Monday, September 4, 2017

TCM Party Turned Six

Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of TCM Party. If you are unfamiliar with TCM Party, it is a collective live tweeting of movies airing on Turner Classic Movies using the hashtag #tcmparty. TCM Parties often, but not always, have hosts who tweet tidbits about the specific film on at the time and essentially curate the whole event. The first film that was live tweeted at that first TCM Party held on September 3 2011 was Casablanca (1942). Since that time TCM Party has become an established part of Turner Classic Movies fandom and is even recognised by Turner Classic Movies itself. Indeed, there is even an official TCM Party Twitter account, as well as a Facebook page and a Tumblr blog. Even such luminaries as actress Illeana Douglas have taken part in TCM Parties. While TCM Parties were originally scheduled for specific movies, TCM Party has evolved to the point where there it basically runs 24 hours a day. If you want to read more about TCM Party, I posted a history of the phenomenon last year on the occasion of its fifth anniversary.

I first took part in a TCM Party on December 22 2011. I am not sure why I did not participate earlier, although it is quite possible I did not hear about it until it had been around for a few months. At any rate, I had live tweeted movies on Turner Classic Movies before. Regardless, I chose a good time to begin live tweeting with TCM Party. That night as part of the TCM Party, I live tweeted The Thin Man (1934), After the Thin Man (1936), and Another Thin Man (1939). Turner Classic Movies was showing all of the "Thin Man" movies that night, but after Another Thin Man I was tired and had to go to bed. Regardless, the experience was so much fun that I was hooked on TCM Parties.

Indeed, I have fond memories of many of the TCM Parties that I have participated in. One of my best memories is from March 2012 when Turner Classic Movies was showing British New Wave movies every Monday. I participated in TCM Parties for many of those movies, including Room at the Top (1959), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), A Kind of Loving (1962), and Billy Liar (1963). Although I don't believe I was the official host of the British New Wave movies airing in March 2012, I tweeted trivia about them and was on hand to translate the Northern accents in the films (for some reason many of my fellow Americans have difficulty understanding them). The first TCM Party I officially hosted was also a British film--Bedazzled.

Following Bedazzled I would host many TCM Parties. In fact, I believe I am the default host for A Hard Day's Night (1964). While I have fond memories of the first time I hosted it, which was also the first time Turner Classic Movies ever aired it, my favourite TCM Party for A Hard Day's Night was on the occasion that I was a Fan Favourite on TCM introducing the movie with Ben Mankiewicz. It was a bit surreal, hearing my own voice on the television while I was tweeting about the movie on Twitter!

Of course, the TCM Parties I seem to remember the best are those that I did not host. I remember that on February 1 2014 Turner Classic Movies showed Oscar nominees from 1939, widely regarded as the greatest year in the history of American cinema, as part of their 31 Days of Oscar. I spent much of the day in TCM Parties for Wuthering Heights, The Wizard of Oz, and Gone with the Wind.

I also have fond memories of each October when Turner Classic Movies shows horror movies. I have been the host for TCM Parties for many of the Hammer horrors. While I love the old Universal horror movies, I must confess most of my favourite horror movies were produced by Hammer Films. It always fun live tweeting to The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Mummy (1960), and so on. Of course, I always love live tweeting William Castle's movies as well. They are often very goofy and a lot of fun. In fact, my all time favourite tweet is one I made last year when TCM showed Homicidal (1961). I would reveal the tweet to you, but I fear it would spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it!

While I have enjoyed every TCM Party for A Hard Day's Night and the many ones for Hammer Horrors, my all time favourite TCM Party remains one for The Loved One (1965). In May 2013 Turner Classic Movies aired a series called Second Looks on Friday nights, hosted by Illeana Douglas. They aired The Loved One on May 24. For those unfamiliar with The Loved One, it is an outrageous Sixties comedy in the vein of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Its tagline was "the motion picture with something to offend everyone!". Quite naturally, then, The Loved One is a very fun movie to live tweet. It was made even more fun by the fact that Illeana Douglas live tweeted along with us. I do believe at one point she was sent to "Twitter jail" for tweeting too much!

Of course, beyond the many fond memories I have of the TCM Parties that I have participated in are the many dear friends I have made through TCM Party. I had several classic film buff friends before I began taking part in TCM Parties, but after TCM Party the number grew substantially. My life has then been enriched a good deal by TCM Party. I hope it continues for many more years!

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