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  • Carrie Specht

TCMFF 2013 to Open with Funny Girl Restoration


A gala red carpet screening of the newly restored Funny Girl will open the fourth annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Passes are going fast for the four-day festival, coming to Hollywood April 25-28, 2013 so act fast and be sure to get yours now. Since its launch in 2010 the TCM Classic Film Festival has established itself as a destination event with 25,000 movie fans from around the globe enjoying more than a hundred screenings and events each year. As expected TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne will once again be the official host, with weekend emcee Ben Mankiewicz also introducing films and events throughout the festival. The entire elongated weekend centers around the grand old Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (the site of the first Oscars ceremony), which serves as a central gathering point for attendees.

For the past three years Turner Classic Movies has opened its Classic Film Festival with the world premiere of a brand new restoration of a beloved musical. The upcoming 2013 edition will be no exception as TCM presents Funny Girl in a bright new shinny light for its fourth-annual red carpet gala opening night. Of course Osborne will introduce the film (and any special guests who may show up) to a very appreciative and decked out crowd who have come to cherish the event as a kick off to the four-day, star-studded love letter to classic cinema.

In celebration of its 45th anniversary Funny Girl has been restored in 4K from the original camera negative by Sony Pictures (4K refers to a process that provides more detail and less pixel images than 1080p, delivering better looking images for larger screen sizes such as those in used at Grauman’s). The film stars a fresh-faced Barbra Streisand in her debut, Oscar-winning performance as the talented yet troubled Ziegfeld Follies comedienne Fanny Brice. A young and outrageously handsome Omar Sharif co-stars as the high-rolling entrepreneur who brings romance and worry into her life, while the venerable William Wyler (Ben-Hur, Roman Holiday) helmed the highly successful film. Adapted from the popular Broadway musical, Funny Girl features many memorable songs such as "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade," both of which became known as signature Streisand hits.

Naturally, the festival takes place in the heart of old tinsel town, April 25 through April 28, 2013 with most films screening at the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and its sister theater The Egyptian located just a few blocks away on Hollywood Boulevard. In addition to Funny Girl, the festival will feature the world premiere restorations of three perennial favorites including Buster Keaton’s 1926 silent Civil War comedy The General complete with a live accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra. There’s also George Steven’s sprawling adaptation of Edna Ferber's Texas saga Giant (featuring Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson), and the 50th anniversary restoration of a personal favorite film of mine, the action packed WWII suspense film, The Great Escape. Other exciting additions will be announced as opening day approaches.

Like many others I’ll be anxiously anticipating those announcements as opening day draws nearer to see how TCM adheres to the 2013 theme Cinematic Journeys: Travel in the Movies. Every year has had a general theme and it’s fun to see just how far that theme is stretched when organizers try to develop a corresponding schedule. TCM says the goal is to explore how movies can carry viewers beyond their hometowns to distant or imaginary locales via great storytelling. Therefore, I predict a lot of planes, trains, and automobiles and expect that in many cases it will be the trip itself that serves as the central narrative, such as in "road movies." With Hollywood as the starting point, TCM's cinematic excursion aspires to take attendees on a fascinating journey to worlds both familiar and new. Based on personal experience I have no doubt the festival will achieve this goal and leave fans eagerly awaiting TCMFF, 2014.

Passes for the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival are on sale now and available exclusively through the official festival website: http://www.tcm.com/festival. Information about the festival – including video and photos from past festivals – can be found at http://www.tcm.com/festival/ and for up to the minute updates you can connect with the TCM Classic Film Festival via Twitter @tcmfilmfest. Passes will be available in five levels, including an additional level added this year. The number of passes available is limited, especially for top-level “Spotlight” passes. The Passes are as follows: • The “Spotlight” Festival Pass: $1,599 – Includes all privileges available to “Classic” and “Essential” pass holders, priority entry to all events; plus entry to an exclusive opening-night party following the red-carpet gala screening at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre; meet-and-greet events with TCM friends, including Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz; and an official TCM Classic Film Festival poster signed by Osborne. • The “Essential” Festival Pass: $699 – Includes all privileges available to “Classic” pass holders, plus entry to the opening-night red-carpet gala screening at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and official TCM Classic Film Festival collectibles. • The “Classic” Festival Pass: $549 – Includes access to all film programs at festival venues Thursday, April 25 – Sunday, April 28 (does not include admittance to the opening-night red-carpet gala screening at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre or the opening-night party); access to all Club TCM events, panels and poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; an opening-night welcome reception at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; the closing-night event; and a commemorative festival program. • The “Matinee” Festival Pass: $349 – Includes access to all film programs starting prior to 6 p.m. (PT) at all festival venues Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28; admission to Club TCM events and panels at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel until 6 p.m. daily, Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28; and a commemorative festival program. • NEW PASS LEVEL: The “Palace” Festival Pass: $249 – Includes access to all screenings and events at Grauman's Chinese Theatre (excluding the opening-night red-carpet gala) and the Egyptian Theatre Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28 as well as a commemorative festival program.