Wonderful news! For the second year in a row, I’ve been awarded an official media credential to the TCM Classic Film Festival. I’m excited to return to the premiere classic film gathering in the United States. I can’t wait to meet up with fellow film fanatics to experience the camaraderie, special guests, movies, and other events TCM is organizing. Prior to the festival, I’ll be releasing more The Road to TCMFF 2017 pieces. Once the festival goes live, I’ll have daily diaries on this blog; I’ve invested in a digital recorder for on-site interviews; and I’ll be sharing live reactions on Twitter and Instagram. Post-event coverage will include detailed reviews. Prepare to be inundated with updates!
By msbethg in Classic Film, Film Historians, Genres, Remembrances, Robert Osborne, Series 6 Comments Tags: 2007, Beth Ann Gallagher, book, book signing, Camille, Castro, Castro Theatre, classic, classic film, classic films, classic movie, classic movies, classics, exhibition, film festival, film festivals, film historian, film writer, host, In Memoriam, journalist, Karie Bible, mezzanine, movie, movie theater, movie theaters, movie theatre, movie theatres, movies, preservation, remembrance, restoration, Robert Osborne, San Francisco, San Francisco Silent Film Festival, SF Silent Film Fest, SF Silent Film Festival, SFSFF, signing, silent, Silent Film, silent films, silents, TCM, Turner Classic, Turner Classic Movies, writer
Late Monday morning I was crying. A quick look at Twitter let me know something I hoped wouldn’t happen yet had. TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne had died. He’d been on extended medical leave, so I knew he wasn’t well, that he must have been seriously ill to stay away from the network and the job that meant so much to him. He was the rare person who created his own career around what he loved, film. Since he was the even rarer public person who kept his personal life private, fans didn’t know more about his condition than that. I wished like many he’d rebound.
I’m not the sort of person who jumps on the celebrity mourning bandwagon. I don’t write about someone’s passing simply to get blog hits. When I feel the loss of someone like Robert, and I’m going to be presumptuous and call him by his first name since he’s been in my living room many times, I really feel it. Chief among his many gifts was being able to connect and engage with an audience. He made me feel like he was excited to share what he knew and thought about a film because he cared–and he truly did. He wanted to pass on the knowledge and the joy of classic film. Whether you met him in person or watched him on TV, he gave you a personal experience.
I was lucky enough to meet Robert at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in 2007. He was there to accept an award from the festival for TCM for its contributions “to the preservation, restoration and exhibition of silent film.” He, also, introduced CAMILLE (1921). I didn’t approach him when I saw him in the Castro Theatre‘s auditorium. I don’t think he would’ve minded, but I try to be considerate of famous people’s moments of downtime. My friends and I made sure to go up to the theatre’s mezzanine for his book signing, and that’s the first and last time I met him.
Some of us bought his book, and some didn’t, but that didn’t seem to matter to him. He was friendly and chatted with all of us, and he quickly and happily said yes to a group picture. While we started posing for the picture, I wanted to let him know how much I appreciated him and his work. I don’t remember what I said to him, but whatever I said and how I said it, he paused for a moment and tilted his head, and then he responded with something nice back. I’m sorry to be vague, but I remember the quality of the moment and my emotions more than the words used by either of us.
Robert exemplified generosity. He was a consummate gentleman to all who approached him. He left people feeling good after they interacted with him. He wasn’t only an ambassador for TCM or classic film. He was someone who radiated happiness at his good fortune at being able to live the life he wanted, and he shared that happiness by making himself available until he wasn’t able to anymore.
Thank you, Robert, for giving more than you took, for being an educator and an inspiration, and for being you. You leave behind a rich legacy.
