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.
September 13, 2023
As mentioned in my fest preview, I only spent one day at Cinecon this year: Sunday. There were several movies I would’ve liked to catch (cough, 1928’s Forgotten Faces, cough), but Sunday’s schedule boasted the largest number of titles that interested me—and it didn’t disappoint! Here’s a quick recap of the five features I saw at Cinecon 2023.
August 21, 2023
Labor Day weekend is coming up, which means it’s almost Cinecon time!
As per usual, I only recognized about 25% of the titles, and I’ve seen a resounding zero of them! That’s what I love about Cinecon—everything is a new discovery to me.
July 26, 2023
Noir City Hollywood returns! This year’s 10-day celebration spotlights the “heart of Hollywood’s noir movement,” films made during the years of 1947 and 1948. I’ve seen about half of the 23 movies screening, and of the 50% I haven't seen, most of them I’ve never even heard of, which I always love.
May 16, 2023
TCM welcomed actor Russ Tamblyn as a special guest at the 2023 TCM Classic Film Festival. In addition to introducing several of his films, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and Peyton Place (1957), the actor took part in an hour-long conversation about his career with TCM host Ben Mankiewicz.
April 24, 2023
I skipped the first block of films on Sunday, mostly because I wanted to hop in line early for No Man of Her Own (1932). I’m glad I did, because many passholders were turned away from this pre-Code screening in theater 4. (No Man of Her Own was my first run-in with the infamous, tiny theater 4 this year.)
April 22, 2023
Saturday’s schedule started bright and early! I left my apartment at 7:20am, parked at 7:30am, and was in line at the Hollywood Legion Theater by 7:45am for The Wiser Sex (1932). As the only super, super rare pre-Code playing this year (and the only one slated for the 450+ seat Legion), I knew it would be popular.
April 19, 2023
The first full day of TCMFF basically went according to plan for me. That said, at one point, it seemed like I would be able to spend the entire day at the fest, but then work reared its head again.
April 17, 2023
The TCM Classic Film Festival wrapped yesterday, and, as always, it was an epic event. Not only do I love getting to see so many classics on the big screen with enthusiastic audiences, but it’s also the one time a year I get to catch up with film friends from around the country, which is always a pleasure.
Though the programming only lasts three and a half days, the festivities for me begin well before the official kickoff. Here’s a quick recap of my pre-fest activities and day one.
April 3, 2023
Without a doubt, one of my favorite parts about the TCM Classic Film Festival is getting to watch pre-Codes on the big screen. This year, TCM programmed a mix of classic and under-the-radar titles that seasoned viewers and new fans alike will enjoy. Here’s a mini preview of those seven selections and what I’m hoping to catch.
March 27, 2023
It’s that time again—the TCM Classic Film Festival returns to Hollywood April 13-16. Among other things, TCMFF 2023 will commemorate Warner Brothers’ 100th anniversary and feature special appearances by William Friedkin, Ann-Margret, Russ Tamblyn, Angie Dickinson and many more.
February 24, 2023
At the Academy Museum's recent Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971 summit, I had the opportunity to sit in on a panel discussion with Museum President Jacqueline Stewart and the 14th Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, on the impact of film preservation and conservation.
January 19, 2023
Screen legend Piper Laurie was among the honorees at the 2022 TCM Classic Film Festival. In addition to film screenings like The Hustler (1961), the star was on hand for a lively conversation with TCM co-host Dave Karger in Club TCM.
December 6, 2022
Regular readers of this blog know how big a fan I am of Ben Burtt and Craig Barron’s entertaining presentations at the TCM Classic Film Festival. This year, they dove into The Flame and the Arrow (1950) along with another special guest, co-star Gordon Gebert.
November 2, 2022
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
As much as I wanted to see After the Thin Man (1936), sleep and rest won out.
April 30, 2022
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
November 19, 2019
If I could listen to one classic film star tell me stories for a day, it would be Ann Robinson, who was one of three recipients of the Cinecon Legacy Award at this year’s Cinecon Classic Film Festival. I’ve heard her speak a few times before, interviewed her on the TCMFF red carpet, and I would now like to be her best friend, please.
