and now for a special presentation

 

From lectures by Oscar winners and Q&As with Hollywood legends to rare screenings of films that happen to be over 100 years old, I've had the opportunity to see some memorable special presentations in LA. Below are some highlights.

November 2, 2022

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The 42nd annual Pordenone Silent Film Festival wrapped last month. I was fortunate to catch most of the features screened virtually. As usual, the event introduced me to a slate of rarely seen international silent fare, which is always a joy to behold. Below is a recap of the features I saw and the one German short I am now obsessed with.

October 1, 2022

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The online portion of the Pordenone Silent Film Festival kicks off today and runs through  October 8. Like last year, the organization is presenting both in-person and virtual events, which continues to be fantastic news for classic movie fans who can’t make the trip to Italy for the annual silent film celebration.

September 26, 2022

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Cinecon 2022 wrapped this past Labor Day. I saw a total of 15 features, several shorts and one special presentation across five days of programming, which is a lot for me!

 

It was actually so much that I’m splitting my review into two parts. Last week, I covered the films I loved. This week, I'm sharing my thoughts on some of the more bizarre movies I watched and the few that I didn't click with. 

September 19, 2022

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Cinecon 2022 wrapped this past Labor Day. I saw a total of 15 features, several shorts and one special presentation across five days of programming, which is a lot for me!

 

It was actually so much that I’m splitting my review into two parts.

 

First up: the films I loved.  

August 25, 2022

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After two years of virtual festivities, Cinecon Classic Film Festival returns to Hollywood over Labor Day weekend! 

 

One reason I enjoy this festival is because I usually don't recognize more than two or three titles on their schedule. This year that number rose a little higher – around 10 films I’ve heard of and three selections I’ve seen – but the majority of screenings will be brand new to me.

July 28, 2022

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This year, getting shut out of a new discovery, Fly-by-Night (1942), unexpectedly allowed me the chance to hear child star Margaret O’Brien speak at the Roosevelt. What a lucky break! (As I wrote in my Sunday fest recap, when you get the opportunity to hear an actor from the Golden Age speak, you take it.)

Though I’ve seen O’Brien in a few movies, I knew little about her life and career.

June 10, 2022

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UCLA Film and Television Archive’s 2022 Festival of Preservation took place over one packed weekend last month. I attended five of the 14 programs, which was a little less than anticipated, but a very doable schedule for me after a very busy few weeks.

May 9, 2022

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Welcome to my recap of the 2022 TCM Classic Film Festival! Read about my pre-fest activities and Friday movies HERE and Saturday’s proceedings HERE. Below I recount the events I attended Sunday, which turned out entirely different than I had planned.

 

SUNDAY 4/24

As much as I wanted to see After the Thin Man (1936), sleep and rest won out.

April 30, 2022

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It’s hard to believe, but the 13th annual TCM Classic Film Festival wrapped less than one week ago! After two years of virtual festivities, it felt wonderful to see friends in person again and share our love of classic Hollywood together.

April 5, 2022

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It’s almost here – the first TCM Classic Film Festival taking place in person after three years!

 

This year’s theme, All Together Now: Back to the Big Screen, aptly captures the celebratory reunions that will take place, both off and on screen.

March 29, 2022

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One of my favorite film events in Los Angeles, the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s Festival of Preservation, is returning to the big screen!

 

This year’s showcase, highlighting 21 diverse shorts, features, docs, TV specials and more, takes place May 20-22.

November 29, 2021

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The 40th edition of the Pordenone Silent Film Festival wrapped last month, and I’m finally getting around to my fest recap. This year's event featured in-person and virtual programming, and while the online package differed from the live experience, it was still a thrill to see so many silent films I probably wouldn’t have watched otherwise.

October 2, 2021

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Last year, for the first time ever, I experienced the Pordenone Silent Film Festival – virtually, that is. While the 40th edition of the festival starts today in northern Italy and runs through October 9, the team smartly decided on keeping the virtual component so fans from around the world could still participate in the festivities.

September 21, 2021

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Cinecon wrapped its second online edition earlier this month with a wonderful assortment of over 25 shorts, features, documentaries, and special presentations. Though I didn’t end up watching everything I previewed, I’m pleased to report that I caught my must-see selections and a wide variety of other under-seen and under-appreciated treasures.

September 10, 2021

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Gun Crazy (1950) was my introduction to film noir, by way of Eddie Muller. His discussion of the B-movie classic in his 1998 book Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir transfixed me, just like the film eventually would.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Muller, the Czar of Noir, about the newly revised and expanded edition of Dark City. We discussed his passion for discovering international noir, the lengths he’ll go (and has gone!) to save a movie, and much more.

August 25, 2021

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Cinecon is once again going virtual! Though I miss marathoning – or attempting to marathon – the fest in a theater, the decision makes sense given the current situation, both health-wise and location-wise, as Cinecon’s home, the Egyptian Theatre, is currently closed for remodeling. Streaming the event online also gives fans from around the globe the opportunity to tune in for a taste of the rarities Cinecon has to offer, which is fantastic.

