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
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 Actresses, Illeana Douglas, Quotations, Series, Women in Film Tags: biography, Cecil B. DeMille, D.W. Griffith, director, directors, film, film history, film writer, films, history, Hollywood, Hollywood History, host, hostess, I Blame Dennis Hopper, interview, interviewer, memoir, memoirist, movie, movie history, movies, podcast, series, stories, story, talk show, TCM, Trailblazing Women, Turner Classic Movies, TV, woman, woman filmd writer, women, women directors. woman director, women film writers, women in film, writer
“I did this show called TRAILBLAZING WOMEN, and the biggest thing I’ve learned in two years of doing the show is that men write their history and that’s why they’re remembered more than women. Cecil B. DeMille made sure to write everything down, but all the other women that were working at the same time as Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffith–there were women directors, they didn’t write their stories down, so they weren’t included in the history books. I think it’s really important for women to mention the things that they were a part of.”
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!
By msbethg in Cinefest, Film Festivals Tags: Alec B. Francis, Arthur Tracy, Baby Rose Marie, Barbara Kent, Boris Karloff, Cinefest, Cinefest 35, Claire Trevor, Dick Bann, Dorthea Kent, Dusty King, Earle Foxe, Edmund Lowe, El Brendel, Ella Hall, Eric Grayson, film fesitvals, film festival, George Murphy, George O'Brien, Grant Withers, Hal Roach All Stars, Harold Lloyd, Harold Lockwood, Irene Rich, Janet Gaynor, Joe Penner, John "Dusty" King, John Blystone, John Boles, Johnnie Walker, Ken Maynard, Lewis Milestone, Library of Congress, Life In The Raw, Lillian Harvey, Lloyd Hughes, LOC, Loretta Young, Louise Carver, Mae Clarke, Marcel Perez, Mary Astor, Mary Pickford, Mary Pickford Foundation, Michael Schlesinger, Monte Blue, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York state, NY, Olive Borden, Paramount Pictures, Patrick J. Picking, Peggy Shannon, Phil Serling, Ralph Ince, Ralph Lewis, Ray Faiola, Richard Barrios, Richard Cromwell, Ring Lardner, Risky Business, Rob Stone, Sam Goldsman, Shannon Day, Shirley Temple, Slim Summerville, Spencer Tracy, Steve Massa, Syracuse, Syracuse Cinephile Society, TCM, Technicolor, The Dawn of Technicolor, The Return Of Peter Grimm, Thomas Meighan, Tom Howard, Tom Murray, Turner Classic Movies, UCLA Film Archives, Universal, Vitaphone, Warner Bros., Warner Bros. Pictures, Warren Hymer, Zazu Pitts
Spellbound By Movies is going on a road trip this month! I’ll be flying out to Syracuse for my first and last Cinefest. I’ve always wanted to attend this film festival. Some fellow film fanatic friends have raved about the rarities and camaraderie they’ve enjoyed at Cinefest year after year. I could not miss its last year.
Cinefest was a formerly annual film festival run by Syracuse Cinephile Society. The group traces its origins back to a 1967 screening organized by a Phil Serling and a Sam Goldsman. The film festival grew out of the organization’s Monday night screening series when members decided to start a film convention. The first was held about 1980. That makes this year’s Cinefest the 35th edition.
The festival is ending for more than one reason. Attendance has been diminishing. The event needs to generate a certain amount of revenue from a paying audience and table vendors in order to pay operating expenses, like shipping films to and from archives. The Society and the festival’s audience have been aging. Organizers haven’t found younger members to take over running the festival, while former attendees became more comfortable watching once hard to find features and shorts on Turner Classic Movies and DVDs. The loss of the event’s former venue must have been a hard hit. The movie theatre where Cinefest used to be held converted to digital projectors.
I suspect due to this being the last Cinefest, its organizers will be surprised by how many will be in attendance, especially in the under sixty set. Social media has allowed so many of us film buffs to connect and share what we’re passionate about. That includes news of regional film festivals like Cinefest, that used to be spread word-of-mouth. I’ve seen tweets and Facebook and blog posts lamenting the festival’s loss or exulting over this year’s schedule. Let’s see if some angels come forward belatedly to carry on the Cinefest tradition.
