March 03, 2016
The 2016 TCM Film Festival is officially NEXT MONTH! They still haven't announced too much about the schedule or special guests, so I thought it would be fun to make a little (read: way too long) wish list of movies and people I'd love to see at this year's festival! Please note, these are my own personal preferences, not necessarily what they *should* show based on popularity or importance. Like, it's the 50th anniversary of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly but it's also the 50th anniversary of The Trouble with Angels -- one is clearly more important than the other, but guess which movie I'd rather see? ;)
Okay, let's start out with anniversary movies!
50th anniversary: Movies made in 1966
If TCM is going to celebrate the 50th birthday of any movie, my personal pick would be The Trouble with Angels. It's one of my all-time favorite movies, one of the first classic films I ever loved, and the namesake of my other blog, Scathingly Brilliant. ("I've got the most scathingly brilliant idea!") Bonus points if Hayley Mills or June Harding could be there!
Tied with The Trouble with Angels for 1st place in my imaginary programming list is How to Steal a Million. Angels was my introduction to classic film as a kid, but How to Steal a Million is the movie that made me a classic film fan for life. I actually cried after TCM screened my favorite movie, Sunday in New York, at the 2014 festival, and I'm pretty sure How to Steal a Million is the one that would conjure up similar emotions if it's scheduled this year.
Antonioni's Blow-Up is also celebrating 50 years, and it would be amazing to see that on the big screen. There are so many possible guests they could get to introduce this -- Vanessa Redgrave! Jane Birkin! Sarah Miles! (although I'd much rather see her introduce The Servant.) Truffaut's only English-language film, Fahrenheit 451, is also turning the ripe old age of 50 this year and it would be glorious to see that at the festival. (I touch on this again later in my post, but, *cough* JULIE CHRISTIE *cough*.)
Michael Caine starred in three '66 flicks, Alfie, Funeral in Berlin, and Gambit. I feel like it's more likely that Alfie would get a nod of recognition from TCM, but I'd prefer Gambit. (And again, how cool would it be if Michael Caine could introduce the film? I'd die.)
I know foreign films don't really get a lot of love at the festival (btw if anyone is aware of any festivals that ONLY show old foreign films, please let me know in the comments? Even if it's not in the US.) but Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Deuxieme Souffle was a '66 release, and I'd kill to see that at the festival. (Related: next year will be 50 years since he made Le Samourai. I will weep enough to fill the Chinese Theater with tears if that isn't on the 2017 TCMFF schedule.)
I'd also be pretty happy if they showed Penelope, a really fun Natalie Wood comedy, or Arabesque, a not-actually-that-fantastic spy caper starring Gregory Peck that would be worth seeing on a giant movie screen simply because LOOK AT SOPHIA LOREN IN THIS MOVIE:
You know I could go on about the 60's forever, but I'll stop myself here and move on to movies celebrating their 75th birthday.
75th anniversary: Movies made in 1941
I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge '41 is the year of Citizen Kane. I feel like that's kind of a must-show for the anniversary... I'll be shocked if it isn't on the schedule (although Chimes at Midnight just got a DVD release this year & it's celebrating its 50th anniversary, so that might win out if they don't want to double-up on Welles movies?) I do love it, but I had the privilege of seeing it at The Garden in Princeton last year so unless nothing else that interests me was programmed at the same time I'd probably skip it, personally. '41 is also the year of How Green Was My Valley, which seems to fit this year's theme of "moving pictures."
But number one on my list, hands down, is Meet John Doe. I was lucky enough to see this on the big screen once before, during the American Film Institute's 100th birthday celebration for Barbara Stanwyck in 2007, and honestly I could watch this movie every week without growing tired of it. I'd definitely go see it again.
Here Comes Mr. Jordan is also celebrating its 75th anniversary. It's one of my all-time favorite comedies, starring Robert Montgomery and James Gleason. I still haven't had the pleasure of seeing Robert Montgomery's face on a big screen yet, and this needs to be the year it finally happens.
I'm just now realizing I've already seen a lot of movies from 1941 in theaters, how strange! Another one of my favorites from this goldmine year is Sullivan's Travels, which I saw at The Film Forum last spring. Like Meet John Doe, I'd watch this again in a heartbeat. If you love movies about loving movies, seek this one out. I don't really need reminding that comedy is essential to humanity, but it doesn't hurt to reinforce the notion every so often with a healthy dose of Sullivan's Travels.
Guest wish list
If I had written this one month ago, Alain Delon would have been at the top of my wish list. Unfortunately, he had a health scare in early February and his doctor said it wasn't safe for him to fly to Vienna for an event so I highly doubt he'll be making the much-longer flight from France to America for the festival at this point. (Just one more reason I need to find a film festival in France, where he might be a guest?? yes??)
My dream guest is and always will be Julie Christie. She's my absolute favorite actress and I can't even describe how excited I would be if I got to see her in person. I feel like this is pretty much a pipe dream, though, because if she wasn't there for Doctor Zhivago's 50th anniversary last year (I'd imagine TCM must have tried to get her, right?) there's not much hope for future festivals. But a girl can dream!
Anna Karina attended a BFI event this past January, which makes me think it's feasible that she could be a TCMFF guest, right? Ugh, I'd be so excited I'm not really sure if my brain could handle it. This is probably sacreligious, but I would just love if she could introduce one of her non-Godard directed movies. I doubt any programmer on earth would make this choice, but I think she is such a great actress and has so much screen presence, it's a crying shame that she's always kind of relegated to "Godard's muse" and mostly just gets asked questions about him. Godard is awesome, obviously, but so is she, and I would love to see her get some recognition on her own.
Like I said earlier in the post, I'd obviously also love to see Michael Caine, Hayley Mills, Sarah Miles, Vanessa Redgrave and Jane Birkin. Catherine Deneuve would be AWESOME. I throw this phrase around too much, but seriously, I WOULD DIE on the spot if they had Emmanuelle Riva, but I don't think she speaks English so that's probably not going to happen.
The festival also usually has a lot of celebrity film fans who introduce movies. In 2014 I saw Alec Baldwin introduce A Hard Day's Night (I'm a giant 30 Rock fan, so I was that embarrassing classic film fan who was freaking out more over seeing Alec Baldwin than some actual classic film stars, bringing disgrace upon me and my family, and causing some my closest friends to lose all respect they might have had for me) and Patton Oswalt prepared me for the traumatizing event that was seeing Eraserhead.
This wish list is comprised of one single human: Tina Fey. She was a guest programmer on TCM last December, so it could happen. She's probably the busiest person in the entertainment business (possibly tied with Chris Hardwick, who I would also love to see at TCMFF, maybe introducing a 60's Hammer film or something?) but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she could carve out a few minutes to introduce something, anything. I would watch literally anything she wanted to introduce, even a Tyrone Power movie. SERIOUSLY.
Honestly, though, whatever the schedule ends up looking like, whatever guests they end up having, I know I'll be happy with it. In 2014 & on the 2015 cruise I watched quite a lot of movies that I wouldn't have personally scheduled myself, and I enjoyed them tremendously! And usually it's the lack of things-you-already-love that ends up creating an opportunity to discover new favorites!