By msbethg in Classic Film, Film Festivals, Genres, Series, Silent Film, TCM Film Festival, The Road to TCMFF 2017 No Comments Tags: Abbott and Costello, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Alice Howell, Bebe Daniels, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Bud Abbott, Buster Keaton, Carole Lombard, Clara Bow, classic, classic film, classic films, classics, comedian, comedians, comedienne, comediennes, comedies, comedy, Constance Talmadge, David Stenn, Dean Martin, duo, Elsa Lanchester, Fatty Arbuckle, film, film festival, film festivals, films, Flora Finch, Get Your Man, Gloria Swanson, Good References, Harold Lloyd, Hollywood, In the Heat of the Night, Jerry Lewis, Laurel and Hardy, Library of Congress, LOC, Los Angeles, Lou Costello, Louise Fazenda, Mabel Normand, Make 'Em Laugh, Marie Dressler, Moonstruck, movie, movies, Norman Jewison, Oliver Hardy, Patsy Kelly, Polly Moran, preservation, reconstruction, Red Hair, restorations, restored, Robert Woolsey, short, shorts, silent, Silent Film, silent films, silents, Stan Laurel, Suzanne Lloyd, TCM, TCM Classic Film Festival, TCM Film Festival, TCMFF, team, Thelma Todd, Turner Classic Movies, Wheeler and Woolsey, William "Bud" Abbott, William Abbott, Zasu Pitts
Since only a portion of the TCM Classic Film Festival offerings has been revealed, I’m going to fantasize about what else the festival programmers could schedule. In making my ideal list, I’ll pretend rights or physical print restrictions don’t exist, and I’ll stick to this year’s theme of MAKE ‘EM LAUGH: COMEDY IN THE MOVIES. I’m sure some of the programs and films I’d like to see at the festival will surprise you!
Long-term readers and Twitter followers know I’m a silent film buff, and I know the perfect gateway to introduce others to the medium is comedy. I have multiple suggestions in this category. Harold Lloyd will be shown, but due to his granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd‘s activism in preserving and promoting his work, his work screening at the fest is usually likely. I’m a fan, so I don’t object. I’d like more silents at the festival!
I’d love TCM to put together a program of silent film comediennes’ shorts. That way the audience could get exposure to or reacquaint themselves with multiple women stars from that era. There have been recent restorations, including some recently screened on the network, that could help fill the bill. Gloria Swanson, Louise Fazenda, Mabel Normand, Bebe Daniels, Flora Finch, Carole Lombard, Alice Howell, Marie Dressler, and Elsa Lanchester are all comediennes with existing silent shorts. If looking for a longer bill, shorts could be paired with Constance Talmadge‘s hour-long, recently found and restored comedy GOOD REFERENCES (1920).
Clara Bow‘s GET YOUR MAN (1927) provides the perfect excuse for a spotlight on the jazziest silent film comedienne. More exposure for Bow, especially with an introduction by her biographer David Stenn, will spotlight why America’s former favorite redhead deserves to be remembered as a talented comedienne whose onscreen naturalism belied self-aware technique. Discussion of how an incomplete film was reconstructed by the Library of Congress using “still photographs and inter-titles from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to fill in the narrative gaps” would be a mini-course in film preservation. If the program needs filling out because GET YOUR MAN is fifty-seven minutes long, short materials like the fragment of RED HAIR (1928) can be screened.
I’m divided whether I want a program of comedy duo shorts or one featuring duos whatever the length of their films. Shorts duos I’d be delighted to watch at TCMFF included Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts, Todd and Patsy Kelly, Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle, and Laurel and Hardy. If the fest highlights comedic duos’ best moments even from longer fare, I’d want to see added Marie Dressler and Polly Moran, Abbott and Costello, and Wheeler and Woolsey. I’m sure including Bob Hope and Bing Crosby along with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis would make even more fans happy!
With Norman Jewison already in attendance for the fiftieth anniversary of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967), I hope another one of his films celebrating its thirtieth anniversary gets snuck onto the schedule–MOONSTRUCK (1987). It’s laugh out loud funny in an idiosyncratic way, and it celebrates life and the mistakes that make it interesting with no cynicism. It, also, captures an old New York City that’s been disappearing via gentrification, displacement, and the passing of the older generations.
Now that you’ve read my picks, what films or programs would you like to see at TCMFF?
