TCMFF - Part 1

April 29, 2016

I'm at the TCM Film Festival! In my hotel room listening to music and writing a blog post while everyone is watching movies but... I'm here! haha!

I arrived Tuesday afternoon (three days ago??? how is that possible?!) and kind of just took it easy for the first two days. There was some eating, some shopping, some realizing that my clothes and shoes were all too uncomfortable,  so then more shopping...

One of the first tourist stops was, of course, the Chinese theater where I got to see the handprints and footprints of some of my favorite people. I visited last time I was here as well, but I think it's the kind of thing that never, ever gets old. And this time I found Marcello Mastroianni, who had somehow eluded me during my 2014 visit. I love Marcello! I love typing the name Marcello! Marcello!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in a walking tour of Hollywood Forever cemetery. Morbid Curiosity is my middle name, so this was right up my alley. The tour guide, Karie, was beyond amazing and told so many fascinating stories that I'd never heard before! A lot of tour guides do it because it's their job, Karie does it because it's her passion and that made the tour particularly enjoyable. And I finally got to see Rudolph Valentino's grave -- I was a little gaga for him in high school so my inner 15 year old was [internally, trying to look totally cool and collected on the outside while definitely choking back a few tears] geeking out quite a bit.

Then we trekked up to the Hollyhock House, a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright around 1920, and did some shopping in Los Angeles. Then we watched the red carpet arrivals for the TCMFF red carpet. I got to see the backs of a lot of awesome people (Carl Bernstein, Alec Baldwin, and Gina Lollobrigida to name a few) but my heart dropped out of my body and hasn't been seen since Anna Karina made her arrival in one of her signature hats, with her trademark black hair and bangs. I'm still in disbelief that she was standing in the same street as me, I can't even begin to fathom how I'll handle seeing her right in front of me on stage tomorrow night. My stomach legitimately just flipped in my stomach when I typed that. I'm out of control.

One of my favorite parts of my 2014 trip was visiting Larry Edmunds book store on Hollywood Blvd. They have an insane amount of movie books, and maybe even more exciting is their collection of 8x10s. Last time I was shocked by how many of my relatively obscure requests were met with a manila folder bursting with relevant photos. I came with a list this time (namely Alain Delon, Emmanuelle Riva, Monica Vitti, Truffaut and Maurice Ronet) and didn't have quite as much luck (apparently other girls buy a lot of Alain Delon pictures as well -- I can't even imagine WHY) but I still walked away with, I think,  at least 10 photos including the most perfect portrait of Monica Vitti. I'll need to scan it and post it when I get home. She's everything I aspire to be.

Last night I saw my first (and only, so far) film of the festival - Los tallos amargos, a rare Argentinian film noir that was recently restored. Film noir isn't my favorite genre but, as anyone who knows me probably already guessed, it's not in English so I was immediately on board. It was really well done, although slightly over-dramatic which resulted in some unnecessary laughter from the audience. I expected more of TCMFF attendees, but hopefully it was a freak occurrence and the rest of the movies will be shown more respect. Anyway, I thought the movie was great and the ending was superb! Is there anything as satisfying as a totally, completely, 100% perfect ending?

I better go hop in the shower if I want to be in line for The Way We Were soon. I need to get a good seat for this one (last night I was one of the last people to be seated and ended up watching Los tallos amargos from the front row, with my neck crooked at such an angle that I'm surprised my spinal cord didn't go numb)

Really my only complaint so far is that I totally forgot that nobody else eats during this thing. I mean, snacks and stuff, yes, but meals? no. At least not once the movies are going. It makes me feel like I'm a bad movie fan or something, but it's tough being the only person at the festival who needs a real dinner to survive. I feel like TCMFF is actually kind of like practice for the apocalypse. Everyone around me could survive anything, making do without food or water for days while they plot out a plan to get movie projectors to work in a world without electricity. Meanwhile I'd be chewing on a stray banana peel laying in the street murmuring "food... water... food..." until I lost consciousness and then promptly died after missing one single meal.


Millie said...

Omg. The last paragraph. So great. I can't stop laughing.

Love your writing, Kate, and so glad I got to experience this with you!

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

What fun! Except the not-eating part, I'd get reeeeeeally edgy and grumpy over that.

I was at Hollywood Forever a few years ago and also had to make a pilgrimage to Rudy's grave. Annnnnnd then my best friend and I drove up to his home, Falcon's Lair, where I got chased off by an irate man who said I was "setting off alarms" by standing in front of the gate. I was 8 months pregnant at the time, but I guess a lot of pregnant women try to break into Valentino's former home, or something -- must be the hormones.

(Moral of story: if you visit his home, don't stand in front of the gates.)