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Loretta Young (#110 of 2)

My Favorite Film Festival of 2011: Alive and Well, In Love and War, at the TCM Classic Film Festival

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My Favorite Film Festival of 2011: Alive and Well, In Love and War, at the TCM Classic Film Festival
My Favorite Film Festival of 2011: Alive and Well, In Love and War, at the TCM Classic Film Festival

I suppose it’s inevitable that some of the bloom would have come off the rose that was last year’s first annual TCM Classic Film Festival. I am, after all, a year older, and the time spent in between the first festival and this year’s model has found life getting more complicated, with less room for the study of cinema, classic or not, than my selfish patterns would prefer. But just because I may be mired in a sophomore slump of sorts doesn’t mean that in 2011 the TCM Festival was equally bogged down. Familiarity hardly bred contempt this time around, or complacency. If anything, there was a certain comfort factor built into the festival for me this year, a feeling that, while not radiating the kind of freshman excitement generated by last year’s fun (and my own initiation into the rites of festival film-going), certainly resonated with the buzz of discovery, of learning, about films unfamiliar, and blessedly, seemingly genetically remembered, and even of the value of an adrenaline rush of straight-up nostalgia. Without a doubt, this 2011 edition was the film festival experience of the year for me.

Borzage/Capra: Man’s Castle and American Madness

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Borzage/Capra: Man’s Castle and American Madness
Borzage/Capra: Man’s Castle and American Madness

Film Forum’s double-feature of Man’s Castle and American Madness (playing February 7th, 8th, and 9th) offers an easy, quick way to watch two rarely-screened, hard-to-find 30s films in one sitting. It’s also a chance to contemplate two different kinds of emotional intensity from two very different believers in the power of overwhelming emotion: Borzage and Capra, Frank. To be blunt, we’re also dealing with two flawed films that make for an emotionally grueling double-feature, but it’s worth the effort.