By msbethg in Film Festivals, Series, TCM Film Festival, The Road to TCMFF 2017 6 Comments Tags: 2017, 3-D, 3D, Adolphe Menjou, Alan Bates, Angela Lansbury, Anne Bancroft, Arsenic and Old Lace, Barbra Streisand, Beau Bridges, Bette Davis, Beyond the Mouse, Billie Dove, Bogart, Born Yesterday, California, Carole Lombad, cartoon, cartoons, Cary Grant, Casablanca, Chester Morris, classic, classic film, classic films, Claudette Colbert, Cock of the Air, Dan Duryea, Danny Kaye, Debbie Reynolds, Detective Story, Donald O'Connor, Donna Pescow, Dr Strangelove, Dr Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Dustin Hoffman, festival, festivals, film, film festival, film festivals, films, Fred MacMurray, Gene Kelly, Gene Wilder, Geneviève Bujold, Ginger Rogers, Harold Llloyd, Henry Fonda, High Anxiety, Humphrey Bogart, In the Heat of the Night, Ingrid Bergman, Irene Dunne, Jean Harlow, Jeff Bridges, Jezebel, Joel McCrea, John Barrymore, John Travolta, Judy Holliday, King of Hearts, LA, Lee Grant, Linda Darnell, Los Angeles, Make 'Em Laugh, Mel Brooks, Meryl Streep, movie, movies, musical, musicals, Norman Foster, Pat O’Brien, Peter Sellers, Postcards from the Edge, pre-code, pre-codes, precode, precodes, Rafter Romance, Red-Headed Woman, Rex Harrison, Rhonda Fleming, Rod Steiger, Rudy Vallee, Ryan O'Neal, Saturday Night Fever, Shirley MacLaine, Sidney Poitier, silent, Silent Film, silent films, silents, Singin' in the Rain, Speedy, TCM, TCM Classic Film Festival, TCM Film Festival, TCMFF, TCMFF17, TCMFF2017, Teresa Brewer, The CourtJester, The Egg and I, The Front Page, The Graduate, The Great Nickelodeon Show, The Landlord, The Last Picture Show, The Palm Beach Story, The Underworld Story, Theodora Goes Wild, Those Redheads from Seattle, Timothy Bottoms, Turner Classic Movies, Twentieth Century, Ub Iwerks, Unfaithfully Yours, vaudeville, western, What's Up Doc, William Holden, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
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.
By msbethg in 1920s, Actresses, Anouncements, Chicago (1927), Era, Film Festivals, Genres, Movies, Phyllis Haver, Publication, Silent Film, Toronto Silent Film Festival Tags: #SilentsInTO, 1920s, 1920s fashion, 1927, 2017, 20s, April, Ben Model, book, booklet, Canada, Chicago, film, film festival, film festivals, film writer, films, flapper, girl gunner, girl gunners, Jazz Age, movie blog, movie blogger, movies, murder, murderesses, Phyllis Haver, program, programme, Roxie Hart, Silent Film, silent films, silents, Toronto, Toronto Silent Film Festival, TSFF, TSFF2017, twenties, vintage lingerie, woman film writer
The Toronto Silent Film Festival is selling early bird passes for its 2017 edition. Get yours before they run or time out! While things didn’t work out for me to attend in 2016, I’ll be there at least in published word in April. I’m very excited to be contributing a piece about CHICAGO (1927) and Jazz Age murderesses to their programme book.
By msbethg in Actors, Comedies, First Time Watchers, Genres, Harold Lloyd, Movie Podcasts, Silent Film, Slapstick Tags: #TCMFF16, #TCMFF2016, Attaboy Clarence, Capitolfest, Christmas, comedy, Dan, episode, film, film fest, film festival, film festivals, film fests, films, First Time Watchers, Fritzi Kramer, Geek Cast Radio, Harold Lloyd, Hermano DaSilva, Hollywood, host, hosts, LA, Los Angeles, Love & Friendship, movie, movies, Movies Silently, New York, podcast, podcasts, Rome, Rome Capitol Theatre, Safety Last, San Francisco Silent Film, San Francisco Silent Film Festival, SF Silent Film, SF Silent Film Fest, SF Silent Film Festival, SFSFF.SFSFF20, silent, Silent Film, silent films, silents, slapstick, special, TCM, TCM Classic Film Festival, TCMFF, TCMFF 16, TCMFF 2016, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Phantom Carriage, Tim Costa, Turner Classic, Turner Classic Films, Turner Classic Movies, Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival, Turner Classic Movies Film Festival, Walter Vinci, Whit Stillman
I’d been keeping a secret for a little while, in case it fell through, but it happened! I made a guest appearance on First Time Watchers this week. It’s a movie podcast hosted by Tim Costa, Hermano DaSilva, and Walter Vinci. I want to disclose the last host is one of my cousins! Movie madness runs in my family.
