Monday, December 04, 2006

PROFESSOR DAVE JENNINGS' MILTON-FREE, UNIVERSE-EXPANDING HOLIDAY MIDTERM



"It's not that Donald Sutherland's Professor Jennings is necessarily a great teacher, it's that amidst all the National Lampoon-style zaniness and goings-on of Animal House, he manages to embody a quintessential aspect of the college experience: the washed up artist trapped inside the dank, tangled world of academia. Two moments spring to mind. First is Jennings attempting to elicit some insight from his freshman students regarding Milton's Paradise Lost. When that's met with vintage freshman silence, he first grudgingly admits that Milton's boring, then exasperatedly yells, 'That doesn't excuse you from this material! I'm serious! This is my job!' The other is when he gets stoned with three students and confesses that teaching is just his day job while he's finishing the novel he started eight years ago. One student says that it must be very good; Jennings tells you his entire life story with the sentence, 'It's a piece of shit.' We like to think that if the world of Animal House were real and persistent, Jennings would still be working on his piece of shit."
— John Constantine and Peter Smith

************************************************************************************

Well, it seems the SLIFR University staff managed to finagle themselves a semester off, as there ended up not being a back-to-school autumn quiz to follow up Professor Julius Kelp’s Endless Summer Chemistry Test. But there need be no more worry—the newest addition to the faculty has come up with what I believe is the best, most comprehensive, most probing and, yes, most demanding quiz yet. I’m proud to introduce well-known literature professor David Jennings, here on loan from Faber College in Pennsylvania, who is taking a break from his regular teaching duties, and from wrestling with that novel (yes, he’s still wrestling with it 44 years later), in order to head up this new exam. Professor Jennings promises no references to John Milton, though he emphasizes he would not be averse to any answers that go so far as to address the possibility of the existence of alternate galaxies small enough to exist within a single molecule on the tip of one’s fingernail. And due to repercussions stemming from an ugly incident which occurred on the Faber College campus back in 1962 involving several students and members of the staffs of philosophy and metaphysical sciences departments, he would like the student body to know that he will not be making marijuana available to anyone taking this test, either for a price or as a gift. So now, with those potentially uncomfortable issues faced down, it’s time to sharpen your pencils (take your pencils out of your nose, Mr. Blutarsky, thank you) and submit yourself to Professor Dave Jennings’ Milton-Free, Universe-Expanding Holiday Midterm. Blue books open, and begin!

(Please remember, when answering the questions in the comments section, to copy and paste the questions as well. Thanks!)

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

(I cribbed this one from The House Next Door. Thanks, Matt! Great question!)

96 comments:

Flickhead said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
I’m writing about three Henry Jaglom films that just came out on DVD, and just watched New Year’s Day twice in a row, once as is, and once with the commentary.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
James Wong Howe goes back to the ‘20s, but a lot of his innovative work in the ‘50s and ‘60s still fascinates me, especially The Sweet Smell of Success and Seconds.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Ah, the funkier end of the 1970s. Joe Don was/is more of a character actor while Bo seems capable of a lot more. If only because he said, “Yo! Jimbo” to 007 in one of the recent Bond movies, I’ll go with Joe Don.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
Jack Nicholson at the typewriter, flanked by the burning Marlboro, in The Shining, barking ultimatums at Wendy. All I could think was, “Oh god, that’s me!

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Blake Edwards’ S.O.B., singing ‘Polly wolly doodle all the day.’

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
There are a few, but given the option of watching any one I’d have a toss-up between Rancho Notorious and While the City Sleeps.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
I was the camera observing my home life in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Clever!

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
Seeing Summer of ‘42 in ‘71 touched my young libido.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Jim Brown in Mars Attacks!.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Shampoo

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Provided we’ve got the correct size screen, I’d go with Anthony Mann’s The Fall of the Roman Empire with Nick Ray’s Bigger Than Life if just to see them in true Cinemascope.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
‘Flickhead,’ of course.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
I’m still recuperating from Matilda and Harry & Walter Go to New York, so give me Bogey.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
The Woman on Pier 13, a/k/a I Married a Communist.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
All two hours of Citizen Kane.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Only on acid.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Jerry Goldsmith’s Chinatown.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
F, marry or kill?

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
A movie? No, there are hundreds.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Oscar who?

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Dude! Showgirls, ‘natch.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Preserve time.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Peter denied my request for an autograph, so to hell with him.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
The old Universal with the biplane circling the globe.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
I use David Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film to lull myself to sleep at nights.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
I’m sure if I gave it more thought I could come up with something less predictable, but the twist in Vertigo always intrigued me, though I think Hitchcock made a mistake by keeping in the scene of Judy writing the explanatory letter to Scotty. Had that scene not been in the film, the viewer would have put the pieces together along with Stewart’s character.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
400 Blows.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
I know who Olivia is; Claire could walk by me on the street and I’d have no idea of who she is. So I’ll go with Olivia.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Seeing little Mike (Twin Peaks) Anderson walk down a Manhattan street, smoking a cigar bigger than his head, and holding hands with a gorgeous Amazon princess who must’ve been at least six feet tall.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Around the age of five when my mother told me who Alfred Hitchcock and Rouben Mamoulian were and what they did for a living.

andyhorbal said...

Be gone, ye workaday drudgery doledrums! For there is a new quiz to explore...

David Lowery said...

Egads! The question abuot the movie studio logo is in fact a post of my own that'll be coming up soon! Before I put it up, though, I'll be taking this quiz...for real, this time. For real and for true.

Brian said...

I love these exams, but I'm actually kinda glad there wasn't one for the fall semester. My fall was busy enough as is! Hope to get this one done soon...

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Brian-- I know exactly what you mean!

David-- I can't wait to see what your post will entail. I've got a guess, however, as to which logo is going to be the most popular pick for those who take this quiz... but I'm not going to say just yet.

Andy-- If only workaday drudgery were that easy to exorcise, there surely would have been a fall term quiz!

Flickhead-- You amaze me! And Jim Brown too! Thanks for being number one!

dave s said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

a: 'touristas' last night, because i love horror movies. it wasn't worth it.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

a: dean cundy. in 'halloween', not just the use of the widescreen frame, but the moment when, though the curtains, we see michael carry annie's dead body from the garage into the house, and again when michael emerges from complete darkness beind jamie lee curtis. i realise these are moments that were closely constructed with director john carpenter, but they are decidely a joint effort.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

a: bo svenson.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

a: in my favourite flick 'rear window' when killer raymond burr turns and looks directly at jimmy steart/the audience, and we know we've been spotted spying on him.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

a: 'singin' in the rain'.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

a: 'm'.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

a: not sure about first time, but the strongest i've felt that "that's me up there" was thora birch's character in 'ghost world'.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

a: molina, 'cause she worked with buñuel.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

a: 'the long day closes'.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

a: bruce jenner in 'can't stop the misic'.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

a: 'being there'.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

a: pam grier in 'coffy' and john water's 'desperate living'.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

a: the axe.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

a: bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

a: 'mary poppins'

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

a: 'the exorcist', when reagan lets out that gutteral howl that sounds like a thousand voices plunging off a cliff. woof.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

a: yes.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack
score.

a: i dunno...'halloween'?

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?.

a: fay wray.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

a: yes, 'forest gump' or 'love actually'.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

a: best opening credits, 'psycho'.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

a: 'the 4th man'.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

a: when they're on their game they captivate you and don't let you go, particularily in a theatre.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

a: finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

a: rko.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

a: 'hitchcock/truffaut'.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

a: 'psycho'.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

a: '400 blows'.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

a: olivia hussey.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

a: getting hershell gordon lewis's autograph. i asked him where connie mason was now (star of gordon's 'blood feast' and '2000 maniacs') and he answered, "back under the rock she crawled out from under."

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

a: when i got into brian de palma, sometime between the release of 'carrie' and 'the fury'.

David Lowery said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

I watched the feature I'm currently editing last night. Does that count? I saw it the night before last, too. And the night before that. Otherwise...Hmmm. I saw Bobcat Goldthwait's Sleeping Dogs Lie the other night, because...well, when was the last time you saw a romantic comedy about bestiality? It was okay, I suppose, although hardly as atypical as it might seem. The most memorable thing about it, unfortunately, is that the DV transfer to film was the worst I've ever seen.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Emmanuel Lubeszki will always get me in the theater (even for - pardon while I retch - Cat In The Hat). One could cite The New World or his collaborations with Alfonso Cuaron as his finest work, but I still have his one collaboration with Tim Burton, Sleepy Hollow, imprinted in the emulsion of my mind as a high point.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don Baker.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
The Departed finally clicked for me when that elevator door opened...I was pretty shocked. Also: the gush of fetus from womb in Fruit Chan's Dumplings elicited an audible gasp.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
The movies in general, or making movies? In answer to both, I'll go for two recent films that maybe aren't as predictable, and maybe, upon further thought, aren't my favorites, but which I think of often. The Dreamers, for equating cinephilia for teenage passion, and also for its elucidation of the lusty thrill of watching a film in the front row of the theater (so that the light hits your eyes first); and Tristram Shandy for conveying the surreal, chaotic magic of an all night film shoot.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
Metropolis.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
I know I wanted to recognize myself in all sorts of movies when I was a kid. Elliot in E.T., Pinnochio in Pinnochio. But the first genuinely reflective moment was probably when I saw Edward Scissorhands for the second time right after crossing the border into adolescence.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Uh oh. I could hop over to IMDB, find out who both of these women are and then come back here with a straight faced lie - but I won't.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
Even if it weren't so fresh in m mind, I don't think I could think of a better answer than A Prairie Home Companion. And on the personally nostalgic front, The Straight Story captures pretty beautifully the way in which bad memories can turn bittersweet with time.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Aimee Mullins in Cremaster 3.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Shampoo on most days.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Dead Man.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
The church.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Elliot Gould.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
See answer to question number eight. I'm still working on my history, folks.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
Any random scene in Punch Drunk Love, the best sonic cinematic experience in the past few years. Gary Rydstrom is a genius. But of course, that was done with the aide of digital effects and such, and I'm still in awe of what was accomplished in analog films like THX-1138 and, as flickhead mentioned, Citizen Kane.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Yes. Especially with someone who's never seen it before.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
I've got too many to pick a favorite, but I think Trevor Jones' score for The Last Of The Mohicans is seriously one of the finest pieces of film music ever.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Naomi Watts - not because I'm an ignorant young turk with no appreciation for the past, but because at this point in my life, the excitement of new possibilities takes slight precedence over the comfort of old joys.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
The Boondock Saints. That's a deal breaker for me. I feel like I've corrupted this entire quiz by mentioning its title.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Best nauseatingly ubiquitous Oscar campaign. The prize would probably go to the Weinsteins every year.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Robocop - the first R-rated movie I ever saw.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Exhilarate? Radiate?

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
That's a tough one. I suppose Peter Ustinov.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
Now that Lion's Gate has gotten rid of their wonderful old logo, I'd have to say that the experimental film that is Strand's logo is probably my favorite. But as far as major studios go, nothing beats the he Warner Brothers label....especially once they started scoring it with As Time Goes By following their 75th anniversary. I'll save my brand new favorite for my own upcoming post on this very topic...

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
I think Cassavetes On Cassavetes took the cake when I read it last year.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
Psycho will always be the best.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Just to be an iconoclast: Two English Girls.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
The thing I remember the most about the Zeferelli film is the score, which is by itself better than anything in Baz's version. Still, I'll cater to my age and the fact that I saw Romeo + Juliet six freakin' times at the theater when it was released and say Claire Danes.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Realizing that the man I had just cast in my film was one of the series regulars on Twin Peaks.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
My mom got me a book on the making of Star Wars. My fate was sealed.

Edward Copeland said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why? Down in the Valley on DVD. I'd heard it was worth it.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements. Haskell Wexler. Matewan.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don Baker

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…) Kevin Spacey's murder in L.A. Confidential.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies. The Player

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
M

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie. Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks) in Broadcast News

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Carole Bouquet

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
Field of Dreams

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
I know I'm forgetting someone and blanking, but I'll say Alex Karras in Blazing Saddles for now.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Being There

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
The Rules of the Game and Nashville

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
I Can't Believe You Haven't Seen This Movie Before

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Bogart

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie. Old Yeller.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound. The Conversation.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Never seen.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Jaws.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Naomi Watts (though as for the movie, 1933 still rules)

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
Bio-Dome

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Ensemble acting: The Departed

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Robocop

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Amaze

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Toughie. I share a birthday with Ustinov, but I have to go with Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
Paramount

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
For Keeps by Pauline Kael

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
Lone Star.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Jules and Jim

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Claire Danes, I guess

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Danny DeVito once picked lint off my sweater.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Probably in the mid 70s with the re-release of Jaws.

Melvum Peebly said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

'Man with Two Brains' on DVD. Needed something silly.


2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Toland -- 'Long Voyage Home'.



3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Arch Hall, Jr.



4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

I don't gasp. Ever.



5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

'The Errand Boy'



6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

House by the River



7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Karlheinz Bohm in 'Martha' when he smashes his wife's record album.



8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Carol Burnett.



9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

What was the name of that movie where the academic sophist gets a chainsaw through his nads?



10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Burt Reynolds in 'Deliverance'



11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

'Let's Spend the Night Together'


12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Hawks 'Road to Glory' followed by Losey's 'King and Country.'


13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

"Chairs and Screen"



14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Ralph Meeker.



15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

'Treasure Island'



16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

Mouchette on the bumper cars.



17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Never saw it but I heard someone eats poop in it. So yes.



18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

'Performance'



19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Watts.



20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

'Toys' starring Robin Williams. Only insane tasteless idiots would advocate seeing that movie.



21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Best



22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Pee Wee's Big Adventure.



23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

They make you forget that you are just sitting there.



24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Roger Livesely


25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

Republic



26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Transcedent Style in Film by Schraeder



27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Aguirre: Wrath of God



28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

400 Blows



29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Hussey.



30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Robert Goulet at Aqua in San Francisco.



31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Kane.

Handsome Dan said...

I don't want to clog up the comments section with another looong string of text, so check out my answers here. Great quiz and great answers, by the by!

Filmbrain said...

This will be fun, and a perfect excuse for avoiding things I really ought to be doing:

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Children of Men, for I wanted to see if it would make my top ten of 2006. It just might.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Christopher Doyle, In the Mood for Love

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

JDB. Why? One word. Mitchell.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

The seemingly random gunshot sounds in I Stand Alone.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Wenders' The State of Things.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

That's a tough one. While the City Sleeps?

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Kramer vs. Kramer.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

That obscure object of desire!

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Radio Days.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Rosey Grier, The Thing With Two Heads.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Being There.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Pierrot le Fou and All That Jazz.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Kino oder Tod!

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

For the schlub factor alone - Gould.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The muddled conversation where we only keep hearing 'knife' - Hitchcock's Blackmail.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Maybe in another 20 years.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Far too many to chose from. First that popped into head: The Tindersticks' score for Trouble Every Day.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Jessica Lange.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

The internet isn't big enough for my list.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

The Robert McKee screenwriting award.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Turkish Delight.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Surf the zeitgeist.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

The one who was in Logan's Run.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

Dad worked for Universal, so it goes without saying.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Hollywood Babylon.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Too many to choose from.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

Easy. The Woman Next Door.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

I was 13 when I first saw Hussey in R&J. 'Nuff said.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Having breakfast with John Candy and Jonathan Winters.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Meeting Milos Forman at the age of 7.

That Little Round-Headed Boy said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
REDS.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Vittorio Storraro and Gordon Willis immediately come to mind. But let me go old-school, too: James Wong Howe. While Flickhead noted SECONDS and SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, my favorite Howe is HUD, especially the crisp black and white imagery of the interior and exterior points of view in the bus scenes at the end. Of course, there's also Lee Garmes and his keylight work on Dietrich's cheekbones in SHANGHAI EXPRESS, and Boris Kaufman's alleyway scenes in ON THE WATERFRONT and Leon Shamroy's color-saturated lakefront and Gene Tierney's lips in LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN. And Cortez's deep focus in KANE and AMBERSONS. Folks, we need a cinematographer's blog-a-thon. Soon.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don. For CHARLEY VARRICK. Cool menace.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
...or maybe curiosity? How about when Julie Christie tells (was it William Castle?) that she'd really like to suck Warren Beatty's celebrated johnson in SHAMPOO.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
HEARTS OF THE WEST.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
M. I'm woefully behind in my Lang watching.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
The basketball against the boy's head in THE GREAT SANTINI. I was the head.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Bouquet, despite that unfortunate Bond movie.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
This is why I hated college and couldn't wait to get into the real world.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Andre The Giant in THE PRINCESS BRIDE.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Has to be SHAMPOO. But I love parts of COMING HOME quite a lot, too.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
BONNIE and CLYDE and JULES and JIM. Just so I could write it like that on the marquee, and because the New Wave influence on Penn's movie makes them a good match.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
THE DEMAREST. In honor of my favorite underappreciated character actor, otherwise known to most as Uncle Charley.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
That is not a serious question, is it?

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
MARY POPPINS, of course! Anybody who could get hired by Walt Disney after making I MARRIED A COMMUNIST must be something.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
The helicopter rotors at the beginning of APOCALYPSE NOW. Or THE CONVERSATION: "He'd kill us if he got the chance..."

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Never seen it.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Hmm. The whole score? Two come to mind because they find so many pleasing variations on source music: Steiner's work on CASABLANCA and John Williams' work on THE LONG GOODBYE.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Well, if Fay had done MULHOLLAND DRIVE, maybe.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
No, we gotta get past this kind of thinking. People are different; they're going to have different reactions to everything, including films.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Jeffrey Wells had a great idea. An honorary Oscar each year to a classic movie and its makers and stars. Bring them all together again on stage, show clips, have them reminisce for a moment. That would, uh, redeem nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
BASIC INSTINCT. Although STARSHIP TROOPERS is kinda cool, too.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Make us fall in love with stars.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Finney. No contest. TWO FOR THE ROAD. SHOOT THE MOON. ERIN BROCKOVICH. MILLER'S CROSSING.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
Early RKO, the radio tower.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
FOR KEEPS, Pauline Kael.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
Marlowe shooting Terry Lennox in Altman's THE LONG GOODBYE.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Heresy: I really don't like his movies that much.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Angela Chase!

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Oh God. I was once backstage at an episode of Geraldo Rivera's talk show (long story, but the guy has a very strong grip, by the way) and the special guest was Herve "Da Plane, Da Plane" Villachaize. Now, he was married to this really tall woman, strikingly beautiful, and they made quite the couple. As we were backstage, for some reason, the Herv and I got into a discussion of my-then recent divorce, trading stories of the impossibility of women, etc. Anyway, the theme of the show was opposites attract, and the backstage area was filled with all the freaks you can imagine — I vaguely recall guys with pythons wrapped around them, tattoed types, thin ones with fat ones, old fart with young bimbo, etc. It was a fucking Fellini movie back there, I'm not kidding. Of course, having a sense of the absurd, I was thoroughly enjoying myself. At one point, Herve and his wife tell us one of their love games, something involving covering little Herve in chocolate pudding and jumping in the shower. But the ultimate surreal moment was when his wife turns around and slips her thin blouse off her shoulder to show us a rather large tattoo of Herve she had on her back. That's right — she had a tattoo of Tattoo! People, you can't pay for moments like that in life. I felt quite sad when Herve died.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
I can't remember! That last answer is clouding my mind.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brian said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Chicago, the 1927 version. Because it was playing at the biggest movie palace in town with a live band, and Cecil B. DeMille, who strangely fascinates me, was involved.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

I try to take any chance I can to watch a Gabriel Figueroa film with English subtitles. Sometimes I'll watch part of one without them. I got hooked on his images watching Buñuel films, but one of my favorites he lensed is La Perla.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

I'm abstaining because I've barely seen anything with Svenson.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

The dream sequence in Carrie made me literally gasp.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Duck Amuck.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

Scarlet Street, so far.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Probably at age three or four when my mom took me to see my first movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. How could I not see myself in Dopey, or Happy, or Bashful, or Grumpy?

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

These head-to-heads are sometimes frustrating. If only there was a way to get two actors to play the same role, guided by the same director, we might get somewhere in the vicinity of being able to properly judge.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Singin' in the Rain

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Andre the Giant in the Princess Bride. Runner-up: anything with Jet Li in it.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

The Last Detail, with many more yet to see.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Opening night should be all about entertainment, so I'd start with the original version of Star Wars alongside the Hidden Fortress. Later on I'd get to bills like the Awful Truth with Make Way For Tomorrow and la Perdición de los Hombres with Weekend at Bernie's II.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

If I'm taking over an existing movie palace that's been lying dormant for cinemagoing, I'll want to use whatever name the place used to be known by. If not, I'll use "Heaven on Frisco Bay".

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

This quiz's cruelest question. Does Gould make a better Marlowe? Maybe. Almost certainly a more interesting one. But the Long Goodbye is the Altman film everyone calls a masterpiece that I most had trouble taking to heart on the one viewing I gave it. I borrowed it from the library just the other day but have not gotten around to it. From what I remember, it's a radical performance, and it makes Gould the movie. But so far I like the Big Sleep a little better. And I like Bogie's career as a whole a LOT better.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Having seen only a few here and there, Mary Poppins. It's been years if not decades, but it was one of my favorites.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

Try to describe one that isn't! For me sound (and perhaps even the lack of sound in a silent film) is an integral component of any effective, memorable scene. But one example that particularly stands out is in Blissfully Yours when the sound of a distant gunshot immediately changes the film's mood from one of playful frolic to something more mysterious and sinister for a moment. A single, rather quiet sound cue, but it's amazing how much it does to deepen the film narratively and thematically.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Once was probably enough for me. From now on I'll stick with Desperate Living.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

How can I justify picking just one? Maybe by picking something different from when you last asked this question, and assuming it'll come up again in a future quiz too. This time around, Toru Takemitsu's score to Woman in the Dunes.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Watts, though I didn't like her that much in King Kong.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

No single film I can think of.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

I mildly object to this question, as I tend to think there are already too many Oscar categories. I wouldn't mind seeing a new "What Were We Thinking" award, though, which would allow the Academy to reverse the worst award decision of the previous year's ceremony. For the 2007 Oscars, the most deserving winner of this award would be Crash as Best Picture.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Showgirls, though I haven't seen any of his Dutch films yet.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

cross language barriers to give us impressions of life all over the globe.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

I barely remember either's take on Poirot, but Finney's persona is so appealing I have to vote for him.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

The Shaw Brothers shield

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Right now it's Jonas Mekas' Movie Journal.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

I'm ashamed to admit it's been years since I've seen one, but Small Change elicits the most affectionate memories.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

I actually haven't seen either's version of Romeo and Juliet, at least not in full. But Danes hasn't made anything nearly as fun as Black Christmas, so I'm going with Hussey.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

It has to be the half-hour I spent interviewing Crispin Glover a couple months ago.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

You know, I've been thinking about this question every so often for over a month now, but I haven't been able to pinpoint a precise moment. I remember hearing about George Lucas pretty early on, but I don't think I really understood that he did much of anything other than "making the movie up" with actors for a while. Same with Spielberg and his films (and I thought Gremlins was just as much a Spielberg film as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was.) I loved Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run from the first time my dad let me watch it on televsion, but of course it was a "Woody Allen movie" because he was in it! Did I really know what Hitchcock did to make the first of his films I saw on TV (Vertigo, North By Northwest, the Birds and Rear Window) "Hitchcock films"? Not really, I suspect.

Trying to think back to a movie I know for sure that I had a farily concrete understanding of the director's role in, I'm having trouble going back any further than Batman, which released just after my 16th birthday. I knew Tim Burton had not written or produced the film, but somehow had artistic responsibility over the organization of its actors, sets, music, etc. It's funny, now that I think of it I probably considered Burton my favorite director until I saw 12 Monkeys in 1995 and decided I liked Terry Gilliam's films better. Of course I still didn't really understand exactly what directors do to create films with a particular style of their own (and perhaps I still don't), but I was soon to get a lot closer, as my interest in experiencing a much broader spectrum of cinema would soon begin to blossom (in part due to my tracking down of La Jetee after liking 12 Monkeys so much the first time I saw it.)

herecreepwretch said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

I went to see Old Joy at the local arthouse with a friend, who asked me to go. It surprised me because lately we've been going there about once a week (obligatory plug: the Loft Cinema in Tucson) and I wanted to see it, but I didn't think it would be her cup of tea. But apparently she had been looking at what was playing there and reading the reviews and brought it up on her own. Before that, we watched The Rules of the Game on DVD, so this question caught me at just the right time not to embarrass myself and ruin my cinematic street cred.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

I should pay more attention to this. I promise to get better.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

JDB, if only for Mitchell.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

Well, the first that comes to mind after watching The Rules of the Game the other night is when Octave collapses onto the stairs after his fantasy of conducting an orchestra then brushes off Christine, who is trying to comfort him, with "Leave me alone" (but in French). This would be a gasp of recognition.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

8 1/2.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

Scarlet Street haunts me in a strange way, tho I need to look at them again (and see the ones I haven't seen yet).

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

I am honestly still waiting for this to happen.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Sorry...

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

There are several ways to approach the question as worded: the movie that one has nostalgic feelings for and that redeems those feelings by actually living up to one's mature expectations, and the movie that explores nostalgic material in a way that is not cloying and perhaps even profound. The first type I will have to think more about; Amarcord is a perfect example of the second type that I need to see many more times to explicate fully (by the way, it is on my Amazon wish list if anyone is...)

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Maybe Jim Brown in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka for the way he asks a Wayans "What makes you think you can be a black hero?" and backs off afterwards, or Alex Karrass for punching out the horse in Blazing Saddles (I know there must be a serious answer to this but it's eluding me right now...)


11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Ummm...Being There?

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

How about Rules of the Game and Gosford Park? (I know I keep coming back here, but I just saw it again the other night, and Mr Altman just left us, so...)

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

the Lazarus

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Bogart (Was Gould really a sex symbol in the 70's? I don't get it...)

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

That Darn Cat, just because it purr-fectly fulfills the criterion of the uselessness of art (I can't believe I just typed that...)

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

No sound as Frank Poole tumbles off dead into infinite space in 2001.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Why not?

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

My dad had the soundtrack to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly which I must have heard hundreds of times since I was born. Sure, the main theme has become a cliche, but I still love the music used in the desert sequence and the whistled march of the Union POWs. More recent scores that come to mind are L.A. Confidential and The Incredibles, which are both a little retro, but maybe that's just how I roll...

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

For acting or screaming?

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

We've all experienced that sinking feeling when a new friend or acquaintance whose opinion we've had no reason to suspect suddenly gushes over some piece of junk and our assessment of this person is forever changed. But the movies I think of conforming to the above scenario have all faded from consciousness. The intelligent answer to this question finds a movie over which critical opinion is sharply divided and comes down on one side or other. Recently I've had several people tell me they hated Punch-Drunk Love and my esteem for them immediately fell a few notches - "Oh, so you're one of THOSE people..."

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Best Voice/Computer-Captured Performance; Andy Serkis for Gollum, of course.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Oh, Robocop.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Distract me from reading all the books I think I should read without me feeling guilty about it.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

Old school: Twentieth-Century Fox.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese, with Fellini On Fellini a close second.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Memento's twist was the most devastating, but I like the ending of Donnie Darko for its poignancy. The ending of The Village was just as poignant, in terms of what it meant for the characters, but this doesn't excuse the fact that it was irredeemably stupid.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

400 Blows

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Good Lord, Olivia Hussey, and probably for all the wrong reasons...

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

wtf? I'm from central Illinois!

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

I don't know.

Peter Nellhaus said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

My wife and I went to a DVD rental place and based on the covers rented Immortal with Charlotte Rampling and a J-Horror film, Kukashi.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

One of the younger cinematographers who does incredible stuff is Matthew Libatique. Example: Requiem for a Dream. Of course I love the work of the classic Hollywood guys.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

JD will always walk taller than Bo.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

Z-Man exposed in BVD.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Porky's Preview by Tex Avery. Also, Tashlin's Hollywood or Bust and Contempt by Godard.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

Man Hunt

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

The name is Bond, James Bond.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Both may be obscure objects of desire, but I'll go with Carole.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

The Magnificent Ambersons

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Johnny Weismuller as Tarzan.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

The Last Detail

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Once Upon a Time in the West and Forty Guns.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Nellhaus Filmhaus

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Two Marlowes. Let us consider for a moment that both Howard Hawks and Robert Altman worked in as variety of genres. Also, Leigh Brackett wrote the screenplays for The Big Sleep (in collaboration) and The Long Goodbye. Also Hawks and Altman have worked with Lauren Bacall and James Caan. As far as overall career though, I have to go with Bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Blackbeard's Ghost

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The sound of the car radios drifting in and out in American Graffiti.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

I still haven't seen this.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

David Amram's score for The Manchurian Candidate. Also Leonard Bernstein for On the Waterfront.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Fay will always be Ann Darrow, but Naomi has had the better career overall.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Anything starring Ashton Kutcher.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

How about a return to artistic achievement such as was awarded to Sunrise.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Robocop

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

disintegrate

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

The only Poirot I know is Finney. He's usually more fun to watch than Ustinov.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

The old Universal logo with the airplane flying around the world.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

American Cinema by Andrew Sarris.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Hitchcock's Stage Fright, with the truth about Marlene.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

The Soft Skin.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Two Juliets! Danes for her career.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

A brief conversation with Julie Chistie, aka the most beautiful woman in the known universe.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

I can't remember exactly although it may have been when reading about a guy named Fritz Lang in a copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland.

Anonymous said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Babel. Thought it might be good, wanted to see if the director brought something new to the table. Unfortunately, he didn't.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Conrad Hall or Vilmos Zsigmond. Road To Perdition and McCabe & Mrs. Miller


4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

When the girl squeezes herself through that really tiny space in The Descent. Talk about claustrophobia.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Living In Oblivion

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
M

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Stand By Me

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

The Wild Bunch and Kiss Me Deadly

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

The Silver Screen

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Bogey


18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Vangelis' original Blade Runner score

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Naomi

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

There are dozens. Just found a critic who seriously advocates "The Klumps". This person should not be allowed to talk about movies ever again, much less writing criticism somewhere.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Best Cameo

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Starship Troopers

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?



24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Peter

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

Universal

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

The Sixth Sense. Love or hate M; Night, that one he pulled off perfectly

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Claire

Paul C. said...

I always look forward to these...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

I watched Preston Sturges’ CHRISTMAS IN JULY the other night on DVD. I’m working my way through the new Sturges box set. It’s hardly his best work, but it’s still lots of fun, and Ellen Drew was quite fetching back in the day.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

How could I possibly choose just one? Do I go classic or contemporary? And if classic, how old? One of the problems is finding a great cinematographer who did really eye-popping work no matter what director he was working with. Many times you get great collaborations- and for good reasons, since talented filmmakers tend to be smart enough to stick with gifted cinematographers. But for a great cinematographer who has did stunning work across the board, I’ll go with Conrad L. Hall. IN COLD BLOOD may be his most lauded work, but it’s hard to pick just one from him. For a present-day answer, out of many worthy choices, I’d choose Emmanuel Lubezki. After THE NEW WORLD (especially that gorgeous scene in the longhouse after Smith is taken prisoner), I’ll follow him pretty much anywhere.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

While I haven’t seen enough from the combatants in this Buford vs. Buford battle, I’ll have to give Svenson the edge here. I mean, dude was in HEARTBREAK RIDGE, after all.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

Our protagonist, head over heels in love with a younger woman, impulsively decides to telephone her at home. The telephone rings. Cut to her apartment. His lady love kneels serenely near the telephone, as it rings again. And again, half a dozen or so times in all. Suddenly, a cloth bag on the floor in the background of the shot lurches, an unnatural sound emerging from within. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? The movie: AUDITION.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

8 ½, edging out PEEPING TOM and SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

M. Dude made lots of greats, but for me, there’s no contest. Unless you count CONTEMPT…

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Like many people I grew up on slick, glossy Hollywood movies- movies with lots of action and spectacle, with far-out storylines and strong heroes. Guys who knew all the angles, who kept their cool under the harshest of circumstances, and above all, were smooth with the ladies. It wasn’t until high school that I caught ANNIE HALL and realized that there were movies in which guys not only had problems with the opposite sex, but agonized over these troubles as well. Sure, I was a WASP-y Midwestern teenager and Woody Allen was a (then-) fortysomething New York Jew, but I nonetheless felt a kinship with the guy that I’d never had with any movie character before.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

If Fernando Rey can have both, why can’t I?

