Sharing my love of classic movies with my daughter is equivalent to having a family tradition that is passed down from one generation to the next. I say this because my father shared his love of classic films with me since I was a child. I grew to absolutely love classic films and later Turner Classic Movies (TCM). My Dad, who passed away in December 2015, was the consummate classic film lover who watched TCM everyday. He loved all movie genres but had an affinity for adventure (“The Adventures of Robin Hood” 1938), war (“The Longest Day” 1962), and romance/drama (“Casablanca” 1942).
Having my daughter Samantha attend the 10th Turner Classic Movie Classic Film Fest (TCMFF) with me ~ her first, my fourth ~ was so meaningful for me in many ways. First off, she could finally see for herself what all the hoopla was about – as I would talk endlessly and text tons of photos after each fest ended, and would immediately start making plans to attend next year’s Fest.
Yes, Lori & Samantha are ready for their close-up as they film their promo for TCM
PHOTO BY THERESA BROWN
I wanted Samantha to experience the full breadth of what TCMFF 2019 had to offer so I suggested we not only see films but also attend some of the special events and presentations. Samantha picked several of the films we saw including the poolside screening at the Roosevelt Hotel of “The Bad Seed” which was fun to watch with other fest-goers, and the poolside bar was a big hit as always!
Samantha also picked out two iconic films: the first ~ “The Sound of Music” and second ~ “Gone With The Wind” (GWTW). It was a real treat to see “The Sound of Music” on the big screen, a first for both of us, though we had seen it many times on TV. It was presented at a new venue for TCMFF, The Legion Theater At Post 43. The theater, completed in 1929, is very impressive and is of historical significance as it was supported by classic Hollywood luminaries. The basement bar is a must-see. It was so cool, we had to stop and have a drink before the film started.
It was interesting to see Samantha’s reaction to her second pick, “GWTW.” While appreciating the grandeur of the film being shown at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, she thought the film was too long and she grew tired of Scarlett’s tantrums! Her words, not mine!
Opening night of the fest found us on the Red Carpet – all dressed up and maybe 20 seconds for photos! I’ve done the Red Carpet in the past. It’s fun especially the first time, but it rushes by way too fast. This year’s Red Carpet Event celebrated the 30th anniversary of “When Harry Met Sally,” which Samantha had never seen. I’m glad to say she thoroughly enjoyed it which made me happy as it’s one of my favorite Rom-Coms.
We really enjoyed several of the Club TCM Presentations which I think get better each year I’ve attended TCMFF. It was fascinating to hear the real and very personal stories in The Descendants: Growing Up in Hollywood. I would love to see this programming repeated at next year’s Fest.
Equally compelling was the presentation titled The Complicated Legacy of Gone With The Wind which focused on how the film has been perceived throughout the years and into the future. It’s been such a delight to have Professor Jacqueline Stewart from the University of Chicago on this panel and several others during the past four years I’ve attended the Fest. A big welcome to Professor Jacqueline as she joins TCM as the newest host! I’ll be excited to see her hosting Silent Sunday Nights.
Lori & Samantha ~ Closing Nite Party
Our favorite moment was the closing night party. It gives everyone an opportunity to connect one last time and also to catch up with friends you may have missed during the Fest, though it is bittersweet since it’s the last official festival event.
Lori and her father, Ernest Bell ( the early 1980’s )
In closing, I’m very happy to report that my daughter, Samantha will be attending TCMFF 2020 with me. By the end of TCMFF 2019 Day 1 she was having a great time and said she definitely wanted to attend next year. To say I was thrilled would be an under-statement. When the TCMFF 2020 dates were announced recently I couldn’t wait to let her know. I immediately booked our hotel room and we’ve both blocked the dates on our calendar. I’m so pleased that I, too, have passed down the love of classic films to my daughter as my Dad did with me. He would be so proud of both of us, his legacy lives on.