Saturday, October 03, 2015

MR. DADIER’S JUVIE-READY, TOUGH-AS-NAILS BLACKBOARD-BUSTIN’ FALL TERM MOVIE QUIZ



Back-to-school season is now well under way (although my kids have been back in school since August 10—go figure), so it couldn’t be a better time to introduce a new curriculum and a new teacher to the SLIFR University staff, the newest addition to our English department, Mr. Richard Dadier.

Mr. Dadier is a veteran of a school from what some might call the wrong side of the tracks, a tough urban location where the kids brandish switchblades with which to spread their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during lunch break and think nothing of rockin’ around the clock, all the while ignoring their studies and taking time out from gyrating to the devil’s music only to intimidate the occasional square who wanders into their field of vision. We hear at SLIFR U have assured Mr. Dadier that he can expect a full 180-degree turnaround from that sort of behavior in our student body. Nonetheless, he has asked that we convey to you ahead of time that he will “take no shit from any of you lunkheads” and is prepared to “scramble the brains of any young punk who thinks he can put one over on me, especially during a test.”

Well, we just happen to have a test coming up, one to which we think our student body will rise to with honor and academic brilliance, one for which we feel confident our new teacher will not have to break out the brass knuckles in order to get a positive and encouraging response. It’s Mr. Dadier’s Juvie-Ready, Tough-As-Nails Blackboard-Bustin’ Back to School Movie Quiz, and we expect you will find it as intellectually invigorating as any of our SLIFR U movie quizzes. There are a couple of rules with which Mr. Dadier asks you to comply in order to avoid the stinging taste of his polished Florsheims in your ass. First, please copy and paste the questions into the comments column below along with your answers so that readers may more easily discern what questions your answers apply to. Second, please feel free to be as wordy as the spirit moves you. Longer, more elaborate answers are almost always (but not always) more interesting to read than the short, clipped ones, even though Mr. Dadier admits the non-nonsense approach is more to his personal style.

So there you have it, the latest SLIFR U quiz spread out before you, ready to go. Please shut your traps, keep your eyes on your own paper, shut that goddamn noisy radio off, open your blue books, and get going!

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

1        1 )      Favorite moment from a Coen Brothers movie

2        2)    Scratching The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty and The Hudsucker Proxy from                              consideration, what would now rate as your least-favorite Coen Brothers movie?

3        3)      Name the most underrated blockbuster of all time

         4)      Ida Lupino or Sylvia Sidney?

5       5)      Edwards Scissorhands—yes or no?

         6) The movie you think most bastardizes, misinterprets or does a disservice to 
              the history or historical event it tires to represent

7       7)      Favorite Aardman animation

         8)      Second-favorite Olivier Assayas movie

         9)      Neville Brand or Mike Mazurki?

         10) Name the movie you would cite to a nonbeliever as the best evidence toward
               convincing them of the potential greatness of a favorite genre

          11) Name any director and one aspect of his/her style or career, for good or bad,
                that sets her/him apart from any other director

          12)   Best car chase

1        13)   Favorite moment directed by Robert Aldrich

1        14)   The last movie you saw in a theater? On home video?

1        15)   Jane Greer or Joan Bennett?

1        16)   Second-favorite Paul Verhoeven movie

1        17)   Your nominee for best/most important political or social documentary you’ve seen

          18)   Favorite movie twins

1        19)   Best movie or movie moment about or involving radio

2        20)   Eugene Pallette or William Demarest?

2        21)   Favorite moment directed by Ken Russell

           22)   All-time best movie cat

           23)   Your nominee for best movie about teaching and learning, followed by the worst

1         24) Name an actor/actress currently associated primarily with TV who you'd like
                  to see on the big screen

           25)   Stanley Baker or David Farrar

   26) Critic Manny Farber once said of Frank Capra that he was "an old-time
                  movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways
                  he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director,
                  but all the details give the impression of a contrived effect."

                  What is the Capra movie that best proves or disproves Farber's assertion?

                  And who else in Hollywood history might just as easily fit his description?


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

24 comments:

Patrick said...

This is one of the best quizzes yet - thanks, Mr. Dadier! You can expect a shiny apple from me in the morning.

1) Favorite moment from a Coen Brothers movie

The scene between H.I. and Glenn in Raising Arizona where the kids are tearing the trailer apart, Glenn prattles on in hilarious ignorance, and all H.I. can do is watch and shake his head. I just laugh and laugh.

2) Scratching The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty and The Hudsucker Proxy from consideration, what would now rate as your least-favorite Coen Brothers movie?

Well, don't THAT just make the question a lot harder. I guess I'll say The Man Who Wasn't There, just because it's the least memorable - but that may just mean I have to go back and watch it again. Still, that's my answer du jour.

