Well the 6th TCM Classic Film Festival
has come and gone and it was, as always, spectacular. I had a great time seeing films, listening to classic film panelists (including Peter Fonda, Shirley MacLaine, Anne Coates, and Errol Flynn's daughter) and hanging with all my gray scale comrades.
There are a lot of questions you hear over and over again at the TCM Film Festival, "What are you most looking forward to at the Festival?", "Who is you favorite star of classic film?", etc... They all stump me. Maybe because I have no origin story for loving classic film. I feel like everyone I spend 4 days with every spring in Hollywood to worship classic film with have a moment they can point to and say that's when I started loving "old movies". Based on their moment they can pick a favorite star who played a role in their transformation from normal human to, as Will McKinley calls it, Old Movie Weirdo.
For me, I don't remember a time I didn't love old movies. It's impossible to pick a moment of transformation. It's entirely possible I was born this way. I do know however that classic films have been the background to my life and in the same way that certain music triggers memories for some, classic films are inextricably tied to various moments and people in my life. For instance, I can't see AFRICAN QUEEN without thinking of my father, my mother comes to mind when I see SUNDAY IN NEW YORK, and as I explained in this years TCM film festival #HeartMovies video PSYCHO for my first mini romance.
|Katherine Hepburn PHILADELPHIA STORY defines yar|
In many cases classic film has helped me through difficult times in my life. This particular weekend of the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival I was struggling with my daughter's first trip away from home. While she was off on Catalina island frolicking with her friends I could have been home having a major anxiety attack about all the possible calamities that could befall her while out of my reach. Instead I was mercifully rescued by my drug of choice, classic film. Instead of chewing my nails or pulling out all my eyebrows I watched film after film in distracted bliss. Who can obsess about their children when Tracy Lord is explaining what "yar" means in PHILADELPHIA STORY, or Dan Duryea is getting out noired by Lizbeth Scott in TOO LATER FOR TEARS. TCM and classic film definitely saved me, for probably the millionth time.
|Dan Duryea and Lizbeth Scott in TOO LATE FOR TEARS|
The TCM Classic Film Festival is owed a big thank you this year from my friends and family for sparing them this mother's anxiety that they would have been tasked with assuaging, if it weren't for the film festival. So in the words George M. Cohan spoken by James Cagney in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY "Ladies and gentlemen, my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you and I thank you."