The guys discuss films classic and new, and they have their own unique format. They decided to expand their coverage to include a three-part series on silent film. Dan from Geek Cast Radio started it off by reviewing The Phantom Carriage, and Fritzi Kramer from Movies, Silently talked about The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
I concluded the series with Harold Lloyd‘s Safety Last (1923). In addition, I got to speak about how I got into movies and silents in particular, my recent trip to the TCM Classic Film Festival, some of the other film festivals I’ve been lucky enough to attend (like The San Francisco Silent Film Festival and Rome, New York’s Capitolfest), and a trailer that’s got me very excited to see its movie.
I’ve not been on the air in any form in a while, excluding my holiday wishes cameo on Attaboy Clarence‘s 2015 Christmas special, but I had a lot of fun. If you listen, let me know what you think of the show in the comments below!
By msbethg in Bésame, Contests, Film Festivals, TCM Film Festival Tags: #TCMFF16, #TCMFF2016, #TCMFFGlamour, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1946, 1950s, 1960s, Agent Carter, American Horror Story, Bésame, Bésame Cosmetics, boutique, brightening, classic, classic film, classic films, color-correcting, contest, entrepreneur, era, eras, film festival, film festivals, finishing, finishing powder, French vanilla, French Vanilla Brightening Powder, Gabriela Hernandez, giveaway, grandmother, handmade, hashtag, Hayley Atwell, Instagram, lipstick, luxury, luxury make-up, make-up, Peggy Carter, powder, red, red lipstick, Red Velvet, repro, repro vintage, reproduction, reproduction vintage, retro, Sephora, TCM, TCM Classic Film Festival, TCM Film Festival, TCMFF, TCMFF 2016, The Artist, Twitter, Twitterverse, vanilla, Vanilla Brightening Powder, vintage, women entrepreneurs
When I submitted my media credential application to cover the TCM Classic Film Festival (TCMFF), I told them one of my coverage interests was how fans present themselves, how they dress or adorn themselves to show their love of classic movies and their eras and TCM. I’ve done a bit of that in advance by reporting on how its fans have a button obsession that led to a creative opportunity for an artist. I’m eager to see how many fans go beyond wearing buttons and tees by dressing and styling themselves after specific films, performers, or time periods. I’m going to look for glamour on the TCMFF red carpet and cinema sidewalks. I’m, also, going to contribute to it!
I spoke with one of my favorite vintage-era inspired brands, Bésame Cosmetics, and they have wonderfully agreed to be a sponsor of Spellbound by Movies’ first contest! They are giving me two dozen products to brighten the smiles and faces of lucky TCMFF attendees. Over the four days of the festival, I’ll be giving away six products a day. Before I get into the details of how to win the products, I want to tell you a little more about Bésame.
It was founded by Gabriela Hernandez. As a girl, she was “fascinated by her grandmother’s sophisticated beauty routine.” Her passion for the arts and her entrepreneurial drive found inspiration in the memories of her grandmother’s make-up and beauty rituals. Gabriela created Bésame Cosmetics. Every element of the line from product colors to packaging was developed to bring back the romance of earlier eras to make today’s woman feel confident and glamorous. Products are carefully formulated for historical accuracy in color, modern performance, and safety standards that surpass Europe’s. The lipstick range reproduces colors from the 1920s through the 1960s. All items are designed and made in the United States. Bésame started as a handmade, boutique brand, best known among vintage enthusiasts. Its name has spread, and its popularity has increased. Its products now can be found in film and television productions, either worn by performers or dressing sets, and in Sephora.
