Anne Marie here, reporting with a 30 share on Hollywood Blvd!
The 7th Annual TCM Film Fest ended on a high note this year with Network. Though a satire about network television may not seem like the first choice for a film festival sponsored by a teleivion network, nonetheless TCM rolled out the red carpet, not only for the movie, but also for Faye Dunaway. The Academy Award-winning legend introduced the movie by talking to TCM host Ben Mankiewicz about the work - her process, her co-workers, and her thoughts on television and film.
Dunaway started by describing just how many people told her not to take the role of Diane Christensen in Network. Hot off the success of Bonnie & Clyde and Chinatown, Dunaway had awards goodwill to burn. Even Network director Sideney Lumet told her not to take the role. However, Faye Dunaway went against Lumet's good advice, and starred in Network regardless. When Mankiewicz asked her why she'd risk her career to play such a heartless character, Dunaway replied, "This was too interesting an exploration of American culture not to do it."
Dunaway was effusive in her praise of her costars and crew. She called William Holden as a man with "crusty elegance," and amitted that she nicknamed Sidney Lumet Roller Skates because he delivered movies on time and under budget no matter what. When asked what it was like to win an Academy Award, Dunaway could only quip, "You forget to thank people you were supposed to thank."
While the dour tone of Network may not seem like your first choice for a TV film festival, nevertheless the film and its interview beforehand showed what TCMFF is all about. Over 4 days, TCM screened dozens of lost treasures from Hollywood and beyond, exposing the multiplicity that makes true cinephile. As Dunaway said before she was whisked away: TCM does crucial work for promoting classic cinema. And this definition of "classic" always evolves.