I don't know what the weather is like where you you are, but here in the aggressively sunny, and dry, and brown-baked paradise that is Southern California it is, shall we say, unpleasantly warm. This is not the cheery picture of the SoCal lifestyle our civic leaders would like us to promote-- no images of bare-cheeked Coppertone kids frolicking on miles of unspoiled, sun-splashed beach, no peachy pictures of teens cruising with the top down, the summer breeze mussing their Brylcreem and Aqua-Net-sculptured hairdos, shall be propagated from this site. No, sir, I'm here to tell you that Los Angeles in summer is a hell-like place to be, good only for seeking out air-conditioned spots like libraries, movie theaters and indoor swimming pools during the day, and the breezy, multi-colored beauty of sunset over the San Gabriels as seen from the top deck of Dodger Stadium at night.
It's also good for pasty-faced professors with lawsuit-worthy dental work to head to the basement laboratory (it's cooler down there, you see) and concoct more head-scratching challenges for you, the faithful SLIFR reader. And though the main faculty is off for the summer months (none of that multi-track nonsense at this institute of higher learning), some of our fine staff have stayed on in order to serve the student population who choose to indulge in some hopefully air-conditioned film studies, in full anticipation of returning to a full curriculum in the fall.
One such teacher is the man who is at the helm of this latest SLIFR quiz, head of the Department of Ineffable Chemistry and Star Quality at SLIFR U. He is the famous (some might say infamous, some might say simply disturbed) Professor Julius Kelp, whose Endless Summer Chemistry Test it is my pleasure now to present.
The rules are the same as they always have been-- that is, there are no rules, there are no "right answers," and the more verbiage you feel like pouring into the answers you submit the better. I always enjoy reading the most long-winded of responses, which shouldn't really surprise anyone familiar with my terse, hard-boiled, economical prose style.
The only thing I ask is that, when you do submit your answers, you remember to attach the question number and the question itself to the beginning of each of your responses. The quiz is long enough that it is sometimes hard to remember, especially for some of the more oblique answers, just what the question was.
As usual, I'll let this play out for a month or two, probably into September, and then come back and assess whether I'll have another nice, handy roundup of answers ready for you at the back end or whether we'll be staring down the barrel of yet another professorial cop-out. We shall see.
But for now, sharpen your number twos, prep your beakers and your Bunsen burners and roll out your element charts. The Professor Julius Kelp Endless Summer Chemistry test begins... now!
1) Does film best tell the truth (Godard) or tell lies (De Palma) at 24 frames per second? (Thanks, Peet)
2) Ideal pairing of actors/actresses to play on-screen siblings
3) Favorite special effects moment
4) Matt Damon or George Clooney?
5) What is the movie you’ve encouraged more people to see than any other?
6) Favorite film of 1934
7) Your favorite movie theater*
8) Jean Arthur or Irene Dunne?
9) Favorite film made for children
10) Favorite Martin Scorsese Movie
11) Favorite film about children
12) Favorite film of 1954
13) Favorite screenplay written by a writer more famous for literature than screenplays
14) Walter Matthau or Jack Lemmon?
15) Favorite character name
16) Favorite screenplay adapted from a work of great literature, either by the author himself or by someone else
17) Favorite film of 1974
18) Joan Severance or Shannon Tweed?
19) jackass: the movie-- yes or no?
20) Favorite John Cassavetes Movie
21) First R-rated movie you ever saw
22) Favorite X-rated film (remember that, while your answer may well be a famous or not-so-famous hard-core film, the "X" rating was once also a legitimate rating that did not necessarily connote pornography)
23) Best film of 1994
24) Describe a moment in a movie that made you weep
25) Ewan McGregor or Ewan Bremner?
26) One of your favorite line readings (not necessarily one of your favorite lines) from this or any year
27) What, if any, element in a film, upon your hearing of its inclusion beforehand, would most likely prejudice you against seeing that film or keeping an open mind about it?
28) Favorite Terry Gilliam Movie
29) Jean Smart or Annie Potts?
30) Is it possible to know with any certainty if you could like or love someone based partially on their taste in movies? If so, what film might be a potential relationship deal-breaker for you, or the one that might just seal that deal?
* This is a repeat from one of the first quizzes, but so many new folks are participating that Professor Kelp felt it might be fun to see what those who didn't get a crack at this question before might have to say.
May all the summer blockbusters you encounter be worth every penny and all the under-promoted titles you see shine with a brilliance that belies their relatively meager budgets. Good night, good luck, and God bless! (With apologies to Edward R. Skelton and Red Murrow)