Now that the backstory has been shared, here are the products to be won!
Red Velvet draws upon 1946 for its color inspiration. It’s a deeper, semi-matte shade appropriate for everyday wear. The lipstick surged in sales when Hayley Atwell revealed she wore it onscreen when portraying Agent Peggy Carter. It normally retails for $22. The ingredient list and further details can be found here. I have a dozen to give away.
Vanilla Brightening Powder
Brightening powder does what it says. It brightens the look of its wearer’s skin. Like the name implies, the powder is vanilla-scented. It has a yellow tint to reduce redness, and it works best on light to medium complexions. It normally retails for $22. The ingredient list and further details can be found here. I have a half-dozen to give away.
French Vanilla Brightening Powder
The main difference between Vanilla Brightening powder and the French Vanilla version is shade. Both product are yellow-tinted to reduce redness, but French Vanilla works best on medium to dark skin. It normally retails for $22. The ingredient list and further details can be found here. I have a half-dozen to give away.
How Can You Win These Products?
- I’m going to give these items away, 6 per day, at TCMFF, so you must be an attendee.
- When I’m going to give away a product, I will tweet about it from my account. Either follow my account (@missbethg) or search for the hashtag #TCMFFGlamour.
- I may ask a trivia question or ask you to answer a question or simply tell you where you can find me.
- Only one prize per person. I want to make two dozen people happy.
- If you are a winner, please agree to let me share on social media and this blog that you are a winner. If possible, I would like to share a photo of you holding or wearing the product you win. Bésame has been generous in giving this product for free in exchange for spreading its brand name.
- If you are a winner, I’m going to ask you to share on your own social media that you won. Please @ tag Bésame on Twitter and/or on Instagram, mention my blog by name, and use the hashtag #TCMFFGlamour as part of your tweet or post.
For those not attending TCMFF, I hope to do another giveaway in the future that you will be eligible to enter. Thanks for your patience on this!
Good luck to those attending the fest! I’ll see you there or in the Twitterverse!
By msbethg in Fan Art, Fandoms, Film Festivals, Interviews, Kate Gabrielle, Series, TCM Fans, TCM Film Festival, TCMFF Fans, The Road to #TCMFF 2016 Tags: #TCMFF16, 1960, 1963, 1966, AMC, Anna Karina, art, artist, artists, Audrey Hepburn, Band of Outsiders, Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Mankiewicz, Bette Davis, blog, blogger, bloggers, Blondie, Borsalino, button, button girl, buttons, Cary Grant, Casablanca, Cedric Gibbons, Chicago, classic film, Classic Film Twitter, cruise, culture, dad, Darling, Day for Night, Debbie Harry, Disney, Disney World, Doctor Zhivago, enthusiasm, events, Fahrenheit 451, fan, fan art, fandom, fans, father, fest, festival, film, film fanatic, film fanatics, film fans, film festival, film festivals, film lover, film lovers, film Twitter, films, François Truffaut, Gary Cooper, gear, Godard, Goldfrapp, Gone with the Wind, Guy Kibbee, Hollywood Video, How to Steal a Million, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Melville, Jeanne Moreau, jewelry, Joy Division, Jules and Jim, Kate Gabrielle, L’Avventura, La Piscine, Le Feu Follet, Le Notti Bianche, Le Samouraï, love, maker, Mary Jane’s Pa, Meet John Doe, Modesty Blaise, movie, movie lover, movie lovers, movies, New Jersey, New Order, Nitrate Diva, Out of the Past, pop, pop art, Purple Noon, Raquel, Raquel Stecher, Raquelle, Robert Osborne, Silents and Talkies, social media, St. Vincent, Sullivan’s Travels, Sunday in New York, TCM, TCM Classic Film Festival, TCM Cruise, TCM Film Festival, TCMFF, TCMFF 2016, Team Godard, Team Truffaut, The Killers, The Servant, thenitratediva, Top Hat, Truffaut, Turner Classic Movies, Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival, Turner Classic Movies Film Festival, Young and Innocent
At the end of my previous post about TCM Classic Film Festival (TCMFF) fan buttons, I promised you an interview with an entrepreneurial artist and classic film fan. Here is is! In covering TCMFF fandom, I knew I had to interview the delightful and talented Kate Gabrielle. She makes movie buttons that many festival attendees proudly sport. When I started preparing to attend this year’s fest, multiple people pointed me her way to gear up, but since I had seen her work all over my social media feeds, my online ordering fingers were faster than some of their recommendations. Kate produces more jewelry and artwork than her TCM-related merchandise. She’s a self-taught illustrator and painter. She’s a movie blogger, too. Let’s enter her world where popular culture, art, a wee bit of girlish twee, and movie love meet and learn a little more about her!
