Columnist sees recent TCM classic film festival as a model to emulate
LOS ANGELES, CA — Blog writer Steven Zeitchik sees the recent TCM film festival as more than just a retrospective of great films of the past; he thinks that it may serve as a model of how to present cinematic gems on a regular basis in the future all over the country by creating and event-like atmosphere around great films paired with a live element.
The reason it all worked was because the festival took something that’s part of our pop-culture canon and made it fresh. In some cases, these screenings were simply a way of introducing a piece of art or entertainment to a new generation with the extra flourish of a large-scale screening; in other cases, they added something specific to our understanding of the work. (“L.A. Confidential” director Curtis Hanson, for instance, introduced “In a Lonely Place.” Who better to talk about the history of noir than someone who’s made the best modern example of the form?)
The movie business often frets about the relevance of film-going in the YouTube age, when entertainment is disposable, portable and inexpensive to view (read: typically costs nothing). Hollywood has been intent on trying to compete with these many out-of-theater experiences by mounting ever larger spectacles — see under: the 3-D revolution, a particular hobbyhorse for us and others these days. And theater owners, eager for anything that will give them a leg up or stave off obsolescence, have gone along, sometimes grudgingly, sometimes enthusiastically.
But the entertainment world, as it often does, offers another way. And the TCM festival shows us what that way might be — namely, creating a buzz around a screening of a previously released film.
The full article is in the L.A. Times.