Thursday, March 15, 2007

TEACHER'S PETS: THE BEST OF PROFESSOR JENNING'S MILTON-FREE HOLIDAY MIDTERM


In anticipation of the newest movie quiz (featuring a faculty member who will date those who recognize him quite assuredly), which is scheduled to be posted tomorrow, I just wanted to revisit some of my favorite answers from Professor Jennings' Milton-Free Holiday Midterm which, for my money, featured more wonderful, inspiring, provocative and downright hilarious answers than any quiz of the past. If the following lengthy post can be considered a digest in any way, then please enjoy this condensed version of the glorious list of answers that followed the Jennings quiz in the comments section. And sharpen your wits and our pencils, boys and girls, because the next test is just around the corner!

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


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!”

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.

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.

(Flickhead)

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

Bruce Jenner in Can't Stop the Music.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.

Getting Herschell 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."

(Dave S.)

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.

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.

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.

(David Lowery)

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

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

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

(Edward Copeland)

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?

(Melvum Peebly)

3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Mitchell!

(Handsome Dan)


3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
JDB. Why? One word. Mitchell.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Rosey Grier, The Thing With Two Heads.

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

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

(Filmbrain)

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.

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.

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.

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.

(That Little Round-headed Boy)


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.

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.

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.

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.

25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature.
The Shaw Brothers shield

(Brian Darr)

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.

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...)

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.

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.

30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter.
WTF? I'm from Central Illinois!

(herecreepwretch)


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

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.

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

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.

(Peter Nellhaus)

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.

8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
If Fernando Rey can have both, why can’t I?

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.

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.

(Paul C.)



15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
You can't really fuck with Mary Poppins.

17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no?
Yes, but never again.

(Ryland Walker Knight)

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.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
Probably something like Tia in Witch Mountain.

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.

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??

(Sheila)

15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
I Married A Communist? This is a trick question.

(Seth)


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.

(Jimmy)

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.

24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney?
Finney, for the sheer fact that he was in Miller’s Crossing and Ustinov wasn’t.

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.

(Cerb Chaos)

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

(twosctrjns)

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.

(Tina)

1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
To Live & Die In L.A. (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.

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 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?

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.”

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.

11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
The one he didn’t get to make… 8 Million 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.

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 tigers in the movie… I would’ve drank some coffee first.

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.

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.

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.

(Lance Tooks)


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.

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

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

(Dustin DeWind)


8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
Molina was pretty hot in Spider-Man 2.

23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form?
Um…they make history…come alive! Through science!

(Bill)

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.

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!)

(Mr. Middlebrow)

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.

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."

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."

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.

(Lucas)

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).

(Sam Smith)


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.

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!

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!

(Chris Stangl)

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.

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?

(Sal Gomez)

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

(Rhatfink)

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.

(Andrew Bemis)

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.

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.

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.

17) Pink Flamingos-- yes or no?
Umm . . .I believe that dog shit is for the next table, thank you.

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.

(Dan E.)

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.

7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie.
I'll let you know when it happens.

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Babe Ruth in Speedy.

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.

(Ivan G.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

(Benaiah)

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.

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.

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.

(Paul Matwychuk)


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.

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.

(Marty McKee)

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).

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.

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!"


17) Pink Flamingos-- 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 Flamingos. 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.

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 Flamingos 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).

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.

(Chris Oliver)

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…

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…

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.

14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
The other day I got to explain to someone what "Here's looking at you, kid" meant...

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.


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!

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...

(Andy Horbal)

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.

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.

(Neil)

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.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

(Steve Carlson)

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.

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.

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 The Big Lebowski.

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.

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!

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.

(Thom McGregor)


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.

5) Your favorite movie about the movies. The Bad and the Beautiful. "Picture's over, Georgia. You're business. I'm company."

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.

(Campaspe)

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.

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)

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.

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.

(The Mysterious Adrian Betamax)

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.

(Weigard)

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.

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.

(Bandit)


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 The 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 Flacon, Red Dust, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Old Dark House and All Quiet on the Western Front. Jeez…why don’t I know—and look for—this name?

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.

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.

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.

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.

(Blaaagh)

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…

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!)

(Nobody)

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...

10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role. Bruce Jenner, Can't Stop the Music! Or Kurt Thomas in Gymkata.

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.

17) Pink Flamingos-- yes or no? Unequivocally yes! "Someone has sent me a bowel movement!"

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.

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.

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...."

(Jim Emerson)


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.

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.

(Christopher Long)

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.

(Sean)

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.

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.

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.

(Burbanked)

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.

(Afraid)

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.

(Erin)

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

Thanks, everybody, for chiming in! Get ready, because there's a new professor coming to town...

3 comments:

Brian said...

Dennis, thanks for reprinting these fantastic responses. I loved Lance's Jackie Mason story and am still laughing over Sean's answer to #20, for two small examples.

I'd go to any of the suggested double-bills (I think the only way you could trick me into seeing a screening of LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL again is to put it on a double bill with the Lewis movie), especially if they were held at a theatre called the Fitzcarraldo! And Nobody's clever quadruple-bills have me wanting to try it out for myself. I'll start with an obvious one: BLOW UP & DEEP RED, then THE CONVERSATION & BLOW OUT, and maybe work up to a tougher one later...

As for my own double-bill suggestions, I'm realizing all three programs I proposed would be pretty entertaining in their own way. I guess I was thinking about a combination of entertainment and broad appeal.

I'm busy enough that I doubt I'll be taking tomorrow's quiz while it's still hot off the mimeograph machine, but hopefully I'll finish it before the bell for the passing period rings!

Theo said...

For favorite movie starring an athlete... it is a tossup between Kurt Thomas in Gymkata, Shaquille O'Neal in Kazaam, O.J. Simpson in the Naked Gun films, Gheorghe Muresan in My Giant, Dan Marino in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dick Butkus in Hamburger: The Motion Picture, Dennis Rodman in Double Team, Brian Bosworth in Stone Cold or Patrick Ewing in Exorcist 3!

Let me know which movie treasures I am still missing from my list.

ELIZABETH said...

Very useful and excellent information..


You may also find it useful to visit my website: http://www.petsmixonline.com