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

This is kind of a tricky question, one I had to read a few times to really nail down its intent. Once I’d done that, the first film that sprung to mind was WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? The scene that really sticks out in my mind is when Eddie visits the Ink and Paint Club and sees Betty Boop waiting tables. She says, “work’s been kinda slow since cartoons went to color, but I’ve still got it, Eddie!” She might as well be speaking for all classic cartoons, which aren’t as flashy or laden with pop-culture references as today’s animated fare, but as a result are timeless rather than immediately dated. Seriously, can you imagine someone watching SHREK in 25 years? Might as well release it with a sell-by date. Whereas, say, DUCK AMUCK is as funny as ever.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Gotta go with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in AIRPLANE! “Listen kid, I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to try dragging Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.”

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

BEING THERE.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. Give ‘em their money’s worth.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

If I was married, I think I might be romantic enough to name it after my wife. Or failing that, maybe “See It Again For the First Time.”

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Smartass answer: Dick Powell.

Serious answer: Gould was only cool when he was working with Altman, whereas Bogart could be cool for anybody. So Bogey.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

I’ve always had a soft spot for DARBY O’GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE, a charming bit o’blarney that finds Sean “Scotland Forever” Connery singing about his “lovely Irish rose.”

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The telephone that won’t stop ringing, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA. Such a simple expression of guilt, yet so poetic.

17) Pink Flamingos-- yes or no?

There aren't any in my yard, if that's what you mean.

Oh, you're talking about the movie. Then yes.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT, hands down. Is this album even available in the US?

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Blondes don’t really do it for me, truth be told. Talent-wise, Naomi, no contest.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Not really. I like to think that anyone is welcome to his taste, whether I agree with it or not, as long as one makes a compelling and coherent argument for it. It’s when the argument is off-the-mark (think Armond White writing about ROAD TO GUANTANAMO) or the writing simply sucks (think dozens of bad daily-paper critics nationwide) that I balk.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

The Beatrice Straight Award, for best performance by an actor with less than 10 minutes of screen time. Retroactive winner for 1997: Alfred Molina, BOOGIE NIGHTS.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

The movie that best combines the stuff I love about Verhoeven’s work- pervasive raw sexuality, ultra-violence, hallucinatory imagery, a warped sense of humor, an atmosphere of glossy sleaze- is definitely THE 4TH MAN. Although props to ROBOCOP, SHOWGIRLS, and STARSHIP TROOPERS as well.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Capture behavior. Of all the art forms, only cinema affords time to observe characters in a so-called “natural” setting, allowing us to see how they walk, eat, converse, smoke, kiss, and so on. Unlike theatre, in which everything is rehearsed and nothing left to chance, cinema has plenty of room for bits of character business at the periphery of the action, which when properly handled can contribute to a deeper appreciation of the film as a whole.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Ustinov was always fun to watch, but he couldn’t carry a film or be convincing as a romantic lead like Finney could. Put it another way- I can imagine Finney in SPARTACUS, but Ustinov in TWO FOR THE ROAD is nigh unthinkable.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

I have a soft spot in my heart for certain logos that aren’t being used anymore, in particular the short-lived Space Age MGM Lion from the late 60s, the WB flying out at the audience in the early 70s, and the mid-90s Universal globe with the lovely string accompaniment. I’m not all that taken with any of the big-studio ones nowadays, although I do smile every time I see the Studio Canal+ logo, since it’s chock full of jarring sound effects that would never pass muster from an American logo.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Tough call. I’m gonna have to go with Bresson’s NOTES ON CINEMATOGRAPHY, not just because it presents one with a master’s idea of what cinema should be, but also because it makes one think about and question his own philosophy of cinema as well.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

In the last decade or so, the twist ending has become semi-ubiquitous, with eager young filmmakers and screenwriters hurtling over one another to impress us with their cleverness, whether it’s good for the film or not. In my mind, what distinguishes a successful twist from an unsuccessful one, is its effect on the events that led up to it. A bad twist- say, the end of SAW- feels less like a natural outgrowth of the story as it does like the filmmaker’s attempt to baldly dick us around. A good twist, on the other hand, feels natural, if unexpected. It’s not a tacked-on final twist of the knife, but a climactic revelation that, in retrospect, seemed inevitable, even if we had no idea it was coming.

(SPOILERS in next paragraph, although if you haven’t seen this film, you should be watching that instead of reading my babble)

The best example I can think of comes from a film in the genre that would seem least likely to produce a great twist- the costume drama. I’m thinking of the final scene in THE AGE OF INNOCENCE. Throughout the entire film, we have seen Ellen and May as opposites mostly because we have watched them through Newland’s eyes. Ellen is sophisticated, experienced, bold, womanly; May, on the other hand, is sheltered, naïve, demure, and girlish. And so after society has maneuvered to keep Newland on the straight-and-narrow path (marriage to May rather than running off with Ellen), Newland is confident that May had no idea about the affair, and she never lets on any differently to him. It’s not until after her death, when Newland’s son Ted reveals to him that May knew all along, that Newland learns exactly how deeply his wife loved him and was devoted to him. It’s in this scene where Scorsese’s decision to use Wharton’s prose as narration really pays dividends- when Joanne Woodward warmly says Wharton’s immortal line, “and to think it should have been his wife moved him immeasurably,” it’s a moment that’s so perfect that it’s simultaneously surprising and poignant.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

THE 400 BLOWS is my favorite, though I’m also drawn to TWO ENGLISH GIRLS, which I’ve probably seen the most of any Truffaut film.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Danes doesn’t really do much for me. Hussey, on the other hand…

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

About five years ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a screening of Allison Anders’ THINGS BEHIND THE SUN, introduced by the director. I had never really been a fan of hers in the past, but autobiography suited her well, and seeing it with her in the audience just drove the whole thing home. It’s rare to see a film in which the director gives of herself so generously. Anyway, after the performance, people milled around Anders for autographs and congratulations, and when she looked at me, I simply said, “that was just stunning. Thank you.” Then, surprisingly, she asked me my name. When I told her, she responded, “Paul. Like Paul McCartney.” And she gave me a hug and said, “this means so much to me.” And I finally saw where the generosity I found in the film came from.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Since you cribbed the question from Andy Horbal, I’ll do the same with my answer:

“I was conscious of the fact that movies had directors previously, but the first movie that made me conscious about what a director does was, oddly enough, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. At the time I saw it for the first time in middle school, I (like many others) associated black and white with old movies and color with modern movies. Watching YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN was something of a revelation for me- here were actors I recognized and who I knew were still alive in a movie that was in black and white. And it got me wondering why, which led to a great ‘aha!’ moment- because someone decided that it should be in black and white. And who made the decision? The director.

I had been familiar with such director's names as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Oliver Stone before this point, but it was only after I had this little epiphany that I realized what directing was all about. For the 12-year-old me, simply put, a director was someone in charge of making the decisions about how the movie is to be made. Naturally, there's a whole lot more to directing, but I would learn that later, and coming to this particular conclusion certainly pointed me in the right direction.”

Ryland Walker Knight said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

RONIN. Cuz I love it. And cuz I learned Matt dedicated his movie to Frankenheimer.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Christopher Doyle. Shoot me but LADY IN THE WATER was durned pretty. For posterity, tho, I'd probably have to choose IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

I'm ignorant to Bo Svenson outside KILL BILL 2 so I guess I default to Joe Don. I just saw CHARLIE VARRICK last spring and he was a ton of fun.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

Dude's arm flying off in MIAMI VICE.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

That's tough but maybe I'll go with BAD EDUCATION.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

Still working so all I've got for you is M.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

RUSHMORE. I was in high school and failing everything outside of school. Max was my opposite but at the same time my mirror.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

I'm dumb.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

FANNY & ALEXANDER

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Ray Allen in HE GOT GAME.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

I'm riddled with angst so it's a toss up: HAROLD & MAUDE or THE LAST DETAIL depending on the day of the week.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

To get them in the seats, and stick with my first response's theme, I'd pick RONIN & SECONDS.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

The End of Cinema. And it may actually happen in the near future. That is, if I ever graduate college and move back up to Seattle with my friends who want to do it. (For the record, Mike would probably say STRANGELOVE & FAIL SAFE.)

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

You know, Bogie was never on Friends so I'll play it safe and stick with him.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

You can't really fuck with MARY POPPINS.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

THE CONVERSATION is one of my favorite movies but as for a particular scene...the first thing that pops to mind is the opening to MASTER & COMMANDER.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Yes, but never again.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

The Elfman BATMAN theme is pretty dope.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

I'd marry Naomi in a heartbeat.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Not really but there's a few I hate and cannot fathom why they are loved, like the nothing-but-ugly SIN CITY.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Best mustache: Groucho.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

STARSHIP TROOPERS, probably, but I've not seen any of his Dutch movies.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Appeal to your empathy. Really, they can tell you how to feel better than anything else. But the good ones don't do that too often.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Fuck it: Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

The bleached-out, dead-silent Universal globe in front of MIAMI VICE.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Negative Space.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

I'm usually against the twist ending. I saw PSYCHO mentioned a bunch and it's pretty untouchable so I'll go with a favorite whipping boy and say UNBREAKABLE. While not a blow-your-wig twist, it fits perfectly with the rest of the picture, so it's more believable. In fact, I saw it coming, but it's still great.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

JULES & JIM

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Hussey, hands down.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

I got to interview Stephen Malkmus once, that was cool. But then the afterparty of the first stateside All Tomorrow's Parties was, in general, quite a gathering: Sonic Youth, Jack Black, John C Reilly, SM, Harmony Korine, Chloe Sevigny, Lukas Haas, Vincent Gallo, Sean Lennon, Bijou Phillips, The Boredoms, Jim O'Rourke, it goes on...

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

From my House comment: "My Final Answer: REAR WINDOW on a green couch in a brown living room."

sheila said...

I love these, Dennis. They're hard, though!! Here are my answers:

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on DVD last night. It's probably my 5th time seeing it. I love it.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.


Boris Kaufman immediately comes to mind - because of the entire mood of On the Waterfront - that last unbelievable shot. It's not about being flashy, or showing your stuff - it's about being a top-notch storyteller.

but also I think my favorite shot in any movie is the long slow panning up in High Noon- when he walks out into the deserted town, by himself. It just gives me goosebumps and - you watch it and go: "That is a famous shot. It was born to be a famous shot. It has lived its life as a famous shot. It's just famous." Again - not just because it pulls back so far and so high ... but because it tells the story of that moment SO PERFECTLY. Gary Cooper suddenly looks teeny. Fabulous. So that's Floyd Crosby so I'll give him the props too.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Ha!! I love this one. I'll go with Bo Svenson.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

Please don't make fun, but Legend of Bagger Vance. I mean - yes - The Ring made me gasp with horror, as did Rosemary's Baby but I figured I'd go with a revelation-type gasp. I saw it, by myself, in a big semiempty movie theatre in Times Square. It was the scene with the golf ball in the woods, where Damon gets stuck. And the implications hit me like a ton of freakin' bricks. It's hard to write about such moments without sounding melodramatic, but I rarely care if I sound melodramatic. My heart actually hurt watching that scene - and the revelation-gasp came early on.Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'. And you're stuck right now, you feel stuck ... but there is a way out ... there is a way out ... The movie does not hold up to successive viewings - but I'll never forget the first time I saw that scene.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Sunset Boulevard.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

I've only seen M, Metropolis and Clash by Night - and I'll go with M. Creepy!!!

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Probably something like Tia in Witch Mountain.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

I ... I ... I looked them both up and I have actually seen a couple of them in various films ... but it was eons ago, and I don't know enough to choose. I could make up an answer, but I will not.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Field of Dreams (hahaha - although in that movie - it also IS a bankable commodity!! You get to have both! Yay!)

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Kareem Abdul-Jabar in Airplane - I just ... come on. I love that movie.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Shampoo is one of my favorite movies ever. I'll go with that.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Only Angels Have Wings and Bringing Up Baby.

So we can revel in the versatility and genius of this actor many people think just "played himself". Bah humbug - I'll show them with these two movies!

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Obsession Central

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Even more so than Mary Poppins

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

Maybe the sound of the lightsaber in Star Wars - the first time the beam shoots out. I'm just going back in my mind to the summer of 1977, sitting in that movie theatre as a little kid, seeing that movie when it came out, and what it was like to first hear that sound. Shivers!

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Hell yes

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Moulin Rouge probably

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Naomi Watts.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Battlefield Earth

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

I SO wish they would give an award for "best ensemble". I've thought that for a long time - I think it's a real category - i'd love to see it be added.

I would certainly give one for Gosford Park but there are SO many more.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

In general, I can't stand the guy, although:

I LOVED Total Recall - what a fun movie that was - and I LOVED Sharon Stone's performance in the first Basic Instinct, although I think that that was mostly HER doing and Verhoeven had nothing to do with it. Yes, I know the lesbians were mad about that movie - and I can see why - it was a ridiculous movie, with a ridiculous plot -and if you took that film seriously, you would be in HUGE trouble, because it was ludicrous, and I'm sick of Michael Douglas playing roles where he is victimized by female sexuality ("ooooh, she's so .... SEXY ... I might have to ... throw my whole life away ... because she's so ... SEXY ... i'm so SCARED of how sexy she is ..." etc. ad nauseum) - but I thought Stone gave one of the campiest (in the best way) most specific and fantastic performances of that entire decade. I look at it not as reality - or like she was trying to play a real person - I saw it as high camp - a nod to Jane Geer and Barbara Stanwyck and all the devious film-noir femme fatales. No wonder she became a star. Well-deserved.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Behavior can tell the whole story of a moment with no words and the camera can capture that.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

I like Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

The RKO tower

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

When I was a teenager - Siskel and Ebert were just the be-all and end-all - and this was right around the time when you could start to rent movies (of course you had to rent the VCR as well) - but I bought, for myself, Roger Ebert's book for that year - a mixture of reviews of current releases as well as his favorite classic movies. I read it cover to cover. His writing was so accessible and also so passionate - not too much academic lit-crit language which would have been off-putting to me as a 15 year old ... I have since read better books - but since that one was the first, it is definitely the most important.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Psycho

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

Close Encounters. Uhm ... no wait ... I guess 400 Blow - it's been a while.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Sadly, because she's a homewrecking nincompoop - Claire Danes. I love her acting, though, and have since My so-called life, so I'm sticking with her.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Running into Drew Barrymore on an empty street in Soho at 8 a.m. one morning. I was on my way home ... but it was a beautiful morning, and NOBODY was out - I was on a cobblestone street, and there was a girl standing in front of a cafe - talking to a guy through the window - I think she was asking when they would be open - and it's hard to explian, something funny happened - there was an optical illusion that she and I both saw at the same time - of the "Specials" chalkboard literally flying through the air ... We looked thru the window, both happening to glance at the same time, and we saw a flying chalkboard - and I started to laugh at the same moment that this girl did - we both guffawed at the same time. She hadn't realized I was there, and turned to look at me, and it was Drew Barrymore. She had long red hair, no makeup on, and looked fresh-faced ... we both shared a laugh, like: "did you see that floating chalkboard ... that looked so hysterical ..." and then I was on my way. For some reason, I love that moment.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

I love this question.

Probably when I saw Dog Day Afternoon. I was young - way too young to see it or get it- 12 or 13 years old - but that movie was such an assault on my senses - my emotions - I immediately started doing research on who was responsible for it, how it came about ... The name "Sidney Lumet" has always had that weird resonance for me- because he was really the first guy where I realized: Okay ... how did he get all those people on the sidewalk? And was it REALLY that hot in the bank? And how did he get the helicopters to come down so close? How ... how did he do it??

Seth said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
- In a theater: _Wordplay_; I projected it. On DVD: _Snake Eyes_; part of my De Palma self-education project.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
- Fritz Arno Wagner. Finest work that I've seen: _M.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
- Baker.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
- The axe-head coming through the bathroom door and Shelly Duvall screaming and wincing as it does. _The Shining_.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
- _The Flicker_

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
- _M_

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
- Auggie Wren shows Paul Benjamin his photographs in _Smoke_. Paul sees several of his now deceased wife and cries. I am Paul: I will lose everything. I am Auggie: I will save everything.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
- Carole Bouquet.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
- There isn't one I know of.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
- First one that comes to mind: Ben Davidson in _Behind the Green Door_.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
- _The Last Detail_

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
- Ebrahim Golestan's _Brick and Mirror_, followed by Dziga Vertov's _The Eleventh Year_.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
- The Cavelight

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
- Bogie, of course.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
- _I Married A Communist_? This is a trick question.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
- The opening moment of _Death Bed: The Bed That Eats_: thirty seconds of black screen accompanied by loud chewing noises! The perfect introduction to a delightful film.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
- Oh, hell yes!

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
- The Soderbergh remake of _Solaris_.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
- Watts, hands down.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
- Many. First one that comes to mind: _Dances With Wolves_.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
- Bah. We have twice as many categories as are meaningful as it is. OK, "Best Non-Photographic Film." Winner, _The Flicker_ (now appearing twice in my answers!).

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
- _Showgirls_, of course.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
- Turn time into a medium.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
- Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
- The magestic old Universal, circling the globe.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
- _Theory of Film_, by Siegfried Kracauer.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
- It's not quite at the end, but I'll never forget the reveal in _Kiss Me Deadly_ that Gaby Rodgers isn't who she says she is.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
- _Shoot the Piano Player_

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
- Hussey.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
- I met Terrence Malick once.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
- When I watched _Apocalypse Now_ coincidentally just days after reading _Heart of Darkness_.

Jimmy said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

"Monster House," because I love animation generally and had heard that this one in particular was a throwback to the adventure movies of the 80s that I loved so much. It's pretty close - a very charming movie, beautifully animated and strengthened by a precise, knowing depiction of its suburban setting and the blurry line between childhood and adolescence.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Vilmos Zsigmond, baby, all the way. I was going to say McCabe, myself, but since it's been taken, and he had such an impressive run in the 70s/early 80s, I'll point instead to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Heaven's Gate, and Blow Out.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Joe Don Baker.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

Watching The Fallen Idol for the first time recently, I found myself gasping in horror when (***SPOILER**, this is all about the end of the movie, folks) the police discover the dead Mrs. Baines' footprint on the ledge above the stairs and realize that Baines didn't kill her after all. I was terrified that poor Baines was about to kill himself, and that the good(ish) news wouldn't reach him in time.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

I'm going to cheat and pick two - Singin' in the Rain, because it codifies every myth about Hollywood, and The Day of the Locust, because it tears those myths apart.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

You Only Live Once, a movie I encountered purely by chance when I rented it from my college library thinking that it was, yes, a Bond movie.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

"Catch Me If You Can." While I certainly never did anything as grandiose as pretend to be an airline pilot, watching Leonardo DiCaprio in hide from the discord of his family life in increasingly outlandish fantasy roles reminded me a lot of what I did, albeit at a much younger age than Frank Abignale.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Ahem... Um... Let me get back to you on that one.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

"Victor/Victoria" did a nice job of cutting against the dishonest revisionism - in the most entertaining way possible - that traditionally makes nostalgia so vulgar and false.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Stanislaus Zbyszko as Gregorious The Great in "Night in the City"

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Ashby is a big old blind spot for me. All I've seen is Bound for Glory and I didn't care for it.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Rear Window followed by The Miracle of Morgan Creek.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Um... The African Queen?

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Bogie.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Mary Poppins. It's the only one I've seen.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The climax of The Third Man, down in the sewers.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Nah.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Vertigo.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

If we're just talking about ape bait, I prefer Naomi Watts. Actually, that's not true, I prefer Watts no matter what we're talking about, but that's possibly because I have no idea what Fay Wray was in other than the original Kong.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Bless the Child.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

I hate to say that it's Basic Instinct, but it is. My favorite trashy movie ever.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Manipulate emotions, which can be a good thing or a bad thing.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Ustinov.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

The TriStar logo, with the pegasus.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

The Conversations. Invaluable insights into the art of editing, and the creative process in general.


27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

The Conversation.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

The 400 Blows

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Olivia Hussey

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

One day I was holding a door to a large garage bay open while a realtor showed the space to potential renters. Who should walk by but Stephen Baldwin, big goofy smile on his face. "Do you need any help with that?" he asked. "With the door?" "Yeah, is it heavy? Are you okay?" "No, no, I got it. Thanks for asking." "Oh, you're welcome." And like that, he was gone.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

This is the auteurist version, but:

I understood it in the abstract as a young kid when I realized that Steven Spielberg was involved in, as either director or producer, practically every movie that I really loved over a five or six year span.

But I had no idea what that meant until I watched the opening shot of The Player when I was about thirteen years old. It's a deliberately self conscious shot - Altman talking about what he's doing while he's doing it - and I guess I needed that half inch of separation, because once Altman told me that he - and by extension the filmakers referenced throughout that shot - was designing, for lack of a better term, what I was watching, I started looking for that design in other films, in other filmakers.

Jimmy said...

Crap, I skipped #21! By Oscar category would be "Best Performance By An Inanimate Object" and the first winner would be the motorcycle and sidecar from Duck Soup.

Cerb Chaos said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

The last one in the theatre or on DVD? Detour. It was late at night and my dad suggested it out of the blue. Knowing it’s reputation I dove in.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Oh geez, I’m bad at remembering filmmakers other then directors but I’m trying to. The only Cinematographers I can think of off the top of my head are Greg Toland, Nicholas Roeg and Barry Sonnenfield for some reason. Toland’s dead, Sonnenfield and Roeg aren’t doing cinematography anymore, so I had to look up the cinematographer for a movie I recently watched with terrific cinematography: The Others. The cinematographer is Javier Aguirresarobe, who apparently also worked for Talk to Her, another beautifully photographed movie. So yeah, I’ll be on the lookout for him from now on.

Of course the example I’ll use is The Others, which uses the fact that the children in the film are allergic to sunlight to great affect. The darkness is inescapable and enveloping but more then that, it gets to a point where we are afraid of the light because of what it would do to the children. Everything else is beautifully shot too, but it’s the use of darkness that really gets me.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

You know, I have no idea who these people are. I looked at their IMDB profiles, and I still have no idea who they are. I feel very undereducated at the moment.


4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

You know, I’m very hard to read when I’m watching a movie. So much so that people have assumed that I disliked movies (Rebel Without a Cause, The Sweet Hereafter) that I actually loved. Because of that, I can’t think of a single moment where I’ve gasped, I’m sure I have, and I can think of many movies where I possible have, but I don’t know a specific moment. Sorry

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

This has always been a tossup between Sunset Boulevard (the traditional answer) and The Player (a less traditional answer) My answer has shifter between these two movies eer since I saw them. But after Altman’s death, I’ve been on Player mode, with it’s well aimed satire of Hollywood and human frailties. Of course there are the in-jokes (the opening shot, the plethora of cameos) but I also find intresting how in some moments I felt myself rooting for the character to get off, this character who had not done a single good thing in the entire movie. These bursts of sympathies lasted only a few seconds, but they raise interesting questions about how people respond to film. Plus, the scene where they finally reveal the movie they’ve been working on was one of the funniest I’ve ever seen.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

M. I don’t think I have to say anything about it, it’s all been said. It’s an excellent movie.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Hmm… I could claim that Superman was, like, totally an autobiography. But the truth is that I can’t come up with a cinematic equivalent right now, and believe me, I’ve racked my brains.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Wow, I’m really striking out on these questions aren’t I? Two more people I know nothing about.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Stand By Me is, for all it’s reputation for being touching, quite touching. It’s able to use the tool of nostalgia to it’s advantage by painting a very intresting picture of life in the 1950’s/

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

That would have to be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the still hilarious Airplane. Just watch the scene with him and Joey and tell me that’s not the best acting by an athlete.


11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

I have only seen one Hal Ashby movie, the masterpiece Harold and Maude. It pulls off inspirational black comedy in ways that I would have thought impossible. There are uncountable great moments in the movie, but one sticks out above the rest as a perfect moment.
After meeting a potential girlfriend (pg), Harold walks outside, the pg and Harold’s mother make smalltalk, meanwhile you can see Harold outside the window, wrapping himself in a sheet, dumping gasoline on the sheet and setting himself on fire. The pg obviously panics, and while screaming Harold, totally unharmed, walks in. In a fit of hysterics the pg runs out, then Harold gives the camera a little smirk while the opening bars to a Cat Stevens song runs in the background. There’s no way to accurately describe it in words, it is a perfect moment


12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Hmm, so many choices… perhaps The Big Sleep and The Long goodbye. Both excellent movies that compliment each other so well.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

The Inclusionist (off the top of my head)

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Oh! What a coincidence (see #14) in general I would choose Bogart because, hey he’s Bogart, but I think Gould actually does a better Marlow then Bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

I had to look up this guy too, and thankfully I’ve seen some things by him. My favorite of his is Mary Poppins, still fun to watch today, after all the parodying it still has that vital touch of whimsy that makes it special.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

One moment in The Long Goodbye (seems like a theme for me doesn’t it?) when Marlow (Gould) walks into the grocery store and it’s playing a muzic version of the song playing previously, this was when I first noticed that it was the same song running through the entire picture, it was always fun to see how they could mess with that but this instance was my favorite one.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Yes. It is so revolting and amateurish that it becomes refreshing. It succeded in it’s primary mission, to freak me out. Though, ironically, the best scene is one of the tamest, when they curse their rival’s home by licking everything. It’s bizarre.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly soundtrack just stays in memory doesn’t it? It’s emblematic enigmatic, and eminently humable all at the same time.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
I’ll go with my classic scream queen Fay Wray, not only is the name wonderful, but she also never stooped to juggling for Kong. Seriously, juggling for Kong, Why?

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

I doubt it would be one movie that breaks it up, maybe twenty movies but not one. If I had to choose one maybe Friday the 13th, that movie made me yearn for such relatively intelligent slashers as, well, all of them. I cannot get what the appeal really is of this movie.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

I’d like to see Ensemble acting added, for movies without a clear cut main character, the award would go to The Departed, a movie that blew me away with it’s performances (especially Nicholson)

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Do you know what? I haven’t seen any. Weird huh?

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

I think we can safely say that movies are the best art forms if you want to make a picture move, a “moving picture” if you will.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Finney, for the sheer fact that he was in Miller’s Crossing and Ustinov wasn’t.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

The old RKO beepity-beep. I’ve always liked that.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

This is one I can answer, the single most important book about film to me is The American Cinema by Andrew Sarris. When I was first directed to the book I flipped through it and chuckled at how this guy could possibly brush aside the great achievements of directors like Kubrick and Wilder. As I began to read more in depth however, I began to appreciate the distinct way he writes, and how the times he got it “right” far outweighed the times he got it “wrong”, and even when he disagrees with me I find that he is able to distinctively back up his opinion. I find myself quoting Sarris an awful lot, and reading his book over and over again, each time I read It I’ve become a bit more familiar with film history and theory, and there’s always some new information I can squeeze out of a book I must have read 10 or more times.



27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

“Planet of the Apes” sure it’s not the best movie to feature a twist ending, but it is the best twist ending. It’s been parodied since it came out, but the ending (do I really have to give a spoiler alert?) when Heston discovers that he is actually on a post-apocalyptic earth via remains of statue of liberty (a twist ending not in the book by the way, it’s probably attributable to co-writer Rod Serling, better known as the creater of the twilight zone) still retains great emotional power.



28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

I have only seen one Truffaut, which is *drum roll* Fahrenheit 451. It was good but not great, I’m sure that it’s not a representation of his work as a whole.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Given that I have actually heard of Claire Danes, Clair Danes.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

You know, I’m racking my brains and I cannot think of a single celebrity encounter that I’ve had.


I don’t get out much.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

I’ve always known that films are directed, but I didn’t comprehend what directing was until fairly recently. It wasn’t a movie that brought it up but simple research. After a short period of consciously noticing the direction it’s become second nature to me.

dorkafork said...

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

If I had just seen their pictures, Baker. But I hit Bo Svenson's wiki entry and I may have to go Bo, because he was a Marine and pursued a Ph.D. in metaphysics. Now that's an interesting combination. Checking their wiki entries and following the links is like entering a trivia gold mine. General John Abizaid is portrayed in Heartbreak Ridge? The guy who played Boba Fett played Q's assistant in 2 of the Bond movies? Weird.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

My first thought was Buster Keaton's The Cameraman, but then I remembered it was about the news. Maybe Hollywood Shuffle.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Memento.

twosctrjns said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

The new Bond for all of $5.50...time to move to SLC.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Gur Shlapobersky - Anything...he is just the best!!!

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Bo Don Bakerson

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

when the crane...oh I won't ruin it for you.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

The MoviePhone Add at Moviephone.com

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

The one where Bugs meets the Big Red Monster.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Really it was more of a promo piece for United Way...I was the Boy Scout that couldn't tie knots.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

I'll take the bouquet, my wife loves flowers.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Porky's

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

O.J. Simpson in IF I DONE IT

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Caddyshack and It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Laughter's Best Medicine...Adult Depends would be handed out at the door.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Elliot was the best in E.T.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The chili/bean scene in Blazing Saddles

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Only if they are plastic and in YOUR yard...the real ones are too messy.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

What is it the soundtrack or score? Valley Girl for the soundtrack
Anything John Williams for the score

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Naomi Watts...is she from South Central nix that South LA?

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

yes...your love of Kill Bill Vol2

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Pee your pants laughing so hard you can't breathe comedy...

Winner:
There's Something About Mary
Runner Up:
Mel Brooks Silent Movie
Honorable Mention:
Mel Brooks History of the World Part 1
Airplane
Caddyshack
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
American Pie
Stripes

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Make money

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Peter Ustinov

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

FoxSearchlight no make that the Lion in MGM

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Leonard Maltin's Guide to the Movies...the Zagat for film

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

I think the twists at the end of the new Bond film are pretty good...you just think everything is tied up and boom you get a whole new perspective.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Claire Danes

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Running into Bill Murray on 40th and Park Ave. NYC. He was in the clown outfit for Quick Change

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

They're directed?

Tina said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Casino Royale, with a group of friends. Interestingly enough, the first Bond I've ever seen.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Gordon Willis was the name I remembered when I first started noticing cinematography. His output in the 1970's and early 80's is amazing.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Joe Don Baker, preferably within a MST3K framework.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

I didn't particularly like House of Sand and Fog, but the scene when Ben Kingsley breaks down in the emergency room hit me like a blow. Such a great performance and a horrible/wonderful moment, I actually forgot I was watching a movie in a theatre.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Sunset Boulevard and Singin' in the Rain

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

M.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

For the environment, Ordinary People, and for the sense that I wasn't alone in feeling different, Rocky Horror Picture Show.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Don't know either one.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Diner

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

I'm assuming Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights doesn't qualify. So Alex Karras in many things, but primarily Victor/Victoria.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Being There.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Since I'm a noir-fan, Double Indemnity and Out of the Past.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

The Martini Shot, or The Next-to-Last Picture Show

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

No offense to Mr. Gould, but Bogart by a mile.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Mary Poppins, although The Absent-Minded Professor is great too.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

Alien is great in its use of sound and silence, and I love the quiet sounds of the Alien as it approaches its prey.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Yes, absolutely.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

The Godfather

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Naomi Watts

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Nah, if I look down others for Forrest Gump and Life is Beautiful, they can call me on my love of Kevin Smith movies and B-horror stuff.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Many others have beat me to it: Ensemble performance. Robert Altman's casts would have deserved this many times in the past.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Robocop

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Preserve a moment of plot, time, or performance forever

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Finney

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

RKO

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Hitchcock/Truffaut, because I read it at just the right time to open my eyes and make me a lifetime movie fan.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

The Stunt Man

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

Day for Night

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Claire Danes

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Memorable in its cringeworthiness -- I was at a gathering years ago and Wallace Shawn was there. I was eager to talk to him about his plays and how they're brilliant commentaries on morality, public and private. Mr. Shawn was not in the mood to chat and I felt like a complete fool. Interestingly, I've known two other people who've also embarrassed themselves before him in the same way, so I'm strangely comforted.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Hitchcock, when I was young, probably from my parents.

www.LanceTooks.com said...