Q: How did you get into classic movies, and what do you like best about them?
A: My parents played classic movies when I was younger but I didn’t really get into it myself until I had just turned 13 and saw How to Steal a Million (1966) on AMC. I had my dad take me to Hollywood Video to rent every Audrey Hepburn movie I could get my hands on, and I binge-watched them over Christmas break. By the time I went back to school in January I was a full-fledged classic movie fan.
I think if I had to pick one thing that I like best about classic movies, it’s how well-formed the stories are. Even the most low-budget films from the 30’s have tight, perfect plots that (in my opinion) are better written and more entertaining than most movies coming out today. I feel like older films didn’t cater to the lowest common denominator— the humor is often sharp and sometimes wicked, the adults all behave like adults, and the themes (even in movies that are very genre-specific, like swashbucklers or westerns) usually run deeper than the surface. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also admit that I just love the look of classic movies. Whether it’s Cedric Gibbons’ intense black and white art deco sets or the sparse, run-down “black and white in color” sets in Jean-Pierre Melville films, classic movies are my eye candy.
Q: What are some of your favorite classic films?
A: I always like to say that my favorite movie is 100 movies. It’s so hard to narrow down my list! But my absolute favorites are Purple Noon (1960) and Sunday in New York (1963). I actually got to see Sunday in New York at the 2014 TCMFF, introduced by Robert Osborne! It was a dream come true.
Some other movies that basically all tie for second place — Jules and Jim, Le Feu Follet, Young and Innocent, La Piscine, Darling, L’Avventura, Sullivan’s Travels, Doctor Zhivago, Le Notti Bianche, Meet John Doe, How to Steal a Million, Top Hat, Day for Night, Le Samouraï, and Fahrenheit 451.
Q: Did any of your favorites influence the art you make?
A: I did a series of collages a few years ago that drew from Le Notti Bianche and Jules and Jim and a few other favorites. Since I’m a full-time maker (I don’t really want to say artist since a lot of my income comes from brooches and patches, not really oil paintings or sculpture..) I feel a lot of pressure to make things that have a good chance of selling, so that I can pay my bills. So when my favorite [usually not super popular] movies inspire me to create a piece of artwork a lot of times I end up pushing that project to the side in favor of making something with a little more appeal. That being said, I feel like I’m kind of notorious for making products or artwork where I’m literally the only person in the world who would want to own it. Right now I’m working on a set of patches that says Team Truffaut or Team Godard just because I’m personally smitten with the idea.
Q: How long have you been a TCM fan?
A: My parents added TCM to our cable plan as my Christmas present in 2000, and I’ve been a fan ever since! When I was in high school I actually got to interview Robert Osborne as part of a project for GT, and it’s definitely one of the coolest things that has ever happened in my life.
Q: What do you like best about the network?
A: Thanks to TCM I’ve been introduced to so many rare 30’s gems that I never would have been able to see otherwise. There’s a series of low budget movies starring Guy Kibbee (Mary Jane’s Pa is my favorite) that I absolutely adore, and I’m positive that without TCM they would have eluded me my whole life. Right now it’s still very hard to find a lot of movies on DVD, especially the rare obscure ones that don’t have the clout of Casablanca or Gone with the Wind. TCM plucks those little guys from obscurity and I appreciate that so much.
