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  • Carrie Specht

Turner Classic Movies Returns for 11th Annual Classic Film Festival April 2020


Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has announced that its Classic Film Festival (TCMFF) will return for its 11th consecutive year Thursday, April 16 – Sunday, April 19, 2020 in Hollywood, CA. Although this is expected news, it's still very reassuring for thousands of dedicated attendees, myself included. We can now rest assured that our own quirky tribe of movie fanatics will meet once again in the place we so adore.

Every year since 2010, movie lovers from around the world have descended upon a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard spanning less than half a mile located between the Roosevelt Hotel and the Egyptian Theatre. It's a true spectacle to behold as the already much visited intersection at Hollywood and Highland becomes a wash of movie lovers rushing back and forth to make the screening of one classic film or another. It makes me wonder if the addition of the criss cross crossing (it's in an "X" shape as well as the standard box) was added because of the foot traffic created by the TCMFF. It certainly has helped streamline the rush of people traveling back and forth, and cut down on the near misses of cars meeting pedestrians, since most attendees are more focused on screen times and less about safety (I saved one who was nearly run down by a car that ran a red light).

Other exciting news is the reveal of this year's theme. The first few years had no specific theme, sticking to categories of "programming listings". But that changed in 2012 when "Built by Design" was dubbed the focus of a large chunk of the schedule. The films associated with the theme covered architecture, Art Deco, and costumes. Subsequent years have also had themes, such as the following: "Travels in the Movies", "Families in the Movies", "History According to Hollywood", "Moving Pictures", "Comedy in the Movies", and "Powerful Words". And this year's theme is "Grand Illusions: Fantastic Worlds on Film". The concept behind the theme is to showcase films with fanciful stories. To quote, "From myths and magical creatures to ghostly encounters and travels through time, they will escape with fellow movie lovers to places that will ignite the imagination".

TCM is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network. It has always presented classic films, uncut and commercial-free. They have the largest film library in the world that spans the entire spectrum of film history. The Festival dives into this collection, searches through the collections of others, and strives to uncover lost films in order to devise the best schedule year after year. And TCM hosts Ben Mankiewicz, Alicia Malone, Dave Karger and Eddie Muller are always on hand to make insightful introductions before the screenings, often with interviews with special guests. The information on who is introducing what, with whom, and where can all be found on the festival's mobile app, which is an invaluable asset for traversing everything that's happening. I highly recommended for newcomers and veteran attendees alike.

Passes for the 2020 TCM Classic Film Festival will go on sale in November 2019. For more information, you can visit the official festival website at http://filmfestival.tcm.com.

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