I’m a cartoonist, not a film critic… hope you don’t mind my two cents worth of trivial pursuit.
Lance Tooks

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
TO LIVE & DIE IN LA (DVD): My wife loves CSI and I thought she’d like to see William Peterson’s most impressive performance in one of Friedkin’s sharpest directorial efforts -one of the 10 best films of the eighties. It’s the DIRTY HARRY myth taken to its logical conclusion; the maverick lawman waging a losing battle with his own ego.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
STANLEY CORTEZ did unforgettable work with Welles (MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS), Duvivier (FLESH & FANTASY), not to mention two of Sam Fuller’s best. But the dreamlike images he created with Charles Laughton for their NIGHT OF THE HUNTER left the deepest impression on me… two children drifting down a moonlit river with the devil himself in hot pursuit.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Well, JOE DON, of course… the only leading man ever named Joe Don anything. (Director Joe Don Tay doesn’t count.) Funniest JDB moment: Robert Clouse’s Enter the Dragon follow-up THE GOLDEN NEEDLES, where a reclining Elisabeth Ashley admires JDB as he struts across the bedroom in all his bare-assed & barrel-chested glory. Who else do you know that takes it all off & the movie gets slapped with a PG rating?

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
I saw Joe Dante’s THE HOWLING in a Times Square NY theatre on opening night. During the best of Rob Bottin’s mind-blowing werewolf transformations the entire audience sprang to its feet. No one could watch that sequence sitting down. Not to sound like a geezer shaking his cane at CGI, but can you name one computer generated scene so far that could provoke the same response in an entire audience of moviegoers?

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
THE OSCAR (1966)… Hollywood finally gets the bio it deserves. Our tour guides: Stephen Boyd &Tony Bennett, scaling “that glass mountain called success.”

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
THE BIG HEAT: Soft spoken family man Glenn Ford transformed by rage into avenging angel of death.
(My Favorite ‘Fritz Lang’s Favorite’ movie would be Gordon Hessler’s SCREAM & SCREAM AGAIN, the greatest Dr. Mabuse yarn that Lang never spun.)

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
In THE GREAT SANTINI, I recognized myself and my father in Michael O’Keefe & Robert Duvall’s roles… lucky for us both we were able to work out our differences while he was still here.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Angela Molina … her films are tough to find in the states, but she continues to progress and take risks that the also-talented Bouquet hasn’t.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
Gordon Parks’ THE LEARNING TREE. Along with his LEADBELLY, that film introduced me as a kid to the idea that the past (of our parents & grandparents) wasn’t so distant. And reminded me that even during the most difficult of lives there were moments of triumph.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Rowdy Roddy Piper in John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE, which was a documentary so it probably doesn’t count.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
The one he didn’t get to make… 8MILLION WAYS TO DIE, his take on the crime genre which was eviscerated by its producers. I recall Andy Garcia in a later interview recounting with pride the improvisatory atmosphere on the set & the career best work of star Jeff Bridges as an alcoholic cop. He then bitterly described how Ashby’s cut was deemed too long, and the foremost editor in Hollywood was left with a bare skeleton of the film he shot.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
NIGHTHAWKS & SHARKY’S MACHINE. Burt & Sly as I’d like to remember them.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
The TITANIC. It’s perfect for an old single-screen movie palace and the name doesn’t get used much (unless you count the recent film which was anything but). Perhaps the name’s a bit unlucky, but if I’m going to tempt fate by opening up a revival house in 2007, why not go all the way?

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Elliot Gould didn’t make IN A LONELY PLACE.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
JANE EYRE, classical Hollywood storytelling at its best.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
I saw APOCALYPSE NOW the first day it opened at the Ziegfeld when I was seventeen… and I fell asleep halfway through it! The sound that woke me up was a roar of a tiger. Why didn’t somebody tell me there’d be tygers in the movie… I would’ve drank some coffee first.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Of course, unless you’ve got a print of DESPERATE LIVING.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Stewart Copeland’s RUMBLEFISH. Most underrated film composer ever.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Fay Wray… and classic Kong.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
CRASH has already done that several times over. If there were such a thing as truth in advertising it would’ve said ‘from the creator of Walker: Texas Ranger’ on every poster. It was the most disingenuous film about race since WHITE MAN’S BURDEN.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Best minority actor in a secondary role there only to bolster a white actor’s confidence, then disappear with a wink & smile once he’s sure they’ve succeeded. The question is, who working today WOULDN’T be deserving of that award at least once in their career? Gotta eat.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Even though his Dutch films were terrific, there was no reason to expect that ROBOCOP would be as brilliant as it was. Also on that best of the 80’s list.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Nothing. All art forms are equal, the difference always is a matter of the artist.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Finney, if only for TWO FOR THE ROAD.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
The very simple AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL stencil over cycling clouds always guaranteed something outrageous to follow.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
FILM AS A SUBVERSIVE ART by Amos Vogel, a fine pictorial lecture on how to leave a poetic scar.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
I already mentioned the film above… rather that spoil it I’ll pass.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
I caught TWO ENGLISH GIRLS one afternoon while out sick from work, and never forgot it. I think it’s a flawless film.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Claire Danes… neither she nor Leo DiCaprio have fulfilled the promise of their pre-Romeo & Juliet roles, but they’re both still too young to rule out.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Hitchcock was probably the first ‘star’ director I was aware of… then I discovered the monster magazines that introduced me to Whale, Browning etc.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
About 15 years ago I was walking to work in Manhattan when a limo pulls up. A short man with an obvious hangover stumbles out and begins throwing up on the pavement. As I passed him I realized it was comedian JACKIE MASON. “Hey, Jackie…” I tossed at him, “…comin’ up with new material?” Lucky for me he smiled back.

Brian said...

I just wanted to stop by and say that I love reading everyone else's answers! I'm especially impressed that pretty much every answer for #23 has been both different and truthful. Most are even thought provoking.

Dustin DeWind said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
In a Dark Corner - I was in the mood for Clifton Web.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Nobody said Sven Nyquist? Ok, me too. James Wong Howe.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Mitchell!

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
In Kiss Me, Stupid, when I realized that Ray Walston was going to actually sleep with the hooker. Squealed with delight.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Jiminy Glick In Lalawood. For Martin Short's dead-on David Lynch. "I always see... a dark highway..."

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
Metropolis. Although I loved him in Godard's Contempt.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
I saw Claire's Knee in college, and identified with Jerome, since I was always desparate over some young girl (my age of course). And I thought I could be suave like him.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
The one with dark hair.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
The General - Which is now as ancient as the Civil War was when Keaton made it.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Keala Kennelly in Blue Crush. Well, its a small part.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Harold and Maude.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Renaldo and Clara - because that's the only chance I'll get to see it - and something good.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
The Bijou. And there'll be a section up front with beanbag chairs and headphones, and tables in the back with bar service.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
That Darn Cat. Or am I thinking of the remake? No, I mean the one with Elsa Lanchester.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
In Jaques Tati's Mon Oncle - the bloops of the machine making deformed plastic hose.


17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
My frat used to play this as a fund raiser. I used to hide upstairs.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Run Lola Run. Great electronica, perfectly suited to the film - a strong, pretty woman running fast.


19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Wray.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
All too many. Any mopey foreign film about hopelessness.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Best silent film?

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Starship Troopers, which I don't like much. I just like Showgirls less.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Show audiences moving pictures, and sometimes sound, at feature length without commercials.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Ustinov.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
Univeral globe with airplane. MGM lion. The Rank Organization gong. And I really like the "new" Columbia lady with the torch.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
Canned Goods for Caviar - a close reading of 6 or 8 depression comedies, like Bringing Up Baby, It's a Gift, My Man Godfrey, Duck Soup.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
The end of A Palm Beach Story, because the throw-away credit sequence finally makes sense.
Wait, that's not the best - but I like it a lot.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Shoot the Piano Player. But I really liked his last one - Confidentially Yours. I prefer his wacky comedies.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Hussey. I was young then.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
I flew on the same plane as Huey Lewis and the News. I didn't know what to say - "Hey, you're Huey Lewis. I never really liked you, but I guess your not that bad."

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
After seeing Bruce Brown's Endless Summer and On Any Sunday. But of course, he was, like, IN those films, pretty much the main character.
So maybe, 2001.

bill said...

1)What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

My wife and I went to see “Stranger Than Fiction” on Sunday, because a friend we hadn’t seen in a very long time asked us to. The movie had it’s flaws, by the way, but it was a lot better than the previews made it look.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Roger Deakins.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Joe Don Baker.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

The last time I can remember that happening was while watching “Palindromes”. That guy with the rifle needs to work on his timing.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

“Barton Fink”.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

“M”, but I should say I’m deficient in my Fritz Lang knowledge.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

I don’t know about the first time, but most recently and profoundly I recognized myself in “Punch Drunk Love” and “Sideways”. Ladies, please, I’m married!

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Molina was pretty hot in “Spider-Man 2”.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

“A Christmas Story”

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Patrick Ewing in “Exorcist III”.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

“The Last Detail”

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

There’s probably a better answer for this, but I’ll say “Serpico” and “The Crucible”.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Movies Are Here!

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Bogart

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

“Darby O’Gill and the Little People”.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

Someone else already said “The Exorcist”, but that’s really the most striking movie for sound, as far as I’m concerned. The Coen brothers are brilliant with sound as well. I love the sound of Burnt Umber Sierra going over the uneven road in “Fargo”, and the sound of Ben Geisler’s stomach gurgling in “Barton Fink”. Also, in “The Shining”, the famous sound of Danny on his Big Wheel, riding around the hotel.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Never seen it, don’t plan to.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

I don’t know if I have a favorite, but because, despite winning the Oscar, it doesn’t get mentioned often, I’ll go with “The Right Stuff” by Bill Conti.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

With these questions, I’m never sure if you’re asking who we prefer in the role
each actor or actress has played, or who we prefer overall. In this case, I have
to assume it’s based solely on “King Kong”. I still pick Watts. She’s a good
actress, and she gets naked a lot.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

There are a lot of these. I’ll say “Fight Club” and “JFK” and move on.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Someone else already picked Ensemble Acting (which, for me, would go to “Glengarry Glen Ross”), so instead I’ll pick Best Stunt. The Grand Order of Stuntpeople have been pushing for this category for years, and the fact that the Academy hasn’t adopted the category yet baffles me. As for what stunt gets my vote, I’ve always been partial to a moment in “The Road Warrior”, when one of the Humungus’s crew, on a motorcycle, hits the side of a wrecked car and goes flipping end over end toward the camera.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

I’m not really a fan, but I’ll say “RoboCop”.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Um…they make history…come alive! Through science!

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

In this case, I prefer Ustinov’s Poirot, but overall I’ll go with Finney for a variety of reasons, but mainly for “Miller’s Crossing”, “Big Fish” and “Under the Volcano”.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

I always liked the simple, stark United Artists logo used, I believe, in the 70s and 80s.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

”This is Orson Welles”.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

So many people have said “Psycho”, so I’ll be different, although I often think about the fact that, for most of us, that twist was ruined well before we saw the movie, due to its notoriety, and I always wished I could have seen it in 1960, completely oblivious.

Actually, thinking about it, it’s pretty hard for me to come up with another great one. “Brazil” maybe?

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

This question reminds me of an interesting article I read a while back that featured famous writers and literary critics confessing which classic books they’d never got around to reading. Maybe you can ask the cinematic equivelant of that question on the next test.

Oh, PS, I’ve never seen a Truffaut movie.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Hussey.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

I met Harlan Ellison at a book signing. Doesn’t count? Well, my brother saw Robert Duvall twice at the same restaurant. Didn’t talk to him. Too chicken, apparently.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

As someone else said, the names Lucas and Spielberg meant a lot to me as a kid, but I doubt I knew what they did at the time. So, although I can’t pinpoint exactly when this happened, it must have been while watching a Hitchcock movie, which I did a lot when I was a kid. Probably “Rear Window”.

Incidentally, Spielberg’s name still means a lot to me. Lucas’s doesn’t.

Mr. Middlebrow said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
CASINO ROYALE, in a theatre. Which in itself is pretty remarkable timing, considering I get to about 3 movies a year, in this, the post man-cub era.


2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Barry Sonnenfeld, BLOOD SIMPLE and RAISING ARIZONA, but with the following caveat:

Sonnenfeld was the first DP the Coens worked with and was obviously a major contributor to the signature look of their early films. So the real answer to the middle part of the question is I look forward to Coen Bros. movies for lots of reasons, one of which is that I know they’re going to work with an amazing cinematographer. That said, I’ll definitely be paying more attention to movies that Roger Deakins works on.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
It was a dead heat until (at Dennis’ urging) I saw CHARLEY VARRICK.

Advantage: Baker.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
John Hurt’s acute case of terminal heartburn in ALIEN got my undivided attention.


5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
GET SHORTY (“It’s the Cadillac of minivans.”)

Every bit as observant and satirical as THE PLAYER, but a helluva lot more fun. (No disrespect to the late, great Mr. Altman.)


6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
METROPOLIS [where “favorite” = “one and only experience seeing a”]


7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
See question 1. All I could think as I watched Daniel Craig cavorting about was, “Hmph. Been there. Done that.”

This is a great question. Honestly, I think I’m still waiting for it. Which is odd, because I think I watch movies subconsciously hoping to see it. Maybe I just haven’t been doing it right.

THIS BOY’S LIFE comes rather painfully close.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Nobody does it better than Carole Bouquet.
(By “it,” of course, I mean pout sexy.)

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
FIELD OF DREAMS
A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT
(going out on a limb, because it’s been years since I’ve seen it.)


10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in AIRPLANE.

Does bodybuilding count as a sport? If people can cite pro wrestlers as athletes, I think I can say Schwarzenegger’s been mighty entertaining in his portrayals of the Terminator (if somewhat less so as The Governator).


11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
I’m going to say HAROLD & MAUDE, but with the renewed commitment to see SHAMPOO and THE LAST DETAIL with all possible haste.


12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
DUCK DODGERS IN THE 24TH-AND-A-HALF CENTURY; THE RIGHT STUFF (not necessarily in that order.)


13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
For purposes of this quiz, The State.
(Dennis, as the only other person in the known universe/blogosphere who will get this, knows why.)

I also love the idea of a revival house called The Encore

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

I suspect this will prove to be the most one-sided comparison question in the history of SLIFR U quizzes: Bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Fond as I am of the Flubber franchise, and even having seen the dark side of practical perfection I have to go with MARY POPPINS.


16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
Whenever the press appears in THE RIGHT STUFF, there’s the sound of swarming locusts intermingled with the cameras flashing and the reporters shouting. Kaufman kinda spoils it with Yeager’s line that calls the reporters “root weevils,” but it’s still a great use of sound as a storytelling tool.


17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
I’m a big fan of applying the mathematical axiom of “the extremes define the means” to non-math subjects, especially pop culture: the stuff on the fringes makes the middle more interesting. So, yes.


18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Still OCEAN’S 11 (the Soderberg version). Can’t name the composer w/o a trip to the IMdB, but it’s a great mashup of old-school Las Vegas lounge and new-age electronica. Great with the movie, nice on its own.


19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Fay Wray is the bee’s knees. (That might be the lingering influence of a thing I just saw on TCM about pre-code women.)


20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
SHOWGIRLS (kidding!)


21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Best Casting: OUT OF SIGHT.

I consider this separate from but complementary to Best Performance by an Ensemble (which I’m also in favor of). Casting recognizes the job of assembling the actors and assigning their roles (the setup); ensemble acting would recognize how well they actually played together (the payoff). One wouldn’t always mean a lock on the other. Like Best Picture/Best Director, sort of.

Best performance by an actor in a shamelessly mercenary role. Michael Caine would probably win all 417 times that he’d been nominated. Lou Gossett, Jr. would always be the bridesmaid.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
ROBOCOP (“Thank you for your cooperation.”)


23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Give you an excuse to eat popcorn in the dark.


24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Finney. TOM JONES, TWO FOR THE ROAD, SHOOT THE MOON, ERIN BROCKOVICH. I could go on. If I ever do see myself in movie, I imagine I’ll be played by Albert Finney, for better or worse.


25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
Probably the old-school Universal spinning globe, the one with the biplane. Though I must give a shout out to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK for best segue from studio logo to opening shot. Talk about product placement. (How’s that for an Oscar category…?)


26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
Wow, tough one. It’s been a long time since I read a book about the movies. Does this blog count as a book? It’s become my most indispensable source of criticism, insight and discourse about all things cinema.

As for an actual bound volume, I guess I’ll go with NOBODY’S PERFECT, a collection of reviews by Anthony Lane of THE NEW YORKER.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
I’m going to crib someone else’s comment about PLANET OF THE APES.


28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
As Juliet? Olivia.
In general? Claire.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Richard Simmons or Ed Begley, Jr.


31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
From about the age of 10 or so, I knew films had a director. I was familiar with most of the biggies from the ‘70s: Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Coppola, Lucas, Woody Allen. It took me until my early 20s to appreciate what a director actually did (as opposed to/in concert with a writer or a producer).

lucas said...

Horay! Another quiz. I do so look forward to these.

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Tonight I saw The Maltese Falcon (1941), for the simple reason that I was flipping through one of my big booklets of DVDs. It was that booklet because that was the one laying open on the floor. And the John Huston classic? Well, you can never go too far wrong with Bogart and Peter Lorre.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Is Gordon Willis cheating? Probably. Then Robert Elswit. All his work with P.T. Anderson is great, but Punch-Drunk Love could be some of his best.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

IMDB tells me I don't really know who Bo Svenson is, so pass.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

I don't tend to gasp all that much, seeing as I'm a cold-hearted bastard. The one that comes immediately to mind is the Italian epic La Meglio gioventù (2003). There's a moment (**spoiler warning**) after a New Year's Eve party when a melancholy Matteo opens the door to his balcony where the fireworks are going off in the distance. In one motion, he walks out on the balcony and goes over the rail. It's such a breathtaking moment, even though you can see it coming. If you could reach through the screen to stop him, you would.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Um...The Player.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

Metropolis (1927)

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

I'm sure there were some kids movies, and probably I saw a lot of myself in sports movies, back when I was an athlete, but the one that comes to mind is Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise. I was just coming out of a relationship that felt like that and had been doing a lot of writing. I saw the film and my first thought was, "wow, I've been stealing from this film for months."

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

I'm pretty sure I remember a Carole Bouquet performance (with a little help from IMDB, of course), so her.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

There's probably a bit of an Altman theme here, but how about A Prairie Home Companion?

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Smokey and the Bandit II (1980): as the Bandit attempts to elude Sheriff Buford T. Justice, he inexplicably ends up on the Pittsburgh Steelers practice field. He says hello to Terry Bradshaw, but the best part is when Mean Joe Greene "tackles" the cop car, flipping it over on the field as the Bandit speeds away.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Being There.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

A double feature, eh? How about this: Jirí Menzel's Ostre sledované vlaky (1966) (a.k.a. Closely Watched Trains) and Claude Lelouch's Un homme et une femme (1966). Side note: was I the only one delighted to see the clips of Lelouch's film in Stranger Than Fiction?

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Tarkovsky & Company...actually that's a better name for a place that sells obscure DVDs...well, nevermind, we'll do that on the side.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

You know, I was watching some old Altman films recently, and the one thing I couldn't get over was just how cool Gould was back in the day. How he isn't a bigger star is beyond me. That being said, as someone who loves that delightful Woody Allen comedy Play It Again, Sam (1972), no one is cooler than Bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

I used to love the Herbie movies, so Herbie Rides Again.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

I love how in City Lights (1931), his first film of the talkie era, Charlie Chaplin teases us by having the city officials speak gibberish in the beginning of the film. It's like he's saying, "sure, I can use dialogue if I want to, but I don't want to, so there."

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

You know, I've never seen it.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

The criminally underrated Chelsea Walls.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

I've been really impressed with the career path Watts has chosen. The Ring is what it is, but she's taken care to do films like We Don't Live Here Anymore, 21 Grams, and I Heart Huckabees. She's going to have a damn fine filmography before she's done.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

It's usually a lot of little things that get me (and usually in the opposite direction, like how could they not like a certain film?), but I'd seriously wonder about anyone who was a proponent of Chicago. I remember watching it in the theatre after the Oscar nominations came out and calling my friend immediately afterward. It went something like this:

Me: Bet the farm. Chicago will win Best Picture.
Him: So it's good?
Me: No, it's terrible. Clearly the worst of the nominees. It can't lose.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

In my perfect world, there'd be a "Best Advancement of the Art Form" award, given to the film (that played on a minimum number of screens, thus encouraging the studios to get involved) that successfully pushes an artistic edge. No one would be allowed to campaign for it. If The Fountain were a better film, I'd give it to that. But last year, it'd go to The New World.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

yeah...I don't really like any of them.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Viewed properly, in a dark theatre, great film can manage to erase the entire world you live in. That is, it can pull you out of your daily routine and so draw you into whatever the filmmakers have created, that you truly forget everything else. Sometimes, I'll walk out of a theatre, and be startled by the sun, as I'd completely forgotten it was the middle of the day. Or, watch Dark City late at night and try to justify your memory of the daylight...

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

I gotta go with Albert Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

I really like the old Universal logo with the transmitter tower (or whatever they call it) on top of the globe.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

This answer's gonna suck. I have one of Roger Ebert's collections that I like a great deal, only I don't remember which one and I don't feel like going into the other room...For some reason I have very few film books.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

To me, the twist works so much better in a film that isn't setting up the expectation of the twist. A film like The Usual Suspects (1995) is nice and everything, but tell me there's going to be a twist, and I'll find it. But a film like Fight Club (1999), where the story doesn't necessarily depend on a twist ending for resolution, is all the more gratifying to me personally. In retrospect, sure, it isn't so surprising, but at the time I was pulled into a story, a worldview, that's compelling all by itself. The twist is just a nice bonus.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

I'm a big fan of the entire series, but I have to go with Les Quatre cents coups (1959). I will throw in a nice plug for the oft-forgotten Le Dernier métro (1980).

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Danes.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

I met Stephen King once at a high school basketball game (and by met, I almost ran into him in the lobby), but I honestly don't have all that many memorable encounters, partly because it doesn't happen all that often and partly because I don't really think anything of it when it does. I have, however, met some historical figures who left me speechless.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Somehow, I skipped that moment. I went from not putting any thought into film to immediately being aware that there was some one person in charge of the proceedings. Not a great answer, but there you have it.

lucas said...

I'm an idiot. I meant the RKO Tower for the studio logo...but now that i think about it, I like the Janus Films logo more

bill said...

I need to put an addendum on my answer for the favorite score question. I said that I loved Bill Conti's score for "The Right Stuff", which I do, but some of my favorite music in that movie was actually by Harry Mancini, from his "White Dawn" score.

The end.

Sam Smith said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, on DVD. I knew that the film would have to be watched in a completely different way after Altman's death, and it really made a big impression on me watching it again in this context. I also wanted to hear the commentary track with Altman and Kevin Kline, which I'd heard was great (and it was).

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Emmanuel Lubezki. After working with Malick on THE NEW WORLD he's more of a "household" name, but I knew that he and Cuaron were a perfect couple ever since A LITTLE PRINCESS. CHILDREN OF MEN shoots him into the stratosphere.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

JDB, I guess.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
Pretty much any moment where someone's finger or hand is suddenly chopped off (most recently in THE PRESTIGE).

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

ADAPTATION.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

Of the few I've seen, M.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Back to Cuaron and Lubezki: Finn in GREAT EXPECTATIONS. I hadn't read the Dickens novel but I personally claimed this movie as part of my personal teenage mythology, as well as Luhrman's ROMEO + JULIET, the most emo movie ever.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Don't know either well enough to say.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

FIELD OF DREAMS.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

I can't even think of one.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Of the few that I've seen, BEING THERE.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

I've spent way too much time actually thinking about this question. The first that comes to mind is METROPOLIS and DARK CITY.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Get back to me on this one.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Eliot Gould.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Of the few I've seen, MARY POPPINS.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

In the stargate sequence of 2001, how with each cut to a new amorphous cosmic object (the ones that look like lava lamps in black space), the low, rumbling sound changes.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

No.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Thomas Newman, AMERICAN BEAUTY

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Time will tell, but for now, Fay Wray.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

The Kevin Smith ouevre is a pretty good indicator of where someone stands.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

The next Oscar category should probably be Best Ensemble Cast, and, if introduced this year, it should probably go to A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

TOTAL RECALL.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Includes and depends on all of the other art forms. Painting does not depend on writing, writing does not depend on music, and music does not depend on images. For better or worse.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Albert Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

It changes almost daily. For aesthetics, I like the STUDIO CANAL logo because it's always surprising and fun. But most often I am happy to see the Warner Independent logo because it means I'm probably going to see a good movie.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

"Hitchcock/Truffaut"

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

This may sound extrememly safe, but for me, no movie has done it better than THE SIXTH SENSE.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

THE 400 BLOWS.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

See Question #7.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Fall 2001, the New York Film Festival. It was my first semester at college, in New York just after 9/11. I managed to get my way into the New York Film Festival, and my awe for cinema and New York City was at an all time high. Not knowing then that you must allow an hour travel time when getting to important places in NYC, I arrived by cab to THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS about ten minutes late. The ushers let me in, but I wasn't about to climb across all of the fifth-row audience members to get to my center-section seat. Timid and full of wonder, I watched the movie sitting down in the far right aisle, the enormous, skewed screen of Alice Tully Hall filling my entire field of vision. When the credits rolled, everyone applauded and turned around to the box seats floating above me. A NY moviegoing amateur, I didn't even know that filmmakers or actors would be in attendance at this sort of event. So it wasn't shaking Wes Anderson's hand outside, or watching Bill Murray bust through the back exit and run towards Broadway, avoiding the crowd. It was at that moment in Alice Tully Hall, when I followed the audience's gaze above me to see Gwyneth Paltrow waving in the spotlight. She looked right down at me and gave me my own personal wave, and I thought to myself, "It's all happening."

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Around age 8 or 9, during Tim Burton's marathon of BEETLE JUICE, BATMAN, and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS.

This was great. More quizzes!!!

Sam Smith
samsmyth.blogspot.com

Chris Stangl said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

On DVD: OPEN SEASON (aka- THE RECON GAME; 1974), delightful kidnapping/rape/human-hunting/revenge junk with Peter Fonda and John Phillip Law. Why?: on a vigilante justice kick!

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Ubaldo Terzano and Bava'’s photography makes BLOOD AND BLACK LACE my favorite looking motion picture of all time. The primary colors will sear your brain, and the pools of pastel will cool them off again. It's a perfect marriage of form and material, as the movie needs to look like a fashion magazine photo spread in and convincingly lurid.

But right now, I'm all about Jeong-hun Jeong, Park Chan-Wook'’s cinematographer for OLDBOY and SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE. Not always the most sumptuous, but his pictures look tired, sad, rained-upon, and beautiful.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Baker in CHARLEY VARRICK sleeps in his clothes, sweats a lot, says stuff like "“I didn't travel six-hundred miles for the amusement of morons. Izzat clear, ladies?," threatens guys with pliers and blowtorches, and his name is Molly. Now that's a heavy. And he played Winona Ryder's dad once. And yeah, he's the better B-Puss, too.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation...…)

Winona Ryder as Lelaina Pierce (yeah, right. She'’s playing Winona Ryder) lies on her bed in a T-shirt, cigarette smoldering in hand, staring at the ceiling like a dope, contemplating the messy, un-frothy, no-fun romantic triangle she'’s gotten herself into. You know, basically assuming the Crucifixion position for a generation: Jesus slept. It's the one moment in REALITY BITES that transcends the Gen-X-ploitation... but that's not why I gasped. I'd already fallen hard, some 6 years earlier (BEETLEJUICE), but I just hadn'’t seen anyone photograph Ryder like that before. Gulp... Gasp!

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

A meditation on the waking dream of cinema, it's MULHOLLAND DR. for me, all the twisty, dangerous way.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

I like it pulpy, I like it eerie, I like it wacked-out as possible, I like it TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Francesco Dellamorte -- who continually Gets The Girl and Loses The Girl, doesn't appreciate his friends enough, dresses in cool boots, black pants and white shirts -- feeling sorry for himself, gets drunk on red wine, stands in the autumn rain, talking to a statue of the Reaper. DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE. Badass, solipsist, or romantic? And I go "“Are they making fun of me?"

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

When it comes to Conchitas in your own life, you think the lusty Molinas will be harder to handle, but the Bouquets cause more trouble in the end. Therefore: Bouquet.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Say wha'’? I'm not being a wiseacre; I don'’t think I understand the question.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Tor Johnson, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE: He's a big boy, Johnny!

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

I like to watch BEING THERE.

12) Name the first double feature you'’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

CHILDREN OF PARADISE and NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES.

13) What'’s the name of your revival theater?

The Thanatos -- if it'’s an grand old movie palace. If it's a dump-hole with brick walls and folding chairs: The Exploding Kinetoscope Parlour.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

If this is a question of who is the better screen Marlowe, I refuse to dignify it with a response. That thing Elliot Gould is doing is not Philip Marlowe.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Yikes, don't ask me to pit MARY POPPINS against THAT DARN CAT! Just don't... Poppins has more sheer, universal pop culture iconography, Walt's personal quality-control, and great songs, it's still funny and magical no matter what age you are... and Julie Andr--... Okay, THAT DARN CAT! I love TDC! so much it's repulsive. And there goes all my credibility. In all areas of life. Somebody take me inside and make me a big weird sandwich!

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

Daria Nicolodi as Gianna does an unexpected shimmy-shake as she haughtily leaves Marc Daly (David Hemmings)'’s apartment in DEEP RED. She's trying to turn the head of the disinterested pianist, but also doing it to remind herself she'’s a desirable woman: a non-diegetic electric guitar plays a startling, cute and sassy boogie-down lick. I don'’t know if Marc can hear it, but we can, and that'’s what matters.

17) Pink Flamingos-- yes or no?

Yes, it is the funniest comedy in the history of motion pictures. Yes, if it were made today the entire cast and crew would be arrested for terrorism. Yes, the movie celebrates the spirit of America by tearing apart everything it stands for.

No, I'’m not overstating the case for PINK FLAMINGOS. Anyone who says otherwise will be executed for assholeism!

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Ennio Morricone'’s crazysexycool DIABOLIK, but only if Christy belting out "“Deep Down" counts as part of the score.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Naomi Watts is the better actress. Fay Wray is the better Ann Darrow. I would like to have seen Ms. Wray play Jet Girl, however.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

"Question," certainly, but not "“discount out of hand." Opinions alone are worthless: their relative value is in the "“why."” So: DONNIE DARKO, the collected anything of Kevin Smith, TWIN TOWN, Don Bluth movies, HARD CANDY. But I'm always willing to listen.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Best Promotional Poster Art for a Motion Picture. The intention would simply be to improve the state of movie advertising by providing motivation for more handsome posters. This year's winner: THE BLACK DAHLIA.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

ROBOCOP. R-C and SHOWGIRLS are the only Verhoeven In America movies in which his satire is pleasurable in a way that actually makes me laugh, and doesn'’t seem to shame the audience for enjoying genre stories.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Better than any other artform, film preserves images of beautiful people in motion. Not to be coy: I am talking about Eros.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

For Hercules, and in all other things: dude, BLACKBEARD'S GHOST. Ustinov to the end. What'’s wrong with you people!? I'm just sayin': BLACKBEARD'S GHOST.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

a) Warner Brothers' three-fat, wormy white stripes W in a black oval against an angry red field before THE EXORCIST.
b) Universal's miniature aeroplane ride before the creepy-adorable miniatures of THE MUMMY's opening credits.
c) Alternate selection: The Vestron Video logo before anything and everything.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Jonathan Rosenbaum and J. Hoberman's MIDNIGHT MOVIES, 1983.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any "spoilers" in your answer.)

Spoiler: PSYCHO(1960). End spoiler.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

JULES AND JIM, I guess. Runner up... Indifferent: The Movie!

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Olivia Hussey never gave a performance as good as Danes on "MY SO-CALLED LIFE". Claire Danes never made anything as fun as BLACK CHRISTMAS. Call that round a draw.

So as Juliets… Claire Danes didn't take her top off, seems to misunderstand what the word "“wherefore" means, but gets to wear better costumes and is in the more compelling film. Olivia Hussey's fair busting at the seams of her costume, and gives the competent performance. Round 2: Draw.

As babes: judge if you must, I'’m a Claire Danes man. Danes it is.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

I made a joke about "special sauce"” while Morgan Spurlock (SUPER-SIZE ME) as we used adjacent urinals.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

... after watching "ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS" episodes, asking my parents about the host, and then seeing VERTIGO. Who turned a potentially hackneyed rooftop chase sequence into a mini psychodrama about perilous mortality, the queasy moral issues of self-preservation, and the sublime terror of psychological free-fall? The director did that. I realized films were directed, while hanging off a rooftop with Detective Scottie Ferguson. I was 10 years old, and so afraid I was almost sick, and I knew whose fault it was. Hitchcock did it to me.

