Today was the first official day of the festival, and it kicked off for us around 9:00 when we arrived at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to pick up our gift bags (meaning, for me, 2 copies of the official festival program–one outlining the movies to be shown and another with special features and stories inside). After claiming our bags, we headed down to the lobby to explore the gift shop and read our programs, where we saw a camera crew setting up. After a bit of investigating, we learned that Robert Osborne, movie expert and TCM host extraordinaire, would be shooting interviews there in a few hours. As huge fans (especially my friend Marissa), we stuck around the lobby in order to procure a good position in the crowd. When he finally arrived and began his interviews, we were beside ourselves. He interviewed a number of people from the industry, as well as some festival passholders. We managed to get a position in the crowd that allowed us to be seen from time to time on camera. If you happen to be watching TCM within the next few days and see the interviews Osborne does from the Festival, look for us in the bottom right corner of the screen.
We went for lunch after Robert Osborne was finished interviewing for the day, and then decided to hang out in Club TCM (the lounge where passholders can meet and mingle–held in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel room where the first Oscar ceremony was held) until it was time for Marissa and me to go to High Society and Christina to go to Cabaret. Due to a bout of evening rain, High Society was moved from the outdoor pool to Club TCM, so Marissa and I simply stayed where we were until High Society started. A surprise guest, Tina Sinatra, came onstage before the movie started to talk to Ben Mankiewicz about the movie and her father’s role in it, which was very entertaining and informative.
Unfortunately, the bar was still open as the movie played, so it was difficult to hear, but for someone who has seen High Society as much as I have, it was nothing really lost. I must say I am not a huge fan of this film, I find the songs hokey (though they were written by the great Cole Porter, strangely enough!), and the dialogue was completely phoned in from the earlier, non-musical version of the story, The Philadelphia Story, a far superior film.
Original trailer for High Society
Original trailer for The Philadelphia Story
Christina joined us after Cabaret was over, and we were anxious to hear her experiences on the red carpet and hearing the interview with Liza Minnelli, a bonus luxury afforded to those who held Essential and Spotlight Passes, a few notches above the pass I hold. It went very quickly, Christina told us, but the wondrous experience of witnessing Cabaret on the gigantic screen of Grauman’s Chinese Theater made it all worth it. Liza was in good form, and though Christina didn’t get to meet her, she sat 6 rows behind her during the movie. Also, a with our screening of High Society, a surprise guest appeared–Michael York!
Michael York with Liza Minnelli in Cabaret.
We were all tired after our full days, so we went back to Marissa’s house and it’s time for bed now. Expect more from the TCM Classic Film Festival tomorrow!