3) Name the most underrated blockbuster of all time

All time, eh? I'll say Bambi. When people are talking about early Disney, Bambi gets singled out less than Snow White, Pinocchio, or even Fantasia. But it's got some of the best animation, most memorable characters, THE most devastating moment in Disney history ("Mother?..."), and - and - it's made over a hundred million dollars.

4) Ida Lupino or Sylvia Sidney?

Sylvia played the second best Mama Carlson on WKRP, and she never appeared in the Batman series. So it's gotta be Ida.

5) Edwards Scissorhands—yes or no?

Big yes. First movie that made me cry buckets. More importantly, it gave Tim Burton a chance to show he could direct heartache without a wink at the audience, and it was his first go-round with Johnny Depp.

6) The movie you think most bastardizes, misinterprets or does a disservice to the history or historical event it tries to represent

Fever Pitch. No real Red Sox fan gave a hoot in hell for any curse - it was just a hook for people to hang laundry on. And Jimmy & Drew getting to dance on the field moments after the Sox won it all was disgusting.

7) Favorite Aardman animation

Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers. How can a face with no mouth be that expressive? And the stunts! Finally, a worthy successor to Buster Keaton.

8) Second-favorite Olivier Assayas movie

Pass.

9) Neville Brand or Mike Mazurki?

I have to go with Mazurki, for his "cute as lace pants" mantra in Murder, My Sweet.

10) Name the movie you would cite to a nonbeliever as the best evidence toward
convincing them of the potential greatness of a favorite genre

I feel like a nonbeliever in the crime/gangster genre would say that The Godfather doesn't count, that it's a family drama that just happens to be about crime. With that being the case, I'll say that a nonbeliever in the Western should see Stagecoach. It's more likely they haven't seen it, and discovering the powers of John Ford and Monument Valley - not to mention the magnetism of a young John Wayne - would be a real eye-opening experience.

11) Name any director and one aspect of his/her style or career, for good or bad, that sets her/him apart from any other director

The coldness of Stanley Kubrick's movies. There's a sterile, clinical chill to every emotion that usually indicates warmth, be it humor, romance, even full-blooded anger, yet the emotions are still there, even as they're being smothered.

12) Best car chase

The one that ends The Bank Dick. Sure, French Connection and Bullitt are the best known classics (and The Seven-Ups should be), but The Bank Dick is just as exciting, and far and away the funniest. "The resale value of this car is going to be nil after this trip..."

13) Favorite moment directed by Robert Aldrich

The scene in The Longest Yard where Burt Reynolds fires two passes at Ray Nitschke's groin. The giddy laughter in the huddle between those passes.

https://youtu.be/KQirkwDP-_4

Patrick said...

14) The last movie you saw in a theater? On home video?

Theater: Best of Enemies, the documentary about Vidal & Buckley's '68 debates. (The second time I saw it.) Video: Massacre at Central High. Lousy print, but really cool movie. Thanks once again to Danny Peary for the introduction.

15) Jane Greer or Joan Bennett?

I actively love Jane Greer in Out of the Past, so I'll give it to her.

16) Second-favorite Paul Verhoeven movie

Starship Troopers, second to Robocop.

17) Your nominee for best/most important political or social documentary you’ve seen

It may be an easy out, but I have to go with Primary, about the 1960 Democratic primary in Wisconsin. Most important because they could move around with the sync-sound camera in a way they couldn't before, making fly-on-the-wall filming possible. Result: the political process captured as living and breathing as can be, as well as a preservation of the way the Kennedy mystique could energize.

18) Favorite movie twins

The Winklevii in The Social Network. "I'm six-five, two-twenty, and there's two of me."

19) Best movie or movie moment about or involving radio

Richard Dreyfuss meeting Wolfman Jack in American Graffiti.

20) Eugene Pallette or William Demarest?

Oh my gosh, that's next to impossible. I'll toss a coin and pick Demarest, whose last line in Lady Eve ("Positively the same dame!") is second only to Casablanca's in '40s last lines.

21) Favorite moment directed by Ken Russell

The last scene in Altered States, the breakthrough William Hurt and Blair Brown have. It's hard to believe how willingly I suspend my disbelief while watching it.


22) All-time best movie cat

The cat in the opening credits of Walk on the Wild Side. There are actors who don't hit their marks that perfectly. And this is a CAT doing it.

https://youtu.be/XI9Or8rE_Dc

23) Your nominee for best movie about teaching and learning, followed by the worst

For best, I'll say Election, where Matthew Broderick learns lessons he can't teach. For worst, Mr. Holland's Opus. Watch a guy almost leave his wife and deaf son for a 17 year old who can sing! See the piece he's been working on for 30 years turn out to be crap!

