Well, here it finally is, Christmas Eve, and all through the blog, several pixels are stirring—Ah, forget it. The best thing about this day in particular, when it comes together, as it seems to have this year, is that sense of calm, of everyone and everything being slightly geared down in preparation for time spent together with family and friends. (If you’re a holiday traveler reading this, especially if you’re stuck in an airport waiting for a runway to thaw, please make any attitudinal adjustments with as much good humor as possible.) Right now the office is muted, the skies are properly overcast (this being Los Angeles, that simple fact is cause for celebration), and there’s a feeling that nothing is urgent, no deadlines are being dangled, there is nothing on anyone’s plate that can’t wait until at least Friday. It is with this in mind that I proudly present to you the latest curricular offering from SLIFR University, a brand-new quiz to be lingered over, savored, and, yes, hopefully completed while you sit by the holiday fire tippling a hot chocolate or a hot toddy, whatever your leaning may be. The rather more casual approach to this holiday quiz, suggested by the generosity of the seasonal attitude, is perhaps the best counterbalance to the personality of the professor chosen to present it. Professor Charles W. Kingsfield, Jr., known for his grueling, unforgiving classroom demeanor and harsh, taxing and brutal testing procedures, has been asked to dial down the intensity in the spirit of sensitivity and giving typical of the end of the calendar year, and we think he’s come through fairly well. The length of this new quiz lands somewhere in between the briefest and the most long-winded of those questionnaires past, although Professor Kingsfield assures the rest of the staff that the queries are no less demanding, in their own familiar way, than any you might have previously encountered. The gruff educator has asked us to remind you, however, that when you deposit your answers in the comments section below, please remember to cut and paste the questions and include them along with your answers for easier reading and referencing. Otherwise, unlike the Kingsfield Pressure-Cooker Bar Exam, or the Kingsfield Pop Quiz of Terror, there are no time constraints—complete the quiz at your leisure and return your responses for the entire class to enjoy. So then, if your pencils are sharpened and you’ve no need to get up out of your seat for a bathroom break or grab a tissue or anything else that might distract your neighbors, you may begin at any time. And please remember to have a safe and happy holiday season while you’re at it! Mr. Hart, a question already?...
1) What was the last movie you saw theatrically? On DVD or Blu-ray?
2) Holiday movies— Do you like them naughty or nice?
3) Ida Lupino or Mercedes McCambridge?
4) Favorite actor/character from Twin Peaks
5) It’s been said that, rather than remaking beloved, respected films, Hollywood should concentrate more on righting the wrongs of the past and tinker more with films that didn’t work so well the first time. Pretending for a moment that movies are made in an economic vacuum, name a good candidate for a remake based on this criterion.
6) Favorite Spike Lee joint.
7) Lawrence Tierney or Scott Brady?
8) Are most movies too long?
9) Favorite performance by an actor portraying a real-life politician.
10) Create the main event card for the ultimate giant movie monster smackdown.
11) Jean Peters or Sheree North?
12) Why would you ever want or need to see a movie more than once?
13) Favorite road movie.
14) Favorite Budd Boetticher picture.
15) Who is the one person, living or dead, famous or unknown, who most informed or encouraged your appreciation of movies?
16) Favorite opening credit sequence. (Please include YouTube link if possible.)
17) Kenneth Tobey or John Agar?
18) Jean-Luc Godard once suggested that the more popular the movie, the less likely it was that it was a good movie. Is he right or just cranky? Cite the best evidence one way or the other.
19) Favorite Jonathan Demme movie.
20) Tatum O’Neal or Linda Blair?
21) Favorite use of irony in a movie. (This could be an idea, moment, scene, or an entire film.)
22) Favorite Claude Chabrol film.
23) The best movie of the year to which very little attention seems to have been paid.
24) Dennis Christopher or Robby Benson?
25) Favorite movie about journalism.
26) What’s the DVD commentary you’d most like to hear? Who would be on the audio track?
27) Favorite movie directed by Clint Eastwood.
28) Paul Dooley or Kurtwood Smith?
29) Your clairvoyant moment: Make a prediction about the Oscar season.
30) Your hope for the movies in 2009.
31) What’s your top 10 of 2008? (If you have a blog and have your list posted, please feel free to leave a link to the post.)
BONUS QUESTION (to be answered after December 25):
32) What was your favorite movie-related Christmas gift that you received this year?
Happy holidays to all y'all, and a happy new year too!