FILMEX!

In 1971 Los Angeles became host to its own hometown film festival called Filmex. When I was a kid growing up in LA the posters hung around town in advance of Filmex were, to me, like announcements that the circus was coming to town (even though I didn’t care for the circus…but you know what I’m saying). The festival was non-competitive and featured premieres of new films as well as restorations of old ones–in that pre-TCM time that demonstration of love for old Hollywood cinema was new and fresh and the restorations were a revelation since old movies were then only available in chopped-up versions on local TV or on execrable prints shown at stinky (but charming) revival houses around town. ‘Hollywood Royalty’ would make appearences–the festival was in LA after all–and on one memorable evening we went to see ‘Family Plot’, intro’d by Hitchcock himself. In 1981 the festival morphed into the year-round American Cinematheque and the ‘event’ status of Filmex was gone forever. Above is a trailer announcing the 1972 festival. By the way, FILMEX stood for FILM EXPOSITION which I always read as a double entendre, celebrating the narrative drive of all great cinema. But maybe I was just a wise-ass kid who thought too much about this stuff and really should have gotten out of the house more.

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