Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the inaugural Turner Classic Movies Film Festival in Hollywood over the past weekend, due to a few things like finances, a move, and so on. But from all accounts, the people who did go -- and a lot did, despite fairly steep admission prices -- had a wonderful time.
How could you not? Hey, it isn't often you see a centenarian Academy Award winner in the flesh. Yes, that's Luise Rainer, who turned 100 in January and a longtime resident of London, who came to Hollywood to attend a showing of "The Good Earth," the film for which she won the best actress Oscar for 1937. (And somewhere, Carole Lombard is saying, "If only they'd known she was going to win it in '37...I might have taken Oscar home in 1936!" C'est la vie.)
But the festival was more than seeing personalities; it was an opportunity to view all sorts of classic films the way they were meant to be seen -- in a theater, a historic one at that, with an audience. (And a respectful one, reports state. There were no reports of cell phones going off, unlike Friday night at your local multiplex.)
So Sunday night, as the event was winding down, Robert Osborne (the face of TCM since the channel's founding back in 1994) announced to the crowd's delight that TCM will host another such festival in 2011. Will it be in Hollywood again, or moved somewhere else? What will be on the bill? We shall find out in coming months.
And perhaps this time, I'll be able to go to what Vanity Fair has labeled "Comic-Con for classic movie buffs."