Gone, but they’ll live forever…
It’s always one of the most poignant short films of the year: TCM’s Remembers, documenting the lives of film industry people who passed away. See it at TCM Remembers 2013.
Last year, the Academy Awards version of the same tribute was woefully lacking and failed to include a number of performers–like Andy Griffith, Ben Gazzarra, Phyllis Diller, and even more. Maybe this year the Academy will use the TCM piece as a reference.
- The TCM Top Twelve for December 2013 (journeysinclassicfilm.com)
TCM will begin airing the 15-part documentary THE STORY OF FILM tonight. It’s a fascinating ride through the history of film by historian Mark Cousins, and you’ll end up with a long, long list of movies on your watch list.
I loved the first episodes the best. From my Home Projectionist blog posts about the series: “During the first two hours of THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY, I learned that the first real movie star, Florence Lawrence, committed suicide with ant poison, that the first close up in cinema featured a sick kitty, and there was some hot erotic dancing going on in the silent movies.”
One of my favorite experiences was discovering Asta Nielsen‘s dance from The Abyss (1910).
Let us know what you think.
Beloved TCM on-air host Robert Osborne added a special guest to the Festival at the start of its second day: the Sun. After a cloudy, damp Wednesday, it was wonderful to soak up some warmth prior to entering the often too-chilled theaters.
On Thursday, pass holder gift bags were dispersed, Club TCM opened at the Hollywood Roosevelt, more feast goers arrived, trivia contests were played, a red carpet screening of FUNNY GIRL was held at Grauman’s (now TCL) Chinese (special pass required) and–most importantly–the first two blocks of films kicked-off. Which, of course, required some decision-making.
I was set to watch SOUTH PACIFIC poolside, but made a last-second switcheroo and, coffee in hand, bolted over to Stanley Kubrick’s THE KILLING. Co-star Colleen (pronounced KO) recalled receiving no direction at all, and suggested we pay special attention to actor Tim Carey’s teeth.
Next at 9 pm was my first-time seeing David Lean’s 1955 SUMMERTIME. Absolutely mesmerizing, for the amazing views of Venice as well as Katherine Hepburn’s face and touching performance. Lean certainly had a thing for trains, and for love’s bittersweet moments.
The Festival kicks into full-metal gear today, with a 14-hour schedule and dozens of movies. Among personal choices I must make: Burt Lancaster in THE SWIMMER vs. Bette Davis in LIBELED LADY, Jean Gabin inLA TRAVERSEEÉ DE PARIS or RUGGLES OF RED GAP, a discussion with Mel Brooks at THE TWELVE CHAIRS up against a live orchestra at Clara Bow’s IT and, last but no less difficult, there’s ON THE TOWN at the beautiful Egyptian theater, or a 3-D HONDO, or Billy Wilder’s A FOREIGN AFFAIR.
Whew. If only I could clone myself.
TCM Remembers for 2012. We lost a lot of great ones…
Turner Classic Movies has announced four films for their next Film Festival, April 25-28, 2013, in Hollywood. Passes are going on sale November 15th, and I expect we’ll hear more about film titles and special guests following the theme of “Cinematic Journeys: Travel in the Movies” at that time. More information about the Festival here.
From TCM’s press release:
- FUNNY GIRL (1968) Official Opening Night Gala world premiere restoration of director William Wyler’s musical comedy starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, and Walter Pidgeon. Streisand made one of the great big screen debuts—and won an Academy Award—reprising her Broadway role as comedienne Fanny Brice.
- THE GENERAL (1926) World premiere restoration of actor/director Buster Keaton’s death-defying and hilarious action-comedy about a southern train engineer trying to save the loves of his life—his train and his girlfriend—from the hands of Union troops. This presentation will feature a live musical score written and performed by the world-renowned Alloy Orchestra.
- GIANT (1956) World premiere restoration of George Stevens’ epic tale of the oil boom in Texas and how it changes the lives, and fortunes, of all involved. Starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean and Mercedes McCambridge.
- THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963) 50th anniversary North American premiere restoration of John Sturges’ thrilling WWII tale of Allied prisoners struggling to escape a German POW camp, which was based on a true story. The all-star cast includes Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough.
Are you on Facebook? Thinking of going to the 2013 TCM Festival? Then you might want to look into joining the 100-plus member Going to the TCM Festival Facebook group.
Andy Williams is gone. We will miss his charm, his distinctive voice (formally declared a “national treasure”), and his singular, laid-back style that we came to know through his long run as a recording artist and entertainer of stage and television.
Although he’s known for his blockbuster hits of several movie theme songs, including, of course, Moon River and Love Story, Andy didn’t have a substantive track record as an actor on the silver screen.
There is one little treasure, though, that I am longing to see. Williams starred in the Ross Hunter romantic comedy I’D RATHER BE RICH (1964), along with Sandra Dee, Robert Goulet, Maurice Chevalier, Hermione Gingold, Charles Ruggles, and Rip Taylor. What a cast. What possibilities.
From the reviews and clips I’ve seen, I’D RATHER BE RICH appears to be a delightful indulgence, and it includes the captivating song Almost There. Unfortunately, a quality home video DVD version isn’t available. It seems a mystery that this one’s been neglected, but the good news is that there is an opportunity to vote in favor of such a release here on the Turner Classic Movie web site.
Please vote today and help us get this one out in honor of Andy. RIP, Mr. Williams. You were one in a million.
SPECIAL NOTE: Home Projectionist blogger, Ben Alba, was a personal friend of Andy Williams. To access his recent WGN radio interview reflecting on Williams’ life, go to Remembering Andy Williams.