Congtatulations and thanks to Mohsen and Stefanie for once again opening up their home to a bunch of hungry movie buffs. Mohsen stood out in the snow grilling beef, pork, and lamb in about five varieties and cuts, and the salads spread proud on bok chow were to die for. We were all treated like diners at a five star restaurant as our hosts bustled about showering us with fresh citrus brought in yesterday by them from California, and countless Iranian deserts; my favorite being the Iranian cake with the whipped cream spiraled up into it.
Just traveling to the party was like living in a National Geographic special on the ice and snow blizzard in the Northwest for early January 2007. My wife, Melva, is from Texas, and she hates driving on ice; a sentiment I share with her by the way. We called earlier and were assured that the streets were passible. The freeways were clear, but the various hills and streets of lower hilltop Tacoma were nearly a solid sheet of ice. There were tufts of hair yanked out and lots of fussing exchanged before we wedged out Toyota Camary Hybrid up into the 6″ of snow along the curb in front of Mohsen’s two-story historical mansion. It is a grand old house, and he is enjoying (or so he says) doing all the remodeling and upgrading himself. Mohsen, my friend, you being a chef, successful businessman, and photo journalist among several other accomplishments, did you have to add carpenter and contractor to the mix? It makes we mere mortals seem so damned inadequate.
Ron and Marilyn, just returned from the fabulous Palm Springs Film Festival carried their 80 pages festival “book”, and they were overwhelmed by the magnitude and scope of the festival itself. It is really becoming a big deal these days. I saw several snippets of it on Access Hollywood the other night, and the enthusiastic crowds looked like pure Cannes. They nearly hurt themselves attending 12 film screening in 5 days. Ah, the envy we all felt! They said the only stinker in the bunch was the new David Lynch film, which was triple boring and 3 hours long. Ron is planning on giving us the juicy particulars here on the site soon, so I will not bore you with more second and third hand musings.
Mohsen was kind enough to take my very rare VHS copy of Gary Cooper in THE HANGING TREE (1959), and figure out a way technically to burn a DVD copy of it for himself and for me! Thanks for all the hard work, sir. I love Mohsen’s dedication to hunting down his all-time favorite Westerns. Another lost film is Glenn Ford in THE SHEEPMAN. It has never been officially released on video, so the copies that are out there are taken off of cable, using off TNT or TBS, and the film is cut up with commercials. He said last night that he had run down a copy of THE SHEEPMAN somewhere. Some individual got a preview, not for sale, video of it from MGM before Ted Turner bought our the entire film canon. Another lost film for him was a late 40’s movie called THE SOLDIER AND THE LADY. He remembered seeing it as a child in Iran in the early 50’s, and he thought it was a Russian film. Turned out that it was a Hollywood film, a remake of a German film a few years before. David G. was musing wise over in the corner when Mohsen mentioned a John Voight film he loved called RUNAWAY TRAIN. David mentioned that it was based on a screenplay by Akira Kurosawa. We all sat in disbelief until Mohsen drug out the DVD and there was Kurosawa’s name on it. This is a very powerful film for those of you who haven’t seen it. David loaned me a rare pre-release copy of a new Canadian film, A SIMPLE CURVE, which was filmed up in British Columbia. I am looking forward to watching it and putting the results here on the site.
I, for one, am very proud of what the TFC is morphing into –a club, a group of hardy film buffs who not only love films but each other. In 2006 we had several more “special events” than ever before. Sue Pivetta threw a whopper of a Summer TFC picnic, and a wonderful Christmas party. The Boothes threw their annual Fourth of July bash. We have managed to have a special event screening of at least one of the Producer’s Picks almost every month. Sue had one in her home. Mohsen and Stefanie hosted another one. David and Susan have had several “unofficial” screenings at their home. David and Roger have been busy too, setting up screenings at two different local churchs. And now thanks to Chico, with follow up by David and Mohsen, we have an arrangement with WINE STYLES on Pearl Street, where we can watch our films of their high tech 12 foot screen in Dobly stereo. For those of you who read this, please consider attending the TFC screening of Miyazaki’s HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE for tonight, Saturday, January 13, 2007. The film starts at 7pm, but the members should arrive early in order to order goodies and pick seats.
So 2007 has dawned, coming in like a Thailand tiger, and the Tacoma Film Club has reared up to meet in head on. We will all endeavor to make this year, now the fourth year of the Club’s history, into the “very best year yet”! My son-in-law, Joel, is busy today, making up our new Membership cards. I will bring them to the meeting next Wednesday, January 17th. See you around gang.