It’s time to play the music. It’s time to light the lights. It’s time to head to Hollywood for TCM Film Fest! Yes, it really is that time of year again; when we gather with friends in Hollywood to watch a bunch of excellent films and hang out with the people we talk to every day of the year in the group chat. I cannot wait to see my pals; it’s what I live for. Yet it would not be travel without ordeal, and due to some recent stress/panic at home (and a planned security strike at Heathrow — a different hub to my airline but will be concluding the weekend I am due to travel, so it may still affect), the excitement has not fully kicked in for me quite yet. Fingers crossed, all will be good, and as always, the adrenaline rush will kick in once I’m through airport security and seated on the plane.
I have other fun things planned aside from movies while I am in LA, of which details are here, and I will also be blogging here and in greater depth in my newsletter (please subscribe and follow!). I said and failed to do this last year, my bad. In my defence, I was having too much fun. But first — TCM Fest! Will I stick to these films? Who knows! Do I believe in a festival schedule? Hardly. But anyway, here are my tentative TCMFF picks.
Thursday 13 April
The opening night starts gearing up in the afternoon when the red-carpet preparations commence and the first film of the fest approaches. So far, I have no plans for the day, but I guess the afternoon will be spent hanging out at the Roosevelt watching the red carpet set up, possibly followed by lurking on Hollywood Boulevard and watching some of the red carpet in action. So, the usual.
After an early dinner, I will either walk up to the beautiful Hollywood Legion Theatre to kick off the festival with Airport or stay at the Roosevelt for the poolside screening of Hairspray. I think both films are perfect for festivities to begin — raucous, hilarious, and will play great with a crowd. After skipping last year’s notorious Blue Hawaii screening (lol), I feel a poolside screening would be perfect, so it’s dependent on the day’s mood. I’ll then end the day with new-to-me Genevieve which I think most friends will be at too!
Friday 14 April
This is where it gets pretty frenetic, which I love. If I’m not too tired in the morning, I’ll head to The Old Maid, but I’ll likely skip the first block of films and start my day with Footlight Parade at noon.
It all gets very tricky in the afternoon, and is dependent on whether I choose to base my day around watching American Graffiti with Candy Clark in attendance at the TCL IMAX. American Graffiti is one of my very favourite films — I have watched it countless times. So I can clock up another viewing and head to Ball of Fire afterwards, OR I can change it up by watching new-to-me The Strawberry Blonde in the early afternoon block followed by the poolside screening of very fun-looking new-to-me Beach Party.
Obviously I will need some coffee and food at some point, and the latter option will grant me time for dinner and breaks before heading to the midnight screening of The Batwoman, which I will not be missing on any account! I love the midnights, and I’ll base my day on whatever grants me enough energy to power through and stay awake until 2am.
Saturday 15 April
There have been times when if I had attended a midnight screening I would sleep in and miss the 9am films, but no way am I missing The Muppets Take Manhattan (my second favourite Muppet film or my favourite non-Christmas Muppet film, depending on the way you look at it) with Brian Henson in attendance.
In the lunchtime slot, I will be watching Tuesday Weld in the movie adaptation of Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays. I love the book, so this is a definite one for me, and I plan to follow with Russ Tamblyn in conversation at Club TCM. These talks are always interesting and often hilarious, and where else will I get the opportunity for such a discussion?
As for the early to the late evening, I’ll either hang around Club TCM and stay for the Assisting the Classics discussion, or I’ll be at The Crimson Canary, which I had never even heard of before! Another option is to go with the flow (as per usual) and see what friends are doing in the lead-up to Xandadu at midnight. I have never seen Xandau in a theatrical environment, and this will be an excellent screening as we are all hopelessly devoted to Olivia Newton-John (RIP).
Sunday 16 April
As soon as you get in the flow, it’s over. As usual, a chunk of the schedule is TBA, and at this point, I’m only set on new-to-me No Man of Her Own in the early afternoon block. All About Eve would be a fabulous way to spend the afternoon, and I have never seen A Shot in the Dark (which is playing in the evening), but, again, it depends on the TBAs.
One thing is for sure: I’ll be seeing you at the Closing Night Party at The Hollywood Roosevelt, but we know the real fun comes after. See you at In-N-Out Burger!