Star  power

Star power

Streisand, Fonda, Reynolds and Voight to attend TCM Classic Film Fest

By Carl Kozlowski 04/25/2013

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Packed with dozens of timeless movies matched with talks by stars, directors, critics and film historians, the TCM Classic Film Festival event has brought a much-needed sense of glamour to modern-day Hollywood.

Four days and nights of screenings kick off at 6:30 tonight with a red-carpet opening night screening of 1968’s “Funny Girl,” the musical comedy that garnered an Oscar for star Barbra Streisand, who will be headlining the festivities at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Those who can’t make it to that gala event will have plenty of other opportunities to see Hollywood’s biggest stars at their best. Along with “Funny Girl,” the festival includes a special tribute to Jane Fonda, during which the Oscar winner will place her handprints in cement in the Chinese Theatre courtyard before hosting a screening of “On Golden Pond,” the film she made with her father, Henry Fonda. The festival also offers premieres of restored versions of “The Great Escape,” “The General” and “Giant,” as well as an extremely rare screening of John Wayne’s 3D Western “Hondo.” In addition, there will be live orchestral accompaniment for “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” and a 75th birthday celebration of Bugs Bunny cartoons.

“We started in 2010, so there are a couple of remarkable things for a fest so young that we’re so excited about,” says Genevieve McGillicuddy, managing director for TCM Classic Film Festival and senior director of TCM Branding. “We’re a destination festival, meaning we attract an audience locally and from California, but the majority of attendees travel from across the US and all over the world, including Canada, Sweden, Norway, the UK, France, Australia and Argentina.”

Indeed, that global interest is yet another indication of the impact that the American film industry has had on the world stage. It also shows just how popular the TCM cable channel has become.

Among the special events drawing fans from all over are a reunion screening of the 1972 classic “Deliverance,” featuring director John Boorman and stars Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight. In addition, TCM host Bill Hader of “Saturday Night Live” will introduce “Shane,” one of his favorites, and many modern actors, including Debra Winger and Cybill Shepherd, will present their favorite movies.

“Eva Marie Saint (star of ‘On the Waterfront’ and ‘North by Northwest’) is someone who, on a personal level, TCM has done a number of terrific events discussing her career, but none was an extensive interview about her career,” says McGillicuddy. “But she’ll be doing an extended interview at the Avalon Theater, including stories of working with Marlon Brando and Cary Grant that will be recorded for a one-hour show on TCM next year, and she’ll appear at the screening of ‘On the Waterfront’ on Friday as well.”

The thousands of festival attendees come both for the chance to see classic films and an opportunity to enjoy some of Hollywood’s most historic theaters serving as host venues. This year marks the first time the fest will screen at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre, with the other main venues being the TCL Chinese Theatre and three of the six screens at the adjoining Chinese 6 theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Cinerama Dome.

“We’ll be doing a tribute to Jonathan Winters at ‘Mad World,’ since he was one of the stars and recently passed away,” says McGillicuddy. “Our guests will include Mickey Rooney, Carl Reiner and Harmon Kaplan and Barrie Chase from the movie, and on the other hand we’ll be honoring the career of Max von Sydow with Q&A screenings of ‘The Seventh Seal’ and ‘Three Days of the Condor,’ and a one-hour interview special for the network filmed with him at Club TCM.”

Club TCM, located in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel, is the festival’s hub for all the action outside the theaters. There, attendees can gather for numerous special live interview sessions between the network’s hosts and some of the top stars in attendance and enjoy lively parties each night after the screenings.

“The other unique thing about the festival is that it’s obvious we bring in classic film fans of all stripes and sometimes the fans are celebrities themselves,” says McGillicuddy. “There’s a blurry line between the people who make the movies and the people who love them, and there are all these different kinds of fans attending.” 

The TCM Classic Film Festival is tonight through Sunday at various venues in Hollywood. For prices and schedule information, visit filmfestival.tcm.com.

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