As the events of the Turner Classic Movies 8th annual film festival strolled on, the abundance of appreciation for the pictures being honored and paid tribute to, were mounting on pedestals draped in ivory fascinations and cream colored ideals.
The prestigious Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre played glorious 35mm film prints of Pre-Code pictures from the 1930s, while the Grauman Chinese IMAX screened the bigger titles ranging from The Graduate to Saturday Night Fever. Directors like John Badham, to Peter Bogdonavich showed up for their pictures, catering to the fans appetites for celebrity and proximity, while film historians and theorists gave presentations on their preferred films from the early years of the industry.
Neither as crowded, nor disorganized as was experienced in previous years, it seems everybody was able to experience exactly as they pleased. The guests, in addition to the nitrate film projection, provided a host of great moments. Patrons were treated to wonderful Q&As from Keir Dullea, Leonard Maltin, Beau Bridges, the effervescent Lee Grant, and a very welcome appearance by Genevieve Bujold. Dullea, who gives a marvelous and powerhouse performance in Frank Perry’s David and Lisa was still still graceful and youthful in appearance as he talked about the dedication and appreciation that came with his breakthrough role.
Likewise, Beau Bridges, came to discuss a few of his movies, particularly The Landlord, ready to address the counter cultural issues of which the film was born. And in the midst, there was Genevieve Bujold, who showed up to the delight of a sold out screening for the 1966 Philipe De Broca picture, King of Hearts, giving anecdotes on political themes, how they are still relevant, and what it was like working with great actors.
Though the day was filled to the brim with movies galore and many venues to choose from, the highlight of the day was at the Egyptian Theatre, for the nitrate print screening of Powell and Pressburger’s 1947 technicolor classic Black Narcissus. Audiences were treated to this ultra-rare presentation which boasted the glowing nitrate screen of Deborah Kerr and David Farrar hashing through sexual tensions in the Himalayas.
A beautiful picture, it is quite magnificent that the image has been preserved on nitrate for those lucky enough to see. Certainly something to be appreciated, and never taken for granted, this ended the third day of the festival, and definitely the most profound, as something truly to be appreciated.