Revisiting movie “classics” that aren’t 1

Film
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It’s almost a dare. A film festival, in this case TCM Classic Film Festival 2014, which virtually took over Hollywood Boulevard for five days this past May, declares, in its title, its focus on movie “classics.” Nothing but “classics.” Really? Consider that perhaps a few of those “classics” are overrated. Then consider that some are ...

TCM Fest: The rise and rise of digital restoration 1

Film
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Last weekend’s unveiling of seven digital restorations (five of them world premieres) at the fifth annual TCM Classic Film Festival came at an interesting moment. I saw four of them, and had previously seen a fifth, Hitchcock’s half-silent/half-sound 1929 “The Lodger,” at LACMA’s “Hitchcock 9” program. It was impossible to see all of them due ...

Four actors and “The Heiress”

Film
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Because so much of the programming for TCM Classic Film Festival 2014 focuses on Classical Hollywood, any given day of viewing during the four-day event (suitably enough, located on Hollywood Blvd., with the Chinese Theatre complex as epicenter) is an immersion in acting. Champions of auteurism argue that the story of Hollywood studio movies from ...

A keeper: Quincy Jones photo-portrait for TCM Fest

Film · Music · Visual arts
At arts·meme, we like it when art begets art. That’s why we respond so positively to photographer Stefanie Keenan’s outstanding photo-portrait of an artist — Quincy Jones — that came across the transom from Turner Classic Movies this morning. The prodigious Jones gave a fascinating, free-wheeling interview to movie (and jazz) maven Leonard Maltin at ...

George & Shirley now … and then

Film
A pair of good-looking legendary actors trod the red carpet at TCM Classic Film Festival 2014.’s gala opening Thursday night. The occasion was a warm tribute for actress/singer Shirley Jones, honored at a screening of her debut movie, OKLAHOMA! (1955), recently restored. TCM host Robert Osborne interviewed the always-charming Jones before an invitation-only audience. Jones ...

Our critic’s game plan for TCM Fest 2014

Film
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Ramping up for the opening night of TCM Fest, we heard from our intrepid film critic Robert Koehler, who plans his festival as follows: I’m putting an emphasis on the world premiere restorations.The festival happens to slotting a few of these directly opposite each other on Saturday, when the vast majority of them are screening. ...

James Mitchell, who danced “Dream Curly” in OKLAHOMA! 1

Dance · Film
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We just lost Marc Platt, his strong dancer’s heart finally giving way, at age 100, on March 29, 2014. Platt originated the role of “Dream Curly,” a dancing doppleganger to the dramatic actor who plays the same role — the dancer picks up the plot line in choreographer Agnes deMille’s acclaimed “dream ballet” sequence created ...

Dueling divas on Hollywood Blvd: Divine vs. Shirley Jones

Film
Can’t make it to TCM Fest 2014 opener, screening “Oklahoma”? Got sold out? Then trundle across Hollywood Boulevard to where the real party people will be celebrating the DVD release of “I am Divine,” sub-titled, “The True Story of the Most Beautiful Woman in the World.” Docu concerns the great drag-queen actor, otherwise known as ...

‘Oklahoma!”s dream ballet described by its creator, Agnes deMille

Dance · Film

“Oklahoma!” choreographer, Agnes deMille, appreciated 2

Dance · Film · Theater
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TCM Classic Film Festival 2014 opens Thursday April 10, 2014, with a screening of “Oklahoma!” at Grauman’s TCL Chinese Theatre. Shirley Jones, the film’s star, will be honored. Let’s learn about “Oklahoma!”‘s great choreographer who transferred groundbreaking stage choreography to the screen in 1955. AGNES (George) deMILLE b. Harlem, New York, Sept 18, 1905 d. ...