This year, TCMFF fell during the last week of classes, which was nice because I didn’t have to feel bad about skipping anything, unlike some years past! Of course, all my final papers are coming due next week, and I should definitely be working on those right now. So, you know what that means: Here’s a TCMFF recap post!

I tried this format last year and liked how it turned out—and it required relatively little from my cinema-addled brain as a first attempt at parsing meaning and patterns from the last four days.


Decades

Overall, the festival reflects an expected skew towards pre-1970 “classic” films, mainly concentrated in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. This year’s festival did include some “new classics” from the 1980s and 1990s, as well as a couple of new documentaries about the classic film era that accounted for the entries from our present decade.

1920s: 2

1930s: 16

1940s: 17

1950s: 17

1960s: 14

1970s: 10

1980s: 4

1990s: 1

2000s: 0

2010s: 2

However, my distribution of decades in the films I saw is, completely unintentionally, the most pleasing thing EVER:

1930s: 5

1940s: 4

1950s: 3

1960s: 2

1970s: 1

Check that sequence!!! Definitely would have messed it up somehow if I had actually tried to do it.

The earliest film I saw was Girls About Town (1931), and the single 1970s entry was The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974).

https://twitter.com/vintagecameos/status/990675298805940225


Formats

I’m pretty sure somebody who cares slightly more than me has already gone through and catalogued the distribution of formats across the festival as a whole. And as much as it would pain my film archiving professor to hear, I chose most of my screenings based on either the titles themselves or the guests. So, I ended up just about evenly split between film and digital:

35mm: 7 (including one on nitrate—Leave Her to Heaven)

Digital: 8


Theaters

My other big factor in choosing screenings was theaters. I felt much more energized throughout this festival, and I think a big part of that was limiting the number of times I ran back and forth down and across and around Hollywood Blvd. This also made me think a little more out-of-the-box in my choices, instead of always going with the obvious (for me) theoretical selection, based on the films alone.

My House 6 count bumped up dramatically on Friday, when I saw three films back-to-back-to-back in the same theater, with the same seatmates, and almost the same seat every time.

Multiplex #1: 2

Multiplex #4: 3

Multiplex #6: 5

Egyptian: 4

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX: 1


More Numbers

Total films watched: 15

New-to-me films: 14 (!!)

Shortest film: 80 minutes (tie—Girls About Town and Blessed Event)

Longest film: 133 minutes (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Lowest queue number: 1 (Throne of Blood)—my first #1 in all my years of attending the festival!

Notable mentions:  5 for Leave Her to Heaven and 3 for Girls About Town

Highest queue number: 461 (Bullitt)—I think this may have been my highest number ever? This festival was a year of extremes indeed.

Gimlets consumed: 3 (The Library Bar, Pig and Whistle, and TCM Closing Party—though that last one might have more accurately been termed “just a cup of gin”)

Meals eaten with a real fork: 2

Amount of moisturizer I’ve applied after seeing Nancy Kwan looking unbelievably fabulous at 80 years old: All of it

Times I thought “Wait, how did they DO that?” during Throne of Blood: At least 4

The number that sequentially precedes the number on your queue card, according to some people returning to the line: ?????????

Times I was successfully able to print a #TCMFF photo: 0

Bruce Goldstein’s estimate of the length of Blessed Event in Manitoba and Saskatchewan after showing us how much they’d censored: 15 minutes

Times someone was audibly snoring during a film: 4

Gel pens I had to buy at Muji because I really, really needed them: 4 (0.38mm in black, turquoise, pink, and orange)

Times I drifted off during the 9am A Midsummer Night’s Dream screening only to awaken to something terrifying on screen: Infinite

Safe and happy travels, everyone! See you again next year.

2 Replies to “TCMFF 2018: By the Numbers

  1. Really enjoyed this, Emily — all the more as we shared many of the same viewing experiences this year! A fun read, thank you!

    Best wishes,
    Laura

    1. Yes, it was always a good sign for me when you were there! Hope to see you around again soon—hopefully before the next TCMFF :)

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