July 29, 2021

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“TCM has allowed us to indulge in being hams.” – Ben Burtt 

TCMFF's special presentations count as some of my favorite fest memories – and that certainly includes the visual and sound effects-focused events Oscar winners Craig Barron and Ben Burtt present.

June 29, 2021

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Besides special guests and presentations, I always look forward to discovering new movies at TCMFF. Though the experience wasn't exactly the same this year, I still got to revel in films I'd never seen - and some I hadn't ever heard of before!

 

Here's a brief overview of some of my favorite new-to-me movies from 2021's fest.

May 27, 2021

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The 12th annual TCM Classic Film Festival wrapped a few weeks ago. Though this marked the network’s second virtual event, it was the first one to utilize HBO Max for programming and daily Zoom sessions to emulate the intimacy of Club TCM.

 

That meant one thing: decisions.

May 8, 2021

Ben Burtt and Craig Barron present It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World at TCMFF 2017

Whenever I see Ben Burtt and Craig Barron’s names on a TCM Classic Film Festival schedule, the program turns into an immediate must-see. This year, that happens to be their presentation “Jet Jockeys in Love: The Making of Chain Lightning.”

 

Burtt and Barron’s work in the fields of sound and visual effects, respectively, is legendary.

May 6, 2021

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TCM Classic Film Festival fans will recognize Bruce Goldstein from his famous trivia sessions in Club TCM and his illuminating intros for past fest selections including The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) and Blood Money (1933). When he’s not regaling attendees with his vast cinematic knowledge at TCMFF, Goldstein is the Repertory Programming Director of New York City's famed Film Forum and the founder of Rialto Pictures.

April 24, 2021

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TCM’s Classic Film Festival 2021, the network’s second virtual event, is right around the corner. As the festivities kick off in about two weeks, TCM recently blessed us with a full fest schedule to contend with. While there will be no in-person theater hopping this year, for some there will be channel flipping.

March 12, 2021

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As previously announced, the 12th annual TCMFF will again be a virtual celebration. What we didn’t have for a long time was more information - now we have a little!

 

Virtual TCMFF #2 will take place from May 6-9. As opposed to screening solely on TCM like last year, this year TCMFF adds a second “venue,” HBO Max.

December 9, 2020

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Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity (2015) premieres on TCM this Friday night at 8pm EST. I recently had the chance to ask director Roger Memos a few questions about Marsha and the documentary, which chronicles her career, her fight against the Blacklist, and her vast activism and humanitarian work.

November 17, 2020

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The 39th annual Pordenone Silent Film Festival wrapped last month. This year’s virtual proceedings allowed spectators from around the globe to watch and participate in the prestigious Italian fest’s online events for the low price of €9.90, aka the deal of a lifetime. So naturally, I hopped on board!

October 2, 2020

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I suppose the one upside of 2020 is being able to virtually attend events I never would have been able to experience before. Major case in point: The Pordenone Silent Film Festival in northern Italy. For €9.90, approximately 1% the price of a plane ticket to Italy, I secured a ticket to watch 13 silent features and shorts programs.

September 16, 2020

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Following suit with all other major festivals the past six months, Cinecon 2020 was all virtual this year. While I missed watching classic movies for hours on end from the balcony of the Egyptian Theater, I am thankful the Cinecon team was still able to bring fans together in the spirit of rare and underappreciated cinema.

September 1, 2020

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Like most film festivals this year, Cinecon 2020 looks a little different. In vast contrast to a usual five-day packed cinema spree, this year’s condensed online edition takes place across three days, screening about four-five hours of content each day. (As much as I love classic films and festivals, I must say this is more my speed right now.)

August 10, 2020

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In early 2018, a post in a classic film Facebook group I’m part of announced that Barbara Stanwyck’s former home, Marwyck, would be open for tours right before TCMFF. I knew Stanwyck lived in the San Fernando Valley in the late 1930s, but I had no idea her house still stood – or was a registered landmark!

April 24, 2020

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Classic movie fans were crushed with the news on March 12 that the traditional TCMFF festival was cancelled. But being TCM, I had a feeling they wouldn’t just let those dates come and go without doing anything. So, as per usual, TCM went above and beyond to come up a Plan B: A Special Home Edition of the fest to take place on-air and virtually.

April 2, 2020

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As fans know by now, the 2020 TCM Classic Film Festival was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. A hard but necessary choice for sure, but the fest’s cancellation meant much more than missing out on a long weekend of movies.

March 19, 2020

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I had grand plans for Noir City Hollywood 22. Though a few advance scheduling conflicts stood in the way, for the most part my calendar was crowded with film noir screenings for about a week straight.

Until it wasn’t.

February 24, 2020

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This year, Noir City Hollywood is going all out – and international! In the past, fans were usually treated to two movies per night across the 10-day extravaganza, sometimes with a triple or quadruple feature throw in for max noir effect. But this year’s calendar blows that out of the water.

December 18, 2019

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Cinecon bestowed their esteemed Legacy Award to three actresses at this year’s festival: Ann Robinson, Gigi Perreau and Barbara Rush. I had the grand opportunity to be present for all three awards and Q&As, two of which I’ve already covered, Robinson's and Perreau's. That leaves Rush.