24) Name an actor/actress currently associated primarily with TV who you'd like to see on the big screen

I can't do better than John Oliver. I don't know if that's good or bad.

25) Stanley Baker or David Farrar

Pass.

26) Critic Manny Farber once said of Frank Capra that he was "an old-time movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director, but all the details give the impression of a contrived effect." What is the Capra movie that best proves or disproves Farber's assertion? And who else in Hollywood history might just as easily fit his description?

I'd say Mr. Smith Goes to Washington has the most moments where I can see or feel the strings being pulled the most. Anything to do with the Boy Rangers is designed to pull on the heartstrings, and don't think we don't all know it. Who else matches that description? Well, it certainly suits Spielberg to a T, doesn't it?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

#19! Patrick, that was the moment that inspired the question. As an Oregon kid, I used to listen to Wolfman Jack on XERB, an AM superstation transmitting out of Tijuana. Of course the reality of where that signal and that voice was coming from would have been nothing like what I imagined, so I really appreciated that Lucas fused my memory of him on the air with an almost perfect duplicate of the hometown radio station I used to work in as a teenager. No better radio moment in the movies for me either. But I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I? Oh, well. Now I have one answer to my own quiz submission already written!

Mythical Monkey said...

My answers are here:

http://mythicalmonkey.blogspot.com/2015/10/from-sergio-leone-and-infield-fly-rule.html

wwolfe said...

1 ) Favorite moment from a Coen Brothers movie

The second time that John Turturro pleads with Gabriel Bynre to "Look into your heart!," and Byrne replies, "What heart?"

2) Scratching The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty and The Hudsucker Proxy from consideration, what would now rate as your least-favorite Coen Brothers movie?

"No Country For Old Men." We see the results of every violent act, except for Kelly MacDonald's murder. My belief is that the Coens knew that if they showed us her character's bloody corpse, we would no longer be able to think Anton Chighur was cool and, although the Coens surely knew Chighur was evil, they didn't quite have the maturity or the integrity to give up their adolescent awe of him. That ruined the movie for me, and pretty much mde me give up on their work.

3) Name the most underrated blockbuster of all time

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind." It doesn't seem to be mentioned very often in discussions of of Spielberg's career, or overviews of great 1970s movies, or influential sci-fi movies.

4) Ida Lupino or Sylvia Sidney?

Ida Lupino. A wider range as an actress, more good movies on her resume, plus an interesting career as a director.

5) Edwards Scissorhands—yes or no?

It has the typical frustrating mix of screwball fun and sentimental self-pity that seems to be Burton's trademark. Since the latter always seems to defeat the former, I suppose I'd have to say no, with regrets.

6) The movie you think most bastardizes, misinterprets or does a disservice to
the history or historical event it tries to represent

"Gone With the Wind" is truly despicable in its depiction of slavery, the society that was built on it, and the Union soldiers who thankfully ended it.

9) Neville Brand or Mike Mazurki?

Mazurki could manage some humor now and then, which I appreciate, but Brand is more distinctive. So I'll say Brand.

10) Name the movie you would cite to a nonbeliever as the best evidence toward
convincing them of the potential greatness of a favorite genre

"The Awful Truth" for screwball comedies.

11) Name any director and one aspect of his/her style or career, for good or bad,
that sets her/him apart from any other director

Sam Fuller's movies have a rambunctiousness and vulgarity (in all senses of the word) that make his movies distinct from anyone else's.

12) Best car chase

"Bullitt" still gets my vote.

13) Favorite moment directed by Robert Aldrich

Opening the box at the end of "Kiss Me Deadly."

wwolfe said...

14) The last movie you saw in a theater?

"The Intern," two days ago.

On home video?

"Make Me a Star," a surprisingly poignant adaptation of "Merton of the Movies" from 1932, starring Joan Blondell and Stuart Erwin.

15) Jane Greer or Joan Bennett?

Given Bennett's long career, is it fair to rate Greer higher based essentially on one movie? That was my initial impulse, but in the end Fritz Lang carried the day for Bennett. Man Hunt, Woman in the Window, and Scarlet Street are enough to put Joan ahead of Jane - but not by much.

17) Your nominee for best/most important political or social documentary you’ve seen

It says nothing good about me that I can't think of an answer to this question.

18) Favorite movie twins

Those belonging to Kim Novak in "The Amorous Adventure of Moll Flanders." As a newly pubescent boy viewing this movie on the old UHF Channel 61 out of Cleveland, I was mesmerized, while also being oddly impressed by the filmmakers' ability to devise so many different ways to show them off.