October 18, 2019
This past September, Gigi Perreau was honored with the 2019 Cinecon Legacy Award along with Ann Robinson and Barbara Rush.
Cinecon programmed Perreau’s 1950 film For Heaven’s Sake to pay tribute to the actress, a quirky comedy I had never heard of before.
September 13, 2019
This year, I had the opportunity to attend all five days of Cinecon, which is always exhilarating... and very tiring.
Last week I shared my recap of the first two days, which you can read here. Now it's time to wrap this review up with the final three days of the fest, Saturday-Monday.
September 5, 2019
Cinecon Classic Film Festival #55 hit two milestones this year: They celebrated 30 consecutive years in LA (prior to that the locations varied) and their 20th anniversary at the American Cinematheque. I’m always amazed at how five days of nonstop cinema race by so fast. My personal schedule for the fest this year was extremely ambitious. How’d I do? Well...
August 19, 2019
Labor Day weekend is almost upon us, and in the classic movie world, that signals one thing: Cinecon! For the last two years, out of town weddings have prohibited my full attendance at the fest, but this year I am FREE! (Well, save for work on Friday.) Cinecon 55 will present 46 programs, with many of the films projected on 35mm. I’ve only heard of about 5 of those selections, which is roughly 10%.
August 1, 2019
The Cinecon Classic Film Festival returns to Hollywood August 29 through September 2 with close to 50 rare shorts and features, special celebrity guests, and an outstanding memorabilia show.
I had the chance to ask Cinecon President Stan Taffel a few questions about the festival as they gear up for another exciting year celebrating unusual and overlooked classic movies.
June 28, 2019
The Bad Seed is one of the earliest classic films I saw. So, as you can imagine, a huge thrill of TCMFF 2019 was talking to the star herself, Patty McCormack, on the red carpet. Heck, I even had the chance to tell her about the time my friend dressed as her character from The Bad Seed for Halloween! I unfortunately didn’t make the poolside screening, but I did swing by for McCormack’s conversation with Eddie Muller beforehand. Below are some highlights from what I caught.
May 10, 2019
For the 4th (!) year in a row, I had the privilege of covering the red carpet at the opening night of TCMFF. While it’s always an honor to speak with the festival’s special guests, the occasion this year was particularly meaningful because 2019 marks the 10th year of the festival and the 25th anniversary of TCM; though I haven’t been a fan of TCM all 25 years (I was a child when the network debuted, so I get a pass), I’m a proud TCMFF 10-time attendee.
April 23, 2019
I woke up Sunday not believing it was the final day of TCMFF. Seriously, how can 60 hours fly by so fast? This morning presented a big decision: Holiday (1938), one of my gateways to classic film, or Mad Love (1935), which I’ve never seen before. Mad Love it was! Luckily, I took another glance at the schedule before leaving my apartment and noticed the movie was playing at the Egyptian, which was a good call, because the theater was packed.
April 20, 2019
Less than six hours of sleep on Friday night didn’t stop me from jumping out of bed early to hit the road for Saturday’s packed day of programming! I made it in plenty of time to catch When Worlds Collide, a 1951 sci-fi flick I thought I hadn’t seen before. (The jury’s still out—the spaceship looked very familiar, but this is a 1950s science fiction picture we’re talking about.)
April 18, 2019
I had a full schedule Friday and tried to hit the ground running, but that didn’t quite happen. Somehow, I thought it would be acceptable to roll up to a 9am pre-Code (1932’s Merrily We Go to Hell) at about 8:20 but... no. I knew it was going to present a difficulty when I woke up at 7:20, looked at Twitter, and found that people were in line before 7am.
April 16, 2019
Though I spend weeks preparing for TCM's Classic Film Festival, it always seems to rush in like a cinematic tornado—sweeping in quickly and catching all us film fans up in 3.5 days of movie madness, just to drop us back in the real world on Monday, which is where I am right now. Click below for a recap of the first day of TCMFF #10.
