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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

The Holidays Are Near and So is the TCMFF

With the Holidays upon us I can’t help think of the people who will receive the gift that keeps on giving - a pass to the 2016 TCMFF. Even though it’s five months away, visions of silver screens dance in the heads of classic film fans. And a pass is just the gift many are hoping for this season.

If you’re close to a classic film fan and you’re wondering what to get them for a gift this holiday season I have an easy answer. It’s not an inexpensive answer, but is an easy one: a pass to the 2016 Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival. Boom, you’re done. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if you get your loved one a pass to this oasis of cinematic splendor then you’re likely good as far as presents go for all occasions for a whole year. This is not just due to the price, although the cost may place the purchase of such a gift beyond the reach of the average gift giver. No, the gratitude will be so extreme because you will have provided a classic film fanatic the one thing they’ve always dreamed of, and that is to watch as many old movies as they possibly can within a four day period without interruption, surrounded by others who understand their desire to bask in the glow of the silver screen’s reflection while staying in the heart Hollywood; the mecca for classic movie fans.

These platitudes may sound like a lot for one festival to offer, but any one who’s ever attended the TCMFF will tell you that what I say is NOT hyperbola. Indeed, a pass to the TCMFF meets all promises and more. Beyond the access one has to a huge offering of movies to watch, one has the experience of simply being at the festival. I’m not saying that the streets are paved in gold and servants wait at your beck and call to feed you grapes, but what one experiences comes darn close to that sense of luxury. It’s the luxury one feels when completely enveloped by one’s passion. And the fans that enjoy TCM are nothing if not passionate about old movies and everything about them including special gust appearances, expert lecturers, notable historians and stars, stars, stars! I’m not talking about Angelina Jolie and George Clooney, but the kind of stars that made the Golden Age of Hollywood golden and required the development of widescreen in order to hold the capacity of their mesmerizing personalities.

Honestly, being at the festival is like being wrapped up in a classic film blanket as you cuddle by the fire of yesteryear’s glitz and mingle with others who admire the comfort and glow of the magical atmosphere as much as you do. And that last bit is a very key point, because the people who attend the TCMFF have as much to do with the success of the festival as the programming. I can honestly say that I have never experienced such a camaraderie of spirit at any other film festival like that of the TCMFF. The people I meet in line, at screenings and on Hollywood Boulevard immediately accept one another like old chums at a reunion. Of course, each successive year is just that - a reunion of dear friends old and new, who look forward to seeing each other on and off the screen.

So, if I’ve convinced you of the merits of giving the gift of cinema to the classic movie fan in your life, may I offer some purchasing advice. First, don’t shell out for the top tier ticket unless you’ve got money to burn. The difference is just a red carpet experience, an additional screening with stars in attendance and an opening night party. Second, make sure the accommodations are near but don’t bother with top notch there either - no one spends much time in their room. And finally, get other friends and family to pitch in on the gift. Maybe someone can “sponsor” a few meals (which are inexpensive because they’re always on the go), another can give a night of shelter and another one leg of the travel. The pass itself can be fractioned off into days, or even by movie. The next thing you know you’ll have what you need to make the recipient of your gift extremely happy for months to come. In fact, they’re likely to be thrilled with the gift for years as they reminisce time and again about the wonderful experience they had thanks to you. And isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

I hope to see your loved one at the festival.

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