Thursday, April 10, 2014:
Festival activities started getting underway Thursday afternoon with a “Meet TCM” panel at the Egyptian Theater and a discussion at the Hollywood Museum called “Sons of Gods and Monsters” with director Joe Dante and Academy Award winning make-up artist Rick Baker, hosted by TCM’s Scott McGee. “Sons of Gods and Monsters” was all about the wonderful world of monster movies and how Joe and Rick were influenced by them. I like monster movies, but I wouldn’t call them my area of expertise, so it was very interesting to learn a bit more about them from two people who are so incredibly passionate about them.
When asked about which movie they believed featured the most impressive monster make-up, Joe and Rick seemed to agree with 1931’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
One really fun thing about TCMFF is that if you’re in the Roosevelt Hotel by Club TCM at the right time, you can catch Robert Osborne or Ben Mankiewicz interviewing some of the celebrities and historians attending the festival. Over the course of the festival, I got to see Margaret O’Brien, Thelma Schoonmaker, and Judy Garland historian John Fricke being interviewed. But the best interview I had the chance to catch was Mel Brooks. Before heading over to “Sons of Gods and Monsters,” I was there chatting with Jessica from Comet Over Hollywood and Raquel from Out of the Past while TCM was setting up for an interview. We didn’t realize who the interviewee was going to be at first, but we were pleasantly surprised when it was announced it would be Mel Brooks. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the whole thing, but Mel was hilarious of course and it was exciting to have the opportunity to see him in person. That interview will be airing on TCM in May, so stay tuned for that.
After “Sons of Gods and Monsters,” it was back to the Roosevelt Hotel for opening night festivities. The Club TCM area was set to open with Kim Novak, Jane Seymor, Charles Busch, and Bruce Eric Kaplan discussing some artwork they had created that was on display during the festival. (Manolo Blahnik, Todd Oldham, Joel Grey, Tony Bennett, Jules Feiffer, and Burt Young also created artwork for the festival.) I still get a little bit of a rush every time I get to say that I have been in the same room as Kim Novak, even if only for just a few minutes.
For the first movie of the festival, I decided to go with the poolside screening of American Graffiti with stars Paul Le Mat, Candy Clark, and Bo Hopkins in attendance. The vibe of being poolside was fun; I was chatting with friends, music was playing, and they had jitterbug dancers there. However, I didn’t actually stay poolside for very long. I stayed for the interview with the stars, but since the table I was sitting at really didn’t have a good view of the screen, my friends and I went back to Club TCM, where the movie was also playing. Poolside or not, it was a lot of fun.