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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

TCMFF 2020 News: First Titles Announced - Passes On Sale 11/21

The time is finally here! The Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival (TCMFF) has announced the first pack of the 2020 Festival lineup. These films set the expectations for all the other film picks to follow, be they complimentary in tone, contrasting in style, matching in genre, or absolute standouts with no sense of rhyme or reason. The really important point is that the first round of films for the 2020 TCMFF have been announced, and that signals the countdown to opening night. And every subsequent announcement of added films, anticipated guests, and events brings devoted cineastes that much nearer to the greatly anticipated weekend. Let's Movie!

The 11th annual TCM celebration of classic cinema taking place at the TLC Chinese Theater will include the charming Cary Grant/David Niven/Loretta Young holiday feel-gooder, The Bishop's Wife (1947), Steven Spielberg's masterpiece Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), a 70th anniversary screening of Harvey (1950), Ray Harryhausen's special effects epic Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Frank Capra's utopian Lost Horizon (1937), a 40th anniversary presentation of Somewhere in Time (1980), a 60th anniversary presentation of The Time Machine (1960), and what may very well be the most beloved film of all time, The Wizard of Oz (1939). Each a terrific film, and ones that aught to be seen on the big screen in order to appreciate their true value. It's a golden opportunity to see films that were specifically made to be seen on the big screen, before ending up on TV, DVDs, or the Internet, and most certainly before the stagnating screen of a smart phone.

These inspired selections of fantasy, fables, and Sci/Fi perfectly reflect the central theme of the 2020 TCMFF, "Grand Illusions: Fantastic Worlds on Film", a wondrous journey to enchanted worlds and stories beyond belief. From myths and magical creatures to ghostly encounters and travels through time, for four days attendees can escape into the magical world of movies with fellow film fanatics who bask in the air, drink, and food of cinema. The TCMFF is their Comic-Con, it is their mecca. These people (my people) live to celebrate the multi-sensory pop-culture phenomenon, particularly when it is presented in a darkened room with as many strangers as possible. Heaven.

Personally, I am very pleased about the designation of a far more specific theme than ones of past festivals. For example, a previous year focused on "comedy", which is vague and very broad reaching. After all, many films can be considered a comedy since the description covers a lot of ground from slapstick to lighthearted, and from farce to the darkest of "black" comedy. But Sci/Fi and Fantasy have a far more limited field of vision, presenting a true challenge for the festival's programers in their quest to fulfill the perimeters of the theme. Ideally, a theme guides the organization of films attendees will find intriguing, and should include both the films they know by heart, and those they would otherwise not see on a big screen if they ever saw them at all. It's a tricky achievement, especially as the years go by and the presentation of a new concept becomes more difficult. But some how TCM accomplishes the impossible year after year... at least so far. I, like many others, will be chomping at the bit to see just how they manage to pull it off this year.

TCM has announced that passes for the 11th annual TCM Classic Film Festival (TCMFF) in Hollywood will go on sale to the general public at 12pm/noon (ET) on November 21, 2019. And, for the eighth consecutive year, Turner Classic Movies and Citi®, Official Card of the TCM Classic Film Festival, are pleased to announce a limited quantity of Festival passes available for advance purchase by Citi® cardmembers. The online-only pre-sale is available exclusively through from 10am (ET) Tuesday, November 19 until 10am (ET) Thursday, November 21, 2019. As pass quantities for this exclusive pre-sale are limited, we encourage Citi® cardmembers to act quickly to purchase their passes.

There are four levels of Festival Passes: The Spotlight, The Essential, The Classic and The Palace. There's a price level for everyone, including for those who prefer to go standby, one film at a time. But supplies are limited, so don't wait. I mean you seriously shouldn't wait as passes have sold out in the past. It would be a shame to miss out on event that is sure to be the highlight of your classic film year.


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