Wednesday, May 14, 2014

TCM Film Festival 2014: or *piercing scream* IT'S MAUREEN O'HARA! Part II

Part I of festival coverage.

{Relatively quickly...two weeks. I don't want to quibble over slight variants.}

Anyway, we move into official day one (aka Thursday) of TCMFF.

Shameful side-note: It's rather hilarious, because my time at the festival feels so surreal and timeless, I'm actually having a small amount of trouble placing dates to moments. I am literally keeping track by photos of what I was wearing at the time.

One of the absolute highlights of the day was randomly seeing Ben Mankiewicz at the Roosevelt. Cut to us basically cowering in the shadows like idiots; forcing Casey to go say hello to him (she had met him the night before at a party); having his insanely cool wife take a photo of us; and then walking out into the world pretending he was our best friend (I'm not saying that I created nicknames for him that I obnoxiously annoyed everyone by insisting on using, but Manksy is a definitely a "thing" now).

 Sarah, Casey, Prince of TCM, Hermie the Elf, Nicole, and Kate.

I should probably go in a more chronological order.

The day started early...maybe. I don't actually remember waking up, but I do remember eating breakfast--which was strange, because this poor college student never eats before 11AM. However, it was food and it was free, so this poor college student knew what to do.

We then headed all super-chill over to the TCM bus tour; prominently displaying our TCM passes, of course. As we waited in the forecourt of the Chinese Theater, pondering such questions as why Steven Seagal has his footprints immortalized, we engaged in some conversations with fellow loiterers about the significance of color in Vertigo.

I also got to meet a couple of film bloggers, Raquel and Laura. This was insanely cool, but also incredibly crazy. People I've read online for years were suddenly just standing there, and I recognized them. And they were there. CRAZY TALK. It was awesome and you should check out both of their excellent coverage of the festival (bonus: Laura describes the Non-Fleshies me as being charming).

The classic Millie doesn't have control over her limbs and oh what we're taking a photo pose.

Anyway. The tour (a three hour tour. a three hour tour). It was cool. Although, apparently, I have very visible facial expressions (HONESTLY? WHO KNEW?!), and was called out several times. I was asked early in the tour by the guide to state my favorite movie. Panic was clearly rising. Kate aggressively (jokes. Kate is the gentlest person ever) whispered that I should say The Lost Weekend, so I did. Of course, officially, I want to retcon and say that there is an asterisk next to that title which connects to about 147 other films (also my favorites).

Phew! Now that that is cleared up. The tour was delightful, and gave me some Ralph Meeker in Kiss Me Deadly footage. Always an A+.

This was not pictured in the tour, but I don't like to go too many blog posts without including an angsty looking Ralph Meeker, so this is merely placed to fill a quota.

Also, I may have gotten a bit excited about being at the Bradbury Building. It has been featured in many great films. BUT, ALSO THE ARTIST WAS FILMED THERE. A REALLY IMPORTANT SYMBOLIC SHOT IN THE FILM AND JEAN DUJARDIN WAS THERE WITH ALL THE FRENCH PEOPLE. AND I WAS JUST REALLY MANIC.

I honestly don't know what's going on with my face here, but Jean Dujardin.

The rest of the tour was absolutely perf. Some of the places we went by just smelled like classic film. And, if I'm being completely honest, the entire time I was in LA, I pretended that I was merely living in an Adam-12 episode--so seeing the city really helped keep up the illusion. (Also, seeing Hollywood High made me feel like I was in a low-budget, 1950s juvenile delinquent movie. So many emotions.)

Oh, and we totally wandered around Union Station: looking not at all like tourists. WE WERE FILM NOIR FEMME FATALES. CAN'T YOU SEE?!

P.S. Sarah and I are jokes. 
P.P.S. I made a gif of it, so I don't know what that makes me.

I know we made it back to Hollywood Blvd eventually, because everything ends up back at the boulevard eventually (plot twist: it's purgatory).

We wandered about. Literally almost walked into Leonard Maltin (no control over her limbs Millie). Stumbled across the street and joined a crowd looking at the other side of the street at red carpet arrivals.

Before anything interesting happened, this happened.

What a joker. 
Unnecessary side-note: I saw a Jack Sparrow impersonator chatting with a "normal" Johnny Depp impersonator and it was a moment.

Then, the stars began to arrive. Can I just say that Margaret O'Brien is the coolest human ever. I have a desperate need to BE HER. She was rocking a blue strapless gown, blue lipstick, and stinkin' blue hair. SHE ALSO HAS A NOSE PIERCING. SHE IS THE COOLEST.

photo credit: TCM
 Look at her and George Chakiris barely containing their disdain for us unworthy peasants! 

Many other wonderful people arrived, as well. Including Kim Novak, who legitimately looked straight at us for thirty seconds, but I'll talk more about her when I get to that time she called me a member of her family. I did, however, text my mother about sighting Kim. Her reply: "OH MY GOODNESS! I just screamed so loud that Dad thought something was wrong!"

