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Thursday, April 1, 2010

North by Northwest



A couple of days ago, I had a random and fun night. Before that, I must tell you about something that occurred earlier in the year. There was a film festival in Chicago in the fall that I went to and I saw the newly restored North by Northwest on the big screen. Since I'm an insane Hitchcock fan, meaning that I will get into arguments with people if they say anything remotely negative about his films, I was ecstatic when I saw it. However, not so ecstatic that I was an obnoxious movie watcher, you know, the ones who loudly repeat the lines they know or laugh before the funny scenes are about to occur. Also, I'm in love with Cary Grant, so seeing him on the silver screen just made my entire week. Wow, was he gloriously handsome! Besides watching the film for the billionth time, I also got to listen to Martin Landau! He came for a Q&A session!



Martin told us all about how it was working with Hitch. He explained how prepared Hitch was with his movies and had rooms set up with storyboard layouts! He told us how he was brought from room to room to look at these storyboards and how incredible they were because they were of the entire movie. Martin was terribly funny because he would tell us conversations that he had with Hitch. He'd change his voice to indicate when Hitch was talking during the conversations. He did the accent and all and it was a pretty good impression! Especially when he said, "It's only a moooovie!"

After the Q&A, I decided that I would be brave and go meet Martin. Once I walked down there, I was feeling nervous because I wasn't sure if I was allowed to approach him. No one tried to stop me, so I just kept going. As I walked closer, I started to feel even more nervous because I hadn't realized how tall Martin was before! I'm pretty sure the man was about a foot taller than me and I didn't think he would be able to hear me or see me while he was walking! Well, I went to him and got his attention, I then introduced myself and shook his hand. He was a very nice man. Since he talked about Cary Grant a lot during the Q&A, I decided to ask him about how he prepared for his role as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. I secretly wanted to ask him to say my favorite line from the movie, but I decided against it. He said he'd have to talk to me for hours to explain all what he did to prepare for the role. He quickly went into how he had to move his face differently and then we got to talking about Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. He said that he's friends with both of them and sees them once in a while. He seemed to talk more about Johnny, so I think he's closer to him. We talked for a bit more and this other guy started to chat with us about Ed Wood. It was fun!


Now, to earlier this week. I was sulking a little because I heard that they were showing North by Northwest at a theater for the TCM film festival and that Eva Marie Saint and Robert Osborne were going to be there, but that all of the tickets had already been given away. Also, the day before, I saw on a tweet on TCM that said that the first five to re-tweet it would receive a VIP pass to meet them! I was the 7th person, so I lost. However, I decided that the next day, I would just go to the theater to see if I could somehow get inside. Maybe someone wouldn't show up or I would be able to see Eva Marie Saint and Robert Osborne entering the theater.

My mom was in town visiting and I talked her into going to the theater. We went to dinner beforehand and they had a special going on with free wine and appetizers. Also, she ended up getting a free ride on the train that we took to the theater because someone had extra. Once we got to the theater, I was feeling optimistic that we were going to get in. We asked a woman if there were any more seats open and she said that there were!!! I was so excited and my mom was excited because I was. We quickly went inside and found some seats.

As we were sitting, a little blonde woman walked down the middle aisle just as Robert Osborne was about to be brought up on the stage. Since everyone else was sitting, it was a little distracting. Then I realized, it was Eva Marie Saint! I nudged my mom and I'm like, "Mom! That's her! Right there!" She looked and others started to notice behind me. She then turned and walked back up the aisle. A lot of people didn't realize it was her at first! It was so funny once they did! They did double-takes and then stood up and clapped. She ended up sitting down by some fans and listened to Robert as he introduced himself and talked a bit about the TCM festival. Then, he introduced her, and she actually commented on how she tricked some of the fans when she walked to the front at first!

Robert and Eva were both awesome! Eva was hilarious. Robert asked her what she thinks of when she thinks about North by Northwest. Her reply, "Jumping into bed with Cary Grant... That's for Twitter!" She commented more on Cary, saying that he was very generous, kind, and beautiful. Of course, someone in the audience asked if he was a good kisser. Personally, I think that it's obvious that he's not good, he's insanely good! Come on, doesn't everyone think it's obvious?! It's still fun to hear about he he kissed though from someone who actually got to kiss him! She is so lucky! Eva said basically the same as me, Cary Grant was an insanely good kisser, of course, she didn't use the same words as I did. Instead, she decided to tell us a little story. She told us about how it was filming the kissing scene in the train and how it was choreographed to look like the train was moving. She remembered being nervous about something at first and then forgot all about it once he kissed her!

Like Martin Landau, she also commented on Hitch's storyboards for the movie, however, she said they were on little pieces of paper, like index cards. She said it was amazing to see because Hitch already had the entire film in his head. She recalled seeing the storyboards in New York at a museum and how crazy it was to see that Hitch really had followed all of the storyboards exactly as he had planned them from the beginning!

The entire Q&A session with both Robert Osborne and Eva Marie Saint was spectacular. I'll remember that for the rest of my life. My mom will, too. She doesn't like classic films like I do, but she did enjoy listening to those two.

4 comments:

ClassicFilmFan said...

"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Okay, that was not a very literate reaction, but it truly was the first thing I thought ;D

I mean 1) NBNW on a big screen 2) Martin Landau (Haha, even if I'm only reading it, I can just hear Hitch saying the "It's only a moooovie!") and meeting him 3) Being in a theatre with Robert Osborne and EVA MARIE SAINT. Wow. :D Sounds like she's a really funny and nice person! (And yes, lucky that she got to kiss Cary! (; )

ClassicFilmFan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trippy Trellis said...

I would have given anything to have been there! On September 5th, 1959, my sixteenth birthday, my parents took me to the Radio City Music Hall to see "North by Northwest". Thanks to "Rear Window" and "Vertigo", I was a huge fan of Hitchcock but those two films hadn't prepared me for the excitement, wit and glamor of this movie which immediately became my all time favorite Hitchcock. And I fell madly in love with Eva Marie Saint. Fifty years later I still adore the lovely Miss Saint and "North by Northwest" and "Notorious" are my all time favorites.

kallim said...

Trippy: "North by Northwest" is my 4th favorite Hitchcock. I agree that it is more exciting than the others though. Cary Grant was so suave in the film! Well, he is in all of them, but I never knew that a man could look so good without ever changing his outfit!

"Rear Window," "Notorious," and "Shadow of a Doubt" are my top 3. Of course, the ratings sometimes change due to my mood.

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