Turner Classic Movies 15th Annual Film Festival… My First Time!

Turner Classic Movies Film Festival 2024
Hello, my fellow Cinephiles.

Turner Classic Movies Film
Image and videos courtesy TCM Film Festival

Turner Classic Movies channel has been around for 30 years, and their film festival celebrated 15 years with this year’s event. I had always yearned to be a part of this exclusive gathering, a film festival that only the most faithful movie lovers could appreciate. Happenstance finally smiled upon me, and I fulfilled a long-held dream. I had the privilege of attending the 4-day event (April 18th-April 21st) in the entertainment capital of the world…Hollywood. I jokingly referred to the TCM Film Festival as my version of San Diego Comic-Con, a testament to my love for movies.

2024 TCMFF Famed Chinese Theatre
Image courtesy TCM Film Festival

This year’s central theme was Most Wanted: Crime and Justice in Film, so needless to say, many noir films were featured. The litany of cinema was very impressive, and I had difficulty choosing what films to see. Luckily, since I had the experience of going to San Diego Comic-Con, I had a “leg up” as I was used to the type of schedule TCM presented and the overwhelming choices I had to choose from. It wasn’t easy to choose the films I wanted to see since the choices were so good, but I narrowed it down to a handful a day. I was determined to try and see all the ones on my list. A few were an absolute must-see and that I would not miss no matter what. The opening night’s movie was Pulp Fiction, and its stars, such as John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Uma Thurman, came out for that event at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

 

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2024 TCMFF Jodie Foster
Image by Lori Glumac courtesy TeamWHR

I could not attend as my pass (Classic) was limited to specific events. The festival offers various levels of passes (Spotlight, Essential Classic, Palace). Each pass comes with special privileges. Unfortunately, I could only purchase the Classic pass since my fate came a bit late. Next year, I plan to go all out and buy the Spotlight Pass if I cannot obtain a Media pass. The film festival advises how to queue for films; you have to arrive at least 30 minutes in advance to get a number for your place in line. If you are at least the first three hundred people, you should have no problem getting in. Please get to the theater early. It is your best bet to get a good seat.

One of the festival’s highlights was engaging with industry legends. I was fortunate to witness Jodie Foster conversing with Ben Mankiewicz, discussing her iconic role in Silence of the Lambs.  It was a special moment when she added her handprints and footprints to the hallowed ground of the Grauman’s Chinese Theater sidewalk, a testament to her enduring contribution to cinema.

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2024 TCMFF John Waters
Image by Lori Glumac courtesy TeamWHR

The wonderful thing (and there are many) about a film festival like this is that you can see many films, whether you have seen them or not, with an audience and on the big screen. I have seen all the movies I have chosen, except for one I have not seen before. It was also great chatting with fellow cinephiles about their favorite movies. As a first-timer at the festival, I was able to check out other amazing things associated with it. I went to The Museum of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and to my lovely surprise, there was a John Waters exhibit at that time. It was everything you expected it to be of a John Waters exhibit: irreverent and hilarious. I could also walk around and see other items on display at the museum.

2024 TCMFF Essential Directors
Image by Lori Glumac courtesy TeamWHR

My movie-addled brain was in absolute heaven when I saw many set pieces, costumes, production notes, and pictures from The Godfather. I was in heaven.

To see those iconic sets in person, knowing that Marlon Brando sat at that desk and having that exact scene play out in my head, let me say I could have died happy. I had The Godfather theme song playing in my head while walking around that area.

Also, by being a pass holder for the TCM Film Festival, I got a discount on admission and in the gift shop. I admit I went overboard in the gift shop, but it was well worth every dollar that I invested in film memorabilia.

“The Essential Directors” book (pictured right) is one of my purchases that I just had to have!