Q: When was your first TCMFF, and how many times have you attended?
A: My first TCMFF was 2014, and then last year I went on the TCM Cruise instead. The 2016 festival will be my second TCMFF, but technically my third TCM event.
Q: What are the highlights of the festival for you?
A: The highlight of this year’s festival is, hands down, getting to see Anna Karina in person and Band of Outsiders on the big screen. I start shaking just thinking about it! The highlight of the 2014 festival was getting to see my favorite movie, Sunday in New York. And I got to meet Ben Mankiewicz at the festival and on the cruise!
Q: What inspired you to come up with your own TCMFF button designs?
A: Last year I sold a lot of fan club buttons for the festival, so when Raquel from Out of the Past suggested that I make social media buttons for TCMFF I decided to turn it into a button pack with fan club buttons and some photos of featured attendees/films.
Q: How did it feel for support of your buttons to go viral among TCM fans?
A: I’ve been a classic movie blogger since 2009, but I’ve never felt like a member of the classic movie community online. So getting orders from some of my favorite classic movie people, and knowing that I’ll be seeing festival-goers wearing my buttons when I’m walking around TCMFF, is kind of surreal! It’s very exciting for me, and even if my position in the community is “the button girl” I’m over-the-moon happy to have my own little part in such a wonderful group of movie fans.
Q: Do you tweak your TCMFF button designs each year or are the design sets the same each year?
A: This is my first year making the button pack, but I’m already planning for next year! I think I’m going to make a “starter pack” for people who hadn’t purchased one before, which would include the same things that I had this year (social media button, year of attendance button, two fan club buttons & five mini buttons with photos relevant to that year’s programming) and then have one or two supplemental packs available for people who already have the social media button and the Ben Mankiewicz and Robert Osborne buttons. I’m also thinking about featuring different stars on the year of attendance button. This year I did Bette Davis and Cary Grant, I’m thinking maybe Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck for 2017.
Q: It was a smart idea to come up with buttons saying year of festival attendance (e.g. first, second, etc) and Twitter handles! Being a festival goer yourself, did that make you realize how helpful those buttons would be for TCM fans to communicate with each other?
A: Thank you! Raquel gets all the credit for the social media buttons, I never would have thought of that myself! The year of attendance buttons were inspired by the buttons you can get when you go to Disney World. When you first walk into the park they have a bunch of free buttons saying things like “This is my first visit” or “I’m celebrating my birthday”, etc. and I thought it would be so fun to do something similar for TCMFF! And, to be honest, with TCMFF it isn’t just the first time that warrants a button — whether it’s your second or seventh festival I think it’s just as exciting as the first!
Q: Do you make a lot of custom TCMFF buttons, like the ones for the Going to TCM Classic Film Festival! Facebook group and for Nitrate Diva?
A: I don’t really advertise custom buttons as an option anywhere, so I’ve only had those two custom orders and a couple others.
Q: If someone wanted their own custom button made by you, how should they go about it, and what would that cost?
A: I only do custom orders on a case-by-case basis depending on whether or not I have the time to take on the order and how difficult the design would be. If someone wanted to contact me I have a contact form on my website here. It’s also more likely that I will take on custom orders if they’re purchasing more than one button, especially if a lot of work will go into the design.
Q: You, also, make other jewelry inspired by movies and movie going. How does a film or part of the film experience grab you and make you think about how it would look as a piece of jewelry?
A: My dad has owned a music t-shirt business since before I was born, so I grew up wearing band shirts and seeing everyone I love displaying their love of music on their torso. The idea of wearing your interests has always been with me, and I guess I took that notion and changed it from music to movies, from t-shirts to jewelry! 🙂 I also have a habit of making what I can’t find. So when I really wanted a set of themed collar clips that I could wear whenever I go to the cinema, and I couldn’t find them anywhere else, I just made them myself!
Q: How would you describe your own fashion and design aesthetics?
