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A TCMFF Announcement from I See A Dark Theater

March 10, 2017 

I am very proud to announce that for the first time I See A Dark Theater will be covering the TCM Classic Film Festival as a member of the media! As I noted two years ago in a post discussing my experience at each TCMFF, I've had the good fortune to live in LA since the festival's debut in 2010. Every year, I've attended in one capacity or another - volunteering for two years, battling the standby lines for a few more and working as a Social Producer in 2015 and 2016. This year TCM decided to fold the Social Producers program, and I instead applied for a media credential. I first submitted for one in 2014 when this blog was only a month or two old, and as I semi-expected, I was turned down. Nonetheless, I still wrote extensively about the festival that year, which seemed to do the trick: in 2015 I was finally approved as media, but upon being selected for the Social Producers program, I relinquished my pass. I was a little worried about obtaining one this year, but it looks like my coverage of the festival over the past several editions helped me land the credential this time around.


As I've been writing about my experience at TCMFF for years now even without an official media pass, I expect little to change in my attendance or discussion of the festival. I must admit, however, that I am quite excited to (hopefully) attend one or two events usually only designated for press and/or pass-holders. Last year I was able to cover the opening night red carpet as well, and while that was a rather intimidating experience for a first-timer, I'd definitely love to give it another shot if I get the chance.

My Social Producer's pass from last year's festival. 

The theme for TCMFF 2017 is "Make 'Em Laugh: Comedy in the Movies," an apropos subject to balance out the sense of sadness that is sure to pervade the festival, as the TCM family lost longtime host Robert Osborne on March 6. Robert hadn't attended the past two years, but he was always there in spirit, as he will be now this year more than ever. I never had the good fortune of meeting him, but the memories from those who did, and those who knew him well, are heartwarming and comforting; by all accounts, he was a genuine, classy gentleman. Though the lauded film historian and movie lover counted many famous figures among friends and admirers, he always seemed humble and gracious towards TCM fans who considered him one of their own. On the surface, his passion, insight and inspiration knew no bounds, and his contributions to film history and support of film preservation will never be forgotten. As much as he will be missed, I know TCMFF will also provide a wonderful opportunity for fans to come together to celebrate his memory and everlasting enthusiasm for the classics. 

Such a lovely photo of Robert Osborne. I'm assuming it's from the mid-1990s.

The complete TCMFF schedule won't be revealed for another week or so, but in the meantime, here's a few screenings/events I've already marked down:



The Great Nickelodeon Show (2017)

TCMFF has hosted a few special presentations like this in the past - one was an evening of hand-cranked shorts - and this seems to follow suit. However, The Great Nickelodeon Show also appears to be a live event, with "vaudeville acts, stunning illustrated songs and specialty acts from the era." Yeah, TCMFF doesn't generally/ever produce live-action programs like this. Definitely can't miss.  



Red-Headed Woman (1932)

So far, the pre-Codes announced - 1931's The Front Page, 1932's Cock of the Air, 1933's Rafter Romance, 1934's Twentieth Century and this picture - are actually all titles I've seen before. Though I'm sure there will be a few more added, I'm partly relieved that I won't have to sacrifice other selections to focus my attention on the pre-Codes (where it's generally always directed at TCMFF). Luckily, I had the chance to see Cock of the Air and The Front Page at the Academy last year, and if I can, I'll catch the former again. (I wrote about both films here and recommend them, partly because of the restoration efforts involved.) I haven't seen Twentieth Century in a long time, and I know that would be a hoot with an audience, but I'm most excited for Red-Headed Woman. Even though this is the one title I've seen quite recently (literally, last week), I'm actually quite curious to record how a crowd reacts to it. The reason for this is my recent research in the movie's Production Code Administration (PCA) file. You see, right around Red-Headed Woman's release, the PCA correspondence curiously stresses how different the film plays when watching alone vs. with an audience; in fact, those reviewing the movie at the PCA suggested that censors watch the picture in a theater for a better reception. I'm no censor, but that's exactly what I intend to do as well. (Hopefully, it's not slotted in theater 4.)

I think gentlemen preferred Jean Harlow either way. (Promo from Red-Headed Woman.)

Beyond the Mouse: The 1930s Cartoons of Ub Iwerks (2017)

I'm generally not a big animation fan, but I am a huge rarity fan, and that's (apparently) what these are.



Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

I've been meaning to see this Preston Sturges-directed dark comedy for years. Maybe, just maybe, now's finally the time.  



Theodora Goes Wild (1936)

Irene Dunne is one of my favorite comediennes, and for some reason, I've never been able to catch any of her comedies when they're screened in LA. Crossing my fingers this one doesn't land opposite The Great Nickelodeon Show or any other must-sees. 

Norwegian (I believe) poster for Theodora Goes Wild.

Only 27 days to go! Stay tuned for my full festival run-down within the next two weeks, and follow me for updates throughout the festival on Twitter (@kimbo3200), Instagram (@kimbo3200) and Facebook (I See A Dark Theater).

thanks for stopping by!

I See a Dark Theater is a website dedicated to classic movie-going—and loving—in the City of Angels. Whether it's coverage on screenings, special presentations, or Q&As around Los Angeles that you're looking for, or commentary on the wonderful and sometimes wacky world of classic cinema, you've come to the right place for a variety of pieces written with zeal, awe, and (occasionally) wit. Enjoy.

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