I do think it's important to talk about a special arrival. This limo pulled up and we were pretty wound up at that point. I was sure that it had to be Jerry Lewis, but we couldn't tell. We were staring through under the car at feet moving for at least two minutes--anticipation rising. The crowd we were surrounded by were clearly just your basic tourist, because they had no idea who anyone was but Alec Baldwin. We paid them no heed.

Slowly the limo pulled away; we felt like recipients on a home renovation show. My persona probably appeared to be closest to that of a rabies-inflicted animal. 

SUDDENLY THERE WAS A FLASH OF BRIGHT RED HAIR, THERE WAS SCREAMING, WE COULDN'T CONTROL OURSELVES. We involuntarily shouted Maureen's O'Hara's name like we were original flavor Beatles' fans. Random tourist lady asked who she was, I merely stated, "IT'S MAUREEN O'HARA." She replied, "Oh, cool." Before slowly backing away.

For perspective, this is all we saw (and this is the zoomed in version). But, oh my.

We then ended the night by meeting Ben "the Wiz" Mankiewicz, and generally skulking about the boulevard. We popped into our now favorite local grocery store, where my previous efforts to convince the NFs that I didn't eat the "Washington" kind of food they knew I ate were dashed by my purchase of a family sized block of tofu, organic brown rice cakes, and sliced smoked gouda cheese.

I was content. Life was good. I chatted with Kate about world issues and low-rated television programs until 3AM.

Tune in next time to hear ABOUT MOVIES. And adorable British directors, and Speechless Millie (tm), and being twenty feet away from someone who once directed Bradford Dillman in a movie.

P.S. Bonus photo of me standing on Deanna Durbin's star, next to my namesake Ray Milland's star, and generally not knowing what to do or how to feel!


Raquel Stecher said...

Manksy LOL! I love that photo of you all with Mankiewicz. I'm dying to hear this story about Kim Novak. My mom freaked out when I sent her a photo of Novak from the festival. Thanks for mentioning me! Meeting you and the non-fleshies was a major highlight of my trip.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Fantastic post. Loved it all, but got a huge chuckle out of this: "And, if I'm being completely honest, the entire time I was in LA, I pretended that I was merely living in an Adam-12 episode..."

Looking forward to more.

Sarah Mann said...


I was wondering if I should bring up the Hitchcock conspiracy theorist in my post but didn't know how to do it without a harsh blow. So I am thankful you covered it.

I can also totally vouch for the lack of limb control you have. The other day I remembered when you fell into a postcard stand even though you were standing PERFECTLY STILL to begin with! You cray but I love you.

DKoren said...

This post was exactly what I needed this morning! You guys are such wonderful goofs, and what a fantastic time you had! I love reading about your adventures, with all the asides that are making me laugh out loud. Love the lady backing away after you told her it was Maureen O'Hara. ROFL!

kate gabrielle said...

So many things.

a) I know I say this all the time but I seriously love your writing so much I just can't handle it. It's kind of like how I feel when I'm looking at my cats, I almost burst from the amount of adoration swelling in my heart.

b) Oh my gosh, I AM the basic tourist crowd who only got excited about Alec Baldwin. *Hands in Classic Film Fan badge and goes to stand in the corner in shame*

c) I'm so glad you wrote a lot about the bus tour because my memory of it is basically just casually sexist tour guide Mike now and everything else was overrode.

d. PURGATORY!! I died laughing reading this. I'm dead.

e. (ok, back, no longer dead) I totally forgot to post about this day on my blog and just skipped ahead to the official first day of the festival so now I need to go back and write about it but this was so good that anything I write (or ever will write for my whole life) will be inferior so I should really just do a post that says "See this post by Millie."


Anonymous said...

This is why I love your blog- the writing is brilliant :) You guys are all awesome. Love the photos. I have often found myself staring at Ray's handprints for long periods of time...don't know why. Can't wait to read your recap of the films you saw!


Simoa said...

Manksy and Prince of TCM tho.

you are such a treasure. can't wait to read more!

Aching Pine said...

Always good to read your blog, Millie. Keep up the good work, here and elsewhere.

-an old work friend

Anonymous said...

Hi Millie!
I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now and I just think you are one of the funniest people on the internet. You haven't really heard from me before, because I am intensely social media shy, but I would like to invite you to come look at my blog I know that is a really long address but I can't figure out how to give you a link. Anyway, my blog is all about vinyl records and the music on them. If you like my blog, I would love it if you could feature me on your blog. At any rate, please stop by and leave a comment.
Thank you!
Andi Sinatra

Anonymous said...

Hi Millie,
If you already got this comment, then disregard this one. But, I 'm going to give it to you again, in case it vanished into cyberspace. I've been reading your blog for a couple of years and I just think that you are the funniest person on the internet. You haven't really heard from me before, as I am intensely social media shy, but I would like to invite you to visit my blog, I know that is a long address, but I couldn't figure out how to send you a link. Anyway, the blog is all about vinyl records and the music on them. If you like it, I would love for you to feature me on your blog. At any rate, please stop by and leave a comment! I would love to say hi!
Thank you,
Andi Sinatra


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