A: Right now I’m really inspired by late 1960’s/early 1970’s style — turtlenecks and mini skirts with knee-high boots and long necklaces… bell sleeves and mini dresses and psychedelic prints. All of that kind of mixed with an unkempt Debbie Harry vibe, maybe? I’m having a little bit of a style crisis so at the moment I’m just all over the place! As far as design aesthetics go, this is probably going to sound crazy, but I want my home to have the feel of an old crowded used bookstore mixed with the decor of a New York deli. Books and movies overflowing from every corner, and wall-to-wall 8×10 headshots hanging slightly crooked in cheap gold frames.
Q: Looking are your style and art, I could imagine you listen to pop music like Yé-Yé. What kind of music do you like if any?
A: Surprisingly I don’t think my music tastes tend to translate into my art or style at all. My favorite bands are New Order, Joy Division, The Killers, St. Vincent, Goldfrapp, and Blondie. I do have a soft spot for 60’s movie soundtracks though, too. My favorites are Modesty Blaise, Doctor Zhivago, The Servant, La Piscine and Borsalino (although that last one is kind of 1920’s by way of the 1970’s).
Q: What makes you happiest about creating art?
A: I just love seeing the finished product and being able to say “I made that!” Ever since I was little I’ve always taken whatever I made during the day and propped it up facing my bed so that when I woke up I could see it again first thing in the morning. Whether it’s a painting or a button set, it’s the same sense of satisfaction at having come up with an idea, and made that idea into something tangible 🙂
1. Kate Gabrielle owns the copyright for all images in this post. Seek her permission before reusing.
2. I purchased my own TCMFF button pack and Going to the TCMFF button. I was not compensated for this interview.
By msbethg in Anouncements, Film Festivals, TCM Film Festival, Upcoming Tags: #TCMFF16, classic, classic film, classic films, classic movie, classic movies, credential, critic, film, film festivals, Film Radar, films, Hollywood, media, media credential, movie, movies, pass, press, press credential, press pass, reporter, reporting, review, reviewer, reviews, revival, specialty, TCM, TCM Classic Film Festival, TCM Film Festival, TCMFF, TCMFF 2016, Turner Classic, Turner Classic Movies, Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival, Turner Classic Movies Film Festival
This week has been like Christmas to me! I’ve been more excited than Ralphie discovering that last obsessively desired present–his official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle–hidden behind a desk. I was awarded my first ever media credential to cover the TCM Classic Film Festival! Attending has been a long-term goal. Expect to see pre-festival coverage, posts during the course of the event, interviews, reviews, live tweets, Instagram pics, and more. You may find my festival writings appearing outside of this blog. Friend and Hollywood historian Karie Bible runs Film Radar, a site focusing on revival and specialty films. She’s asked me about contributing additional festival content to Film Radar. This next month will be an exciting one as we head on the road to Los Angeles and to the TCM Classic Film Festival together!
By msbethg in Annoucements, Hiatus, Upcoming Tags: Alfred Hitchcock, back, Blogathons, Capitolfest, classic film, film festival, film festivals, forthcoming, fun, hiatus, Hitchcock, Hitchcock-inspired, love, mad, missbethg, movie, movie fun, movie love, movie mad, podcasts, return, San Francisco Silent Film, San Francisco Silent Film Festival, selfie, SF Silent Film, SF Silent Film Fest, SF Silent Film Festival, SFSFF, SFSFF20, Silent Film, Twitter, upcoming
I confess I took an unannounced hiatus from Spellbound by Movies. That doesn’t mean I’ve not been indulging in my movie love. I had an overwhelmingly good time at the twentieth San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and I flew out to New York state for my second Capitolfest, which remains a favorite. I’ll be blogging about both events belatedly here, so don’t worry about missing out on my observations of either. My pre-coverage of the fests here and/or on Twitter was only the start. I’ve been watching a lot of movies, reading about them, listening to some great movie podcasts, and even taking Hitchcock-inspired selfies, like the above. I’ve joined some upcoming blogathons. That means I have a lot to share with you. Watch this writer and blog become more active again!