(an image from "Graft" starring Boris Karloff and Dorothy Revier)
Film/Video Curator David Filipi reports fresh off a visit to L.A. and Cinecon 42...
While the rest of America was grilling, pitching horseshoes, and cuddling up with Madden NFL '07, I spent Labor Day weekend attending Cinecon 42 in Los Angeles. Cinecon, like sister events Cinefest in Syracuse and Cinevent in Columbus, is an annual gathering of cinephiles featuring screenings of rare classic films and rooms filled with movie memorabilia. Cinecon has the decided advantage in location, situated right in the heart of downtown Hollywood. First, Pink's Hot Dog Stand ‚Äì where Orson Welles allegedly downed their delicious franks in the double digits on a regular basis ‚Äì is just minutes away from the convention hotel. More relevantly, screenings take place in the renovated Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. and attendees walk the same streets once trod by the likes of Chaplin, Bogart, Bette Davis and Crispin Glover (I actually saw him at a screening a few years ago) as they travel from their hotel to the Egyptian and back. Cinecon often goes the extra step by inviting stars and directors to introduce their decades old films (some personal favorites over the years include the now-late Budd Boetticher, the now-late Fay Wray, the now-late Stanley Kramer‚Ä¶you get the picture). And since it's in Los Angeles, Cinecon has easier access to prints from the major studios' vaults and newly-restored films from the UCLA and Academy archives.
Some of this year's personal favorites include: an early appearance by Boris Karloff in Graft (1931); Ozzie Nelson as a hipster band leader (you read that right) in Strictly in the Groove (1942); Frank Borzage's haunting B-thriller Moonrise (1948); and the charming (if a bit overlong) Rosalind Russell and Melvyn Douglas farce This Thing Called Love (1940).
If a day spent watching Turner Classic Movies leaves you wanting more, Syracuse's Cinefest takes place in March and Columbus's Cinevent takes place every year during Memorial Day weekend.
-- David Filipi, Curator, Film/Video