Slightly expanded answers at The Exploding Kinetoscope!

bill said...

Son of a gun! I thought choosing "Darby O'Gill", Roger Deakins and Bill Conti's "The Right Stuff" score were, along with being true, unique answers. I really need to read everyone else's posts before I do this.

Anonymous said...

I haven't watched that many movies lately, so I'm going to skip a bunch of these.

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
- After seeing Casino Royale in theaters recently I was watching isolated scenes from On Her Majesty's Secret Service on YouTube. Some guy evidently uploaded most of the movie (yes, most of YouTube's success depends on broken copyright laws). Anyways, I was a huge Bond fan as a young teen and that movie (perhaps aside from From Russia With Love) has to be the one that's stuck with me the most. It helps that Peter R. Hunt directed and that Lazenby as Bond isn't necessarily likeable.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
- Somebody already mentioned Nykvist, but yeah, him. I was going to say "Kubrick" to be glib but evidently he had cinematographers.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
- F For Fake.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
- The only one I've seen is M.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
- Um, Eternal Sunshine, maybe.. don't know if that works or not.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
- Well I'd want to see Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen since I haven't done that yet. And since that one's so long the other feature would have to be really short, preferably South Park's "Trapped in the Closet", you know, just to get that out there.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
- Someone already mentioned Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The images from that movie are still somewhere in the back of my mind.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
I like the sound during Jackie Brown when Melanie is watching TV, and "Helmut" is yelling at a girl.. I can't describe this with complete accuracy, but he menacingly snarls, "Read the paper! Read it!" and slaps her across the face with a newspaper. The slaps are like in all bad actions movies, bull-whip noises, or as Ebert puts it, ping pong paddles vs. Naugahyde sofas. And her odd squealing noises upon being hit ("Uhh! Uhh!") top it off.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
- This question is the main reason I did the quiz. Yeong-wook Jo's score to the movie "Oldboy" is just excellent, even better than the movie, which itself is pretty good. I had to buy the score as an import (http://www.amazon.com/Old-Boy-Yeong-wook-Jo/dp/B0006N2G12/sr=8-6/qid=1165537801/ref=pd_bbs_6/002-9081511-4396010?ie=UTF8&s=music) but it was worth it, especially for the last song. If you've seen the film I don't think you've forgotten the song that plays over the end credits.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
- I thought Annie Hall didn't have one, just the black silent titles. But I checked, and I was wrong. I lose.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
- When I hear "twist ending" I think cheesy. But to not answer the question, The Maltese Falcon. Even though I don't really think that counts. Maybe just "best ending."

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
- Close Encounters, I guess.

Sal Gomez said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
Casino Royale. Just love a good BOND film and Daniel Craig looked to me like he could fuel inject some life into the character. Boy was I right!

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Vittorio Storaro. OMG... The first time I saw Apocalypse Now I was blown away by the colors and texture of each frame of that film. He is a painter, no question about it. Honorable mention goes to Vilmos Zsigmond and his work in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter and especially Heavens Gate, A film I absolute love.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don Baker is burned into my memory as Buford Pusser in Walking Tall. Bo Svenson as Jo Bob Priddy in North Dallas Forty tickled me and frightened me at the same time. a great performance. I have to go with Bo Svenson.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
I was 11 years old and my father took my younger brother and I to the drive- in to see The Legend of Boggy Creek. The scene where one of the family members being stalked by the "creature" decides to go take a dump. While he's on the throne the creature punches his hand thru the bathroom window and I must've jump clear thru the top of my dad's Chevy Nova.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Singing in the Rain

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
Like most people I'm more familiar with Metropolis but I did see a movie a couple years back that I didn't realize was a Fritz Lang directed film. It is the Human Desire with Glen Ford.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
If you ever want to see a film that features myself, my buddy John and our mutual friend Eddie, just grab a copy of the 1998 film Free Enterprise. This film nearly floored me with how dead one it was at my relationship with these two friends of mine. I can't help but belly laugh every time I watch it.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Carole Bouquet... oh Yeah!

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
This is very subject. Probably more so than any other question on this list. As far as nostalgia goes I would have to say that American Graffiti is a film that came straight from the heart and wasn't developed as a bankable commodity.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
This may not be politically correct but I'd have to go with O.J. Simpson in The Towering Inferno. A very close second is John Matuszak in Caveman.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Hands down it has to be Harold and Maude

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
In Like Flint and Our Man Flint. I do this at home on Laserdisc all the time.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
The Silver Screen

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Elliot Gould

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
The Island at the Top of the World or The Absent-Minded Professor

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
Logan's Run. This film was my first experience listening to a film mixed in the Todd-AO format. Saw it at the Cinerama Dome and was completely blown away.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Sure, why not.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Hard to choose just one. My favorites are The Towering inferno, Superman- The Movie, The Great Race, King Kong (the original) and Star Wars.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Naomi Watts

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
No not really.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
I'll have to think about this more.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Robocop for it's ballsy attitude, Showgirls for having Elizabeth Berkley naked and Hollow man for having it's title character commit what I think a lot of guys would dream of doing if they were invisible(not me of course).

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
They make our dreams and imaginations come to life.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Tough choice. I'll go with Albert Finney

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
20th Century Fox

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
"You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again" by Julia Phillips

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
For me it's a tie between The Sixth Sense and Gothika

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Sorry, not familiar enough with his film work to form an opinion. I've only seen The Man Who Loved Women

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Olivia Hussey. Oh yea!

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
My acting class attended a taping of One Day at a Time and they shamed Valerie Bertinelli into giving me a kiss on the cheek. I've never been the same since. She's divorced now, right?

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
(I cribbed this one from The House Next Door. Thanks, Matt! Great question!)
I saw a documentary on Willis O'Brien when I was about 10 years old and finally learned how films were made.

Anonymous said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Prodigal Son. Because Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao would kick my ass if I didn't.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Peter Pau. Bride with White Hair.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Mitchell! he died as he lived. Moist and bloated.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

Superman Returns. saying when would be a spoiler

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Ed Wood

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

who?

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

I've never been in a movie.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

who?

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Otaku no Video

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Babe Ruth as himself in Pride of the Yankees

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

>sigh< who?

12) Name the first double feature you'd program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Rocky III and Superman II

13) What's the name of your revival theater?

Brattle

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Either.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

who are these people?

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

the bell ringing in Battle in Heaven

17) Pink Flamingoes -- yes or no?

Is this a trick question? Hell yes.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Joe Hisaishi - Welcome to Dongmakgol

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

who?

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

no. there's no accounting for taste.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

best cum shot in a non-pr0n film. Jodie Foster - Silence of the Lambs

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

who? why is this so westerncentric?

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

literature wins.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

I feel like an owl. who?

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

Studio Ghibli

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

can't think of one.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any "spoilers" in your answer.)

Empire Strikes Back

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

That's like picking my favorite body part to be hit by a hammer

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

who is Olivia Hussey? Claire Danes is awful so Hussey by default.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

having breakfast with Yashihiro Irie

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

probably when discovering Gilliam's Brazil. I'm not sure.

Dan W. said...

For some reason the first time I did the quiz it made me post as Anonymous. I'm the one a couple posts ago who answered the first question with Casino Royale and OHMSS. I wanted to answer two I left out the first time..

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Without being smug, the answer is Gerald Ford, president of the United States.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

"Jean Renoir, the French Films, 1924-1939" by Alexander Sesonske.

It's out of print but definitely worth finding. You might have heard part of the chapter on "Rules of the Game" as the commentary track to the Criterion DVD of that film.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Well, it looks like the problem I referred to in the uppermost post has straightened itself out.

I just wanted to second Brian's comment from above-- the answers to this quiz have been so far above and beyond, in terms of cleverness, liveliness and thoughtfulness, that I'm going to resurrect the Professor's Key when this quiz is played out, in about a month, and revisit the very best answers from all 31 questions.

I ought not to even get started on this, but I can't resist highlighting just a couple anyway.

The Demarest, TLRHB? Brilliant!

David Lowery: The Boondock Saints. That's a deal breaker for me. I feel like I've corrupted this entire quiz by mentioning its title.

And from Brian:
5) Your favorite movie about the movies: Duck Amuck.
8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
These head-to-heads are sometimes frustrating. If only there was a way to get two actors to play the same role, guided by the same director, we might get somewhere in the vicinity of being able to properly judge.

Man, these have been fun to read! Thanks to everybody for participating. I hope there's at least 50 more coming soon!

Rob said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
Theater: Prairie Home Companion - Knew something about it and had seen a tantalizing preview.
DVD: Total Recall - From the $5 rack at WalMart.
Pay-Per-View: The Breakup - Liked the cast. Movie sucked, though.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Tonino Delli Colli - Died last year - Most famous for Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - Breathtaking. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot of cinematographers.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don. I like his supporting roles much more than his lead roles, though. Loved him in the James Bond movies.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
When James Cromwell asked Guy Pearce to find out about Rollo Tomasi in L.A. Confidential. ZING.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Singing in the Rain

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
The only two I’ve seen are The Big Heat and Cloak and Dagger. Barely remember either but I’ll go with The Big Heat.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
Not sure I ever have.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
I saw A Business Affair and Carole Bouquet was excellent in that. Haven’t seen Angelina Molina in anything. Bouquet by default.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
Field of Dreams. I would have said this even if I hadn’t seen Sheila’s answer. It’s one of my faves. It's followed closely by The Big Chill (First movie I ever recorded with a VCR and last movie I saw twice at the theater), My Favorite Year, and The Right Stuff. I must have watched those last two 50 times each when they came to HBO/Showtime/Whatever.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Loved Michael Warren in Hill Street Blues. Warren was a great point guard for three of John Wooden's UCLA basketball champions. If it's supposed to be a one time thing, I liked Ray Nitschke in The Longest Yard.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Harold and Maude. I have to see it again soon.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Casablanca and The Wizard of OZ with some Looney Tunes Cartoons before each

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
10 Minutes til Showtime

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
A little too easy. Bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
Mary Poppins

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
The shower scene in Psycho.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Never saw it.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Local Hero

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Naomi

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
Showgirls

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Best scene by an actor in a limited role. Dwier Brown for his role in Field of Dreams or Kevin Spacey for his role in Se7en. Field of Dreams came first so Brown gets it.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
RoboCop

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Suspend your disbelief. If a character is flying on stage, you look for the wires. If a character is flying in the movies, you don’t.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Finney

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
Love the white horse who sprouts wings and jumps at you. Forget who it belongs to, though.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
Don’t have one.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
Being There. Totally unexpected. It should also be noted that the twist in The Crying Game was equally unexpected but it didn't come at the end of the film.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Breathless. One of Richard Gere’s best performances

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Danes by default.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Used to see Aaron Neville at work now and again but I don’t care about him that much. Don’t get much of that around here.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Siskel and Ebert were doing a presentation of full screen versus letterbox. Don’t remember when that was but it was then that I realized that someone behind the camera was controlling what I saw. I started applying that to ball games, too. That’s the major difference between being at the game and watching it on TV. At the game, you see everything. On TV, you only see what the camera shows you.

Rhatfink said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

The Phantom of Soho as I haven't explored the Wallace krimis far enough.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Old School: Mario Bava, while not credited with the cinematography on his own films, had a brilliant utilization of composition and color. Personal favorite: Planet of the Vampires.

New School: Christopher Doyle for the luminosity in his frames. Personal favorite: Chungking Express

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

My initial instinct was for Bo as an underdog, but upon reflection I'll side with Joe Don for having more standout films.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

The moment of revelation in A Tale of Two Sisters or just the oncoming creepiness of Dumplings.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Sullivan's Travels

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

Metropolis, but his Mabuse films eclipse it in my desire to rewatch.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

I've never recognized myself but I've empathized with many characters. Perhaps that's because I'd rather use films as a metaphorical experience rather than a reflection of my life.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

I am not familiar enough with either to make a choice.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Matinee

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Rosey Greer in The Thing With Two Heads

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Harold and Maude

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Le Samourai (1967) and The Killer (1989)

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

The Continental

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Bogie

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Darby O'Gill and the Little People because it is so unlike a Disney film for being one.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

More for the lack of sound when in 2001 we realize that HAL is reading Dave and Frank's lips while they discussing disconnecting the higher brain functions of the computer.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Yes.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Forbidden Planet by Bebe and Louis Barron.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Naomi Watts.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

No, we are all guilty of appreciating things which others find questionable.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

I'll second the category of Best Stuntwork and retroactively award the first one to Buster Keaton.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Starship Troopers.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Capture life in amber.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Albert Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

The RKO logo.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Danny Peary's Guide for the Film Fanatic.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Night of the Living Dead (1968) for the denouement of our hero, Ben. Fairly shocking the first time you see it.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

Shoot the Piano Player

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

I like a shameless Hussey.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

My most recent was when one of The Jordanaires came into my store to buy a copy of himself on The Ed Sullivan Show. He was a nice, old man who felt that Elvis's downfall was because of the people he had surrounded himself with and the grind of two shows a night in Vegas.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Why this is a priori knowledge since most credits start with "A Film By...".

Bemis said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
Casino Royale, because I love the idea of Daniel Craig as Bond. The film had some problems, but Craig did not disappoint.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Robert Richardson, whose work with Scorsese, Stone and Tarantino demonstrates audacious use of light and color and a pitch-perfect sense of composition. His work on Natural Born Killers is particularly impressive, juggling 35mm, 16mm, super 8 and video to create a kaleidoscopic, hallucinatory experience.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Baker. It's all about the baby oil.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…) The reveal at the end of Brazil.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Boogie Nights.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
M, one of the most genuinely unsettling movies ever made.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie. When I first saw Blue Velvet at 13, I immediately identified with Jeffrey Beaumont (though it took a long time to admit as much to myself).

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
I need to see more Bunuel.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
"Rosebud..."

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Fred Williamson as Spearchucker (!) in M*A*S*H*.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
If ever a movie could be described as having a good soul, it's Harold and Maude.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Ah, a question I've pondered for years...Alien and E.T.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
My first instinct is Cinevistaramascope, but that's probably too cumbersome for newspaper listings. So let's call it The Vista.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Gould and his cat.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
Mary Poppins.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
The barely audible helicopters that open Apocalypse Now.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no? Yes.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score. Vertigo.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
I'm going to avoid nostalgia, commodified or otherwise, and go with Naomi Watts.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it? No. It's all about the quality of the argument. And I like Toys.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner. Best cameo (this year: Pamela Anderson in Borat).

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie. Robocop, case closed.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form? Captivate one’s senses.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney? Albert Finney. His Scrooge is the only one I can stomach, let alone revisit annually.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature. I love the late 70’s/early 80’s tri-color Avco Embassy logo that appears before movies like The Fog and The Howling.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally. In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.) Can’t argue with Psycho.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie. Jules and Jim.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes? Danes by default, but they’re both sort of generic.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter. Watching Martin Scorsese direct for an afternoon taught me more than four years of film studies courses.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed? When I first saw Jaws at the age of five and noticed that the director also made E.T. (my then-favorite movie). On some five-year-old level, I began to understand that a director can tell wildly different stories that are still recognizably directed by the same person. Call it my kindergarten introduction to auteur theory.

Dan E. said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Last night, I watched Videodrome on the Criterion DVD. I felt I owed it to myself, since I loved A History of Violence so much and hadn't seen any other Cronenberg works.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

From what I've seen, I love the work of Peter Suschitzky. In particular, I'd like to single out his work on Lisztomania, a movie that wouldn't be nearly as wonderfully surreal if it weren't for Suschitzky's angles.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Joe Don Baker seems like he'd be a nicer guy in person. And he wasn't in Speed 2. That's an automatic strike against Svenson.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

Near the very end of The 39 Steps, I gasped when I realized what was going to happen. Richard Hannay is back in the Music Hall, and he comments on the music. He's about five seconds behind me, but in those five seconds, I gasped. The girl sitting next to me laughed at me, but I was still satisfied with what Hitchcock could do to me.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Sunset Boulevard is the ultimate Hollywood movie. Because if you're not William Holden, then you're Joe Gillis. And if you are William Holden, it won't be too long until you're Norma Desmond.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

M is one of those achievements that make the coming of sound so worthwhile. Well, M and Richard Linklater.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

I can't help it. The girl I was after at the time looked a lot like Virginia Madsen. I was this elitist going through a period of self-discovery (still working on that one). I couldn't help but see myself in Sideways' Miles Raymond. I'll be better next time.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Molina may have been in a remake of Quo Vadis, but she was also in 1492. And Bouquet played Madame de . . . Point: Bouquet.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Rose-tinted glasses are a dangerous thing in films. I blame them for Grease. But there are a pair that strike me as working both in spite of and because of their nostalgia. And they are the prefect analogues for their generations. American Graffiti relives the notion of America before Kennedy, of that unspoiled time of life when kids could while away their time by driving down Main St. without feeling like the world could do them any harm.

Dazed and Confused looks at the world after the fall. Kennedy (both of them), MLK, Vietnam, Watergate, this is a time when hope is beginning to spring anew. There's a certain hope in those Aerosmith tickets. Maybe the 80's won't be so bad.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

I think I have to go with, by default, OJ on the boat in The Naked Gun. It's a moment of unceasing brutality made even funnier in retrospect because of what he's become.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Is there any question? Shampoo. Pure 70's.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

I think I'd make a double feature featuring two very different views of the American Dream. First, I'd have The Godfather to see the dark side. But then I'd follow it up with Modern Times. We don't know what lies down that road, but if the Tramp's got his girl, then everything's going to be alright.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

The Brattle. I love it so much. They're doing a Marx Brothers Marathon for New Year's Day.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Elliot's a nice guy and all, but there's still that scene in The Maltese Falcon where he's walking out of Gutman's hotel room. The one when he just threatened Gutman, and now he trying to laugh it off, but his hand is shaking in fright. So good.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Though I do love me some Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Darby O'Gill and the Little People holds a special place in my heart, the uncontested crown goes to Mary Poppins. I wish she was able to come into my life riding an umbrella and fix all my problems . . . sigh . . .

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

I love the abject fear that that whistle can induce in you in M. There shouldn't be anything frightening. It's just a man whistling, right? And yet the whistling is so clear, precise, and shrill. This is the whistle of a man who isn't like everyone else. His whistling is too perfect. It's just scary.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Umm . . .I believe that dog shit is for the next table, thank you.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

I'm sorry, but the kid in me loves the Imperial March way too much to ever let it go, Fargo and Taxi Driver.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

I seem to be the only one who thinks that Fay Wray is the most overrated part of the original King Kong. I much prefer Robert Armstrong's lovably charismatic Carl Denham.

I fell asleep during the new King Kong, but that's not Watts' fault. It's Peter Jackson's fault. And Watts was simply great in Mulholland Drive. Point: Watts.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Not really. For a while, I thought that might be Moulin Rouge!, but it turns out that I still appreciate people's taste, even if they like it. And Ewan McGregor still can't sing.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Yeah it's cliched, but I want a Best First Feature Oscar. Let the world know who's coming up in the world. And I think I need to give it to the one that really deserves it: Brick. Little Miss Sunshine, well, let's just say that's not my bag, baby.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Nothing quite like the coed showers in Starship Troopers.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Movies have the unique ability to make that which is usually inaccessible to so many accessible. They can literalize emotions in the angle of a camera and the face of an actor. They can paint a beautiful picture, destroy the same image, and create another one just as beautiful, all in one instant. They can hold all the beauty in the world and let everyone else see too.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

I'll have to take Finney. He looks like he has more fun during his films, even ones like Erin Brockovich.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

I like the Focus Features logo. It uses such basic visual principles, yet seems entirely modern. I love the lion and the spotlights of Fox, but the blurry O just works so simply.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Hitchcock: The Murderous Gaze by William Rothman taught me the importance of ever single shot in a film. It also elevated Hitchcock to a whole new level for me. Indispensible in my film library.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

I'm partial to the revelation of Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects. The juxtaposition of the quotes from earlier in the film with the images not only shows us who Keyser is and how he did it, but just how incredibly clever he was from the start. It's an absolute marvel to watch that ending unfold and be flabbergasted.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

My favorite Truffaut "movie" is Antoine et Colette. It is one of the most painful moments on film, if only because the horribly awkward moments are more organic and less contrived that its later descendents. After all, who hasn't tried desperately to get that girl, only to find that she's actually taken? Thinking of the following moments in Colette's apartment with her parents still causes me to shudder.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Olivia Hussey was the voice of Kasan Moor in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. Game, Set, Match: Hussey

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

I got my It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back CD signed by Chuck D! And he gave a pretty cool history lesson, teaching us without us even realizing it.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Paths of Glory. No doubt about it. The battle scene, following Kirk Douglas as he works his way through No Man's Land was absolutely incredible for me. This was done unlike any other battle scene I can think of, in that it gave such slow, delicate camera movement. Up until that point, I just thought gun fire meant heavy editing and short shots. This showed that there was a way of breaking from generic cliches, and it showed me that movies were made by people.

Ivan G. said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Just finished watching Eddie Cantor's two silent vehicles, Kid Boots (1926) and Special Delivery, this a.m. (I'd link to a review I wrote, but that would cheapen the moment.) I watched both simply because I was curious how Cantor--a showman I associate with talkies and radio--coped with the silent movie medium.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

I always liked the work of the late Conrad Hall, and In Cold Blood would be my pick for finest achievement.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Baker. I've always liked his shitkicker hitman in Charley Varrick and as Steve McQueen's shallow businessman brother in Junior Bonner.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

The barely-alive-and-kicking guy in the car trunk in Goodfellas.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Living in Oblivion.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

My God, that's a tough one. If pressed, I'd go with The Big Heat.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

I'll let you know when it happens.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Oh, if only I were hip enough to know who these two ladies are.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Stand by Me.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Babe Ruth in Speedy.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

The Last Detail.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Go West (1925, the Keaton version) and Go West (1940, with the Marx Brothers)

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Hmm...how about Kentucky Fried Brattle?

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Gould. I worship at Bogey's altar but his Marlowe is simply Sam Spade redux. (Keep in mind, this is only if we're talking about Philip Marlowe.)

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

To the Ends of the Earth (1948).

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

Paul Newman's walk through the museum in Torn Curtain (1966).

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

No.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

American Graffiti soundtrack.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Fay Wray.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Absolutely. Fight Club.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

There is no such animal.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

De Vierde Man (The 4th Man, 1983). (It's the Catholic in me.)

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

David Lynch summed it up beautifully in a recent Salon interview--they make one dream.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

The RKO radio tower.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Thomson's Biographical Dictionary of Film. No contest.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

La Mariée était en noir (The Bride Wore Black, 1968).

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Hussey.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

I met Sam Raimi and Joel and Ethan Coen when they were staying at a Best Western (I was the night auditor) attending a wedding. I told myself I wouldn't gush, and that lasted all of five seconds. They all autographed a photo still of Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead II in a book I happened to reading at the time.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
(I cribbed this one from The House Next Door. Thanks, Matt! Great question!)


When I watched an installment of The Men Who Made the Movies featuring Alfred Hitchcock back in the late 70s.

Benaiah said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
Godfather Part 2, I had seen it before, but it had been too long. I was pretty shocked by the movie. It is one of the most depressing movies I have ever seen. Absolutely brilliant, but definitely not the movie to watch alone on Valentine's day (or maybe you want to throw a pity party and listen to "That's How I got to Memphis" and drink too).

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
That is a tough question, because it is difficult to distance the cinematographer from the director. Michael Ballhaus did excellent work with Martin Scorcese, but also was DP for Air Force One and Wild Wild West. I wish I had a good answer, but there isn't anyone that springs to mind without just dropping a name like Greg Toland.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don Baker, but only because I am more certain that I would recognize him as famous in person.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)\
The end of In the Company of Men. As a frequent movie watcher, I had expectations for a happy ending with romance and love. Labute plays into those expectations and then leaves you feeling like you got punched in the face in the climax. Or maybe more like you want to punch him in the face, either way. ( The Shape of Things is nearly as devastating too).

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Rear Window, can't really top that.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
I am embarrassed to say I have never seen any of his movies. His movies are all on the "need to see" list, but that is a very, very long list.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
I was going through some bad things (relatively speaking, I was probably 15 or 16 at the time) when I first saw Chasing Amy , which was one of my favorite movies for years and is the only Kevin Smith movie I still really like. I saw how hopeless Holden's obsession was and how despite being the hero in the movie, he was at fault the whole time. It really resonated, though now to be honest I could only guess which infatuation it was that I was dealing with at the time.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
No opinion, I can pick Paz Vega as a really good looking stand in.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
I just read One Hundred Years of Solitude again, and that would be an excellent movie about nostalgia, among other things. The Best of Youth or The Straight Story are movies about the hold the past has over us.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Wilt Chamberlain in Conan the Destroyer is the funniest, with Lew Alcindor (or was he Kareem already) in Airplane a close second.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
So tough to choose between Harold and Maude and Being There. H&M is one of the sweetest movies of all time (and one of my favorite single artist soundtracks. Better than The Graduate even, which is a little too repetitive). On the other hand, Being There is hilarious and I have had a thing for Shirley MacLaine ever since I saw The Apartment. I am going to have to give it to Being There, because of the anti-sex-sex scene, but it is close.

12) Name the first double feature you'd program for opening night of your own revival theater.
A big crime genre movie night with The Maltese Falcon and Public Enemy Number One. I watched Falcon with my roommates last year, I had already seen it, and they were blown away. It is such a cool movie, and I bet it would catch on with a younger set (if they would sit through the B&W).

13) What's the name of your revival theater?
The obvious and best answer is "Reeling in the Years".

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Bogie in a blowout. I love E.G., but come on! The biggest movie star of all time and the personification of glamour, who just happened to be in the greatest Studio movie of all time. That said, Altman's the Big Chill is better than the original. The only movie star I have a more irrational love for is the Duke himself. By the way, there is a great excerpt in Chronicles Vol 1 where Bob Dylan talks about meeting John Wayne for the first time. Fantasic.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
Miracle on 34th St, but there wasn't a lot of competition.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
All of Psycho was memorable for its sound, but I don't know if that qualifies. I will pick the scene when the old woman attacks and that piercing siren comes on. The sound is devastating. Either that or the footsteps in the hall coming for Jeffries in Rear Window.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
No comment.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Hard to go wrong with Easy Rider or Dazed and Confused, but those are just a little too in my wheelhouse. How about L'Avventura, since it always makes me want to cry at the end.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Fay Wray until Naomi Watts gets a couple dozen more movies under her belt.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
Yes, certainly. Beyond boring studio romantic comedies and failed comedies, if someone told me that Day After Tomorrow was an important, or great or even good movie, then they would really need to bowl me over with their explanation. I would love to read a well written defense of the scene where cold chases the young couple (who only recently escaped from wolves) only to be held at bay by a wooden door.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Most Socially Conscious Movie, with the hope that this category will split the vote away from Oscar Winners like Crash. My winner from last year would be Brokeback Mountain over Good Night & Good Luck.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
I still haven't seen Showgirls all the way through, so I will go with Starship Troopers. I always did like to read Archie comics in the checkout line, so the sci-fi version was pretty enjoyable.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Movies are best approximation of life and time. A movie presents real people and allows a very quick identification process. Thus, we are moved by characters we have barely bet, and accept conclusions that have only minutes of buildup. I think literature still allows a greater freedom of expression, but it is hard earned.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Finney, but I have to forgive his participation in Erin Brockovich.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
I am going to go with Universal, because as a kid I just remember seeing that big globe coming up and thinking: "wow, I am at the movies!" It still just communicates the feeling of being at the movies to me.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
Hmm... not really sure. Most film books I read are about screenwriting, not criticism, and so I feel like they are more like instruction manuals than real literature.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any "spoilers" in your answer.)
Momento left me reeling. It changed everything about the movie and made me think for days about all of the implications.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
It is cliche and obvious, but I love Breathless. One of the most enjoyable movie watching experiences of my life.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Tough one, but I think Boz Luherman's movie, no matter how over edited, is a brilliant try to get people of my generation to see Shakespeare. On the other hand, I remember Hussey very favorably too... Still, Danes, I have always thought she was great and so she takes it (after all I have seen other Danes movies).

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
I saw Bush Senior once. I am from Alabama, so I didn't get much in the way of celebrity growing up. I did wait on the lead singer of "The Mountain Goats" once, he was really nice, but not really what I would call a "Celebrity".

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Films are directed? I guess I am still trying to figure that out. I still have trouble with auteur theory, especially when directors repeat the mantra over and over again: "All my movies are one big movie." Fine when Altman says it, but it gets under my skin to hear Jesse Dylan or Michael Bay say something like that. This is tangential at best, but I guess my point is that I am still struggling with the idea of a single person as the originator of a movie. Perhaps it because I read William Goldman's Adventures in Screenwriting before I took any film classes, and so I still can't get past his point that a director is just one of several key people (editor, D.P. screenwriter) who make a movie and that the French New Wave placed undue importance on that role. I don't really agree with that either, but it has prevented me from buying completely into auteur theory.e

Vincent said...

Very nice exercice, i've tried to translate it in french. Hope i did not betrayed the spirit.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Vincent, thanks for stopping by. Professor Jennings is thrilled and honored to now be translated into another language, not unlike John Milton himself. I tried reading your entries and was surprised how much a French-illiterate type like myself was able to understand. As Frank Zappa was often heard to say, zoot allures! :)

Paul Matwychuk said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
It was Apocalypto. We’ve been putting in some long hours at the magazine I work for, and for some reason we thought Mel Gibson’s epic decapitatorama would be the perfect way for us to blow off some steam after a 12-hour workday.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Robby Müller. I love the way he shoots Crispin Glover’s coal-smeared face in the opening train sequence of Dead Man.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don Baker, largely out of fondness for MST3K’s ruthless dismantling of Mitchell.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
I remember gasping with astonishment many times during Terence Davies’ The Long Day Closes at the sheer beauty of that film’s many visionary setpieces, especially that long montage of overhead tracking shots of churches, schoolrooms, movie theatres—mundane settings transformed into something sacred by the loving attention of Davies’ camera and the recording of Debbie Reynolds singing “Tammy” playing on the soundtrack.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Mulholland Drive. I realize it takes place during a live theatre performance and not a movie screening, but no one has ever captured the inexplicable magic of cinema better than David Lynch did in the Club Silencio/“There is no band!” sequence. Just as we forget over and over again that the singers and the musicians in Club Silencio are only miming to a prerecorded tape and succumb to the illusion that they’re actually playing music, so too do we start out watching movies fully aware that all we’re seeing are actors performing in front of sets and cameras, only to fall helplessly into a dream state where everything that happens to them seems absolutely real. The effect is so powerful that it even happens in bad movies!

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
I like the one-two punch of Scarlet Street and The Woman in the Window.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
Jeff Goldblum in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. Don’t ask.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Carole Bouquet. Rare is the woman who can be a Bond girl and a Buñuel girl over the course of a single career.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
Amarcord.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Rowdy Roddy Piper in They Live.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
If I were watching Harold and Maude for the first time now, I’d probably roll my eyes at its calculated, seize-the-day whimsy and all the treacly Cat Stevens music. But I saw it as a teenager, and so I’ll always have a soft spot for it. How did screenwriter Colin Higgins go from this to writing Silver Streak and 9 to 5?

