By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 19, 2010 at 7:39AM
TCM’s first-ever Classic Film Festival launches April 22nd, running 50 classic films and wide-ranging panels over four days at three landmark venues--Grauman’s Chinese, the Egyptian and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
The fest kicks off with a screening of the newly restored George Cukor film A Star is Born (1954). Other highlights include gorgeous prints of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Mel Brooks' The Producers, which will be accompanied by a discussion with the triple threat writer/director/actor.
A special screening of Joan Crawford’s home movies will be hosted by grandson Casey LaLonde; effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull will host a VFX presentation; and two out of many panel discussions include The Knack of Finding the Right Actor and A Remake to Remember: Hollywood’s Love Affair with Updating Movie Classics. (I'm moderating one called Location, Location, Location.)
I'm also moderating a film book panel on the same weekend at the always bustling LAT Festival of Books on the UCLA campus. Both events were vying for some of the same film panelists: I had to exchange one Classic Film panel for another when it conflicted with my Fest of Books panel.