"[T]he Turner Classic Movies Film Festival gets underway here in Hollywood, California (what other location would be more fitting?) tonight," writes Dennis Cozzalio in his big overview of the highlights, "and if it's as much of a success as the cable channel has been so far, then Los Angeles... may have found an annual film celebration for its very heart and soul. It's a perfect extension for the TCM mission — in the same way that the channel managed to fill the gap left by the absence of all those movies programmed to fill late-night local programming slots, bringing us greater delights than could have ever been imagined by even the most insomniac classic movie lover, it is now poised to make seeing the movies the way they were always meant to be experienced — on the big screen — a regular, integral part of how the channel brings the movies back to the audiences who always loved them, and also to a new generation who may show a surprising openness to being seduced by the silver nitrate and Technicolor sirens, singers, dancers and bad boys of classic Hollywood cinema."
"The festival opens at the venerable Grauman's with the premiere of Warner Bros' new digital restoration of the 1954 classic A Star Is Born, with Judy Garland and James Mason in the Oscar-nominated lead roles," notes Susan King in the Los Angeles Times, and the LA Weekly's Karina Longworth explains why, at the time, it was seen as "the money-grubbing movie-studio fuckup to end all money-grubbing movie-studio fuckups." The festival's on through the weekend. Update, 4/23: The Movie Morlocks are blogging from the festival. Update, 4/24: The IMDb is blogging the festival as well. Update, 4/25: Dennis Cozzalio's been snapping pix. Update, 4/26: Doug Cummings: "The highlight for me has been Elia Kazan's Wild River (1960), purportedly the first color film set in the Depression South." And: "Turner Classic Movies (TCM), which successfully staged its first TCM Classic Film Festival this past weekend in Hollywood, has given the go-ahead for a second edition of the festival, slated to take place in Spring 2011."
Tonight at the Red Vic Movie House in San Francisco: Celestial Navigations: The Short Films of Al Jarnow, with the animator on hand for Q's and A's. Michael Krimper for the Bay Guardian: "Jarnow's experimental shorts — handcrafted from cell-animation, stop-motion, painting, drawing, and photography — revel in the unending process of exploration and discovery."
And happy Earth Day, all. "After wowing us in the skies with Winged Migration, the two Jacques (Perrin and Cluzaud) are back to entice us to gaze in the opposite direction," writes Jeannette Catsoulis in the New York Times. "In Oceans, Disneynature's reconstitution of the 2009 French release Océans, the filmmakers venture in, on and around our seas to discover photogenic oddities and endangered wonders." More from Ed Gonzalez (Slant), Michelle Orange (Voice), Scott Tobias (NPR) and Kenneth Turan (LAT).
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