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Steamboat Bill, Jr. and A Chinese Ghost Story. An unlikely combination, but seeing these movies with a live audience constituted two of the most joyous moviegoing nights of my life. It makes me sad to think that the success of the DVD format as a medium for watching old movies means these kinds of communal cinematic experiences have become virtually extinct.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
The Fitzcarraldo. Thinking you can make money with a revival theatre these days is as crazy as thinking you can haul a ship over a mountain.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Humphrey Bogart. Gould is terrific in The Long Goodbye, but Bogart established the icon he’s riffing on. Plus, Bogie is surprisingly funny in The Big Sleep—the bit where he impersonates an obnoxious rare-book expert is especially inspired.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
The Love Bug. I had no idea until I looked him up on the IMDb that my preteen moviegoing career consisted almost entirely of Robert Stevenson movies.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
The final scene of the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Maybe it was the picture of Donald Sutherland at the top of this quiz that reminded me of this one—that inhuman shriek, the accusatory finger pointed directly at the camera, Veronica Cartwright’s frantic, despairing reaction... it makes the bottom drop out of my stomach every time.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Yes, if only because it laid the groundwork for Female Trouble and Desperate Living.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
I’m sucking up to the blogger here, but Once Upon a Time in the West is a major achievement.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Naomi Watts. I wish I could stick up for the Canadian girl, but Watts outacts Wray at every turn. By the way, am I the only person who thinks that King Kong’s celebrated closing line (“’Twas beauty killed the beast”) is actually pretty terrible? Of course, I think the last line of The Maltese Falcon (“It’s the stuff that dreams are made of”) is a real clanger, too.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
As I walked out of the movie theatre, I thought Sin City was a completely empty, repellent film and couldn’t imagine any serious film critic endorsing it. But plenty of critics I admire had positive things to say about it. Since then, I’ve come around to the notion that it’s absurd to reject a critic because of their opinion on a single film.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
I’ve long thought that the Best Costume Design category should be split in two: Best Costume Design (Period), which could be awarded to all the period pictures that always take the Oscar anyway, and Best Costume Design (Modern), which this year should go to Little Miss Sunshine.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Showgirls, baby!

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
I think movies can create combinations of music and imagery that just overwhelm your emotions in an unusually spectacular way. TV can’t overpower your senses that way, and musical theatre and opera are just too static, the faces too small. The use of pop music in Mean Streets or GoodFellas (or even Rushmore), the use of score to propel and underscore action in Run Lola Run or Vertigo (to name the first inadequate examples that came to mind)... there’s no equivalent in any other artform.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
I used to love Agatha Christie movies when I was a kid. I was too young to see Murder on the Orient Express when it came out, so for me Peter Ustinov will always be Hercule Poirot in much the same way that, even though I know better, Roger Moore will always be James Bond for me on some level.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
I love the old-school Universal Pictures logos, both the one with the cutely bumblebee-shaped airplane flying around the globe, and the one with the crazy Art Deco perspex sphere rotating in space.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
Pauline Kael’s Taking It All In, which I read when I was about 14. To see someone arguing to convincingly and entertainingly that Tootsie was a better movie than Gandhi or Sophie’s Choice was a mind-blowing experience for me. Within the span of that one essay, my entire aesthetic was turned on its head.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
The finale of Memento is pretty stunning. It’s logical, horrifying, convincing, thematically apt, and forces you to re-evaluate everything that’s gone before it. It may also be the only movie in history to feature a “twist beginning.”

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Shoot the Piano Player. Exhilarating.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Olivia Hussey. Her last name makes her sound classy and trampy at the same time.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Wallace Shawn once came to my hometown (Edmonton, Alberta) to attend a stage production of his play The Fever. I was walking downtown and accidentally bumped into him. I was flabbergasted. “Wallace Shawn!” I exclaimed, and started listing off all the things of his I loved. “My Dinner With Andre! The Moderns! That episode of Taxi where you date Elaine!” He was very gracious. And maybe it was my imagination, but he seemed pretty pleased I’d remembered his Taxi performance.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
I think it happened when I was watching Pennies From Heaven, the Steve Martin musical based on Dennis Potter’s BBC miniseries. I was maybe 13. The gimmick of having the actors lip-synch their vocals to old recordings during the musical numbers was so unusual that I found myself realizing for the first time that someone behind the scenes had made a deliberate artistic choice much different from the one any “normal” movie would have made. I realize now that the choice was made by the screenwriter, not the director, but Pennies was still the first film where I found myself wondering who the people were behind the camera.

Marty McKee said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
Boy, did you catch me at a weird time. Yesterday afternoon, Chicken, Grady and Michael came over, ostensibly to watch NFL Football, but they decided they wanted to watch “crappy movies” instead. We watched two of them as the sun set on Sunday. The second one—and the most recent film I’ve seen—was THE STABILIZER, which I have viewed close to ten times and have yet to tire of it. THE STABILIZER is quite likely the strangest and the craziest film I’ve ever seen. It’s an Indonesian action movie shot in Jakarta during the early 1980’s, and stars somebody named “Peter O’Brien” as Peter Goldson, an “American cop” nicknamed “The Stabilizer.” Uh, that’s because he “stabilizes” the balance between good and evil in the world. And why did I watch it? Because that’s what they asked for, and Michael had never seen it. And now he’s glad he did.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
I can’t really say that I have a “favorite” cinematographer, but I usually think it’s neat when I see Dean Cundey’s name in the credits, or, in fact, anyone who managed to start out in low-budget exploitation movies and break into the big time. Cundey’s early credits include the trashy killer-‘Nam-vet obscurity THE NO MERCY MAN, the blaxploitation hairdresser sleazefest BLACK SHAMPOO and the great BARE KNUCKLES. He hooked up with John Carpenter to do fabulous work on HALLOWEEN and THE FOG, whose look lends the ghost story a spectacularly spooky vibe. A few more Carpenter pics later, Cundey joined Steven Spielberg’s repertory company of sorts, shooting Amblin’ productions like JURASSIC PARK, HOOK and the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy directed by Robert Zemeckis. It’s really not all that common for a below-the-line talent to rise from the bottom of the industry to the cream of the crop, but Cundey did.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Whew, that’s a tough call. A couple of years ago, I would have said Joe Don, no question. But after watching more Svenson than Baker movies recently, I’ve got to make the call for Bo. He, quite frankly, can do more on-screen than can Baker. While he seamlessly stepped into Baker’s shoes for the two sequels to WALKING TALL (and the television series) as tough guy sheriff Buford Pusser, Svenson is also pretty good in the domestic drama scenes and in moments of humor. Consider, for instance, his romantic chemistry with Cybill Shepherd in the light action/comedy SPECIAL DELIVERY or his insouciant, throwaway manner (although this may have been a performance enhanced with libation) in the silly GOLD OF THE AMAZON WOMEN. It’s difficult to imagine Baker in either film, whereas I think Svenson could have acquitted himself quite well in Baker vehicles like MITCHELL or even JUNIOR BONNER.

Don’t take any of this as a rip of Joe Don Baker, who has become a welcome supporting face in major films, unlike Svenson, who has remained strictly in exploitation circles.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
I don’t want to spoil anything, but I first saw WAIT UNTIL DARK during a high-school assembly (don’t ask me why…I think it may have been leading into Christmas vacation). It isn’t a horror movie—not really—but director Terence Young engineers a “bus” near the end that is as startling and suspenseful as any other I’ve ever seen.

I didn’t literally gasp, but the powerful non-sex sex scene in WITNESS, where Harrison Ford catches a topless Kelly McGillis washing herself, is remarkably erotic cinema.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
What else? HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD, the best picture in which the lovely B-starlet Candice Rialson ever starred. It was co-directed by Allan Arkush and Joe Dante, editors of New World trailers who convinced boss Roger Corman they could direct a feature in ten days for $50,000. It’s a very funny and fast-paced comedy that uses stock footage from Corman pictures like DEATH RACE 2000 and THE BIG DOLL HOUSE while simultaneously spoofing them. Rialson stars as Candy Hope, a beautiful wannabe actress just in from Indiana trying to make it big in Hollywood by appearing in low-budget features for Miracle Pictures ("If it's a good movie, it's a Miracle."). A psycho who's systematically killing off Miracle's stars makes her task even more difficult. The plot is less important than the agreeable performances and the anarchic style of the film. Rialson is funny, sweet and sexy, although some scenes appear to hit a little too close to home. Her best moment is probably the scene in which she attends the premiere of her first movie at a sleazy drive-in and gets drunk while bemoaning her fate to appear in such crappy pictures. No doubt Candice drew from her own personal experience for that scene. If you’ve never seen Candice Rialson perform, HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD is the one movie to watch. Plus, it’s a terrific showcase for resident Corman players such as Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, Tara Strohmeier and Dick Miller.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
There’s a lot of Lang I need to see, but I do like 1956’s WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS, which stars Dana Andrews, George Sanders, Rhonda Fleming, Vincent Price and Thomas Mitchell. More melodrama than thrills in this newspaper story about a TV commentator (Andrews), a newswire editor (Sanders) and a city editor of a daily paper (Mitchell) competing against each other to discover the identity of a serial killer stalking New York City. They believe that whomever comes up with the scoop will receive a promotion from their foppish new boss (Price). Some pretty good acting by a great cast makes this drama worth seeing if you keep in mind it's not really a thriller. Ida Lupino, Howard Duff, John Drew Barrymore and James Craig are also in this RKO release.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
While I’m not thrilled to admit it, seeing Albert Brooks in BROADCAST NEWS was, in so many ways, like looking into the mirror. Although I never quite broke down on a radio broadcast the way Brooks does when he gets his one big chance to anchor the news, so much about his personality, his attitude, his frustrations and his relationship with the woman he secretly loves sadly felt very much like my life at that time.

On a literal level, my ass should have received separate billing in LOTTO, a short film made by my friend Chris here in Champaign about ten years ago. I have one scene, standing on the sidewalk with my rear to the camera, looking into a closed appliance store. I got to see LOTTO on a big theater screen once, and it surely was odd seeing my ass four feet high.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
I must admit, I don’t know who Angela Molina is, and searching IMDb, I don’t think I’ve seen any of her movies. By default, I go with Bouquet, whom I only know from FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, where she was quite beautiful if slightly blank as a vengeful young woman seeking violent retribution for the death of her parents.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
I’m with Chris Stangl on this one. I don’t know what this means.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
I probably have to go with Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, the former Kansas City Chief who became one of the most prolific black filmmakers in history. Fred pretty much always played the exact same character in every movie he was in, but always backed up his strategy by claiming “The Hammer” is who his fans pay to see. And he may be right. His best performance is quite likely that of gangster Tommy Gibbs in BLACK CAESAR, a crude but crackling action yarn written and directed by Larry Cohen. It’s one of the few films in which Williamson’s character dies…even though he somehow managed a resurrection for the sequel (also by Cohen), HELL UP IN HARLEM.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Unlike Fritz Lang, I have seen quite a few Ashby movies. He was still an active (if slumping) director when he died of cancer in 1988, and is one of the best Hollywood directors that few people aside from rabid film fans have heard of. I’m a big fan of THE LAST DETAIL, which is a raw, rough and amazingly profane comedy with an Oscar-nominated script by Robert Towne. It’s also one of the most quotable films I’ve ever seen with Jack Nicholson’s tirade about calling “the motherfucking shore patrol, motherfucker” an even better bit than his more famous FIVE EASY PIECES diner rant.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
I’ve actually thought about this a billion times, and have come up with a different answer almost every time. For nostalgia’s sake, I’ll say Cannon’s ENTER THE NINJA and REVENGE OF THE NINJA, because those were the titles shown at my very first Crappy Movie Night back in 2002 when only LD and Panno were present.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
Hmmm. Starcrash Cinema?

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Hey, I like Elliott Gould! And I like THE LONG GOODBYE, the Robert Altman film in which Gould played the most eccentric Philip Marlowe ever.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
Does anybody have a favorite Robert Stevenson movie? THE ABSENT MINDED PROFESSOR.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
If “sound” also means “music,” I’ll go with the shot near the end of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY where Sergio Leone whip-pans around that cemetery, following Eli Wallach (with one of cinema’s strangest looking runs) as Morricone’s awesome “The Ecstasy of Gold” wails on the soundtrack.

17) Pink Flamingos-- yes or no?
God, no. And I’ve seen it twice. A friend of mine refuses to admit that he’s actually seen it. If I were to call him and ask how he likes PINK FLAMINGOS, he will deny watching it. But he has. And so have I. But I’m still trying to forget.

“How much is that doggie in the window..?”

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Either RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (Williams), STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (Goldsmith) or THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (Morricone).

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
One of the few things Peter Jackson did right when he remade KING KONG was to cast Watts. I don’t believe any contemporary actress would have been more right for Ann Darrow, not just because she’s one of Hollywood’s most beautiful women. She’s also a terrific actress, better than Fay Wray, although KONG made her a cinematic icon who will most likely be remembered longer than Naomi Watts.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
Not a movie, but whenever I read ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY or some other mainstream publication writing anything about the talent and/or charisma of bland pretty boys like Ashton Kutcher or Ryan Reynolds, I can’t take them seriously. Fucking Kelso.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Well, if I could hand out an Oscar to anyone, I’d give Roger Corman the same Honorary Award that Robert Altman received last year. And for the same reason.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
ROBOCOP. And I don’t understand people who claim SHOWGIRLS is actually a good movie or that it’s purposely camp. No, it isn’t. It’s terrible. And terribly entertaining.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Blow up cars. Ever seen a painting of an exploding car? Kinda sucks.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Ustinov, if only for TOPKAPI. Am I the only one who thinks Finney has aged to look like William Shatner?

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
American International Pictures or New World Pictures, because I know I’m probably about to see something kickass. I think the James Bond series lost something when they no longer started with the old United Artists logo. I also love the old airplane-orbiting-Earth Universal logo, the radio-tower RKO logo and the Warner Brothers shield. I love the rainbow of Avco-Embassy as it spins around. And the cheese factor of the wah-wah American Cinema theme can’t be overrated.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
The easiest question of all. Michael Weldon’s THE PSYCHOTRONIC ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FILM, which I first read when I was in high school and have devoured cover-to-cover maybe a dozen times since. I still use it as a reference at least once a week, and I’m on my second copy, because I wore the first one out years ago.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
It happens before the end, but MALICE’s twist is very cheeky. But I’ll say SLEEPAWAY CAMP, because it’s fun to watch the audience’s faces when it happens.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Does CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND count? Oh, well, then. FAHRENHEIT 451.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Claire Danes was never in an Australian MOST DANGEROUS GAME ripoff that was so violent, it had to be cut to get an R rating in America. So Hussey (who also was the heroine in the damn spooky BLACK CHRISTMAS).

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
My first lengthy celebrity interview, actor Robert Forster, who was a very nice man and answered a lot of questions he probably thought nobody would care about (“Why is this guy asking me about BANYON, fer Christ’s sake?”). It was even better for me because I had long been a fan who admired his work and his work ethic. It’s impossible to not root for Forster to succeed.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Probably almost as soon as I became aware of films. Even at a very young age, I was a credit reader and remembered the names of cast and crew members that showed up in the credits. I remember once wanting to be a TV director…not a film director…but someone who made all my favorite TV shows. I guess I figured directing BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY was the coolest job anyone could have.

Chris Oliver said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

This is a fucked up question, because it's going to take me a week to get this quiz done, so the answer will keep changing. Well, I'll nail it down to today. Last I saw in the theatre was Los Angeles Plays Itself, last I saw on DVD (last night) was United 93.

As to why...geez, why do I watch any movie? But OK, in the case of LAPI, because I love movies and I love this city, so I find the overlap between the two fascinating. In the case of U93, because I had been following the Watchmen movie that Paul Greengrass had been developing before he started on this, so I was interested seeing what materialized in its stead.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.


This is a weed-out question, isn't it? I don't have a cinematographer whose work I look forward to seeing, but I do like Robert Richardson and Chris Doyle.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

I met Bo Svenson at a party one night, and my wife and I had a long conversation with him and his wife, about his neighbor Fred Willard and other topics. He gave a long discourse about the inferiority of todays actors compared to 70's actors ("Brad Pitt is a very good actor, but it's all up hear [points to head]"). So anyway, I'll pick Bo.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

The scene in Time Bandits, where the giant emerges from the water with a ship on his head, made me gasp at the sheer enormousness of it. I feel like there are much better answers, but I can't think of them.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

I like The Player. It actually changed the way I look at movies--after seeing that, I could see the hand of idiot decision makers in mainstream movies as I was watching them. But my answer is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), a movie about people who find themselves in a movie-plot-like situation, and react to it in ways they've learned from watching the movies, with disastrous results (the same description could apply to The Big Lebowski).

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

M.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Do Peanuts movies count? Well, I knew Charlie Brown before I'd ever seen him animated, so I don't think that's the answer. Sometimes I feel like Salieri in Amadeaus.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

They both look pretty hot from what I'm seeing on google.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Dazed and Confused. I can't really explicate that answer, but I love that movie. I'm not sure I buy into the "Oh, isn't nostalgia terrible?" idea.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

That one's easy: Kareem Abdul Jabar (sp?) in Game of Death!

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Choosing between Harold & Maude and Being There? I guess I'll go with Harold & Maude.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

My first instinct is to say Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Switchblade Sisters, but I think I'd like to mix it up a little and pair BVD with something like La Dolce Vita.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Monster Island, rendered in day-glo cartoon font on the marquee. And the lobby is a cartoon-colored tropical jungle, and the concession stand is a tiki bar, and there are psychedelic murals on the ceiling, and it's in the old Eagle Theatre (Eagle Rock Blvd. and Yosemite Boulevard, 2 blocks from my house) as soon as we can get the cult that's set up residence there out.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

If you're asking which Marlowe I prefer, I might say Gould, but if you're asking about the actors in general, I have to go wtih Bogart. I mean, who's cooler than Bogart? (answer: Peter Lorre)

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Back in the bicentennial, Johnny Tremain was a big one. I think we watched that in school a couple times. "What are we fighting for?" "The rights of Englishmen!"

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.


No specific movie, but I like all the squishy sounds that turn up in Cronenberg movies.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Yes. Huge movie in my life, anyway. When I first saw it, I loved it because it was so offensive, but now I love it even more because it's just so demented, and there's a difference. See, there's intentionally offensive humor all over the place nowadays, and it doesn't take much imagination to come up with offensive things. But no matter how hard you tried to come up with offensive gags, nobody but John Waters could possibly come up with some of the stuff in Pink Flamingoes. Like licking your enemy's furniture as revenge. Or that causing the furniture to reject them. That's the unfakable brilliance of a demented mind.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Well, Fay Wray is definitely in the better Kong movie...

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

No. Well, maybe. If there were, it would be one of Simon West's, like The General's Daughter.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Best Fight Choreography to Yuen Woo-Ping. (that's kind of obvious, but I can't really think of anything else)

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Showgirls is probably my favorite, just for sheer outrageousness and Gina Gershonness. Starship Troopers is equally wacky, though. I feel like if I watched that again, I'd change my answer to that. I like Total Recall, but I probably wouldn't put it up there with those two.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Total immersion of the audience into the art.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Umm.....Ustinov.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

Toho. Although I guess the Shaw Bros. logo is actually cooler, seeing that Toho logo always makes me feel good, going back to my childhood Godzilla obsession.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Cult Movies 2 by Dan Peary. When I was about 14, I started getting curious about "cult movies," these films that I'd read a brief reference to in Creem magazine articles, stuff like Eraserhead and Pink Flamingoes and Rocky Horror (that one was especially puzzling...was it a movie, a band, a play?). And Creem published a review of Cult Movies, so I went to the bookstore to try and find a copy. Couldn't find it, but did get Cult Movies 2 (which has a list in the back of the 100 movies included in the first volume). This became my guide over the next (at least) 5 years, at about the time that video rental stores started opening. Just a few years ago, I finally got a used copy of Cult Movies 1 (and earlier this year, replaced my long-lost copy of 2), so I can finally read what Peary had to say about these movies (hated Beyond the Valley, the putz! But still an excellent writer).

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Evil Dead 2. I sure didn't see that coming. For a more complex one that's tied into the story of the movie, Oldboy is pretty great.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

Shoot the Piano Player, I guess (only seen that, 400 Blows, Jules & Jim, parts of Farenheit 451).


29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?


Danes won my eternal devotion with My So Called Life.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Well, what SHOULD be the answer is when my wife and I saw Quentin Tarantino at The Egyptian (double feature of Blind Beast and Jigoku (Hell)) on Halloween, I dressed as Bill and she as Beatrix. We walked right past him, and it would be such a great story if he said "Aw, those costumes fuckin' rock dude!" But he just walked past us, so FUCK QUENTIN TARANTINO! Instead, I'll pick the night we met James Karen at a party. Best line: "I play a colonel in most science fiction movies." Great guy.


31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Hmmm...I guess it was in my early teens. At least that's when I started following certain directors (John Waters, David Lynch, Ralph Bakshi, Woody Allen, Terry Gilliam), although it took me a long, long time to understand why directors and not screenwriters were assigned authorship of movies

Dan W. said...

"Of course, I think the last line of The Maltese Falcon (“It’s the stuff that dreams are made of”) is a real clanger, too."

Consider, more importantly, that the last line is not that, but instead the sergeant responding to it with "Huh?"

Damian said...

I was shown this movie quiz from a friend of mine. Fun. :)


1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
-In the theatre: Apocalpto, because however one feels about Mel Gibson as a person, as a filmmaker he's quite good
-On DVD: World Trade Center, because it's an Oliver Stone film and I wanted to see it in the theaatre but I missed it

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Oh, golly. There are so many:
-Conrad Hall (In Cold Blood)
-Geoffrey Unsworth (2001: a space Odyssey)
-Sven Nykvist (Cries & Whispers)
-Gordon Willis (Manhattan)
-Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now)
-Caleb Deschanel (The Natural)
-Dante Spinotti (L.A. Confidential)
-Vilmos Szigmond (Deliverance)
-Janusk Kaminski (Schindler's List)
-Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption)

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don Baker

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
Any number of moments in The Exorcist

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Singin' in the Rain

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
"M"

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
I'm guessing this question is asking when I first saw a character that was essentially "me" and not literally when I first saw myself in a movie (since I was makingmovies with my friends/family as a kid). I would have to say Danny Kaye in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Carole Bouquet

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
Almost Famous

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Michael Jordan in Space Jam

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Being There (but Harold & Maude is a close second)

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Bringing up Baby and What's Up, Doc?

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
Um..... "The Big Screen?"

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Bogie

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
Mary Poppins

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
When the woman's scream turns into the train whistle in Hitchcock's 39 Steps

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
No

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Anyone who knows me knows that this is impossible for me to answer. A few of my favorites are:
-JOHN WILLIAMS (Star Wars, Superman, Schindler's List, Jaws)
-DANNY ELFMAN (Batman, Beetlejuice, Nightmare Before Christmas)
-BERNARD HERMANN (Psycho, Vertigo)
-ELMER BERSTEIN (To Kill a Mockingbird, The Magnificent Seven)
-JOHN DEBNEY (The Passion of the Christ)
-ALAN SILVESTRI (Back to the Future)
-JERRY GOLDSMITH (Star trek, The Omen)
-JOHN CORIGLIANO (The Red Violin)
-ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL (Interview with the Vampire)

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Fay Wray

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
Armaggeddon probably

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
-Award: Best Producer
-Recipent: anyone but Jerry Bruckheimer

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Robocop (runner-up: Starship Troopers)

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
I'm gonna use my friend's answer on this one:

"The cinema gives us a substitute world which fits our desires." ~ Andre Bazin

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Ustinov

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
I really miss the 75th anniversary logo for Universal Studios (where it goes through all the past ones). I think it was far superior to their current one.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
A History of Narrative Film by David Cook

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
Psycho.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
400 Blows

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Hussey

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
The night that Ben Stein walked into the video store

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Not sure. Probably when I first started making movies with a video camera when I was very young.

andyhorbal said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

I've seen, I think… at least 12 or 13 films since you posted this quiz, Professor Jennings, including classics like The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) and Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953), strikingly original avant-garde films like Barbara Rudin's Christmas on Earth (1962) and Louis Hock's Still Lives (1975), and enjoyable new releases like The Fountain (2006) and Flushed Away (2006). But, of course, when I finally sit down to respond to this quiz, the last film I saw was Beerfest (2006). For the second time. Why? Because, my good man, I was drunk…

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

I'm going to have to agree with Peter Nellhaus and say Matthew Libatique. It's amazing to me that such a young guy (he's under 40) has already proven himself so impressively versatile…

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Joe Don Baker has gotten some love here already for his two turns as Jack Wade in GoldenEye (1995) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), but nobody has mentioned (I think) that he also played Brad Whitaker in my favorite Bond film, The Living Daylights (1987).

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

Oh I'm a gasper. Most recently I gasped at the two 180º camera flops to first a modern and then an ancient skyline in The Fountain.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Zbigniew Rybczynski's short film Tango (1981) isn't about "the movies" per se, but it is a focused, exhaustive exploration of screen space. It's the rare film that functions brilliantly as pure film studies…

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
The Big Heat (1953) is Lang at his most sadistic. He tenderly builds his protagonist Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) an idyllic cinematic paradise, and then just as tenderly tears it completely apart in one shocking moment that is definitely worth a gasp…

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

I'm not going to go on about it because this is a question worthy of a blog post all its own, but briefly: Joe Gideon in All That Jazz (1979). I was thinking about this just the other day when I finally got around to watching Angels in America (2003) for the first time. There's a film that holds up guilt as a virtue, whereas Fosse instead celebrates his shortcomings. It's the difference between simply accepting life and really living it…

It's not a blog post all its own yet because that's as far as I've gotten in my quest to make that last paragraph make sense.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

I haven't seen That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) so I'm going to pass on this one.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

"Bad memories! I welcome you anyway--you are my long-lost youth."

This epigraph begins the film that is my answer to this question, Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows (1969). It also explains why I believe this is a valid response.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

There's a passage in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest about Marlon Brando:

"She never ... never sees that Marlon Brando felt himself as a body so keenly he’d no need for manner. She never sees that in his quote careless way he actually really touched whatever he touched as if it were part of him. Of his own body. The world he only seemed to manhandle was for him sentient, feeling."

This describes the play of some of the better stars of the modern NBA. There's a grace, an absolute confidence in all of their movements. But nonetheless a perfectly executed, exquisitely timed drive to the basket still might look gangly and awkward. This is impossible to fake, and never is that more obvious than in the scene in He Got Game (1998) when Jake (Denzel Washington) and Jesus (Ray Allen) Shuttlesworth play one-on-one. So Ray Allen all the way.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Okay, you caught me! I've only seen two Hal Ashby films: Harold and Maude (1971) and Coming Home (1978). I liked one of them. But in Coming Home's defense, I saw it in my second semester as a film studies undergraduate when I still thought that I was being intelligent when I rejected a classic.

12) Name the first double feature you'd program for opening night of your own revival theater.

I have thought long and hard about this one! Here we go:

"Real Men Wear Pastels"

Tokyo Drifter (1966) and The Young Girls or Rochefort

One night only!

13) What's the name of your revival theater?

The name should be longer than one syllable so that partisans of the theater can affectionately give it a one syllable-long nickname. It should be nostalgic, cinematic. I choose:

The Matinée ("The Mat")

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

The other day I got to explain to someone what "Here's looking at you, kid" meant...

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

And another anecdote! When I checked Mary Poppins (1964) out from my local library last week the girl behind the desk asks, "Is this for you?" I say, "Oh yeah!" She looks up and says, "Huh. I was expecting you to say it was for your niece or nephew or something." I say: "Never trust a man who can't own up to his fondness for Mary Poppins!

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

I'm on a bit of a The Young Girls of Rochefort kick here...

There's a scene in that film when Andy Miller (Gene Kelly) is tap dancing in the street with two French sailors that's typical of what I love so much about the film: the tapping on the soundtrack isn't really synched up with their feet because it doesn't matter. This is more a film about musicals than it is a musical itself...

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

It's all good, baby!

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

I'd already heard the score to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966) before I saw the film for the first time, but it still sent shivers down my spine...

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

While I definitely prefer the '33 King Kong, it's hard to deny that Watts has the better filmography.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Question? Certainly. But what's wrong with questioning?

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

I'm already sick of the Oscars.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Starship Troopers (1997) was the first film that I ever saw in a movie theater of my own volition that wasn't part of the Star Wars cycle. I saw it four times. Not including all of the hundreds of times I've seen it since then on TV, video, and DVD.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

When I leave a movie theater I find that I'm more attentive to the world than at any other time--to the sounds that my shoes make, to the scents that linger on the breeze, to the streetlights and the people and the pavement, shining like silver. Movies transport me away from this world better than any other art form, and thus allow for a more complete feeling of return.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Hey, did y'all know that Albert Finney is one of the answers to this month's Criterion trivia contest?

He's not my answer to this question, though. Spartacus (1960) and Logan's Run (1976)? C'mon!

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

I can't believe that no one has said the Rank Gong Man!

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Lopate's American Movie Critics. 100%.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any "spoilers" in your answer.)

How about The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)? Not unexpected, but ever so charming!

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

Jules et Jim (1962). C'est magnifique!

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

I am partial to the work of Mr. Luhrmann, and to Ms. Danes' performance in his film.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

You know, I don't really have much of a sense of "celebrity," so this is a tricky one for me to answer. Fame? Fortune? They interest me not!

But the other day I got an e-mail from David Bordwell about my blog. He told me to "keep up the good work." And I must admit, I haven't stopped smiling since then...

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Probably when I sought out the other George Lucas films, as most Star Wars fanboys eventually will. This was in middle school, and the first one I saw was American Graffiti (1973).

Neil said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
As it happens, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, which is hardly the most interesting thing I've watched recently.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
There are a number of tempting choices, but since Dean Cundey seems to have gotten plenty of props, I'll go with Vilmos Zsigmond, mostly because I'm so in love with the look of The Long Goodbye at this moment.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don. I think they're both better than they're given credit for and both are sentimental favorites for me, so Joe Don is only taking it by a hair for me.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
There's a moment in Singapore Sling with a kiwi...

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Ed Wood, with The Purple Rose of Cairo in a close second. I'm not even sure for third, that'd be damn tight, too.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
M edges out Scarlet Street, but not by much.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
I suspect it was Star Wars, as I was at the time living with my uncle and having to work long hours at his moisture farm... Ok, no, but the whole wanting to move on to something better, all that. I suppose that's pretty universal.

The first time I saw something deeper would probably be The Elephant Man. I was, of course, just a fat kid who got teased and nothing near as dark as the horrors there, but when you're a kid, everything's writ larger.

I've certainly seen myself in smaller things since, but I suppose, I still have a fairly grandiose view of myself.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Carole Bouquet.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
It may be the season, but I'll go with A Christmas Story. Although A Prairie Home Companion has jumped way up here.

Honestly, I'm pretty damn sentimental, so I could list these forever. I love nostalgia.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
I'm having more difficulty with the question than perhaps I ought to. Maybe I'm overthinking it, but I somehow doubt I'm supposed to answer with Burt Lancaster or Burt Reynolds, both of whom are substantially more famous as actors than atheletes. But then I come to Buster Crabbe and Fred Williamson, who aren't as famous as actors and are more famous as atheletes, but still strike me as more famous as actors than as atheletes to me at this point.

Given that, my choice for a performance by someone I'm sure remains more famous as an athelete than as an actor is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Airplane!

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Being There.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
I'd open with Once Upon a Time in the West and Duck, You Sucker. That's a bit odd, since I'd certainly specialize in trash. I mean, I live in Seattle where there is already a solid revival theaters, The Grand Illusion, as well as the repertory screen at one screen at The Varsity and midnight screenings every week at The Egyptian, so I don't have a specific desire to show more normal classics here, as much as I love many of them... and know that I would slip more in occasionally.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
Probably The Bleeding Tree.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Why don't you just ask "your left hand or your right hand?" I guess I have to go with Bogie.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
Mary Poppins.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
The opening sequence of Once Upon a Time in the West.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Absolutely 100% yes.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Crap! There are so many that I love. I want to say Vampyros Lesbos, as I've been listening to it a lot recently and it's inordinately groovy. But the honest answer is Once Upon a Time in the West by Ennio Morricone.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Fay Wray. Naomi Watts was one of the few things I liked in the remake. But Fay Wray is so perfectly iconic. And really, I think the performances is the original are much better than they're given credit for, especially hers.

Oddly, answering every other one of these choices, including the ones that follow, I recognized that both actors had a famous role in common, but naturally answered with my general choice between the actors. With this one, and only this one, I naturally answered for the specific role.

I'm leaving the answer the same, as my natural reaction, but I'm not sure I would have given the same answer if I'd naturally answered in the same manner of the others.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
I've learned to respect that people have all kinds reasons to like all kinds of movies, so I can't think there's any one movie that would drive me off, but if a person likes too many of the kinds of movies that have been winning Oscars the last 10 years or so, like Forrest Gump, Braveheart or A Beautiful Mind, I'd be reserved in trusting their judgment on other things.

Speaking of which, if someone said, "Man, is that Ron Howard capable of making a bad movie?", I'd look at them pretty funny from then on.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Roger Corman should get some kind of lifetime achievement award. Without question. If having one's name attached to a decent share of crappy movies is a good reason to not give it out then someone needs to rescind the one they gave Dino De Laurentiis.