In the meantime, I’ve been pouring over the festival’s schedule. Jam-packed is an understatement. Attending will be the equivalent of binge-watching. The schedule is stuffed with back-to-back screenings of films from the teens to mostly the thirties. This is the kind of schedule that hardcore early film fanatics crave, except for its breakneck pace. I’m very relieved to see there will be time for decent meal breaks! Check out the schedule in its entirety below. A special thanks goes to Patrick J. Picking for helpfully adding these notes and links to the schedule.
Thursday, March 19th
9:00 am – OUT ALL NIGHT – (1933) with Zazu Pitts, Slim Summerville, and Shirley Temple
10:15 am – BEST OF MOSTLY LOST III From the Library of Congress (1)
11:05 am – YELLOW FINGERS – (1926) – starring Olive Borden and Ralph Ince. This rarely seen silent film will be screened courtesy of The Museum Of Modern Art
1:15 pm – TOWER OF TREASURES, RKO TRAILERS Hosted by Ray Faiola
2:15 pm – LIFE IN THE RAW – (1933) UCLA Film And Television Archives will again be loaning Cinefest several rarely seen films made by Fox from the period between 1930 and 1933. Life In The Raw (1933) stars George O’Brien and Claire Trevor (3)
3:20 pm – THE LAST MAN ON EARTH – (1924) Fox film directed by John Blystone. Starring Earle Foxe. Print is courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art. (4)
4:30 pm – THE ROAD BACK – (1937) with John “Dusty” King, Richard Cromwell, Slim Summerville
8:00 pm – IT PAYS TO BE IGNORANT (1948) with Tom Howard
8:10 pm – KING OF THE KONGO, CHAPTER 10 (1929) With Boris Karloff
8:35 pm – LUCKY BEGINNERS (1935) Hal Roach All Stars
9:00 pm – THE RETURN OF PETER GRIMM – (1926) The Museum Of Modern Art will provide a print of the rarely revived silent version of “The Return Of Peter Grimm” (1926) produced by Fox Films and starring Alec B. Francis and Janet Gaynor. (4)
10:10 pm – CAPTAIN FLY-BY-NIGHT (1922) with Johnnie Walker, Shannon Day
11:15 pm – THE THIRD ALARM (1922) w/Johnnie Walker, Ralph Lewis, Ella Hall
Friday, March 20th
9:00 am – SERVICE STRIPES (1930) Vitaphone short with Joe Penner
9:10 am – MEN ON CALL – (1930) – stars Edmund Lowe, Mae Clarke and Warren Hymer. (courtesy of UCLA Film and Television Archives)
10:20 am – ME AND THE BOYS
10:30 am – DICK BANN’S HAL ROACH SHOW #1 – Hosted by Dick Bann. Read the notes HERE!
1:00 pm – STORY OF COLOR IN THE MOVIES Hosted by Eric Grayson
2:30 pm – PAINTED WOMAN (1932) with Spencer Tracy, Peggy Shannon (3)
3:40 pm – VITAGRAPH VARIETIES From the Library of Congress (1)
4:45 pm – SECOND FLOOR MYSTERY (1930) with Grant Withers, Loretta Young (3)
8:00 pm – BRIDE OF FINKLESTEIN (2015) Hosted by Michael Schlesinger
8:20 pm – A SONG IN THE DARK, More Dangerous Rhythms by Richard Barrios
9:35 pm – HEART TO HEART (1928) with Mary Astor, Lloyd Hughes (1)
10:40 pm – LUCRETIA LOMBARD (1923) with Irene Rich, Monte Blue
11:45 pm – RISKY BUSINESS (1939) – Remember “Okay America” the 1932 Universal film starring Lew Ayres that we screened at Cinefest back in 1991? Guess what? It was remade in 1939 with George Murphy, Dorthea Kent and everybody’s favorite, El Brendel. The rarely seen remake, Risky Business (1939, Universal) will be screened at Cinefest 35 next March
Saturday, March 21st
9:00 am – SMOKING GUNS (1934) – Smoking Guns (1934, Universal) was the last film made by Ken Maynard on his contract with Universal.
