Thursday, May 6, 2021

TCM Classic Film Festival Opening Night

Tonight the 2021 edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival opens with West Side Story (1961), complete with a cast reunion featuring Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's TCMFF (as it is abbreviated by Turner Classic Movies and its fans) is virtual. Movies will be shown on both TCM and HBO Max, with various events unfolding on both. As might be expected, much of the action will be on Twitter, with various live tweets (both official and unofficial).

I am certainly looking forward to this year's TCM Classic Film Festival. Later today there will be an Opening Night Toast with the Hosts at Club TCM on Zoom. Over the next few days there will be other Club TCM Zoom events, including Curating the Classics on Friday, Sight and Sound Makers: A Chat with Ben Burtt & Craig Barron on Saturday, and She May Be a Movie Star, But She’s Just Mom to Me on Sunday. On TCM there will be the interview with Sophia Loren from the 2016 TCMFF, a table read of Plan 9 from Outer Space by SF Sketchfest, and documentaries on legendary animator Tex Avery and comedy team Nichols & May.

And, of course, there are movies. I am particularly looking forward to the world premiere of a 4K restoration of They Won't Believe Me (1947). They are showing many of my favourites, although I will have to DVR some of them because they are on late at night: Ocean's 11 (1960), My Favorite Wife (1940), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), The Producers (1968), Strangers on a Train (1951), and Breathless (1960). Saturday I will be hosting the TCMParty live tweet for Bullitt (1968). It's a way of honouring local boy Steve McQueen (he spent much of his youth in Slater, Missouri, which is only a few miles away from my hometown).

If I had ever attended the TCM Classic Film Festival in person, I had always planned on dressing up. I would wear a suit and tie for the entirety of the festival. Given this is a virtual festival, I will likely wear a t-shirt and sweatpants. That having been said, I will wear the prerequisite pins and buttons. I have several TCM pins, as well as the TCMFF 2021 pin. I will also wear the Vanessa Marquez pin that I designed and was distributed at the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival, as well as the one my friend Pam designed and also distributed at the same festival. I always told Vanessa that if I got to go to TCMFF I would drag her along, even if I had to carry her. This way she can be at this year's TCMFF after a fashion.

Anyway, this year's TCMFF looks to be three and a half days of fun. I certainly look forward to interacting with my friends and fellow TCM fans this weekend!

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