2024 Ruby Slippers at Hollywood Museum
Image by Lori Glumac courtesy TeamWHR

I also visited the Hollywood Museum, which is located in the old Max Factor building. That was mind-blowing, especially if you like old movies and the glamorous stars of that era. The costumes and jewels (primarily by Joseff of Hollywood) were astounding, and I recognized a few pieces worn by my favorite actresses of that era. My favorite room on the first floor was dedicated to Marilyn Monroe. Her clothing and makeup table were preserved as if she were just there. It was emotional for me to stand in that room, knowing the history and beauty it represents. The Hollywood Museum is a pleasure dome. Any film or television fan will be salivating at the sheer volume of memorabilia housed in that historic building including the iconic Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz! I explored the first three floors of the museum and the basement, which was dedicated to everything and anything horror. I had a blast roaming through the halls of each floor and many memories. That whole building was a dream for me. I felt like I was transported back to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood of yore.

2024 TCMFF Diane Lane
Image by Lori Glumac courtesy TeamWHR

One of my personal favorite highlights was seeing Diane Lane talk about her movie A Little Romance with Ben Mankiewicz and co-starring the film legend Laurence Olivier.

I have been a fan of Diane Lane for many decades, and to see her in person and tell her that Streets of Fire is one of my favorite movies was fabulous.

Diane responded with a sincere thank you that made my day in specific, and the entire festival that much more special to me.

 

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I also saw in IMAX Close Encounters of the Third Kind, introduced by Steven Spielberg himself. The movies I saw during the festival were some of the best made. I could see them the way they were meant to be seen. For example, The Searchers was shown at 70mm at the historic Egyptian Theatre, with John Wayne’s son Patrick in attendance and director Alexander Payne giving his thoughts on the film.

 

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2024 TCMFF Steven Spielberg
Image by Lori Glumac courtesy TeamWHR

The venues that hosted the movies are as much a part of the history of Hollywood as the movies themselves. Grauman’s Chinese Theater, The Egyptian, and the El Capitan Theatre are iconic theaters once the heart of Hollywood’s golden age. To be able to experience the magic of cinema in these hallowed halls, restored to their former glory, was a nostalgic journey that added a deeper layer of appreciation to the event for me. With their rich history and grandeur, all three theaters were a testament to the enduring love for movies.

2024 TCMFF Silence of the
Image by Lori Glumac courtesy TeamWHR

Each day I was there (except Thursday, opening night), I saw three movies daily. My list was standard for me, everything from noir to Alfred Hitchcock, western, comedy to thrillers. Here is my list of movies I could attend during the festival: White Heat, Silence Of The Lambs, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, A Little Romance, North by Northwest, Footloose, Double Indemnity, The Searchers and Spaceballs. Those movies are just a slice of all the incredible films offered during the festival. I missed a ton due to overlap and needing more time to get to the screenings. Plus, you must remember to hydrate and eat during the festival! I ensured I had snacks while I waited in line for the movies.

2024 TCMFF Mel Brooks
Image by Lori Glumac courtesy TeamWHR

The last movie of the festival I saw was Spaceballs, Yes, you read that correctly. Although I own Spaceballs on DVD, I really had to see it on a big screen, with an audience to appreciate the film.

And to have its legendary director, Mel Brooks, introduce the film was an opportunity of a lifetime that I would not pass up. Spaceballs was just as hilarious as I remembered it when I first saw it years ago.

My time in Hollywood, Los Angeles was fun, and I plan to do it again. If you decide to attend the festival, try to stay as close as possible, as maneuvering around the venues will be much easier. Also, I advise buying the passes as soon as they go on sale! They sell out very quickly.

I hope you have enjoyed my recap of the TCM Film Festival 2024 and hope that you will attend in the future.

Click to visit and follow WormholeRiders News Agency on Twitter!Thanks to Kenn for video and image embedding for my Turner Classic Movies Film Festival feature article and many thanks to you for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency. I will be back in the near future with new analysis as Team WHR prepares for San Diego Comic-Con 2024!

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Until next time,

Regards,

Lori

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