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!
Turner Classic Movies Film Festival
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 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 Fan Art, Fandoms, Film Festivals, TCM Fans, TCM Film Festival, TCMFF Fans Tags: #TCMFF16, administrator, Alice Maltin, blogger, bloggers, buttons, Chicago, Chicago's, Christy Putnam, CitizenScreen, classic film, Classic Film Examiner, Classic Film Twitter, Classic Movie Hub, classicmovieblg, ClassicMovieHub, Comet Over Hollywood, consultant, culture, editor, events, fan, fandom, fans, Fathom, film fan, film fanatic, film fanatics, film fans, film lover, film lovers, film Twitter, Hollywood Comet, HollywoodComet, I See a Dark Theater, Instagran, instructor, IrishJayhawk66, Jessica Pickens, Kate Gabrielle, Kellee Pratt, Kim L., Kim Luperi, Kimbo3200, Leonard Maltin, materialgirl850, movie lover, movie lovers, neighborhood, Nikki M., nikkilynnm4, Nitrate Diva, professor, reporter, Rhonda Broyles, San Jacinto College, social media, South Loop, Stephen Reginald, strategist, TCM, TCM Classic Film Festival, TCM Film Festival, TCMFF, TCMFF 2016, The Silver Screen Oasis, thenitratediva, Turner Classic Movies, Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival, Turner Classic Movies Film Festival, tweets, Twitter, writer
As part of my coverage of the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival (which I’ll abbreviate to TCMFF from hereon), I’m debuting a new feature for my blog–The Road to #TCMFF 2016. Pieces in the series will focus not only on things to do and see while at TCMFF, but also on the fan culture associated with the biggest classic movie festival of them all.
Today I start with what any person following the festival and its fans on social media will notice–that classic film fans love of TCM extends to wearing items declaring their movie love–buttons. All over social media posts about buttons can be found. Buttons bought in advance; buttons won and worn at the event; and buttons hoarded as beloved trinkets.
Here are some social media posts past and recent showing off fans’ TCMFF buttons:
— Kim L. (@Kimbo3200) March 19, 2015
— Classic Movie Hub (@ClassicMovieHub) March 28, 2015
A photo posted by Nitrate Diva (@thenitratediva) on
— Kellee Pratt (@IrishJayhawk66) March 27, 2015
A photo posted by CitizenScreen (@citizenscreen) on
As you can infer by blogger Kim Luperi’s (I See a Dark Theater) tweet, the festival’s been producing official buttons since the 2012 edition. Fans promoting the festival on social media were awarded the buttons when they went to its Info Desk. Eventually the program was expanded to the general festival goer. Anyone could win a button by finding a roving Social Media Producer and asking for one or answering a trivia question.
From a marketing perspective, it was a smart move by TCMFF to give away fandom buttons. They’re small, relatively inexpensive items that pack a big emotional reward for fans. They’re worn at the festival and outside of it. They’re featured throughout social media before, during, and after the fest. If a fan doesn’t want to put a hole in a favorite clothing item, festival lanyards provide a perfect landing strip. That’s free promotion performed by fans with enthusiasm for a beloved broadcaster. Entrusting the button giveaways to the Social Producers meant earning a button becomes a fan distracting game at an event where the lines start for screenings an hour or more before showtimes.
I confess I’m excited about collecting buttons when I’m at the fest this month! I find the idea fun. I’d like to decorate my lanyard, and the buttons will give me something to talk about with others after the event. I have a collection of lanyards and buttons from other festivals that’s almost complete. I went on a cleaning binge one year and disposed of a few lanyards and recycled a few festival program books, which the part of me that enjoys collecting movie-related items like books, postcards, and prints regrets.
I imagined others like the buttons for the same reasons and more. Just like clothing and style, subcultural or not, can indicate what social tribe(s) a person belongs to, these buttons show their owners to be part of “Club TCM” (a concept turned into an actual place at the festival). They’re a group ranging from devoted to extremely hardcore. Members may or may not be shy in person, but are very extroverted in sharing their love, praise, constructive criticisms, and fan art of the network online. Even if the TCM variant of classic film fans have nothing else in common but love of the station, the buttons are signifiers they share something major to talk about and bond over.
Since I’ve not attended the festival yet, I searched social media for previous attendees to ask about their buttons. I received responses via the Facebook group Going to TCM Classic Film Festival! and Twitter. The following are selected responses.
Christy has attended TCMFF since its beginning in 2010. She’s been collecting the official buttons since 2012. She usually wears them on her lanyard, but she never wears all of them at the same time. She doesn’t wear her buttons too often outside of the festival. She doesn’t usually display them at work, just when she goes to Fathom events. When she looks at her buttons, they help her remember how much fun she had the night she saw a film or at the event where she acquired them. She hangs all her lanyards with buttons by a display box near her bed that has a photo of her as a baby with her mom and a photo of her with her son as a baby, a vintage beaded bag, and a few other personal items. Obviously, she stores her buttons with other items of great emotional importance.
Stephen attended his first TCMFF last year, and he’ll attend again this year. He wears his buttons on his festival badge. He doesn’t wear them outside of the TCMFF. He stores his buttons in his bedroom. He keeps them attached to his festival badge, which hangs on the doorknob there. To him, the buttons are mementos. They help him relive happy memories of the festival, and they’re reminders of some great film experiences. He had fun getting the buttons and talking with the person that gave them to him and also talking about the performers and/or the movies depicted on them. When he sees his buttons at home, he thinks of the movies he saw and/or the actors who starred in them.
Rhonda Broyles, San Antonio, TX, Decision Science Analyst, Lover of All Things TCM & TCMFF
This year’s festival will be Rhonda’s fourth, and she’s been collecting the buttons every year she’s attended. She wears her buttons on her official lanyard. She’s wearing two now to fit them all. She does wear her buttons outside of the fest. Her office wears lanyards, so she’ll usually wear her TCM swag the first week back. Her friends all know this has become a tradition, so the buttons are a kind of a conversation starter. Usually everybody’s first question is, “Who did you see?!” Rhonda loves buttons, and she’s been collecting pins and buttons since the late seventies, so she loves the hunt! She knows they’re something she’ll always have. Her buttons make her think of the whole experience, walking down the red carpet, meeting a star or two, the buzz of Hollywood. After the festival’s done, she’s got a place at her office where her lanyards hang until the next year. Having them there makes her happy.
Readers, do you have treasures from film festivals you’ve attended? Comment about your keepsakes and what they mean to you below! They don’t have to be TCMFF buttons.
I’m not done writing about TCMFF buttons yet! Look for an upcoming interview with an entrepreneurial artist and TCM fan, who sells her own TCMFF-related jewelry.
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!