Once again, it is that time of the year where we focus on classic film in honor of the TCM Classic Film Festival, which has been hitting Hollywood, California in a big way every Spring since 2010. (Incidentally, I’m proud to say that our own Horrible Imaginings Film Festival shares its birth year with TCM Classic Film Festival–what amazing company!) As a film fanatic with a keen interest in film history, the TCM Classic Film Festival is an almost religious experience, and every year I decide to give the pure horror aspects of the podcast a break in favor of reflecting on the unique experiences afforded at this festival. The beautiful thing is that the programming there is so varied that I do always get to praise some of their obscure or cult film choices.
And speaking of obscure choices, that is what I decided my main focus would be–the hidden gems of the TCM Classic Film Festival, particularly the “Discovery” films and the little-known films that get shown in the smallest of the venues at the festival: the Chinese multiplex’s House Four. Many of us at the festival call House Four our regular home, and I got another House Four regular to discuss this year’s festival with me. He has been on the podcast many times, and he probably needs no introduction for many of you. His blog Cinematically Insane is a staple for #OldMovieWeirdos everywhere–I speak of course of Will McKinley. Together we discuss:
1. The role that traditional 35mm film formats play at the festival, and the role we would like it to keep playing
2. What is House Four, and what kinds of films show there
3. What are the “Discovery” films?
4. What films had the greatest impact on us
5. Why choose obscure films
6. The challenges and brilliance of creating the TCMFF program
7. The differences between preservation and restoration
8. What makes a good restoration
9. Film love vs. Film snobbery
10. What some people misunderstand about TCM, and how we set them straight
11. The Vitaphone 90th Anniversary presentation
12. The midnight movies (Roar and Gog in 3D with a new restoration)
13. What kinds of movies we hope to see in the future
14. The new TCM Backlot Fan Club
So much great content in this episode. I am extremely proud of it, but really how could we not have so much to talk about after TCM put on such a memorable event? Again? As an added bonus, here are pictures of the amazing projector rig especially built to project a rare 16mm print of a Taiwanese martial arts film during the San Diego Asian Film Fest’s Spring Showcase, as discussed in the episode:
Also, as promised in the episode, here is the Vitaphone short of Shaw and Lee’s Vaudeville act “The Beau Brummels.” Hilarious!