TCM Classic Film Festival: Spielberg and Zaslav on Saving Movies

Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson and Warner studio head David Zaslav emphasized the importance of preserving the films as history and memory.

Opening on the 14th TCM Classic Film Festival Not only did Hollywood bring out the glitzy 4D-remastered Howard Hawks classic western “Rio Bravo” – starring John Wayne, Dean Martin and 91-year-old Angie Dickinson – but two directors and board member of the Martin Scorsese Film Foundation, Steven . Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson. They praised Scorsese’s foresight and continued commitment to preserving and saving the original celluloid elements of classic films so that restorations like this one could take place.

“David and Warner Bros. have their own archivists, and they have titles they want to keep from the Warner Bros. archive,” Spielberg said of how the titles, nearly 1,000 since 1990, were selected. “And every studio has that, but we try to find movies that aren’t our favorite movies, but movies that tell a very unique story about this country and the people of this country, and not just this country, but us. experimental films, documentaries, saving 97 international films already. So this is something that’s not going to stop. And I just have to say that I’m very proud that Marty (Scorsese), we’re all very busy making our films, but 1990 , Marty put everything aside and said, ‘No, this is what we thought was important.’ This is what needs to be done.”

“It’s about keeping our jobs,” Anderson added. “But it also preserves our memories and helps preserve those memories so that when you want to revisit that moment when you walked into the theater, you can. We all want to hold on to our memories, but sometimes they fade away from us, but we can hold on to them by keeping them that way.”

Another power mogul on the opening night panel, moderated by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, was his boss, Warner Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who made a convincing case for his support of classic films, especially from his studio, which in 1959 made the “Rio Bravo” is now celebrating its 100th anniversary. “TCM is the history of our country,” he said, naming three Warner titles that had a decisive impact: the anti-KKK film “Black Legion,” “Confessions of a Nazi Spy” and “Gentleman’s Agreement.”

Zaslav would benefit from some positive PR following this week’s announcements that they will be switching to the revamped and rebranded Max streaming service, sending its company stock down on Wall Street. Public support for TCM and classic films won’t turn Warner Discovery’s fortunes around, but at least Zaslav appears to be on the side of the angels.

RIO BRAVO, John Wayne, Dean Martin, 1959

RIO BRAVO, John Wayne, Dean Martin, 1959

Courtesy of the Everett Collection

The opening night audience was packed with enthusiastic cinephiles, including Harry Warner’s granddaughter Cass and Previews by Hell contributor Allan Arkush she cheered for Dickinson, who playfully submitted to questions from Mankiewicz, who cited “this shared feeling, this sense of shared community that has only grown stronger in all of us over the last 14 years.”

At age 27, Dickinson beat a Hollywood ingenue audition competition with the help of comeback director Hawks. Practically the only woman in the production, did she hang out with the boys? “No,” he said. Wayne and Martin were too busy playing chess. While calling Wayne’s character John T. no one in the movie would ever call the huge western star John on set, he said. “We all called him Prince.”

Among the 100 events unfolding at the TCM Classic Film Festival next week, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh will screen “Oceans 11” at the Warners celebration on Friday, which features ten studio films including “Casablanca,” “East of Eden” and “The Music Man.” “. Other celebrity hosts include Dana Delany (presenting RKO’s “Fireball”) and TCM host Alicia Malone.

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