March 28, 2017
Like most classic movie fans, I've spent a lot of time the last few weeks reflecting back on "Robert Osborne moments" -- memories of personal interactions, recollections of TCM intros that preceded our favorite films, the excitement we felt at TCM events when he walked into the room. He touched so many lives, in so many ways. I wasn't even aware until he passed just how many people in the online classic film set had met him, talked with him, taken pictures with him, corresponded with him. He was so much more than a tv host, he was like a father figure to the entire community. He was our educator, our mentor, our inspiration, and our friend.
On the last day of the 2014 TCM Film Festival, when he walked into the theater to give a surprise introduction for Sunday in New York, I simultaneously felt like I was seeing an old friend, and the biggest movie star who has ever lived. He was such a familiar, comforting figure, but with gravitas and the kind of star-power that made you weak in the knees.
Sunday in New York is one of my favorite movies and this was the first time I had ever seen Robert Osborne in person. There are no words to express how I felt when I realized that ROBERT OSBORNE was going to be introducing MY FAVORITE MOVIE. Despite being starstruck, dumbfounded, overjoyed and otherwise emotionally incapacitated, I somehow had the forethought to whip out my iphone and record the introduction.
While looking through photos from old TCM Festivals this week, I stumbled upon the video on my hard drive and realized I never shared it with you here. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did:
This year, unfortunately, we will be missing Robert Osborne's heartfelt, knowledgable introductions, but his presence will definitely be felt by the attendees, as TCM has dedicated the 2017 TCM Film Festival in his honor. There will be a "Remembering Robert" event at the Chinese Multiplex (House 1) at 12:30PM on Thursday, April 6th. In addition, all of the screenings on opening night will be preceded by a tribute video to Mr. O. I also read that they will be screening his 20th Anniversary salute during the festival, but a date and time has yet to be announced.
He will live on as long as there are young people who discover a classic movie one day and hunger for more. His books will be there to guide them, his TCM introductions will be there to inform them and excite them, and his passion for film preservation and historical documentation will have left a treasure trove of material for future film fanatics to feed on. And we, his fans, will carry his love of film, and his devotion to our community, with us always.