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(Check out IMP Awards for 7 more great posters)

Turner Classic Movies presents the first ever TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood for four days beginning April 22st and it looks like it’s going to be pretty amazing. More than 50 classic films will be screened at Hollywood’s historic Chinese and Egyptian theaters with Q&As and or introductions from the likes of Mel Brooks, Luise Rainer, Ernest Borgnine, Jerry Lewis, Eva Marie Saint, Tony Curtis, Jon Voight, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Martin Landau, Anjelica Huston, Danny Huston, Eli Wallach, Stanley Donen, Curtis Hanson and many others.

Kicking off the festival is the world premiere of the newly restored 1954 A Star is Born. Other highlights include the North American premiere of the new restoration of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) including the rediscovered footage and live musical accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra; the North American premiere of Jean-Luc Godard’s newly restored Breathless (1960) with an introduction by Jean-Paul Belmondo; and a tribute to the Huston family including screenings of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) introduced by Anjelica Huston and Danny Huston and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) followed by a Q&A with Anjelica Huston and Martin Landau.

Also on the schedule: The King of Comedy (1983) with Jerry Lewis Q&A, North by Northwest (1959) introduced by Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) introduced by Eli Wallach; Imitation of Life (1959) with a discussion with Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner; an archival print of Casablanca (1942); Some Like it Hot (1959) introduced by Tony Curtis; The Graduate (1967) featuring a discussion with Buck Henry and much, much more. Check out the complete lineup at the festival website.

21 Responses to “TCM Classic Film Festival: April 22 – 25”

  1. Excuse me while I lift my jaw off the floor. Wow, that almost makes living in SoCal for the other 352 days out of the year worth it. Ha, I kid…but wow, great fest from TCM.

    I would love to see pretty much all of those but the King of Comedy with Jerry Lewis Q&A is especially inspired. I’d also love to see the Crimes and Misdemeanors and North by Northwest screenings.

    Lots of good stuff!

  2. To die for!

  3. Swoon. What a line-up.

    Speaking of line-ups, I’d like to see all seven of those posters lined up in house. Simply great.

  4. I’m sorry, but since when was “Crimes and Misdemeanors” considered a “classic” film? Very, very odd seeing that one in the line-up.

  5. Films are like cars, Bob. You get past 20 years old, even a Vega is a classic.

    Seriously though, I think you’re taking the concept of “classic” too literally. Even TCM stretches the definition from time to time. Just because it’s in the name of the channel doesn’t make it a gold standard. It’s just very good marketing.

  6. Well, TCM’s definition isn’t really all that meaningful, as it really just amounts to reasonably old movies (ie: 10 years or more) that Turner owns the broadcast rights to. As far as I know there’s still a few studios that won’t play ball with them (20th Century Fox, for one) so it doesn’t really amount to much, all things considered.

    Granted, I’m part of an increasingly smaller and smaller minority that tends to think Woody Allen’s movies are at least somewhat overrated, but this particular film comes from my least favorite portion of his filmography, where everything sort of just blends together for me. And anyway, I realize the only real reason this is up in the festival is for the Huston dynasty tie-in. Even so, I can’t help but feel there’s better movies out there to show off the family’s legacy.

  7. On a side note, your comment reminded me that TCM is named after the same guy that was once vehemently hated by film fans everywhere for colorizing old movies. Talk about turning around a bad reputation, or at the very least taking the stink off (even though TCM is now owned by WB).

  8. I’d say that CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS is considered one of Allen’s very best films and I’d lump it as a proto-classic at least. He’s still among this country’s greatest living auteurs.

    In fact, I’ve scooped the great news that ANHEDONIA is about to be released on DVD…

  9. I agree with you about Crimes and Misdemeanors, Christian. It’s an excellent movie, which I’ve come to appreciate more and more with each additional viewing.

    @Bob Clark: You’re probably right about their reason for the choice of this film. Although I enjoyed Vicky Christina Barcelona I find that Woody Allen’s movies this past decade have been disappointing for the most part, especially compared with the stuff he was making in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and early 1990’s – in light of that decline, I agree that he is overrated at this point. But not before, in my opinion. Those movies from his ‘good days’ are witty and hilarious, well-written (he’s always been an excellent writer and still is) and he is wonderful at directing ensembles. That’s why so many excellent actors want to work with him (or at least they did).

  10. @Alison– I honestly don’t even think Allen had all that much to speak of in the “good days”. Some of his no-brainer comedies are fun, but nothing special. Dramedies like “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan” are attractively shot and cleverly written, but over time I have serious, serious doubts about them (“Manhattan” especially, with its staturory rape love story). Later ensemble dramas like “Hanna & Her Sisters” are written and performed well enough, but after Gordon Willis left his repertoire, Allen’s films just look terribly phoned-in, visually speaking. The only exception I can think of is Sven Nykvist’s work on “Shadows & Fog”, and even that only stands out because it’s in black and white.

    Eh. There’s too much rampant sexual/intellectual wish-fulfilment going on in the man’s movies for me to take all but a few of them at all seriously. I personally don’t really put much stock into how much actors want to work with him as long as he keeps writing the same stock “writer/artist/comedian with women-juggling problems” scenarios. If I want his style of neurotic-confessional comedy, I’d rather watch a Spalding Gray monologue.

    I will admit that I like “What’s Up, Tiger Lilly?” and “Zelig”, though, but that’s pretty much it these days.

  11. I have to agree with you on Manhattan. A lot of people rave over that one but I never really went for it.

    Zelig is definitely one of my favorites of his.

  12. You guys are speaking a different language now. Woody Allen is our Ingmar Bergman, but funnier. He’s been making a film a year since the 70’s, and continues to surprise — whoda thunk MATCH POINT and VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA would be his biggest hits — but serious doubts about ANNIE HALL or MANHATTAN? These are easily two of the greatest American films.

  13. LOL, Christian, and we all know how influenced he was by Ingmar Bergman. I do love Annie Hall. It’s brilliant and I enjoy it every time I watch it. Certainly a classic. But I never got into Manhattan. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it and maybe at the time it just didn’t appeal to me for whatever reason (although I did like the music in it). Maybe one of these days I’ll give it another try.

  14. I think 20 years is old enough to be considered a classic, or if you’re into the whole oxymoron thing a Modern Classic.

    I’m not a Woody fanboy, but his place in the filmmaking pantheon is secure as far as I’m concerned whether he makes another good movie or not…and I loved VCB.

    Is he still cooking like he was back in his prime? No, but how many directors his age and with as many films under the belt as Woody are?

  15. Not many, Craig. Sidney Lumet is one of the few I can name off the top of my head whose work is still top-notch – at the grand old age of 80+.

  16. I loved Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. Underrated.

  17. Yep, I definitely agree with you on that one. Underrated and dismissed. There was so much more to that movie than a lot of people saw.

  18. People. Sometimes you have to kill ’em.

  19. Top 5 of 2007:
    I’m Not There
    Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
    There Will Be Blood
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    No Country for Old Men

  20. In case anyone has forgotten, the LiC top 10 of 2007:

    1. No Country For Old Men
    2. There Will Be Blood
    3. Syndromes and a Century
    4. The Assassination of Jesse James…
    5. The Darjeeling Limited
    6. Zodiac
    7. I’m Not There
    8. Black Book
    9. The Savages

    Very close to Paul’s picks. BtDKYD was a strong alternate as was Diving Bell

    10. Paris je t’aime

  21. That’s a fantastic top 5 from that year, Paul. All of those were in my top 10 list for 2007 if I remember correctly, though I don’t remember exact ranks. No Country and TWBB were definitely in the top 5.

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