10:00 am – WELCOME DANGER! (1929) – the long unseen SILENT version of Harold Lloyd’s first talkie! With Harold Lloyd, Barbara Kent
12 Noon – THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR Early Technicolor Musicals
1:10 pm – FLORIDA STUDIO FILMS From the Library of Congress (1) Rob Stone and Steve Massa will present two programs of short comedies from the archives of The Library Of Congress at Cinefest 35. One show will spotlight the FLORIDA FUN FACTORIES and highlight the comedies shot down there in the teens. The program will include:
- AN EXPENSIVE VISIT – (1915) – Lubin starring Babe Hardy
- A BATH TUB ELOPEMENT – (1916) – Eagle Film starring Marcel Perez, with Louise Carver & Tom Murray
- A Vim made Pokes and Jabbs short, and others
2:15 pm – THE NEW KLONDIKE (1926) – Based on a short story by Ring Lardner and partially filmed in Florida, “The New Klondike” (1926, Paramount) was directed by Lewis Milestone and stars Thomas Meighan as a minor league ballplayer who gets mixed up with crooked land speculators in Florida. Our friends at Library of Congress will be providing the title to Cinefest 35 for screening next March. Note: the film is missing a bit of footage but those who have seen it, say that it will not effect your enjoyment of this rare title (1)
3:25 pm – SEA SORE (1933) with Arthur Tracy, Baby Rose Marie
3:45 pm – MY LIPS BETRAY (1933) – starring Lillian Harvey and John Boles.
4:50 pm – TESS OF THE STORM COUNTRY – (1914) with Mary Pickford, Harold Lockwood. New restoration.
8:00 pm – WE! WE! MARIE! (1930) with Slim Summerville, Eddie Gribbon
8:20 pm – GERRY ORLANDO COMMENTS
8:30 pm – TEA MAKING TIPS (1941)
8:45 pm – COLLEEN MOORE HOME MOVIES (1)
8:50 pm – SYNTHETIC SIN – (1929) The recently restored Colleen Moore film. Cinefest is grateful to so many people and archives who have made this screening possible and they will all be mentioned and thanked in the program book but we would like to mention here special thanks to Ned Price, Ron Hutchinson and Joe Yranski. This screening will be a highlight of the Syracuse Cinephile Society. If you have not seen the film at one of the recent screenings around the world, you will want to be at Cinefest for this special screening!
10:05 pm – THE DANGER GAME – (1918) Film Historian Richard Koszarski will introduce a new restoration of the long unseen Goldwyn romantic comedy filmed in Ft. Lee N.J. from 1918 “The Danger Game”. The film was directed by Harry Pollard and stars Madge Kennedy and Tom Moore.
11:10 pm – BABIES, THEY’RE WONDERFUL (1947) with Patsy Kelly
11:20 pm – THREE KISSES (1955) Paramount Topper
11:35 pm – THE BACK PAGE (1933) with Peggy Shannon, Russell Hopkin
Sunday, March 22nd
9:00 am – THE BIG BROADCAST – (1932) with Bing Crosby, Burns & Allen, Stu Erwin, Sharon Lynn
10:35 am – THE AUCTION (2015) Hosted by Leonard Maltin and George Read
12:00 pm – HISTORY & DEVELOPMENT OF THE 35MM PROJECTOR
12:30 pm – ONCE A SINNER – (1931) – starring Dorothy McKaill is on the schedule courtesy of UCLA Film And Television Archives
1:40 pm – CALGARY STAMPEDE (1925) with Hoot Gibson, Virginia Brown
2:35 pm – DICK BANN’S HAL ROACH SHOW #2 – Hosted by Dick Bann. Read the notes HERE!
3:40 pm – CODE OF THE SEA (1924) with Rod LaRocque, Jacqueline Logan
4:40 pm – THE SEA LION – (1921) “The Sea Lion” might not be as rare as it was when it was the first silent feature ever screened at the first Cinefest in 1981. It was loaned to Cinefest by legendary film collector and historian Gordon Berkow who always made available any film in his collection to Cinefest. To honor the memory of Gordon, we will be presenting several films from his collection at Cinefest 35. We thought it was apt to screen the exact same print of “The Sea Lion” thirty five years later at Cinefest 35.
(1) Print Courtesy of the Library of Congress
(2) Print Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
(3) Print Courtesy of UCLA Film Archives
(4) Print Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art
(5) Print Courtesy of the Mary Pickford Foundation and Paramount Pictures
(Films and starting times may be subject to change.)