That said, if I were to create a category, I'd either create some kind of genre award, which would certainly be wasted on crap, or else I'd create the lifetime achievement in nudity. In the latter category, I'd give the first award posthumously to Robert Altman, who always handled nudity incredibly well and included it remarkably often for a non-genre director. I'd give the second to Edwige Fenech, just because...

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
As it happens, I've been meaing to write an extensive appreciation of Verhoeven for some time, as he's a major favorite and is many of the things I aspire to be, so when I say Robocop, it's an earnest appreciation of the brilliance of that film and not a throwaway.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Envelop an audience in the moment.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Albert Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
I love the classic Universal with the prop plane. I wish I could come up with something else, just to buck the crowd, but it's awesome!

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
"How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime" by Roger Corman. I read it every year or so and take new inspiration from it each time.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
I'd be very, very happy if they put a ten-year moratorium on twist endings. I think they're wasted these days.

I'm happiest when they are a nice bit of frosting on top of a movie that would work just great without the twist. As such, my answer is Planet of the Apes. There are at least two other movies on my top 10 that I also think have nice twists.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
The 400 Blows.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Olivia Hussey.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
The one that stands out is when I saw Micky Dolenz, who I'd absolutely love to meet. Unfortunately, he was having what seemed to be a rather unpleasant conversation on a pay phone, so I respectfully left him alone.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
I don't recall not knowing that... nor do I recall not aspiring to it.

Vincent said...

I have convinced some friends to play this game and if you want to take a loor, it is here : http://cinematique-lm.blogspot.com/ and in the comments.
See you

A. Fan said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
On DVD, It was An Inconvenient Truth I wanted to see it because of the many positive reviews it received, most emphasizing the skillful way that the Director made an Al Gore slide show look entertaining and informative. In the theater, it was Happy Feet, because my daughter wanted to see it and, from the previews, the animation looked amazing. Which, it turned out, it really was.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
This is difficult. I love Miroslav Ondricek; his most wonderful efforts are Amadeus, A League of Their Own, and Valmont. But he hasn’t worked in six years, and I wouldn’t go out of my way to rent the movie Funny Farm just to see his work. I do like and appreciate the cinematographer’s art, but it is only one of the factors that goes into my decision to watch a particular movie.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don. The overall quality of the movies he’s been in is mountainous in comparison. Heck, I’ll give it to him on the strength of Fletch alone.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
I’m not much of a gasper, but I was 11 when I saw the Alien burst out of John Hurt’s chest. I’m pretty sure I gasped.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
The Player. One of my favorite movies about anything at all.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
M. It’s an all-time great.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
I recognize something of myself in just about every movie character I’ve ever loved, and a few that I’ve hated, but I’ve never seen my mirror image. I won’t give up trying, though. The first character I strongly identified with was probably the kid in Kramer vs. Kramer.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
They’re both pretty. I have no worthwhile comment on their respective careers.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
Pleasantville reminds us that nostalgia is mostly wishful thinking cast backwards.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
I’m going to classify Arnold as an athlete so I can mention The Terminator. There’s a lot of water under the dam since then, so it’s hard to remember that, until that movie, he was a Hollywood joke. After that, he was one of the best cyborgs in movie history.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Tough, tough call. I’ve seen five of his movies and liked them all, much. Today, my favorite is Being There.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
King Rat and Empire of the Sun.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
The Letterbox.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
I like Elliot, but Bogart by a mile.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
Mary Poppins. One of the best children’s movies ever made, still.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
Picking a favorite is tough. I like the Do Lung Bridge scene in Apocalypse Now very much, and the various sounds of the taunting Viet Cong from across the river, the explosions and gunfire, the music coming from a tape player are a big part of what makes that scene so effective.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Hell yes.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Again, picking a favorite is tough. The Kids are Alright. When that movie came out The Who was my favorite band, and I played the soundtrack about a dozen hundred times over the course of about 8 years.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
I like Fay a lot, but my favorite movie of hers is actually Mystery of the Wax Museum. Naomi is certainly the superior actress.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
I question everyone’s judgement, including my own. In short, every film critic, blogger and personal friend alive today is sure to be an advocate of a film that would make me question their judgement, and vice versa. That’s life.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
It would have to be two. Best Voiceover Performance, Male and Female. This is much more relevant in today’s movie environment than it would have been back when Disney held the virtual monopoly on animated features. I would backdate it to 1995 and award them to Tom Hanks and Irene Bedard.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
RoboCop. Very dumb title, very very smart movie. It vastly exceeded my expectation when I saw it, and its pointed commentary on American culture still holds up today. Maybe more than ever.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Provide a window to the past.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Ustinov’s characters are, taken as a whole, vastly more likable than Finney’s. Finney is the superior actor, though.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
I like the old Universal airplane, especially at the beginning of The Last Remake of Beau Geste.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now, by Eleanor Coppola. She kept a diary during the making of that movie, and it’s one of the most amazing chronicles I have ever read about the madness of the moviemaking process.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
I’ll go with The Sixth Sense. It was exhilarating. Joyous astonishment.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Shoot the Piano Player, but I have several on my to-see list.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
I am unqualified to give an opinion here.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
I saw Magic Johnson at my gym once. We were walking in opposite directions, and I gave a casual “Hey, how’s it going?” Like we were work buddies passing in the hall. I was so proud of how cool I played it. He smiled and said he was well. I got a lift that lasted all day and I still remember it fondly.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
I was very very young (maybe 4 or 5). My parents were movie buffs and talked about directors all the time. I started reading behind-the-scenes books a couple of years later and put it all together pretty early.

Steve said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Casino Royale, the new one. I was in a foul mood and needed some escapist entertainment to right my buoy, as it were. The blond guy did not disappoint.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Ever since Requiem for a Dream, I've been a fan of Matthew Libatique, and Harris Savides is one of the best things (something the only good thing) about latter-day Gus Van Sant. But I don't know how anybody could read this question with a present-day mindset and not think Christopher Doyle. He even made Lady in the Water look amazing.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Bo Svenson is on my shit list for deigning to appear in Fever Lake. So boo to him. Baker wins by default.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

When Harry Caul walks into the hotel room next door and finds what he finds in The Conversation, that pretty much defined the *gasp!* moment for me. More recently, the celebrated 'final cut' scene in Cache marks the first time I've heard an entire audience, as a single unit, erupt in shock and horror since watching Un Chien Andalou in an auditorium full of unsuspecting squeamish first-year film students.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Sherlock Jr. for laughs, Barton Fink for squirms and thought provocation.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

M is astonishing. That's all there is to it.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

There's a reason that, at the age of fourteen, I bawled through two-thirds of Ordinary People.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Bunuel, Bunuel, oh God a Bunuel question! *collapses in film-geek ecstasy*

(Seriously, though, I think I have to pick Bouquet, because she was both a Bunuel siren and a Bond girl. What else can an actress aspire to after those twin peaks?)

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Anyone who didn't say Dazed and Confused wasn't paying attention.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Does it ruin any perception of taste to reveal that I thought Dennis Rodman, in the completely insane Double Team, showed the kind of easy charisma that eludes many superior actors? The correct answer, of course, is Jim Brown in anything. But I thought the Rodman thing was worth mentioning/getting off my chest. (Runner-up: The six football players who comprise The Black Six. Don't know about the film, but the trailer is a riot, identifying each guy by name and team.)

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Harold and Maude, easy.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Maybe something like Teorema and Visitor Q. Or maybe something backhanded, like programming the overrated weaksauce bondage fantasy Secretary and following it up with the Bob Flanagan documentary Sick, just to give the tourists a real blast of S&M love.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Considering the type of fare I'd like to screen more often than not, I'd have to steal a page from Rob Zombie and call it The Grind House A-Go-Go.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Bogart's the guy you want to be growing up. Plus, he never stooped to stuff like The Last Flight of Noah's Ark.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

I'll always have a soft spot for Mary Poppins.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The dinner scene in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, especially near the end where the family is trying to get Grandpa to whack Sally with that hammer -- never has a movie's power to disturb been so crucially located in the auditory.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Just saw it this year, finally, and that's a hell yes -- it's a glorious, scaborous satire on American mores, an underground film that geniunely feels like outsider art. "No one sends you a turd and expects to live!"

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

A couple off the top of my head: Punch-Drunk Love, Suspiria, Requiem for a Dream, Star Wars.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Wray's a better screamer and probably looks better in the buff, but Watts can act circles around her. So yay Watts.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Just one: Identity. I can understand someone liking The Doom Generation, a film which I loathe more than any other, but I cannot fathom anyone actually taking Identity seriously.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Best Scene Involving Vomit, if only because I know Jackass Number Two would have to win, and that film deserves all the Oscars we can throw at it without looking foolish.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

RoboCop, though I think I find myself defending Starship Troopers more vigorously.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Provide us with visuals to enrich our dreams and thoughts as well as teach us how to understand and use myriad forms of non-verbal communication.

Also, movies provides us with the best pornographic material.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Albert Finney can do anything! Really!

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

I was always partial to the soaring gravitas implied by the TriStar logo. I miss that.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Movies went from being a hobby to an obsession some time in middle school, when the public library taught me that it was more fun to read about movies than research the work I ws actually there to do. I blame both Danny Peary's Guide for the Film Fanatic and whatever edition of the Home Video Companion Roger Ebert had out at the time.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Mario Bava's Rabid Dogs has the best ending ever, and because the DVD is out of print and really, really hard to find (and really expensive when it is found), I'll spoil it for interested parties:

[SPOILERS]

It's a tense hostage situation dealie, sort of The Desperate Hours on wheels: Three thieves, fresh from a botched bank robbery, hijack a car driven by an old man desperate to get his ill son to a hospital, taking with them a female hostage. It's a ruthless and cynical film with a twinge of the mean-spirited, never more so than in its epilogue: After a big shootout that leaves only the old man and his child alive (including a bit where the hostage sacrifices herself to save said child), there's a final scene where the man drives up to a phone booth, steps in, and makes a phone call. The kindly, desperate man we've seen through the entire film melts away as he coldly informs a woman on the other end that the child, in actuality his hostage, will be killed if the man's ransom demands are not met. Wow. Just.... wow.

[END SPOILERS]

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

The 400 Blows, with the caveat that I really need to see more Truffaut.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Hussey showed her boobies. Danes couldn't even get the lines down convincingly. Gee, who do I pick?

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

I've sold wine to Stanley Tucci on a number of occasions. He's a really nice guy. I've also been upbraided by Sally Jesse Raphael's husband because a colleague of mine did not charge them for and did not put in their car a case of wine that they did not ask for.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

I knew who directors were from an early age, being a devotee of the Sunday Calendar section in the Los Angeles Times. Still, I don't think the impact of a great director ever hit me until, after reading about it in various reference resources, I finally uncovered a copy of Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel. That revelatory experience resulted in Bunuel becoming my first cinephile obsession, and it's one of the main reasons that he's still my favorite director of all time.

Thom McGregor said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
“Happy Feet” at Universal City Walk. Dennis thought we were seeing it in IMAX, but the theater messed with his mind and it was a normal screening. Why did I go? My family wanted to see it, particularly Dennis, who had to take our daughters to the bathroom at literally the last minute of the earlier screening they went to.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
I’m not knowledgeable enough to answer this one.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Bo can’t do a thing without his big stick. Without it, he’s just somebody’s crusty, cranky old uncle. Joe Don Baker is frightening– in a hotheaded overweight alcoholic way. I won’t go near either.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
I saw “The Crying Game” early enough in release for me to actually not gasp, but look around in utter confusion and then ask Dennis, “What the hell was that?” Yeah, I can be a bit naive.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
I can’t NOT say “Singing in the Rain,” maybe the most perfect movie ever made. Though I’m not sure it’s really about movies– more about the fantasy of making movies.
I also like “The Stunt Man”and “Day for Night.”

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
I hate to admit this, and probably someone like the Mysterious Adrian Betamax will kill me for it, but I’ve never seen a Fritz Lang movie all the way through. Yes, and Dennis somehow remains married to me.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
I can’t remember that far back. It would have to be a character that was shy, awkward, but yearning to be a part of the world. Although if a film is really good and somehow connects to me, I can relate in a very strong way to almost any character, as long as they don’t cut someone’s head off or something like that.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Alfred Molina?

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
I’m sort of at a loss again. So I’ll just say “Blue Velvet” which seems to evoke an earlier innocent-looking time, like the ‘50s, but digs far beneath the perfect lawns and cheerful families to the bug-encrusted severed ears buried in the dirt.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
In “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali is kind of fascinating because he plays himself in a way that somehow rings totally false. The actor who portrayed him as a teenager was actually more believable in the role. So, I’d go with that real bowler who played The Jesus’s bowling partner in “Big Lebowski.”

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
“The Slugger’s Wife.” No, I’m kidding! I absolutely love “Shampoo.” It’s smart, funny, sad, daring. Paul Simon’s music is perfect. And I was very fond of both “Harold and Maude” and “Being There” in my youth.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Dennis and I were talking about this nightmare double feature– “Life Is Beautiful” and “The Day the Clown Cried.”

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
Suicide Odeon.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
I just don’t get Bogart. I’ve tried too. Elliott Gould has turned into sort of a schlumpy sack of sausages in a sweater, but I do get him, especially in “Long Goodbye” and “The Silent Partner.”

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
I love “Mary Poppins.” Am I thinking of the right guy?

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
“Last Days”– After seeing this, I threatened to just play the DVD on repeat as background noise for everyday life. Something disorienting, creepy yet comforting about the random bits of music, incoherent Kobainian mutterings and other ethereal sounds. What a person might hear when they’re the walking dead– nothing connects.
And “Eraserhead”-- all factory clanging, baby mewling, cornish game hen dancing, lady in the radiator singing that in heaven everything is fine. Another good run-on-an-endless-loop movie for sound.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
I do not have the nerve. I have a problem with poop.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
“Wings of Desire.” “Trainspotting.” For pure soundtrack, I love James Horner’s music for “The New World.”

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
I only vaguely have any sense of who Fay Wray is, and only because of the big ape movie. So Naomi Watts because of “Mulholland Drive,” in this unfair contest.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
Yes. Many movies. But I get over it, don’t I, honey?

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Most ego-free performance. Past winners would include Woody Harrelson in “Kingpin” and Felicity Huffman in “Transamerica.” I mean, just look at them!

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
I would like to say “There is no worthy Verhoeven movie ” but I must be honest and say “Flesh +Blood,” which I saw years ago in a sort of bloodthirsty mood. So over the top and ridiculous I found myself enjoying it, but feeling very dirty and guilty about it.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
If done right, put you in another world, one that takes over all your senses– well, maybe not taste, unless you count the popcorn and hot dogs. So you walk outside and almost feel like you’re carrying a part of one of the characters still inside you. The world looks and feels different That’s power.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
In terms of comfort or speed?

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
I’m sorry. I am an admitted geek. And not ashamed. But I can’t do this.
26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
Book about movies? Hmm. “Star Wars Poster Book”?

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
“Sixth Sense.” “The Long Goodbye.” “To Live And Die In L.A.” had a shocking twist– not ending, but 2/3rd into the movie? I don’t particularly like twist endings usually. Too “Twilight Zone” for me.
28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
“Breathless.” And “Close Encounters.”

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Claire Danes showed such amazing promise in “My So-Called Life” and “Little Women” that I can’t help but feel disappointed so far. And Olivia Hussey once signed an autograph for my mother, so she wins.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Already wrote about standing behind Alfred Hitchcock, watching him direct his last film, “Family Plot” down the street from my parents’ house. Not having much awareness of him except as a very famous profile and voice, I didn’t know what I was seeing. Nevertheless, I was a kid, and it didn’t seem necessary for the security guard to move me away with, “Mr. Hitchcock doesn’t like to have people standing behind him.”
Meeting Paul Westerberg (of the Replacements) at a benefit concert in the ‘80s saluting Dylan. He and Tommy Stinson got on stage and perversely performed a very drunken Rolling Stones song. I went up to him to tell him how much I loved his band and how great they were in a London show I’d seen. He said they bombed at that show, then very sloppily gave my hand a kiss and invited me to sit with him.
In the mid-‘80s, I was watching Warren Zevon perform solo at the Roxy. They let my sister and I stay for a second late-night performance and we sat right in front of the stage. Afterwards the lights went on and I found myself staring straight into the eyes of Bruce Springsteen, sitting in the audience trying not to be noticed. He must have seen the look of insanity in my eyes, because in his eyes I saw nothing but pure fear. He practically ran out of there, most certainly expecting me to start screaming with hysterical excitement.
Sitting at a table next to Tom Cruise and then-wife Mimi Rodgers back in the late ‘80s at a restaurant (Khan’s) in London. My friend and I hated him, and he didn’t help matters by rather rudely and loudly sending a plate back to the kitchen for not being hot enough.
Eating lunch at the Warner Bros. Studio commissary back in the early ‘90s, and noticing my very adorably uninhibited and outgoing friend Donna talking to Kevin Costner about the new Juiceman juicer she had just bought. She had no idea who he was. And he seemed genuinely interested in the juicer.
Walking next to Tom Waits on the Disney Studio lot in Burbank, sweating and trying to get enough courage to say something to him. I didn’t.
Working for one day at a talent agency in Beverly Hills, and my show business weasel boss told me to call the Disney lot and try to track down Leonard Nimoy. Yes, I went on a Search for Spock and eventually talked to him on the phone. That same day Adam Ant sleazily tried to ask me for info about some plastic-looking blonde actress whose 8x10 glossy was on my desk.
I’ve lived all my life in L.A., and I could go on and on like this. I gotta stop.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Probably when I read the Time magazine profile on the making of Jaws. I actually checked out the magazine from the local library and took the time to type out the entire article on my own typewriter. Why I didn't just xerox it, I can't remember. Maybe no money-- I didn't get an allowance. I learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes stuff. So I guess Steven Spielberg forced me to learn about directors.

Thanks, Dennis, for another fun quiz. I hope my answers weren't too uninformed or inane.

Master Steerpike's Musings said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
"Hellboy" because every once in a while I need some Ron Perlman.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Thomas Newton Siegel in the Untitled Alan Ball Project; his finest achievement? Probably his work on the Usual Suspects.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Joe Don Baker all the way!

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
"Pieces of April" where April's mother talks about her non-relationship to her oldest daughter: "I only have one *nice* April memory. only one. She was about three or four. And she was sitting at the window. An she turned to me and said "oh mother don't you just love every day?"
That's just how me and my mum are...she has only a few nice memories of me and those date back to the time I was a kid; and she so dislikes the person I have become that all the other good and happy memories seem to have been eclipsed by that.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Cecil B. DeMented

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
M

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
The Never Ending Story...i used to dream all day long about fantasy worlds, fantastic creatures and stuff, just like Bastian.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
hard to say, it's a tie really.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
Stand by Me

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
quite clueless here...

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Harold and Maude

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
The Third Man
Breakfast at Tiffany's

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
Moviemento

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Elliot Gould

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
Mary Poppins...I love the movie, still watch it from time to time.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
Lord of the Rings - basically all the creature sounds. Even though, LotR turned out to be one of the more forgettable movies, the sound of the creatures (espec. the wraiths) is just chillingly good!

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
only after a considerable amount of alcohol

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
recently, Pirates of the Carribean...this energy in pieces like "swords crossed" makes me go all goose-bumpy

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Fay Wray but mainly because Naomi Watts is one of the few actresses that makes my stomach turn for no apparent reason.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
Basically anyone who claims that Shyamalan is a good director/writer even after they saw "Lady in the water"

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
"Last Year We Made a Mistake" because they always have at least one winner where you go: Not him/her/that movie!
example: giving the oscar for best visual effects to King Kong instead of Chronicles of Narnia

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Showgirls

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Boiling everything down to the lowest common denominator

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Peter Ustinov, for his Poirot and his voice-work in Robin Hood.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
Working Title

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
ugh, there's too many

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
The Usual Suspects and I think everyone knows how it really ends...

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Fahrenheit 451

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Claire Danes

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Never met any.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
When I was little my dad used to watch a lot of Star Wars and he was always going on about how great a director George Lucas is...so this was the first time i realized that there had to be something like a director.

Chris said...

Okay...I'm not a HUGE film buff at all, but I really am interested in the movie industry and am trying to see more older, classic movies, so here goes...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why? The Big Lebowski on DVD. My friend brought it over and at first I was DEFINITELY one of the people who "don't get" The Big Lebowski. As I watched it I got more interested in it, and I'm starting to "get" it. I'd have to watch it a few more times to take it all in though...

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements. Hmm...I don't have any specific cinematographers I like, but the Crank had some really cool camera work. It's not a classic by any means, but it had some inventive shots. The Science of Sleep was really cool looking as well.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson? Um. Dunno.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…) Hostel. I didn't really know what to expect when I saw it, definitely wasn't expecting all the nudity in the first part. The strange editing of the movie to allt he violent and sexual parts took me by surprise.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies. For Your Consideration.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie. Like I said...I'm a classic film newbie.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie. Hmm...I know that I have before but nothing specific comes to mind.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina? Again. Newbie.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity. Seeing that it's December, The Christmas Story is one of the first thing that jumps to mind. Also, Simon Birch and My Dog Skip were really good.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role. Not sure.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie. Again...I'm a newbie. (God I feel dumb not knowing any of these answers)

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater. A Clockwork Orange and Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!

13) What’s the name of your revival theater? Don't have one.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould? Humphrey Bogart is the classic choice, but I've hardly seen him in anything (yeah, I know). I've always liked Gould in Friends so I'll go with him.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie. Old Yeller

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound. Hmm...more rencently, of course, would be The Grudge, for that strange popping noise that Japanese ghost girl makes in her throat. As for an older movie...probably would go with The Exorcist.


17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no? Haven't seen it, but I've heard it's pretty legendary.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score. A Clockwork Orange's minimalistic score is really creepy and ethereal. A more traditional-sounding score would be Ron Howard's The Missing.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts? Naomi Watts.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it? Brick. That movie was so pretentious and annoying.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner. Ensemble Cast--Any of the Christopher Guest movies.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie. Sadly,I have not seen any of Verhoeven's luminary works of film, such as the revolutionary 'Showgirls'.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form? They suck you in, and transport more than anything else.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney? Albert Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature. Right now, I really like Warner Independent. It's really simplistic but it's cool-looking.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally. Don't know.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.) I'm not sure. The only one I immediately thought of was the Usual Suspects, but I could see that coming for a while.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie. Haven't seen any.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes? Claire Danes, I guess.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter. Once, when I was at South Coast Plaza (in Orange County, CA) Kel Mitchell came to Macy's to promote Mystery Men, so that was pretty cool because I loved Kenan & Kel. Also, once when I was in Los Angleles eating on Sunset Boulevard, Maggie Wheeler (who played Janice on Friends) walked by and smiled at me, which was pretty cool. Hopefully, I'll be going to the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and see some people there.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed? My dad rents out construction equiptment to movie studios sometimes, and in 1996, he had some on Titanic in Rosarito, Mexico (near Tijuana). I heard him say it was "a James Cameron movie", and that's when I first heard about directors.

Well...I know a lot less about classic movies than I thought, but it was still fun!

Anonymous said...

So I deleted some questions that I didn't have any interest in answering . . .

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Melinda and Melinda because I felt like wasting two hours watching a piece of garbage.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

There were several in The Descent.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Contempt

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

M

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Stand By Me -- like Gordie, I usually felt like the Invisible Boy around my house.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

O.J. Simpson in Naked Gun, although Keith Hernandez wasn't bad on Seinfeld.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Harold and Maude

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

No double features. I'd just show Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3-D over and over again.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

AMC -- or is that already taken?

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Is this a joke?

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The jolts of music that randomly punctuate so many scenes in A Woman Is a Woman

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Yes

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Clockwork Orange

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Did you see Mulholland Drive?

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Hundreds, but the top of my list would probably be any Kevin Smith movie.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Worst awards show -- the perrenial winner would be the Oscars. (I'll take the Independent Spirit Awards any day.)

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Starship Troopers

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Give you something to talk about with your friends and coworkers.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Finney

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Cassavetes on Cassavetes

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

La Jetee

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

400 Blows

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Seeing Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn at a bar in DC.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Howard the Duck

Campaspe said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
In a theater, Les Tontons Flingeuers.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements. James Wong Howe. I would love him if he had done nothing more than Sweet Smell of Success, which manages to capture the grime and mercilessness of New York without dimming an iota of its allure.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson? *Blank stare*

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…) I gasp a lot, I am an easy mark. I think the last moment that truly rocked me back in my seat was the climax of Coup de Torchon.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies. The Bad and the Beautiful. "Picture's over, Georgia. You're business. I'm company."

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie. Scarlet Street.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie. At five years old I refused to answer to my real name, insisting I was actually Dorothy Gale from Kansas. I think it was the most complete identification I've had, before or since.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina? Carole.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity. You aren't knocking nostalgia, are you?

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role. The guy in Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie. Shampoo.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater. Romance, happy and unrequited: I Know Where I'm Going! and Letter from an Unknown Woman.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater? The "Woman's Picture" Palace.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould? Bogart. For heaven's sake, is that even a contest? It's like asking me to choose between steak au poivre and a baloney sandwich.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie. Johnny Tremain (though it wasn't as good as the book).

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound. The champagne cork, in The Apartment.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no? No.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score. Elmer Bernstein, To Kill a Mockingbird.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts? Fay.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it? It doesn't bother me if someone loves something I don't (though loving, say, Hostel might make me reconsider walking down a dark alley with the person). It bothers me more if they hate something I love.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie. Gah. If we call that "least painful" I would say Total Recall.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form? Tap into our fantasies.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney? Peter Ustinov, I adore him. And Finney didn't direct Billy Budd.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature. The original Universal Studios planet. Love the way it glitters.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally. City of Nets by Otto Friedrich. I re-read it on a regular basis.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.) I loved the ending of La Ceremonie, but wouldn't dream of spoiling the marvelous double-twist.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie. A tie between Jules and Jim and The Last Metro.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes? Olivia Hussey.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter. I almost got pickpocketed because of Catherine Deneuve. I was trying to get a better look at her in the back of a store and meanwhile this other woman had my bag half-unfastened. Afterward I concocted this nice daydream where I tell Ms Deneuve this story at a chic cocktail party, and we become fast friends and she hooks me up with a Chanel contact and I wind up with the most fabulous freebies. Like I said, movies tap into our fantasies ...

31) When did you first realize that films were directed? When I realized this Busby Berkeley person was the one coming up with all the dance patterns I loved.

Campaspe said...

10. Woody Strode. Shame on me for forgetting his name.

The Mysterious A|d|r|i|a|n B|e|t|a|m|a|x said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
Depends on when I write this, doesn’t it? Since it takes 3 days to finish your open-book quizzes and I’m answering this one first, it will have changed by the time I reach the end of the quiz! Well, right now, it was Domino by Tony Scott. However, I am also about 40 minutes or so into Intolerable Cruelty. So, I guess it’s Domino. Why? Because I’ve been watching mind-numbing mainstream crap lately in order to numb my mind and enjoy (hopefully) some slick Hollywood action films. Domino delivered sort of, but not really. I rated it 2 stars on Netflix. Tony Scott just seems to be a heartless man and it comes through in his work. Anyway, so why did I watch it knowing that? I guess I was hoping it would be as diverting as Man on Fire, which did deliver in the diverting action-entertainment department. Now back to Godard.
UPDATE: Now that I’m finishing this weeks later, the most recent “movie” I watched was the Kevin Brownlow/David Gill DVD “Unknown Chaplin.” The movie before that was Alexander Nevsky, and if you have to ask why someone would watch an Eisenstein film.............

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
The problem is I forget them, so I don’t look forward to them. Perhaps Netflix not having a way to search by cinematographer has hindered me from creating viewing priorities based on the cinematographer. So, I was surprised and excited when I rented Anthony Mann’s Border Incident and saw John Alton’s name in the credits. And I realized, when I saw this film, that this was an entirely different level of beauty in cinematography that I had not seen in the last 50 or so films I had watched. His mastery and control is utterly stunning. Then recently I watched Josef von Sternberg’s The Scarlet Empress and was equally stunned. (I’m considering von Sternberg as the cinematographer since he essentially photographed and lit his own films.) Let’s see if I can brainstorm a list of cinematographers I have loved in the past and hit upon the one whose work I most look forward to seeing. Well, I wrote a bunch of names, but the best ones I could think of were Raoul Coutard and John Alton. Coutard’s example would be Godard’s Passion.

Even IMDB takes the spotlight away from the cinematographer by having their names buried way down the list instead of near the top.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
I don’t know who Bo Svenson is. I’ll go look him up. I just saw the skinniest Joe Don Baker I ever saw in Peckinpah’s Junior Bonner. It’s hard to love Joe Don Baker though. I looked up Bo Svenson, saw his filmography, looked at his picture, and I still don’t recognize him. So, it will have to be Joe Don Baker by default. Wait, default? No way! It’s Joe Don Baker, vibrant and lovable star of that cinematic masterwork, Fletch!

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
I always hate this type of question that you are so fond of. I like entire artworks, not single moments.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
There are so many. This will be tough. I guess if I had a favorite I would know it without having to think about it. The only thing that comes to mind without putting my thinking cap on is Day for Night, which I remember enjoying but don’t want to count it as my favorite of said genre. 8 1/2 will have to be my favorite since I can’t think of anything more off the beaten path.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
Anyone who says Moonfleet is trying to win snobbish points for obscurity and to show how hip they are by naming a Lang movie very few people have seen. So... I’ll say... Moonfleet! Ha, ha, ha. It is a very good and very unusual Lang movie, but it’s not my favorite. That was a lie. I’m extremely fond of Rancho Notorious, and who couldn’t be with that infectious “Chuck-a-Luck” theme song? (Chuck-a-Luck was also the catchy original title I believe.) I really love Die Nibelungen and I might say that’s the favorite, but I think I’ve got to go into Dr. Mabuse territory. So, which Mabuse?!? The 1922 4-hour silent original? The incredible 1933 action film Testament of Dr. Mabuse, which seems elevated by the lavish treatment it gets on the Criterion DVD? Or the stupendous 1960 final Lang film, The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse? Or I could throw in Spies which features diabolical supercriminals not unlike Mabuse. I’m going to go with current fave Testament of Dr. Mabuse which is just the most satisfying action film I’ve practically ever seen.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
Huh? Like when I was in There’s Something About Mary? Or, what, am I like an elephant that you’re doing tests on to see if they recognize themselves in mirrors? (Recent scientific breakthrough studies have discovered that, yes, elephants can in fact recognize themselves in mirrors. Nice!) I don’t get this question. ;) Ha, ha.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Bouquet sounds kind of ancient, and I don’t know who Angela Molina is, even though the name sounds familiar. Let me go IMDB her. Okay, that was no help. I guess I’ll go with Carole Bouquet since I think she was the star of For Your Eyes Only, which is the best Bond film ever made. (kidding)

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
This question is way too pretentious for polite company.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Wow, this is a good one. I wish I had the time to devote to it properly. I just saw someone in something. Who was it? Hmmm...

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
A very manageable question. Thank you! My favorite Hal Ashby movie is The Last Detail but why anyone would care I don’t know.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Napoléon (1927) and Die Nibelungen (omelets served at dawn)

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
Film, Incorporated.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Really depends what the last Elliot Gould movie you saw was, doesn’t it. But if you remember that it is that precarious, then you’d better pick Bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
I don’t know who this jackass is. I’ll go look him up. Looks like he directed a bunch of crappy-ass Disney movies, so I’ll have to ignore this question.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
Again with the “moments.” Ooh, how about some cloying Spielberg musical motif banging you over the head and instructing you how to react emotionally to the scene he can’t direct?

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
You want to reduce film criticism to yes/no, thumbs up/thumbs down?

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Casino Royale (1967)!!!

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Fay Wray. What do I win for selecting between them? Oh, wait, I just got that this is a reference to that execrable King Kong remake. In that case, since this is a referendum on that horrendously maudlin remake (so maudlin that a reappreciation of the word itself may be needed) hands down Fay Wray. Naomi can go have sex with the giant gorilla if she wants to so bad. Fay Wray ain’t into bestiality, boy.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
There are always some now and then. Can’t think of one now. Well, apart from the King Kong remake and an inordinate interest in Showgirls.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
The new category is “vote to eradicate the existence of the Oscars.”

