Film fans will sometimes proclaim that a decades-old film is unusually "contemporary" or "modern." It's the kind of statement you hear in the bathroom at a vintage movie palace, after the credits roll, as your fellow film goers pick apart the plot and characters.
Timeless films aren't screened solely at vintage movie palaces, however; Turner Movie Classics keeps the celluloid stalwarts on constant rotation, every day of the week, on the widely viewed cable network.
But TCM blithely hops off the television, once a year, to throw a grand Tinseltown party, one lush with films and stars and fans and discussions on lighting and directors and musicals and sets vs. location shoots. It's the TCM Classsic Film Festival, and it is once again turning on the proverbial searchlights at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
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The dates? Be there from April 28 through May 1, 2016. The happenings? Look for a celebration for the 90th anniversary of the Vitaphone, an Academy conversation regarding the '50s-era "War of the Worlds," screenings of "Bambi" and "All the President's Men" and "Horse Feathers" and "The King and I," and a conversation with Elliot Gould.
Director Francis Ford Coppola will also enjoy a TCL Chinese Theatre handprints ceremony during the festival's run.
There are more conversations, like stars reminiscing about when they arrived in Hollywood, and some book signings and thematic talks are in the movie mix.
And look for loads of great, genre-influencing movies from all quarters. Choosing will be challenging for buffs of 1930s-to-'80s flicks. It's like a weeklong TCM schedule just popped off of your TV and landed on the big screens off Hollywood Boulevard.
So, what makes an older movie "so contemporary"? And what if we were to pay a similar compliment to newer flicks by calling them "nicely vintage"? If a modern feature offers snappy dialogue, fabulous acting, and a strong point-of-view, we could accurately compare it to some of the best films of a half century back.
For the full grid, and all the talks and Hollywood-filled hubbub, don your fedora and saunter over here.