April 10, 2019
One of the two movies playing for TCMFF’s late-night crowd this year is 1961’s Santo contra el cerebro del mal (Santo vs. the Evil Brain). TCM has brought in two special guests for this screening, film archivists/restorationists Viviana Garcia Besne and Peter Conheim, both of whom worked to restore the movie. I had the opportunity to ask Besne some questions, not only about this film and the Santo series, but also about the archive she founded, Permanencia Voluntaria.
March 28, 2019
We’re almost there—in just 14 days, TCMFF’s 10th anniversary will be upon us! The full festival schedule was unleashed last week, and as per usual, since then attendees have been feverishly plotting their plan(s) of attack. The network has some fantastic programming in store for this milestone event, and it’s always an exhilarating/nerve-wracking/melodramatic/sorrowful endeavor putting together a schedule. So with that, below are my picks for TCMFF 2019—plus an extra title or two for every time slot. My guess is that it's 59% likely I'll stick to these selections, as goes the fest!
March 18, 2019
Noir City Hollywood is finally of age! In honor of their 21st year, the fest continues a theme they’ve celebrated previously, showcasing A and B films released in the same year—this time focusing on the 1950s. The program features a hearty mix of very well-known pictures (that I haven’t yet watched) and a handful of new-to-me rarities, which I always love. That said, below is my preview of Noir City Hollywood 21!
March 11, 2019
Besides the incredible guests TCM assembles for each film festival, my favorite moments are the exceptional programs they bring to Hollywood. As we inch closer to TCMFF #10, below is a list of my top 10 favorite TCMFF special presentations from years past.
February 27, 2019
And just like that, UCLA Film and Television Archive’s Festival of Preservation is over. Attendees were treated to a marathon of 23 blocks of programming across a three-day span, and while my body generally rebels against epic day-long film events like this, I was pleased to attend nine screenings. Click below to read my highlights from the fest.
February 18, 2019
Over the past nine years, I’ve had the opportunity to engage with TCMFF from a number of different angles: I volunteered in 2010 and 2013, accessed the fest through the standby line from 2010-2014, worked as a Social Producer in 2015 and 2016, and attended as a member of the media in 2017 and 2018. As TCMFF #10 looms on the horizon, I thought I’d share more about these rich and varied festival experiences.
January 28, 2019
Every other year, the UCLA Film and Television Archive presents the Festival of Preservation, and every other year, I eagerly wait for UCLA to unveil the lineup.
In years past, the Festival of Preservation has spread over the month of March. That said, this year I was both surprised and relieved to read that the event would take place over a weekend in February… until I saw the schedule, and my relief morphed into slight apprehension.
January 11, 2019
In honor of TCM Classic Film Festival’s 10th anniversary this April, I thought I’d share my favorite experience from each of the nine events I’ve attended so far. As you’ll see, my TCMFF adventures have ranged based on the type of access I’ve had, from volunteer and standby line-attempter to Social Producer and Media passholder. I’ll be writing another article covering the different capacities from which I’ve enjoyed TCMFF, but for now, here are my most memorable fest moments from 2010-2018.
December 28, 2018
For the past eight years, I worked for Stan Lee. Stan (beat) Lee, I'd repeat, when inevitably asked "Stanley who?" I rarely revealed who my boss was when meeting new folks; that fact was usually unveiled by a well-meaning friend.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles about Stan that have been posted elsewhere, he and I shared a love of classic movies. I relished chatting with him on the subject, and it was a special connection to me because so few people engaged him on the topic.
November 7, 2018
Welcome to part 2 of my Noir City Hollywood 20 recap!
Two weeks ago I covered the movies I thought were fine and dandy. Now comes the ultra-fun part: This week I’m re-visiting the inexplicable/weird/wacky selections. And they didn’t disappoint.
October 26, 2018
For Noir City Hollywood’s 20th anniversary, the team—Eddie Muller, Alan K. Rode, and Gwen Deglise—thought it appropriate to program all LA-set films as a nod to where Noir City started. Out of the 20 screenings, I was able to attend 11. As with festival #19, I’m splitting up my recap into the good and the bizarre. First up: the good—and only 6 months late!