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Starship Troopers.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Nothing. Oh, wait I just thought of cinematography. They do that pretty well, and the other art forms aren’t so hot at it.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Don’t care. Flip a coin.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
Are you counting boutiques? Can’t remember enough of those anyway. There are so many, especially when you go back in time and think of film history. Golden Harvest’s is kind of fun and simple. There are probably some great French, German or Swedish silent logos that rock that I can’t recall.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
Maybe the Cahiers du Cinéma series of collections of English translations from their original articles. Godard on Godard similarly perhaps. Actually, I’d have to say Film History: An Introduction by Bordwell and Thompson. A film textbook that is an essential guide to almost all that the immense history of film has to offer.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
This is the kind of question my feeble memory cannot tolerate. It would be overtaxed and would fail to turn over every stone necessary to find the right answer. I’ve just seen too many movies.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
Tirez sur le pianiste.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
What, for breakfast? On a date? To get married to? Who’s the better actress? Who’s more attractive? Since Claire Danes can’t act, I’m not sure what this question is about. If you are suffering under the delusion that Danes is some sort of actress and this is the reason for this question, then Olivia Hussey by default, even though I can’t think of anything with her I’ve seen. As I look up Hussey on IMDB it seems I don’t even know who she is. What is the import of this question to the problems of the world?

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Robert Stack. I’m waiting for my friend and his girlfriend to meet me at a screening at UCLA. If I remember correctly the screening was of Seven Men From Now (probably about its first or second screening after its restoration), followed by Bullfighter and the Lady, starring Robert Stack. As I see my friends walking toward me, I see they’ve brought this old man with them-- their uncle or grandfather? As they get closer, I realize it’s Robert Stack! So, my friend says, “Hey, Adrian. This is Robert Stack,” with a big smirk on his face. Turns out they met in the parking garage elevator. My friend notices it’s Robert Stack in the elevator and says, “Hey, you’re Robert Stack, aren’t you? We’re going in to see your movie.” And Stack says something like “Bet you thought I was dead, didn’t you?” That cracks me up. But now he is dead.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
(I cribbed this one from The House Next Door. Thanks, Matt! Great question!)

In a film class in high school maybe. I don’t know. I suppose there was awareness of George Lucas or something at an earlier age. Is this really important?!?! I do remember learning what shot changes were in that high school film class, and that there were individual shots. Before that, movies just seemed to flow by as organic masses and I wasn’t aware of the cutting. Understanding that is the beginning to understanding how to appreciate them as an art form.

-The Mysterious A|d|r|i|a|n B|e|t|a|m|a|x

Weigard said...

In the spirit of Mr. Blutarsky, I shall leave several questions blank.

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

It was Casino Royale for me as well. I actually had a free afternoon! So I wanted to see a film that I'd really regret seeing only on video. And I was curious if this guy could really work as Bond. I was quite pleasantly surprised. More recently, saw A History of Violence on cable last night, which was very good.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

I guess I'd go with Roger Deakins as well -- O Brother, Where Art Thou? is probably my favorite.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Slight edge to Bo Svenson.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

I had never heard of "parkour" before reading a review of District B-13. The film itself was OK, but that first chase scene was so stunning, exhilarating, and beautiful at the same time, there were several gasps along the way -- the scene where he vaulted through the little window above the door elicited a spoken "Oh my God" as I recall. Actually, there were some similar gasps during the similar chase scene at the start of Casino Royale.

One other film that elicited a very physical gasp from me was Koyaanisqatsi. About 2/3 of the way through, there is a long sequence going through the craziness of a day in the city where the time-lapse photography gets progressively faster, the music more incessant -- and then it just stops. Near silence, a slow-moving aerial view. I think the whole audience needed to gasp for air after that.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Singin' in the Rain!

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Aspects of myself -- in nearly every film. Most of myself -- not yet.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

I thought Pleasantville came very close to uniting the two. It begins as if it is simply an indulgence in 50s sitcoms, but the focus gradually changes to more serious issues. I'm not sure it's entirely successful, but I still enjoyed it. Far From Heaven is another period film that went beyond a simple nostalgia.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Andre the Giant, The Princess Bride

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Gotta be Being There.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

I really love the British comedies from the '50s (Ealing and such), so I'd go with ... how about Genevieve and The Ladykillers?

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

How about the Whiteside? It's a real theater in town that's literally dying to be renovated.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

I had a cat named Marlowe who I think fit the role best! But I'll go with Bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Mary Poppins

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

Someone took mine, and I thought it was at least a little bit obscure -- the hose in Mon Oncle. Maybe, then, the scene in Playtime with the heels clicking on the linoleum floor, letting us know that a character will someday, someday appear on screen.

Actually, if you can count music that's more sound than anything else, the first shark attack in Jaws is pretty compelling.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

There are so many, but one that's quite good throughout that I find myself whistling a lot is Elmer Bernstein's score for The Great Escape. I'm glad someone mentioned David Holmes' score for the new Ocean's Eleven as well, it's one of my favorites of recent years.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Not really. There are so many things that go into whether someone likes or dislikes a film, some particular to that point in time, that it would be unfair to make such a sweeping generalization. Shoot, I remember watching The Hairdresser's Husband after seeing Roger Ebert had it on his 10-best list of the year, and thought he was insane! But if so, it was only temporary insanity. :)

On the influence of context -- Several years ago I stayed up all night, reading heavy-duty philosophical works for a school project. By the time I gave up at 6 in the morning, I had drunk so much caffeine that there was no way I was going to sleep, so instead I watched The Stupids -- quite possibly the very best circumstance for first seeing this film. It's still one of my favorites!

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

I would love to see another music oscar. In addition to song and score, I think recognition should be given to those who compile a body of existing songs that truly mesh with the film. My retroactive award goes to T-Bone Burnett for The Big Lebowski. The Gipsy Kings play "Hotel California" -- brilliant. :)

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Total Recall (never seen Robocop though)

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Many things that others have listed, but also they are the perfect medium for including great variety in visual scale. You can have a closeup of the tiniest detail, or broad views on the grandest scale. The director can show force you to look at one thing, or give you a wide shot and invite you to look everywhere. You can even have something like the end of Men in Black where you back away from Earth to super-grand scale (the galaxy), and then back into small scale in a little marble. I love it.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

I love Peter Ustinov's voice, but overall I'd give a slight edge to Albert Finney.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

Has no one voted for MGM? If so I missed it. Surprises me. But it's not my favorite either, I like the big bombastic 20th Century Fox logo. And the wonderful what-happens-next logo for Working Title.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Leonard Maltin's Film Guide?

Other than that, I've only read one, and I enjoyed it immensely -- Sidney Lumet's Making Movies.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

It's been mentioned several times, but I still have to go with The Sixth Sense. I think I like it most because, looking back, it seems like it should have been so obvious. I didn't get it, though, until right when I think Shyamalan meant for it to happen, with that slow rolling ring. And the real test: I still love watching the movie even now that I know the "secret".

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

To my shame, I have only seen one, but I loved it, so I'll go with The Bride Wore Black.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

The first time I really had a concept of what it entailed was, like for many people, when I discovered Hitchcock. For me, that wasn't until I was in college. But on the suggestion of some friends, I saw several of his films, and seeing how similar ideas can be treated similarly (and differently) in films with one constant uniting them was the first event that really made me pay attention to what a director brings to a film.

Bandit said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Saturday I caught "Home of the Brave," 'cause it's all about the Biel. I was unaware going in that she spent the movie with a prosthetic hand. Then we caught "Blood Diamond." Why to both? Because I make it a point of seeing any movie I'm even slightly interested in on the big screen. Next up-- Rocky! Then Clint, Soderbergh, and of course, "Black Christmas."


2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

I used to love Dante Spinotti's work with Michael Mann and Curtis Hanson, but lately he's stuck in Ratnerville, so I'll go with Mann's new guys, Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron. I also like Cameron's sun-scorched work for Tony Scott. I'll also second that Matthew Libatique response.



3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

J.D.B. by a landslide, though the Svens was in some AWESOME Bob Clark revenge movie ("Breaking Point"?) that my local independent station broke out constantly growing up. But Baker for his cunning ability to be the supervillain in one James Bond movie, then turn up two movies later as an altogether different character. By this logic, Maud Adams is also a mega-talent, I suppose.


4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

William Petersen biting the dust in "To Live and Die in L.A."



5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Generally I HATE insider-Hollywood movies: Too smug, too inside, too wink-wink, nudge-nudge. For that reason, I'm usually down on media satires and political wonk insider tales, all of which seem too, too... Kenneth Turan for me. So I'll go absurdist and plug "Pet Sematary Two" for its electrocuted-actress prologue.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

Is he the guy who helped Holbrook bury Adrienne Barbeau in "Creepshow"? I'm a Michael Bay fan, I don't know this stuff. "Metropolis."

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Buddy Repperton in "Christine," and Bob the Nerd Who Somehow Scores P.J. Soles in "Halloween." The latter because I had his stylish horn-rimmed frames growing up.


8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Bouquet. In "For Your Eyes Only," she was the 1995 Liv Tyler of 1981. Plus, wasn't she married to Christopher Lambert? That's AWESOME.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Soderbergh's "King of the Hill" is pretty solid, coming as it does from a director with seemingly no thematic consistency and a generally cold touch.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

O.J. saving a cat.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

"Last Detail" by a country mile, but I'll give the unsung "Eight Million Ways to Die" props for feauturing the most profane warehouse shootout of all time. Plus, Jeff Bridges' hair is stunning in it. What a nice feathered coif with a solid middle part.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

"Driller Killer" and "Ms. 45."

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

Jeff Bridges' Hair Is Nice.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Gould. The 'fro, man.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Let this be a lesson-- a Film Studies degree from Pitt is worthless.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The subtitled bar conversation-dance in David Lynch's "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me." Any Lynch soundtrack, really.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

No. I'll keep my perfect track record of never seeing a John Waters movie, despite thinking him an enjoyable raconteur and wit.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" (SERIOUSLY.)

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Naomi Watts. Was Fay Wray even hot?

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Not really. Everyone's different, and I resent the milquetoast critical standard that automatically leaps on easy targets like Michael Bay, Tony Scott, Joel Schumacher, De Palma, "Gigli," "All the King's Men," etc., practically sight-unseen, just because one middlebrow critic decided that was a safe thing to dislike or deride.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Lifetime Achievement In Awesome Moustaches: Tom Atkins.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

"Turkish Delight," though anything up to and including "RoboCop" is a masterpiece. "Spetters" is intense.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?


24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Finney. "Wolfen." "Looker."

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

MGM's lion is the coolest, though I LOVE the histrionic fanfare of the post-1997 Universal musical intro. And WB usually means I'm about to see a better movie.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

I absolutely hated it in college, but Robin Wood's commie classic "Hollywood From Vietnam to Reagan" still gets a lot of mileage. After all, he appreciates "Cruising" AND "Last House on the Left."

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

It's overrated by geeks, but I love the twist in "Fight Club."

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

"Close Encounters." "Day For Night."

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Dizzanes. Her walk out to the sunset on the Santa Monica pier in "Mod Squad" was the stuff of legend. And in "Brokedown Palace," she and Kate Beckinsale romped and partied in the wackiest Thai prison ever.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

I was an extra on "Sudden Death," featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme at his most, shall we say, distracted. I used to love watching him ogle ladies and short-fusedly throw tantrums at random people into the wee hours of the evening.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Around 8 or 9, when I associated three different movies I loved, "The Fog," "Escape From New York," and "Halloween," all with the name John Carpenter.

Anonymous said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
The last movie I saw in the theater was "Inland Empire," which had its moments but was ultimately an exercise in self-indulgence. I knew it was likely to be so, but I like Lynch enough that I wanted to experience it anyway, and I'm not sorry I went. Last film I saw on DVD was "The Last of Sheila," a tricky whodunit written by Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim that has held up surprisingly well. I wanted to see it again after 20 years or so.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Robert Richardson. I think his work in "Natural Born Killers" and "Kill Bill" is excellent--a clean, crisp look but a creative use of movement and angles. Underrated.


3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson? Neither.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
Two, though neither are profound. Recently, the moment in "The Prestige" when I realized what was going on with the Tesla machine, and the delicious bit in "Deep Blue Sea" where Sam Jackson's rally-the-troops speech is ingloriously cut short.
5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
"Sunset Boulevard" and "State and Main."
7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
Not sure that I have, but someone once told me I was Kenneth Branagh's character in "Dead Again," if that helps...

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
"Harold and Maude."
12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
"Miller's Crossing" and "The Big Lebowski"

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Bogey.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
The soundscape created for "Blade Runner."
17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
yes
18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
"Jaws"
19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Watts
20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
"The Thin Red Line."

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
"Robocop"
23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Entertain, distract.
24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Finney by a long mile.
26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
"Guide for the Film Fanatic"
27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
"Psycho"
29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Hussey
30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Telly Savalas farted in my general direction when he thought he was alone.

Damian said...

To Weigard:


13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

How about the Whiteside? It's a real theater in town that's literally dying to be renovated.



HOLY COW! Do you live in Corvallis too?

blaaagh said...

Dear Prof. Jennings,

Please forgive me for the tardiness of this take-home exam. As you will note, I have been absent from your class for quite some time: namely, since the Fall of 1977, when I last sat in the front row of your classroom. I am hoping that the quality of my answers will make up for the long delay in my completing this assignment. Either that, or you have smoked so much pot and become so disenchanted with your novel and your academic life that you just won't care and will give me a good grade anyway.

Sincerely,

Blaaagh

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
I last saw THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE on DVD, in my own version of your legendary Dirty Dishes Theater, on my laptop, because you told me how great it is, and it is. It made for especially creepy, magical Christmastime viewing.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
I perk up whenever I see something photographed by Owen Roizman, whom I first noticed as a teenager obsessed with THE EXORCIST, because of his wonderful use of light, not so much in EXORCIST, but, for example, in NETWORK in the scene with William Holden and Faye Dunaway out in the crisp, autumn air in New York: it somehow seems real, unfiltered, but both the people and the surroundings look stunningly beautiful. But look at THE FRENCH CONNECTION, THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE, even THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN. I dunno what happened to him lately, but I love the way his stuff looks.

When I first read this question, though, I first thought “who shot CASABLANCA?”, and when I looked him up I realized it was Arthur Edeson, who also shot THE MALTESE FALCON, RED DUST, MUTINY OF THE BOUNTY, THE OLD DARK HOUSE, and ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. Jeez…why don’t I know—and look for—this name?

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Bo Svenson, just because he seems more likable (no offense to Mitchell!!), and because he was in—and gave a committed performance in—BUTCHER BAKER NIGHTMARE MAKER!

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
I think I gasped in revelation and awe when I saw Sarah Miles’s bare boob in RYAN’S DAUGHTER when I was 11 or so. I felt like the luckiest, most blessed kid in the universe.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
SUNSET BOULEVARD. I could watch it any day or night and find it fresh, true and rich.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
METROPOLIS, I guess: it was mesmerizing when I saw it long ago, in film class (177 Lawrence, I think) in college. I would say M, but it freaked me out and I have never had the desire to see it again. I did see about half of RANCHO NOTORIOUS recently, thanks to you, and I have a date with the other half—and now I want to see THE BIG HEAT in a big way!

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
Er, in either one of my own 8mm masterpieces, or in ANIMAL HOUSE…but I know what you mean.

I reckon I’d have to say the Scarecrow in THE WIZARD OF OZ: eternally trying to make everything all right, thinking he has little to offer but willing to go along hopefully, and finding he actually has more going on than he knew. Hopefully this doesn’t sound too egotistical!

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Er…it was so long ago that I saw THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE, though it made a great impression on me, that I think I must choose Molina, because I think there was a rumor that Bouquet was a transsexual, around the time of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, and that made me worry a bit about her (PC alert!)

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
PAPER MOON.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Since I can’t think of any, I’ll mention Kenny Moore in PERSONAL BEST, since another actor from Eugene who was in it, and is friends with Moore, told a funny story about Moore’s appearance in it: Moore was some sort of a consultant on the film, and Robert Towne was flying back from Eugene with Mariel Hemingway, talking about who could play the male love interest, and Hemingway said something like, “how about Kenny?”—so he ended up playing the part, never (I think) having acted before, and had to do full-frontal nudity, which I’m told was extremely embarrassing to him as he watched the film at its Eugene premiere with his parents, and Coach Bill Bowerman, all sitting around him.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
I like COMING HOME, though I’m aware that no one remembers it fondly nowadays.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Maybe PEEPING TOM and REAR WINDOW.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
CINEMATHEQUE. I favor something people can remember, with some favorable associations, and which rolls off the tongue nicely.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
I’m a sucker for Bogart, and he was a wonderful actor. I’m still coming around to an appreciation for the sometimes-lazy, often-the-same Gould.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
I loved BLACKBEARD’S GHOST as a kid, but I’ve only seen MARY POPPINS once, as a kid in 1964, and it was so memorable I can still see images of it when I try. I’m almost afraid to see it again, for fear I’ll think it’s lousy! High marks for DARBY O’GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE, too.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
My FAVORITE moment? Hmph. I’ll go with the moment when Jessica Tandy discovered Farmer Dan’s corpse in his farmhouse in THE BIRDS, because there’s no sound, or very little. The fact that there’s no music to hype the scene makes it so much scarier. I can still see that movie today, and find that scene horrifying.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Yechh…no, thanks, though I haven’t seen it in a long time, and I wouldn’t turn down another viewing, in good company.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
I have a soft spot for the score from THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1992), though it could as easily be old favorite DAYS OF HEAVEN. I also like Nick Bicat’s music for the 1982 TV film THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL…but these are just the ones that come to mind today.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
I love Naomi Watts, but there is no substitute for the sweet sexiness of Fay Wray.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
PULP FICTION, though most friends/critics/bloggers I like seem to like and/or respect it, so I wouldn’t hold it against them…just question their judgment.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
BEST MAIN TITLE DESIGN: Saul Bass (Lifetime Achievement Award).

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
STARSHIP TROOPERS.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Make us believe we are in another time and another place, and are involved in the lives of people we’ve never actually met.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
I like Finney best, because he’s consistently danced around being typecast and has consistently created believable, complex, and surprising characters, and continues to do so.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
The MGM lion never fails to please me. I only feel a little wistful nowadays that there is no real studio behind him.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
I’m a little sheepish, but it’s Leonard Maltin’s guide—formerly called TV MOVIES, and now called MOVIE GUIDE—not because I don’t love reading the Pauline Kael collections, because I do, but Maltin’s guide has been a dependable companion since I was about 15, and I turn to it frequently still.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
I’m an easy mark, apparently, because I really fell for THE SIXTH SENSE. Oh, and I think I gasped at the end of that, too.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
SMALL CHANGE: it’s utterly charming and beautiful.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
I try hard to like Claire Danes, and she is really talented, but I just don’t dig her. Olivia Hussey, on the other hand, is a living love potion: that voice! Those eyes! That hair! Then again, I feel like dirty old man, because she was only a kid in ROMEO AND JULIET, but dang, she was pretty—still is!

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
I already told my Sheree North story on your blog…OK, I have a lot of boring tales of celebrity encounters, but I guess…OK, here’s one. I was at a booksellers’ conference in L.A. several years ago, and I had sat down in an outdoor courtyard to eat my meager lunch. As you know, I have a strict policy not to show any sign of interest or excitement at meeting someone famous, even if I might feel it internally. My usual policy is to treat them as if I don’t recognize them, and I behave like my usual polite self. Some love this, as they’re tired of being fawned over, and I can tell that others are searching my eyes for some sign that I recognize them and that I’m thrilled. Anyway, I was sitting there starting my lunch, when a door opened from inside, a cane appeared, then a very dapper, ruddy-cheeked older gentleman walked out in a crisp black suit and a bowler hat. Something about him was familiar from his gait, and my eyes traveled to his face. I was completely off-guard when I recognized him, and without thinking about it, as my eyes met his, I said aloud, smiling, “Mr. Steed?” A familiar chuckle bubbled up from the man who returned my smile: Patrick Macnee, whom I’d watched and idolized on THE AVENGERS as a kid, and he said, “How are you?” I was ridiculously thrilled to see him, and could say only, “Fine, thank you.” I sensed an opening for more conversation as he paused politely, awaiting my next scintillating comment, but, faced with my silence, he turned away politely and found his own table. In that moment, my usual blasé attitude toward famous people failed me completely, and I was completely starstruck.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
When my dad picked up my older brother Ray and I from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, at the Hollywood Theater in Portland, and started talking about “Stanley Kubrick-this” and “Kubrick-that.” I started then trying to figure out who he was talking about, and I remember looking at the poster outside the theater, seeing “Directed by Stanley Kubrick,” and from then on gradually trying to figure out what a director does. It helped that Ray passed along to me the wonderful book by Jerome Agel, THE MAKING OF KUBRICK’S 2001.

Chris Stangl said...

Bandit - Buddy, Fay Wray was definitely hot.

Weigard said...

To Damian:

Indeed. :) Fancy meeting you here.

Nobody said...

I can't believe anyone's still reading these, but I can't resist chiming in regardless.

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

On DVD: The Wedding Party, because I’m trying to fill the lacunae in my De Palma viewing.

In the cinema: Stranger than Fiction, because I love meta with my fiction.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Robert Yeoman; apart from his collaborations with Wes Anderson my favorite movie he photographed is CQ (actually three films in one) directed by Roman Coppola, Sophia’s more talented brother.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

The Rock.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

Children of Men, when someone is surprisingly killed in the first act.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Haneke’s Cache, the best film about cinema since Rear Window.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

Cliched as it is, it has to be Metropolis.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Johnny Depp in The Ninth Gate, when he was excitedly comparing variants between copies of the same book.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Utter ignorance.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Pixar’s Cars was refreshingly, even subversively nostalgic for gasoline-fuelled automobiles. Does that disqualify it? The movie itself was quite bankable as well…

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

For its sheer novelty value, LA Laker Rick Fox’s short-lived acting career as a college recruiter in He Got Game.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

I like the films he edited for Norman Jewison — The Cincinnati Kid, The Russians Are Coming, In the Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair — more than his own movies.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

If it’s a double feature it would have to feature doubles, so:

A Zed & Two Noughts / Dead Ringers
or
Mulholland Dr. / Femme Fatale

I would also have a Double-Double Feature on Saturday // Sunday, in which each double feature is its own unit, but the fourth film synchretizes the first three:

Vertigo / Obsession // Rear Window / Body Double

Psycho / Dressed to Kill // Tenebrae / Raising Cain

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

The Cinecure. (groan!)

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Much as I like The Long Goodbye, Bogart delivered Chandler’s memorable lines definitively.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Mary Poppins, though I’ve always liked the idea that he directed Kidnapped just because it was a Robert (Louis) Stevenson novel!

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

Blow Out is my favorite movie about sound, though I was recently impressed with the sound design of THX 1138.

17) Pink Flamingoes– yes or no?

Just not yet.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Though A Fistful of Dollars has the best two minutes in the history of film music, the best score is Once Upon a Time in the West. More recently I thought Birth had a great score from Alexandre Desplat.

But if “soundtrack score” means a collection of non-original selections then I’d say it’s a tie between the first Austin Powers movie and Kill Bill Vol. 1.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Been in love with Naomi since Mulholland Dr. and The Ring.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Pleasantville is one of the few movies I despise; however I would love to see an attempt to make sense of this incoherent film.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Most Gratuitous Product-Placement-turned-Cameo-Appearence.

And the Oscar goes to: Virgin’s Richard Branson (for Superman Returns and Casino Royale)

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Starship Troopers, though I like Basic Instinct as a “remake” of Vertigo.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Manipulation, in the sense of controling the viewer’s experience. In theater, everyone sees the action from a (literally) different perspective, but in film everyone sees the same thing and cannot see anything outside the frame or before and after the cut.

For the viewer, it means that in fiction you’re able to identify with practically any type of character, but in documentaries it means you cannot trust anything you see because there is always a context out of sight.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Ustinov forever, if only for his Nero in Quo Vadis.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

RKO’s original “A Radio Picture” logo with the three-dimensional globe.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Truffaut/Hitchcock.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

The Long Goodbye surprised me as everyone else has mentioned, but I’ll pick

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

Haven’t seen enough to answer justly.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

I haven’t seen Luhrmann’s R&J but it doesn’t matter since Hussey is the definitive Juliet.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Brushing past Sylvester Stallone at the LA Auto Show. My first thought was “Gee, the hair on that tiny man with the big head looks just like Stallone’s” before I did a double-take: “That midget IS Stallone!”

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

Standing in line for Star Tours at Disneyland, I asked my dad why it said “from the imagination of George Lucas” or something. (Given his last name I thought he was Mexican for a long time.)

This was fun, though I wouldn’t have minded if it wasn’t Milton-free! Now I’m going to have to take Prof. Kelp’s Endless Summer Chemistry Test as well. Thanks Dennis!

andyhorbal said...

Even IMDB takes the spotlight away from the cinematographer by having their names buried way down the list instead of near the top.

Betamax, I agree that this is an injustice.

Reading over the responses to this question I noticed two things:

1) Those who, like me, interpreted "look forward to seeing" as indicating an interest by Prof. Jennings in active cinematographers are in the minority. Because there's not actually anything in the question that explicitly does suggest that it's looking for active DPs.

2) I didn't offer an example of one of Mssr. Libatheque's finest achivements. I will rectify this now by submitting that his work on Tigerland (2000) almost entirely redeems that movie's flaws.

andyhorbal said...

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Let this be a lesson-- a Film Studies degree from Pitt is worthless.


Oi, Bandit! I have one of those!

Damian said...

To Weigard:

Fancy meeting you here.

Absolutely. Stop by DVD World on 9th street sometime and say "Hi."

jim emerson said...

My dog ate my quiz, so that's why I'm late...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why? "Pan's Labyrinth" -- which also happens to be my favorite movie of 2006. I first saw it back in September at the Toronto Film Fest, then re-watched it on a DVD screener so I could review it.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements. Too many to mention. From the way the question is worded, I'll assume you're asking for cinematographers who are still working. I'd sure like to see Haskell Wexler's name as DP on more movies ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," "Days of Heaven," "The Secret of Roan Inish," "Limbo"). And I'll see anything photographed by Michael Ballhaus (go look at his work with Fassbinder!) or Robby Muller.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson? I'd like to answer "Bo Hopkins," but that wasn't the question. I've never seen a "Walking Tall" movie (I'm more of a "Crawling Small" type, meself), so I have no real preference.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…) Recently: a shot from "Perfume" that begins with a man on a hill and ends with a redheaded woman on horseback whose hat blows off in the wind.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies. It's a double-bill: Buster Keaton's "Sherlock Jr." with Wim Wenders' "Kings of the Road." (And "Ed Wood" at midnight.) Wenders' "The State of Things" could easily substitute for "Im Lauf der Zeit."

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie. Those mirror-image movies with Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea: "The Woman in the Window" and "Scarlet Street."

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie. Literally? It's in David Mamet's "House of Games." I play a student in Leila Kadrova's classroom. Way over at the right in the back of the classroom...

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina? Trick question! Both obscure objects of desire are the same woman!

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity. Ettore Scola's "We All Loved Each Other So Much," for its sentimental fondness of the Italian cinema of the '50s and '60s.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role. Bruce Jenner, "Can't Stop the Music!" Or Kurt Thomas in "Gymkata."

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie. "Shampoo."

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater. "Sherlock, Jr." and "Stop Making Sense." With "Duck Amuck" as the cartoon and "Un Chien Andalou" as the short.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater? The CinePad.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould? Oh, it can't be an either/or question, can it? We can't have "The Long Goodbye" without "The Big Sleep"... and, now, vice-versa.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie. "That Darn Cat!" Funniest thing I'd ever seen when I was seven years old.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound. The sound of the Great Whatzit at the end of "Kiss Me Deadly."

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no? Unequivocally yes! "Someone has sent me a bowel movement!"

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score. Ennio Morricone's "Once Upon a Time in the West"; Bernard Herrmann's "North By Northwest"; Nino Rota's "La Dolce Vita."

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts? Watts -- mostly for "Mulholland Dr."

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it? Alan Parker's "Mississippi Burning" and/or Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers." Both pretend to be about something, but their ham-fisted stylistic approaches undermine any serious intentions and turn the movies into patronizing spectacles.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner. Best Opening Shot. 2005 Winner: David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence." 2006 Winner: Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth."

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie. Tie: "The Fourth Man"/"Starship Troopers."

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form? Create associations between images (with the addition of sounds and words and music...).

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney? Finney. "Under the Volcano" features one of the greatest movie performances. And then there's "Miller's Crossing"...

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.The old b&w Universal logo with the model plane circling the globe.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.Two: Robin Wood's "Hitchcock's Films" -- and, later, Pauline Kael's "Reeling."

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.) "Fight Club" has one of the best, but I'm going to say Fritz Lang's "Woman in the Window." A lot of people hate the twist, but the movie does what noir does best, taking you into inexorably deeper and deeper into a nightmare until there's no way out.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie. "Jules and Jim." (But I also love "The Green Room," which many dismissed at the time it was made. It's reputation is deservedly growing.)

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes? Hussey!

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter. Lots. But I'll never forget playing air hockey with John Candy at his office (where he'd installed the bar from "Only the Lonely") one night.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed? I wish I could remember. I do recall going to a double-bill at the Edgemont Theater in the waterside burgh of Edmonds, WA, when I was in my mid-teens and starting to watch the second feature, something called "The Long Goodbye," which had barely been released the year before. I remember seeing the name "Robert Altman" on the screen and turning to my friend to whisper: "I've read about this guy. He's supposed to be good...."

Christopher Long said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?


“Whoever Says the Truth Shall Die” on DVD because it was sent to me to review.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.


Though I appreciate the contributions cinematographers make, I find it difficult to single out a favorite cinematographer the way I can a favorite director or writer or actor. I have enjoyed many of the films Robby Muller has worked on, and I think he did his best work on “Dead Man.”

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Joe Don Baker.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)


When the hepped-up yokel in “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” opens the trunk full of rabbits. A true surprise, and one of the funniest scenes I have ever watched.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Instead of picking my favorite, I’ll give a nod to a very good one only recently made available: Symbiopsychotaxiplasm just released this month by Criterion.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

Die Nibelungen and M. I will not choose between the two.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

Well, I was in a couple of short student films. I recognized myself pretty quickly.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Never heard of the first, sort of know who the second is. So I'll go with her.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Rocky.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Wrestlers make great actors. I’ll go with Roddy Piper in “They Live.”

So do body-builder. I really like Jouko Ahola's performance in "Invincible" (Herzog's, not the 2006 one).

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Can’t think of one that I think is particularly good. “Being There” is the least uninteresting.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.


Barry Lyndon and Pink Flamingos. Two masterpieces at the opposite ends of the creative spectrum. I want to meet people who appreciate them both, and have them come back to my theater as often as possible. They will be the future of cinephilia.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

“Can’t Stop the Dancing Chicken.” No, I guess I couldn’t get away with that. Anything short and sweet that is marketable. The theater name isn’t something to get creative about, just be functional.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Bogart, but I do love Gould in California Split and The Long Goodbye. Then again, I don’t really care for him in anything else, and Bogey is still Bogey.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Pass.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The conversation between Dave and HAL when HAL informs Dave that he can’t let him back in. The way Kubrick cuts from the noisy machines inside the pod to the ominous silence of outerspace is just about the finest example of sound editing I have ever witnessed.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

Uh… yeah!

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Dead Man.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?


Naomi Watts but obviously not because of King Kong.


20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

American Beauty. Seriously, I cannot understand how any sentient being can mistake this smug atrocity for a good film. Then again, my favorite critic of all rates it as a good (but not great) film. So go figure.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

I’d design a new retroactive category where voters can vote to remove any single past Oscar award. I would begin either by stripping American Beauty of its Best Picture award, or I would undo Opie’s Best Director nod just because it is absurd that Opie has a Best Director Oscar and Kubrick doesn’t.


22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Total Recall, also Ahnold’s last good role. But I haven’t seen any of his Dutch films.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Inspire me.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Peter Ustinov. Just because Finney was so damned annoying in/as Tom Jones.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

Paramount.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Movie Mutations. ed. by Adrian Martin and Jonathan Rosenbaum

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Twist endings are almost universally awful. I liked the one in Unbreakable though. It wasn’t too hard to see coming, but I just loved the delivery.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

Shoot the Piano Player. No competition, no other Truffaut film even comes close.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Olivia Hussey.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

I once took a piss next to Ricky Jay in the bathroom at the Egyptian Theater. No, I didn’t look over.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
(I cribbed this one from The House Next Door. Thanks, Matt! Great question!)

