TCMFF 2019: Day 3 for the Classic Film Fan
Day three of the TCMFF 2019 started very well for me. Although I arrived from Riverside too late to catch one of the morning screenings, I was able to spend some quality in the TCM Boutique. If you've ever been to a TCM Boutique you know what I mean. If you haven't then you should know that it is a wonderful experience to roam about the the temporary "pop-up" shop located in a large section of the Sweet! Candy Store at Hollywood & Highland. It's just downstairs from the Chinese 6 movie theater. This year the display is particularly impressive, with an abundant array of TCM merchandise ranging from apparel, to books, to souvenirs, and a variety of so many items I just can't list them all here.
I spent so much time in the shop that I completely lost track of time, and almost forgot about meeting up with some of the students from my history of cinema class, driving out from Riverside, sixty miles West of Hollywood, in order to experience the festival for the first time. Although I had left some single entry tickets for them at the Loews main lobby, the Chinese 6 ticket counter, and the Egyptian box office, I had hoped to see them before the early afternoon screenings. As it turns out I did meet up with them, but only after they had missed getting into Sleepless in Seattle and were too late to get into anything else. I then recommended Working Girl since it was in the IMAX Theatre and there was little doubt they would get in. So, off they went to enjoy what to them was a very old film. As it turned out, they enjoyed it more than thought they would. I was very relieved to hear that my choice to the young millennials was a success.
After that I had high hopes for my Saturday, but was sidelined by another group of my students. They wanted to see Star Wars: A New Hope (can you imagine that they had never seen it?). But as it turned out, they hadn't given themselves enough time to get into the standby line early, so I stood in their place until they arrived. It was screening in the largest theater of the fest so it was very likely they would get in, but I wanted to be sure. After all, I can't imagine a better way to see the first Star Wars film for the first time than on the huge screen of the Chinese IMAX. I did chat with a few people in line, and even held their places while they ran off to get something to eat. All of them had never purchased a Festival Pass, but instead to risk going standby year after year. I am amazed with the dedication of this kind of festival movie-goer. NOt only do they take the risk of not getting into a film, but the amount of time they have to stand in line before even getting a standby ticket is very consuming. I couldn't do it. Finally, the second round of my students made it the nick of time and ultimately reported that they were amazed by the film and couldn't praise it enough. I was so very pleased to hear that. Every year it's my hope to introduce students to great cinema, and once again that goal had been fulfilled. It was a very satisfying feeling.
And that was my Saturday at the 2019 TCMFF. I didn't see a single film, but it was eventful experience all the same.