Day Four, April 25th
Fragments: A program of snippets of lost films. Curators include Mike Pogorzelski of the Academy Film Archive, Jere Guildon from UCLA Film and Television Archive and Joe Linden also from the Academy.
Got there a bit late, having overslept, so I missed the opening remarks. But snippets I did see included two Clara Bow features:
Red Head and Three Week Ends
Happiness Ahead with Colleen Moore (can we get Her Wild Oat next year?)
Ramon Navarro in a turban (giving Tyrone Power a run for his money) in Love's Oath.
Ms. Guildon had received a reel of film as a Christmas gift. When she unspooled it, she discovered that there was a copy of a Hallmark Boys comedy on the end.
The Village by John Ford included a partial reel of a disabled brother who crawls on his ends and knees to exact vengeance for his family.
Trailers for Lost Films included The Patriot and Beau Sabreur starring an incredibly handsome and young Gary Cooper.
The curators hope to return next year with another program of Lost Films!
I found out after the fact that they were showing a 70mm roadshow version of Cleopatra at the same time with introduction by some of Ben's cousins. Had I known it would have been a Sophie's Choice between Cleo and that shot of Gary Cooper in Beau.
From there, I go to line up at the smaller Chinese #3 for Sunnyside Up.
I meet up with Liz, my new found friend from Vancouver and we compare films we have seen since Friday morning.
50,000 theater musicians lost their jobs." Cari Beauchamp
This eccentric musical made on the cusp of sound is introduced by Cari Beauchamp. She points out that at "the end of 1928, there are 15,000 theaters in America. Only 400 are wired for sound. Many studio heads and critics thought it was a novelty.
The Gershwins became millionaires because EVERYONE wanted to use their music in musicals.
There is good, fluid camerawork and it reminds us in the audience that not every musical has [b]Singin' in the Rain[/b] problems.
Thank god, Marjorie White (as Bea, Janet Gaynor's BFF), El Brendel as Eric, and Frank Richardson as Eddie are in this film because otherwise it would be a dog. Gaynor can sing but while Charles Farrell looks handsome, he can't sing.
"Turn Up the Heat" is the big musical number that has to be seen to be believed. Dancing girls, melting igloos, melting ice, palm trees and inflating bananas, this number has to be seen to be believed.
Once the Code began to be enforced, musicals like this would no longer be made.
Coming out of the film, I run into director Curtis Hanson. I take the opportunity to thank him for making LA Confidential, one of my favorite films.
That's the joy of this Festival, the ability to not only meet people you know on-line but also those special actors and directors who make the films we love.
Due to the lateness of the hour, I figure there is no way I can get to the Egyptian in time to see Luis Rainer, so I opt for the panel on Remakes in the Blossom room at the Roosevelt.
"It takes guts." Prof. Rick Jewell
The Remakes panel is moderated by Pete Hammond of the LA Times, director/producer Charles Shyer; director/producer John Carpenter and Film historian and teacher, Dr. Rick Jewell.
Hammond throws the first question to Rick who reminds the audience that remakes have been part of Hollywood history since the silent days. Of the films Warner Brothers released in 1940, 15 of the films were remakes including Bette Davis' The Letter and Errol Flynn's The Sea Hawk.
There is a long list of potential films that are up to be remade including The Thing which John Carpenter remade in the 1980s from the Howard Hawks/Christian Nyby film of the same name. According to Carpenter, the script for the remake will focus on the Norwegian scientific camp that is mentioned in his version of The Thing but not the original. Carpenter is not happy because he is not receiving a check for them using an idea that he essentially thought of.
Charles Shyer and Nancy Myers were basically clueless about the original Father of the Bride and Daddy's Little Dividend before they remade those films.
It was brought up that Taxi Driver is up to be remade.
"That takes guts." Rick says, pointing out that Scorsese is still alive.
John Carpenter points out that after Rob Zombie remade [b]Halloween[/b] (that Carpenter had made in the late 1970s/early 1980s) he received a call from the studio asking whether or not he would be interested in remaking Halloween after Zombie:
"Are you f***ing kidding me?" he said.
The Q&A with the audience is great,. Many great questions asked. The last one being "Do you want to remake one of your films?"
To which John Carpenter said emphatically, "NO!"
Afterwards, I get a chance to talk to Rick and tell him how thrilled I am to see on a panel.
Hopefully next year, he will be on a panel with Scott Eyman, Dan Ford, John Carpenter, Walter Hill and Harry Carey, Jr about John Ford.
Introduced by our rock star and patron saint, Robert O. He introduced Genvieve McGuillicudy as the driving force behind the success of that schedule.
Robert O announced that there would be second film festival. Robert O thanked everyone for a successful festival and announced that there would be another Classic Film Festival next year in Hollywood. The dates to be announced.
Metropolis looked beautiful even with the new footage. The Alloy Orchestra never took a breath for 2.5 hours and they were wonderful.
It's not the recently found footage that's the problem. The recently found footage really adds to the story. What distracts is all the extra endings that go and on.
Brigette Helm is amazing in a duo role. Amazing Art and Set Direction.
Closing Night Party
Lots of fun, even though we were all tired, especially the TCM crew. Peter was in a tuxedo and despite our best efforts to get his attention, he must have only had eyes for the young lady he met on Thursday.
I say goodnight to Paula and her sister. I promise David to stay in touch and say good-bye to Kyle. We all talk enthusiastically about coming back next year.
I hope they plan to do so. Bottom line is: I plan to be there.
I hope you do as well!