them financially even if it’s in a small way.

For my donation, I got this swell membership card featuring Louise Brooks, mention in their collectible festival book, advance access to purchase passes and tickets, discounted attendance, and reciprocal discounts at other cultural institutions. I, also, got the satisfaction of giving back to a place that has given so much to me.

If you love the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, too, consider becoming a member if you’re not. If you’re a reader who lives more distantly, I heartily encourage you to support your local groups and screenings!

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More San Francisco Silent Film Festival Fun!

William Gillette in Sherlock Holmes 3

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival has gotten a little longer for its 20th anniversary. A day has been added to the festival! The event now runs Thursday, May 28, 2015 through Monday, June 1, 2015. Past years, programming ended on the Sunday evening. This is great news for attendees. An extra day of films means–more films to be enjoyed. Out-of-town film fanatics should commence in changing their return flights and/or extending lodging stays as soon as possible in order not to miss any of the fun.

With the expanded schedule, I’d like to see the festival stick with the more reasonable break schedule employed during Silent Autumn 2014. There was time to walk around, socialize, and even go to a Castro District restaurant for a sit-down meal. Anyone who’s attended a film festival knows how long-term sitting is brutal on the body. Limb cramps and fatigue aren’t fun, and they’re distracting from what’s on the screen. Plus, there’s no greater advertisement to the event’s sponsors than attendees out on break patronizing area businesses while wearing festival lanyards. That affirms donating to the festival is worthwhile for local business owners. They can see immediate results.

The additional day does mean festival passes are going up in costs. The good news is they’re being discounted until the first of the new year. As of today, passes cost $231 for the general public and $201 for festival members. There is an online processing fee on top of those charges. While the pass costs might look steep to some, buying a pass makes the average cost per program lower if you plan to attend all or most programs. If you’re cherry-picking films, then buying individual tickets will work best for you.

So far only William Gillette‘s long-thought lost silent film Sherlock Holmes has been announced. The complete schedule will be released in the middle of March 2015. Watch this blog for further festival updates!
San Francisco Silent Film Festival Logo

 

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