I guess with Taxi Driver, just because it’s the first film I remember going back to watch a second with the thought “Now how’d they do that?” The first time I fully embraced the concept of the auteur was probably “Last Year at Marienbad” which changed the way I view films forever.

sean said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

Dead Man, on DVD, for the third time in the last couple weeks. I may be becoming obsessed with it.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Christopher Doyle, Last Life In The Universe, to be a little less obvious.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

Joe Don.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

The hand shooting out of the grave at the end of Carrie.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

8 1/2.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.

M.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

ET: The Extra-Terrerstrial (I was Eliot, not the alien).

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Bouquet. Haven't seen the Bunuel, but I have seen For Your Eyes Only.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

Grand Illusion.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Kareen Abdul-Jabbar in Airplane!

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

Being There., I guess. I like his movies, but can't say I love any of them.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Millenium Mambo and Week End.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

The End Of Cinema, naturally.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Bogart.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

Darby O'Gill And The Little People. Terrifying, and not just Sean Connery's singing.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The restaurant scene in Playtime, when cacophany becomes music.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?

No.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

The Mission, by Ennio Morricone.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Naomi Watts, without a doubt.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Yes, there is.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Best First Feature Film, Charles Tait, The Story Of The Kelly Gang, for the 1906 Oscars.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

Starship Troopers.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Everything: no other medium can be so all-enocompassing and function of so many levels.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Finney. Neither of those Christie movies are particularly great, but Miller's Crossing is.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

The old RKO logo with the radio tower dwarfing the Earth itself.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

The Films Of My Life by Francois Truffaut. My introduction to serious thought about film.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Casablanca.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

Shoot The Piano Player.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

Claire Danes.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

I yelled at Bill Gates's entire family as they were waiting for a movie and blocking the entrance to my theatre. Gates chuckled at me.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

I have no idea. I can't remember not knowing who Steven Spielberg was and that he was responsible for films.

Anthony said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
Wicker Man, the remake, b/c I wanted to see if it was as awful as i thought it was--cryptic, with mild horror, and mostly dull, the orginal seemed to be a v. time and place thing, which is a shame, b/c the central message seems to be one of lebutes main wrestling venues, not quite gender, but what happens when men and women start realising they hate each other, what happens with power when the sexes have been found out (though the scene thru the woods, on the first chase, at night, looks oddly like a kinkade w. the lights turned out, which i find really funny) (and molly parker is really sexy in it)

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Tobias A. Schliessler, Friday Night Lights and Dream Girls, w. FNL, the scenes in between, of small towns, and the usual robert frank aesthetics, are made grainy, without that grainess being used to symbolize much at all, those scenes were so well shot, and slowed down the movie, into a gorgeous, syrupy utopia...i havent seen dream girls, but i can imagine he can do equal things there.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Bo Svenson, aside from doing a fantastic, grizzled frontier work on kill bill, he has this great white trash aesthetic, including television work.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
Bambi's dad being shot.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Sunset Bvld, The Player, Bamboozled (though thats really television), i like the angry and deseprate better than the love songs

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
Lets Divide this into two:
German M (nothing creepier, more effective, more elegant in its evil than peter lorre here)
American Rancho Notorious, cause it reminds me of Johnny Guitar

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
this awful little gay love story, from the UK, cheap and sort of melodramatic, with really cheesy musical cues, called Beautiful Thing, embarassingly enough.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
i dont know enough

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
im stuck on this one, but the first that came to mind was steel magnolias, because it seemed genuine and honest about life in the rural south, among women, and the pace, and the refusal to be anything but entertainment, seemed not to have any agenda but documenting that, it seems then, not to be current, but looking backwards (another answer--the best little whorehouse in texas, where easy and ready sex is cast as good clean fun, and that progress is attached to morality, is a sort of backwards lesson, but i like how sex for money is what is viewed w. rose coloured glasses, and intereference with that is viewed as problematic progress)

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Harold and Maude, because Ruth Connor had an amazing run in the 70s, after a long and complicated life, becaue it was erotic and tender, difficult and lovely, with morbid humour, well written, and decently shot...a cult classic that should be moved straight into the canon

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

Pink Narcissus, Wild is the Wind (set decoration as political subtext)

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
The Holy Neville

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Elliot Gould, because he has this laid back sunbaked charm, and a hard new york edge; because he managed land half a dozen movies that worked as films and as satires, because he didnt look like he was working hard, and because he managed to be interesting, and basically good..i think i could live without bogart (i would have a problem w/o maltese and key largo) but i cannot imagine living without teh night they raided minskys, m*a*s*h, california split, bob and ted and carol and alice, or the two muppet movies,
he also has a sense of humour about himself, and his reputation, the v. funny, and v. hollywood deconstructions found in oceans 11 and oceans 12 are the only thing accessible in those monuments to inside baseball)

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
Mainstay of my childhood, and i think one of the first people who taught me about how to intergrate a huge variety of media into one text (including the under the sea set peice of bedknobs, and the dick van dyke penguin dance by marry poppins---i love some of the amazing music in marry poppins, and remember wondering fondly how they did the tea party scene, and i found myself comforted by the precise, and slightly sinister performances by both lansberry and andrews...i didnt like slapstick much as a kid, but loved the steampunk appliances that made flubber, i remember three generations of my family (granddad, mom, and i) weeping at the end of old yeller, the only time i saw my grandfather cry),forbidden planet was the first science fiction film i ever saw, and though it was not my introduction into space opera, i think ti was amongst the first times that i operationalised the other, fuck, i even watched the shaggy da on sundays thanks to the wonderful world of disney...i cannot choose

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
Pyscho. I know its obvious, but come on, the shower scene soundtrack...scared the shit out of me, and synthesised 20th centuries history of discordance as a symbol of trauma, like the Black Angels Death Song by Crumb, but pop

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
fuck yeah

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
is it cheating to use a musical---Cabaret, if it is, then perhaps Badlands by Malick, for how low/broken the soundtrack matched the low/broken people and the low/broken landscape, the short idyll in the swamp, with the domesticity proteccted by cotton woods, the sounds of birds, nature, crickets, etc, as well as love is strange, makign the whole thing sound so ordinary, the least strange thing being love is strange, is one of those deep lingusitic ironies that is pure malick

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Fay Wray, looked like she really wanted to fuck that monkey, Watts just looked like she wanted to fuck herself...

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Best Porn Film, or even merge AVN with the academy. (Pirates or the new Michael Lucas remake of Caligula)

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
everyones favourite pop refiensthal, starship troopers

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Spectacle.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Finney is doing more interesting work, longer, from Tom Jones to Erin Brokovich

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
MGM, i love the lion (and of course, the implications of body image as found in the columbia model)

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
Waters Shock Value gave me permission to like movies for their own sake, and Thomsons New Biographical....allowed me to be eccentric, even in a form that was encylopedic.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
Snake Eyes by De Palma, not for its twist endings, but for its twist beginning, middle and end, and for eventually jettisioning any attempt at normal narrative spin

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
400 Blow, for all the usual reasons

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Claire Danes.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Jake Gyllenhall, Yorkville, Toronto Film Week (he's dreaaaaaaamy)

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Oddly enogh, i think that the disney animated films did it, because they were so singualr in their viusal style, and the clues for what to look like, apperead like a string...

Anthony said...

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

no.

Burbanked said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
In the theater - The Departed, which of course is now deservedly on many Top 10 lists for '06. And although it's a great time at the movies, I was disappointed to realize later that it didn't resonate much above its purely visceral charms, of which there are many.

On DVD - Saw II. Inferior to Saw and completely depleted any interest I may have had in watching III. In sequel terms, that's known as a Big Stupid Failure.


2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Roger Deakins and the desperate, lonely, whiteout world he creates in Fargo.


3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
I'll go with Joe Don Baker - he just seems a bit more capable of bringing the crazy.


4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation)
Richard Dysart suddenly getting his hands chewed off at the wrists while applying the defibrillator paddles in The Thing.


5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
It may not be my favorite because so many others have followed it, but I remember being incredibly impressed by Hooper upon seeing it originally - and spending at least a year convinced that I'd be a stuntman someday.


6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
I will wretchedly admit here that I don't remember ever sitting through an entire Fritz Lang movie.


7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
This is an odd choice, because my instinct is to answer with the character of a child in a movie - that I recognized myself very early on or something. But instead I want to say Ted Striker from Airplane!, because I always aspired to be the reluctant hero, the guy who no one believed could come in and overcome obstacles and save the day.

Of course, I also wanted to be the funniest guy in the room.


8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Sorry; see #6 above.


9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
I think that the only true answers to this question play both sides of the coin. Nostalgia only feels genuine when it's not presented as a commodity, but if a filmmaker utilizes it as a narrative device - in order to make you feel something in the movie, doesn't that automatically make it into a commodity?

That having been said, I'll go with Toy Story, just for the idea that all of those recognizable toys from my youth had inner lives and dreams and fears.


10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Zero hesitation here: Andre the Giant in Princess Bride. "Anybody want a peanut?"


11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Harold and Maude


12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
A Clockwork Orange and Back to the Future - you know, a little something for everyone.


13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
"Fliques"


14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Bogart


15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
The Absent Minded Professor


16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
As a precursor to the first McClane vs. terrorist fight in Die Hard, McClane has just watched the firetrucks that he summoned to Nakatomi Plaza turn around and leave. He's feeling angry and frustrated when the elevator arrives at his floor.

It's a simple, otherwise innocuous sound; we hear it every day: *ding!* But in this case it means that someone knows he's there and is coming to kill him.


17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
I'll say "no".


18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
It may be the obvious choice, but I'd be dishonest to say anything other than Raiders of the Lost Ark. It truly was among the earliest soundtracks that I'd listen to in its entirety as opposed to merely the iconic bits. And I used to use it to get my blood bubbling en route to take exams in college.


19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
I never saw the updated Kong, so I can't compare them on that basis. Come to think of it, I'm having hard time remembering a single movie with Watts that I've watched all the way through, so I'll go with Wray. Kid had a set of screamin' pipes on her, that's for sure.


20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
Armageddon.


21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
"The Career Implosion Award After Winning an Oscar" and it would be a tie between Gwyneth Paltrow and Halle Berry.


22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Robocop is the first of his I ever saw, and the one that has lasted in my memory as being equal parts cool, smart, subversive, sickening and even emotional.


23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Put you into the shoes of someone you might never have identified with in a way that sticks with you long after the lights have come up.


24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Finney


25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
There is absolutely something about the 20th Century Fox logo that I find thrilling and transporting. The building music, the sweeping, swooping move of the camera - it all tells me that I'm in for a good time.


26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade, which I read in college as a not-quite-decided aspiring screenwriter. I may have started packing the car for California the day after I finished it.


27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any "spoilers" in your answer.)
The Usual Suspects, although not as much for the revelation of the who (because really, throughout the movie the who has to be the least obvious person, which automatically makes its revelation the only choice), as it is the how - and the realization that we as the audience - *spoiler* cannot depend on anything that we've been told previously. It's not only a great twist, but a great twist of storytelling conventions.


28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
I'll go with the #6 defense again. C'mon - I'm a lowbrow guy, whaddya want from me?


29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
To be honest, I'm not a big fan of either.


30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
When I was in Hollywood, I found myself in situations in which it was "cool" or "acceptable" or "not actionable" to speak freely with a celebrity only once or twice.

So instead I'll relate two instances in which I - wisely, I'd add - decided that it was NOT cool to do so.

I once was finishing a particularly energetic, if not quite convincing, set of repetitions on a weight machine in the fine Warner Bros. gym. I stood and toweled off the machine to see that the guy waiting to use it next was an Unforgiven-era Clint Eastwood. "Thanks," he said, in a voice I'd heard a thousand times in flickering celluloid on the big screen - friendly, but with a twinge of (most likely imagined by me) threat. I responded with a "Sure" and a sheepish, needlessly embarrassed smile.

Following a premiere screening of the made-for-HBO movie Truman, I squeezed through the crowd to get to the men's room where I stood at a line of urinals. I suddenly found myself standing in between the movie's lead actor Gary Sinise on my left and Tom Hanks on my right - and they continued to chat with each other over and around me as we all completed our tasks. I stood silently, eyes plastered on the tile in front of me, marveling inside my head as to the surreal nature of Hollywood.


31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
As a kid of maybe 8 or so, I owned this book that was all about home remedies for recreating monster make-up effects from the movies, and it included a section detailing the brain-inside-the-skull effect from Young Frankenstein. I hadn't even seen the movie - and wouldn't have the chance for years - yet I was amazed and thrilled by the idea that such an effect could be created behind the scenes.

Damian said...

So that I don't take up more space than I have to, here's a link to my own film blog where you will find my my answers to this quiz:


http://damianarlyn.blogspot.com/2006/12/interesting-movie-quiz.html

afraid said...

My answers are here, if anybody cares.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

(Afraid, you'll forgive me, I hope, but I'm afraid we do care, so I took the liberty of copying them from your site and posting them here. Happy new year! Dennis)

The title of this post is the title of Dennis Cozzalio's latest cinema quiz, which I have decided to attempt to answer. In the past I've only been able to answer about half the questions he sets, but this time I felt like I get something of some substance down. It's taken me ages, by the way - three or four half-hour sessions.

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
The Queen. I went to see it because: I had read good reviews of it by nearly every critic I track; Helen Mirren stars in it, and her work is always interesting; Stephen Frears directed it, a man who rarely (if ever) makes a film you walk away from disappointed; its subject matter was something that interested me, both inherently and in how it would be tackled by filmmakers; and it was showing a short 1-minute walk up the road from me, at a cinema for which I have a discount card. Most of all, I went to see it because I can think of no better way to spend a couple of hours than in a darkened room experiencing the flicker of light on a screen and its accompanying sound, that thing which moves and impresses me most (i. e. because I love movies).

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
I have to go with two here. One is Rodrigo Prieto, Alejandro González Iñárritu's (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel) regular collaborator, who has also done excellent work for many other directors. I was particularly impressed with his efforts on Frida, which is an otherwise mediocre film. Two is Janusz Kaminski, who has worked on all of Steven Spielberg's films since Schindler's List. His work on War of the Worlds (which I maintain is sorely underrated) was stellar.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Never heard of them before now. Presumably they are linked here by the fact that they played the same character in Walking Tall films, of which I have only seen the remake starring Dwayne Johnson. Baker was in Mars Attacks!, Svenson was in Kill Bill; I'll go with Svenson.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
The final shot of Hana-bi (Fireworks), Takeshi Kitano's masterpiece. It's just a girl's face, but in the context in which it's presented, it ought to floor any viewer.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Adaptation. No contest.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
Unfortunately I have only seen two. Metropolis was interesting, but only in an 'amazing, groundbreaking for its time' way. M, on the other hand, still holds up as an all-round superb film. It also gets points for launching the career of Peter Lorre, that familiar mischievous, sometimes nasty face that pops up in many films of the 30s and 40s.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
I related very strongly to Donnie Darko as a sullen, introspective teen. To be honest, the less said about that the better; while I still like the film and what it's about, I'm quite happy that those days of furious diary-scribbling and searching for significance are behind me.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
I have to go with Molina because she was in Carne trémula (Live Flesh), but to the best of my knowledge, I haven't seen any films starring Bouquet. I've no idea what the link between these two is.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
Man, I'm not even sure if I understand what that means. If it's a film that makes you look back on a time in your life wistful, romantic longing, then my answer would be Clueless. I watched that movie about ten times in the week we had it out from the video store when I was thirteen, and those were glorious days of much time and little responsibility. I guess that means it's nostalgic for me by association, but that's all right. I still love that film, by the way. I may even love it more now that I'm older.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Airplane! "Listen, kid. I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes."

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
The Last Detail, closely followed by Being There. What the hell went wrong with him at the start of the 80s?

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Before Sunrise followed by Before Sunset. I never got the chance to see them in the cinema, so I'd be more excited than anyone.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
B's Fish 'n' Chip 'n' Movie Emporium. We'd sell fish and chips as well.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Bogart's face is one of the most iconic images ever projected on movie screens. He may never have been a truly great actor, but he knew his limitations, and he stayed steadfastly within them, giving every director exactly what they paid for. His career encompassed as many great films as probably any actor who has ever lived. That said, if Gould had never got into acting, we wouldn't have had Geraldine Chaplin excitedly saying "Look, it's Elliott Gould!" in one of Nashville's most obviously magnificent scenes. So I'm going with Gould.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
I very much liked The Absent Minded Professor, perhaps partly because my father always took every opportunity to expound upon its delights. Looking over his credits on IMDb, I've come across one of the greatest titles ever: The Man Who Changed His Mind. I'll have to try and track it down, even though it's probably trash.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
Can it be absence of sound? In 2001: A Space Odyssey, when HAL opens Frank's suit to a vacuum - the flash-zoom into Hal's eye, Frank spinning out of control... never fails to give me the chills. If I can't have that, I'll take the scene about ten minutes later in which the hibernation machines go down.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Don't know. Never seen it, no desire to do so.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
I've talked about this often: Michael Nyman & Damon Albarn's score for Ravenous. It is the only film score I know of that both enhances the quality of the film itself immeasurably (such that the film would probably not be good without it) AND exists has a separately enjoyable listening experience.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Or, 'Boring overacter, clearly a product of her time, or nuanced, enduring performer'? Watts, then.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
Yes. It is called Baise-moi. It is, to quote one of the times Peter Calder got it absolutely right, 'utterly devoid of artistic merit'. It is a waste of your or anybody's time.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Best Use of Non-Original Music. I'm always torn between original scores or non-original music for what is best in films; I think I've decided it should be taken on a case-by-case basis. Ravenous, as mentioned earlier, would've been weaker without its score. So would pretty much any grand epic. However, people like Tarantino and Sofia Coppola (with the help of her adviser Brian Reitzell) have figured out how to use non-original music to excellent effect in their films. I'm not sure who would receive such an award; I suppose anybody receiving credit as 'Music Supervisor' for a film would be eligible, or failing that, the director. The first recipient would be Reitzell for Marie Antoinette. But why am I even discussing this? I hate the Oscars.

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
I haven't seen any of his work in Dutch, which I feel I should rectify. At this stage, Total Recall is my favourite of his films. I watched it again recently and it's still just as kick-arse as it was when I was 14 - not as good or groundbreaking as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but possibly more fun. It also has a hysterical audio commentary on the special edition DVD, as the Austrian Oak interrupts every one of Verhoeven's insightful spiels to explain, in his own inimitable fashion, just what is happening in this scene.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Combine sound and pictures to create something unique. All my favourite directors are acutely aware of how their films both look and sound, and how the two senses can heighten each other. Truly, the best thing that ever happened to cinema was the innovation of synchronous sound.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Finney, for his part in Miller's Crossing.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
Does Focus Features count? I don't know, there's something about that fuzziness and the two accompanying chords that feels incredibly reassuring to me - perhaps because I first saw it before Lost In Translation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
The BFI's The Cinema Book - an invaluable reference.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
Fallen - not necessarily the best, but the first one that made me say, "Wow. Awesome."

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
I have only seen Les quatres cents coups (The 400 Blows), which I could see being my favourite no matter how many of his films I see.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
I don't think Danes is a very good actor, but I saw her once on Letterman and she seemed pretty cool, so she gets my vote.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Japanese pop idol Makoto Ogawa.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Watching 2001: A Space Odyssey aged 12, probably. The world of the film wasn't just happening; somebody had decided everything would look and feel and move that way. I credit that experience with starting my passion for film. It, and all of Kubrick's work, have remained the yardstick by which I judge movie experiences.

breeathinc @ AOL.com said...

1. L'Intrus by Claire Denis, showed it to a film-maker colleague.

2. Harris Savides, mainly on account of Elephant and Last Days with Van Zant, but also the work he's done with Fincher.

3. J. Don Baker. Both big lugs. Baker can act.

4. Shelley Duvall recoiling from her husband's insane typewritten gibberish in The Shining, so much done with so little.

5. Figuratively speaking, Rear Window, a movie about so many things, but ultmately, all about seeing. On a more literal level--Sullivan's Travels.

6. My personal Lang obsession, Spies, a film that seems to come to us more from the future than the silent film past, in its grasp of a post-ideological political world--but it's got to be M. because 20th century film history is inconceivable apart from it.

7. Age l4--I indisputably, knew I was Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) pining for Elaine (The Graduate)

8. Molina. Bouquet's a babe. Molina's a babe who can act.

9. Magnificent Ambersons. Nothing comes close in this particular category. No, wrong, The Leapord comes close.

10. Jim Brown in The Dirty Dozen. His depositing hand grenades death run is, if you'll pardon me saying it, is the bomb.

11. Shampoo. Because Ashby's warmth meshes with Towne/Beatty's shrewd coldness to the enrichment of both.

12. Impossible to answer. Vigo's L'Atlante and Murnau's Sunrise to tell my prospective audience that the highest cinema art can also move them.

13. MOVIES

14. Bogart. Come on. Unfair to Gould.

15.

16. In honor of a previous respondent--all 90 minutes of Playtime--but esp. the moment when the power blows in the restaurant.

18. Tie: Herrman/ North by Northwest Morricone/For a few Dollars More (but impossibly painful to limit it to two)

19. Naomi Waats. Faye Wray is in a better movie about an ape, but Naomi Waats can act.

20. Showgirls. For some reasons, critics I admire, and at least one film maker of genius (Rivette) admire this film vociferously, and it makes me wonder. (I'm not sure if this is the answer you really wanted.) If I discovered that someone liked some of the current slasher-horror crap that would scare me.

21. no. too many categories too many awards now
(maybe ensemble acting awards, Iguess)

22. Soldier of Orange.

23. represent consciousnesss

24. Albert Finney less campy

25. The loud 20th century Fox logo

26. Tie: Agee on Film--I Lost it at the Movies, movies as an object of intelligent passion.

27. French Connection, because the twist comes "after" the ending.

28. Jules et Jim. No comparison.

29. Claire Danes. Both babes. Claire Danes can act.

30. Robert Altman's publicist, introducing me to Julie Christie, doing her cameo day on Nashville--such beauty I was speechless shaking her hand.
(The day, incidentally, Nixon left office as president.)

31. Was taken to Citizen Kane by a clever cousin at age 8, and the opening mysterious images made all the difference...who was doing that?

Erin said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
The massive triple feature of Children of Men/the Holiday/Pan's Labyrinth because: my boyfriend was in it/I think Kate Winslet is a delight and I'm always an optimist when Nancy Meyers is involved (frequently disappointed as well)/and because FUCK IT LOOKED AWESOME! I also just watched Beauty Academy of Kabul to review. And Event Horizon last night because I love Laurence Fishbourne and it seemed like a good scare.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
John de Borman, Jeong-hun Jeong. After seeing Children of Men, now Emmanuel Lubezki as well.

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
No opinion.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)
Some of the scenes in Pan's Labyrinth are pretty brutal.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
Purple Rose of Cairo, Sullivan's Travels, Singing in the Rain.

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
I don't think I've seen a one.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
Probably Satisfaction, I wanted to be in that band so badly!

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
No idea.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
hah, the Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
The only one I'm aware of is OJ Simpson in the Naked Gun movies and I'm not willing to say he's my favorite anything!

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
Being There.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Black Dog and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. A litle something for everyone.

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
The ERIN, duh.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Gould!

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
Whoa, the guy who directed Old Yeller and Mary Poppins also directed a film called I Married a Communist? I MARRIED A COMMUNIST!

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
Probably the Ring and its creepy grinding sounds. Judging by the trailer the Host has some tense moments with the monster's breath. The Departed's moment of lusty silence was pretty awesome.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
No! John Waters, I love the man I can barely sit through any of his films.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.
Gattaca, Edwards Scissorhands.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
Watts all the way.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?
No, I love the wild rationales good film writers come up with to defend maligned films.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.
Editing for a documentary, Sundance did it! So can you, Oscar!

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.
Showgirls!

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Movies do almost everything better than every other art form.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
It's an old man tie.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
Tri-Mark with its Pegasus!

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.
Sam Fuller's autobio.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)
the Conformist's ending was pretty cool.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.
I've seen less than half of his films but I love 400 Blows and the Bride Wore Black.

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?
Danes! That old R&J sucks eggs!

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
Hmm, I almost fainted when I met James Hetfield. I got so giddy when I met Kristy McNichol that I think she thought I was being sarcastic (I wasn't, I LOVE YOU, KRISTY MCNICHOL!!!!!) I accidentally said to Robin Wright Penn that her husband "look BRRR-OKE!"

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?
Probably not until my friend Cathy told me in college. It wouldn't've mattered since up until that point I was only watching old MGM/Warner Bros dramas anyway.

The Wrong Box said...

http://thewrongbox.blogspot.com/2007/01/1-what-was-last-movie-you-saw-either-in.html

Thomas Mohr said...

Just for the hell of it:

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?

„The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada“ (DVD). Because I usually enjoy the work of Mr. Jones and Mr. Pepper, love Guillermo Arriaga’s writing and admire Chris Menges‘ cinematography, so I thought I might be in for a treat. I wasn’t disappointed.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.

Most unfortunately, there’s nothing to look forward to anymore, as the man died in ‘03: I’m speaking of Conrad L. Hall whose work was excellent throughout, both in crispy b&w (Richard Brooks‘s „In Cold Blood“ comes to mind) and in glorious color (anything from „Cool Hand Luke“ to „American Beauty“ and back).

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?

JDB. His brilliant performance in Don Siegel’s „Charley Varrick“ (one of my all-time faves – shame on Universal for releasing it as a p&s DVD) is worth the price of admission alone.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…)

The „tree rape“ scene in „Evil Dead“.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies.

Being an avid Billy Wilder fan, I’ll have to say „Sunset Blvd.“, of course, with „Two Weeks in Another Town“ and „The Bad and the Beautiful“ as a close second and third. But then, there are so many excellent (or at least enjoyable) movies about the movies I don’t know where to start: „Barton Fink“, „Peeping Tom“, „The Stunt Man“, „Movie Crazy“, „Living in Oblivion“, „Day for Night“, „Boogie Nights“ etc. etc. Out of competition: „Singin‘ in the Rain“; Guilty Pleasure: „Fade to Black“; Worst Movie Movie Ever: „Hollywood Ending“.

6) Your favorite Fritz Lang movie.

„The Big Heat“, for its unforgiving coldness and brutality – and for Lee Marvin and the mighty Gloria Grahame. But I also have a soft spot for his flawed noirs: „Ministry of Fear“, „House by the River“ and „The Blue Gardenia“.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.

It certainly wasn’t the first time, but the most memorable: „When Harry Met Sally . . .“ Though I’m nowhere near as funny as Billy Crystal, I had a similar kind of relationship with a most desirable woman at the time. Unfortunately, it didn‘t have a happy ending.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?

Both could be not-so-obscure objects of my desire.

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.

„Once Upon a Time in America“

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in „Airplane!“ and German soccer legend Paul Breitner in Peter Schamoni‘s horrible 1976 Kraut western „Potato Fritz“ (aka „Montana Trap“).

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.

As editor: „Cincinnati Kid“ (boy, what a movie this could’ve been if they’d left Peckinpah in the director’s chair); as director: „The Last Detail“.

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.

„The Dark Mirror“/“Dead Ringers“ (I can already see them lining up around the block. )

13) What’s the name of your revival theater?

The Lighthouse

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?

Bogart. No doubt about it.

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.

„The Man Who Changed His Mind“. As a kid, I was nuts about those Herbie movies, though.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.

The bus appearing out of nowhere with a feline roar in Jacques Tourneur’s „Cat People“.

17) Pink Flamingoes -- yes or no?

Yes and no.

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score.

Howard Shore’s work for David Cronenberg; Thomas Newman’s score for „American Beauty“; most of Bernard Herrmann’s and Michael Nyman’s stuff; Morricone’s work for Leone, and Miles Davis’s improvised score for Louis Malles „L’Ascenseur pour l’échauffaud“. Song-oriented soundtracks: „Saturday Night Fever“, „The Big Lebowski“, „Backbeat“ and „Velvet Goldmine“ (for „Hot One“, Shudder to Think should’ve gotten an Oscar). And, oh, screw Randy Newman.

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?

Fay Wray – for her name, looks and screams.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it?

Phony, artsy-fartsy junk like „The Hours“ and „The Piano“, not to mention „Dogville“ and „Inland Empire“.

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner.

Best German picture without jews, nazis or East German Stasi officers in it. Winner: „Die Polizistin“ (Policewoman) by Andreas Dresen. (Just kidding – but the fact that a piece of unadulterated tripe like „The Lives of Others“ won out against a masterpiece like „Pan’s Labyrinth“ is a scandal, no less.)

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie.

„RoboCop“. But I also enjoyed „De vierde Man“, „Starship Troopers“, „Zwartboek“ and, er, „Hollow Man“.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?

Jerk tears.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?

Finney. I despise Peter Ustinov.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.

20th Century Fox. The fanfare, the vivid colors, the swooping camera – the perfect way to make the transition into Movieworld.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally.

Non-fiction: Truffaut’s book about Hitchcock, as it really stirred my interest in movies and movie-making. Fiction: David Thomson’s „Suspects“ and Theodore Roszak’s „Flicker“.

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.)

Not very original: „Planet of the Apes“ (1968).

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie.

„Les quatre-cent coups“

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes?

I’ve never seen the Zeffirelli film (and hated every single one of his films I ever sat through) and loved Danes in „My So-Called Life“, so although I fondly remember Hussey in „Black Christmas“, Danes it is.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Drinking and discussing movies till 4 a.m.with the excellent German actor Gustav Peter Wöhler. An evening with German writer/director Herbert Achternbusch (who wrote Herzog’s „Heart of Glass“). A chat with Bruno Ganz who used to buy his wine at the same neighborhood store as me. A – very short – chat with Wallace Shawn who swiftly handed over the conversation to his wife, the charming Deborah Eisenberg. And once Wim Wenders held court at a table next to mine at a Berlin restaurant; I would’ve loved to get up and tell him how much I loathe his work, but, needless to say, I didn’t. ;)

31) When did you first realize that films were directed?

I don’t have the slightest idea. Hitchcock, I guess. And/or Sergio Leone’s Dollar trilogy.

Mad Duck said...

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why? - Superbad. It was hot outside.

2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements. - Gregg Toland, I prefer Grapes of Wrath even over his Citizen Kane

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson? Joe Don Baker. Seriously, did you SEE him in Fletch.

4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…) - The Innocents, when the bug crawled out of the statue's mouth.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies. - The Player

6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie. - M

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie. - The second time I saw To Kill a Mockingbird as a child and realized those things happened in the movie and not really to me and my sister.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina? - I desire Carole Bouquet

9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity. - Cinema Paradiso (bet there's an argument about that, but I ate it with a spoon)

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role. - Alex Karras in Victor/Victoria

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie. - All of them. Okay, Harold and Maude, but only because it was my first

12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater. - The Bad and the Beautiful & The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

13) What’s the name of your revival theater? - The Alternative

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould? - Tough choice, Humphrey Bogart

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie. - The AbsentMinded Professor. Stop tapping into my childhood.

16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound. - Ben Hur, near the end of the film during the storm after Jesus dies - I saw it at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. The cranked up the sound. I was scared that part of the building would fall in.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no? -Yes. It had to be made

18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score. - Lawrence of Arabia

19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts? - Fay, but Naomi isn't done yet.

20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it? - No. Why?

21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner. - Best Casting (not best cast), No Country for Old Men

22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie. - Robocop. Easy. Would have been Total Recall if Peter Weller had starred.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form? - Express time.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney? Really tough one - Ustinov, just because I loved Viva Max as a kid and now I can't find it anywhere.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature. - The old Universal B&W plane around the world logo.

26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally. - Flesh and Fantasy

27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.) - The problem with twist endings is that they usually get old the more you think about them. I'll go with The Long Goodbye - still seems fresh to me.

28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie. - 400 Blows

29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes? - boring one, Claire

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter. - Heath Ledger grabbed my ass. Crowded party, he was shoved, and had no choice or he'd fall down.

31) When did you first realize that films were directed? - Jaws, the book not the movie. I'd just read it the same time I got a movie camera for Christmas.

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