As the fear of coronavirus swept from China to the rest of the world and travel bans were put in place, many film festivals had to be postponed or cancelled, from BiFest in Bari, Italy (March 21-28), to Cannes in France (May 13-23), to Edinburgh in Scotland (June 17-28), to Munich in Germany (June 25-July 4). In the US some festivals will be held virtually. SXSW (South by Southwest) in Austin, Texas (March 13-22) teamed up with Amazon Prime to stream some films for ten days in late April. Tribeca in New York will take place online (April 15-26), streaming for its website.
The TCM Classic Film Festival is holding its first “home edition” from Thursday April 16 to Sunday April 19, with special programming on their streaming channel, on YouTube and social media. For ten years this dreamy event for film lovers had taken place in Hollywood at historic venues like the Egyptian and the Chinese Theaters. Read our 2019 coverage in Cultural Weekly. In 2020, the program includes silents like Bardelys The Magnificent (1926) by King Vidor with John Gilbert and Metropolis (1927) by Fritz Lang, pre-code movies like Red Headed Woman (1933) with Jean Harlow and Baby Face (1933) with Barbara Stanwyck, film noirs like Night and the City (1950) by Jules Dassin and They Live by Night (1948) by Nicholas Ray, A Star is Born (1954) by George Cukor with Judy Garland and James Mason.
Read all about the pre-code era in the book by Mark Vieira Forbidden Hollywood.
A unique feature of this festival has been live onstage conversations with legendary actors and directors. This year some of those will be shown again along with their movies. Peter O’Toole (2011) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962) by David Lean, Kim Novak (2012) and The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) by Otto Preminger, Eva Marie Saint (2014) and North by Northwest (1959) by Alfred Hitchcock, Faye Dunaway (2016) and Network (1976) directed by Sidney Lumet from a screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky. The Seventh Seal (1957) by Ingmar Bergman will be show as part of a 2013 tribute to Max von Sydow who passed away this year. Read what the actor said about working with his favorite director in this article from the Golden Globes website.
TCM host Ben Mankiewicz said, “This network lives because fans care about it so deeply.”
Featured image: Bardelys The Magnificent-John Gilbert, Eleanor Boardman