19) Best movie or movie moment about or involving radio

"American Hot Wax" - specifically, the scene in which Tim McIntyre as Alan Freed, after having a painful phone call with his father back in Ohio, tells his listeners in New York City that "it's raining in Akron, but it's a beautiful night in New York," as he cues up the Drifters' "There Goes My Baby."

20) Eugene Pallette or William Demarest?

Oh, this is very painful! Both are so good, and essential to American movies. If forced to choose, though, I'll go with Pallette because of his wonderful father in "My Man Godfrey."

22) All-time best movie cat

Piwacket from "Bell, Book, and Candle."

23) Your nominee for best movie about teaching and learning, followed by the worst

I don't think teaching has been done very well in movies for some reason. I love the scene near the end of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" where Mr. Hand teaches Jeff Spicoli about Thomas Jefferson. ("If we don't get some cool rules, we'll be bogus, too!") Since I can't think of another contender, I'll pick that for best. I truly hated "Dead Poets Society," so that would be my worst.

24) Name an actor/actress currently associated primarily with TV who you'd like
to see on the big screen

Jon Hamm.

26) Critic Manny Farber once said of Frank Capra that he was "an old-time
movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways
he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director,
but all the details give the impression of a contrived effect." What is the Capra movie that best proves or disproves Farber's assertion? And who else in Hollywood history might just as easily fit his description?

I'd have to say the very long sequence of scenes built around Jeff Smith's filibuster in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," including the way in which the individual moments within those scenes are edited, proves Farber's assertion pretty well. Spielberg often seems like the natural heir to Capra, particularly in those movies where he pleads the hardest for the audience's love: the Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park movies, and - in my opinion - E.T. and Saving Private Ryan, as well.

Dave S said...

Thanks for another great quiz, Dennis. My answers are at the link:
http://bloody-terror.blogspot.ca/2015/10/mr-dadiers-juvie-ready-tough-as-nails.html

Dave S said...

And whoops, I guess I failed question #2 by not seeing "Intolerable Cruelty" listed in the Coen Bros movies not to choose from. My replacement answer: "Barton Fink".

Robert Fiore said...

1) Favorite moment from a Coen Brothers movie

“Well, ma’am, if I see him I’ll sure give him the message.”

Cinematically, Albert Finney walking down the road soloing on his Stradivarius.

2) Scratching The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty and The Hudsucker Proxy from consideration, what would now rate as your least-favorite Coen Brothers movie?

With the proviso that I actually like Intolerable Cruelty (fine ersatz Preston Sturges until it trips over its own cynicism) and The Hudsucker Proxy (I thought it was a barrel of laughs the first time I saw it), The Man Who Wasn’t There. I think it would have worked a lot better if Steve Martin had played the title role.

3) Name the most underrated blockbuster of all time

Nothing pops into my head, but I’ll tell you the most underrated source of a blockbuster: The book The Godfather. Everybody talks like Coppola spun gold out of straw, but EVERYTHING you remember from that movie comes directly from the book. Every plot point chronologically up to the Las Vegas and Havana section, including the Young Vito Corleone parts. Practically every line you remember from it except “Take the cannolis” is from the book, verbatim. It’s one of the most faithful adaptations of a novel Hollywood has ever done.

4) Ida Lupino or Sylvia Sidney?

Ida Lupino for High Sierra alone, though there’s plenty more.

5) Edwards Scissorhands—yes or no?

Eh, okay. Don’t dislike it. The Tim Burton movies I actually like-like are the short version of Frankenweenie, the first Pee-Wee, Beetlejuice (the first time, anyway) and Sweeney Todd. One grows tired of the sensitive artist and the girl who loves him.

6) The movie you think most bastardizes, misinterprets or does a disservice to the history or historical event it tries to represent.

Pocahontas. Everyone in the audience sits there knowing the best advice they could give Powhatan is to kill every white man he sees.

7) Favorite Aardman animation.

The early shorts. I don’t think making family films was in their original DNA, and they’ve never truly go the hang of it. Shaun the Sheep was their best in some time.

8) Second-favorite Olivier Assayas movie

How could I play favorites with Olivier Assayas?

9) Neville Brand or Mike Mazurki?

Mazurki. Mike Mazurki doesn’t look like a thug, thugs look like Mike Mazurki.

10) Name the movie you would cite to a nonbeliever as the best evidence toward convincing them of the potential greatness of a favorite genre

Would this even be necessary? Movies are so genre-focused that there must be a blank movie for people who hate blank movies for everything. Even teen comedies have their Clueless. The tough sell would be something like Hong Kong action movies that have cinematic effects people prize in the context of poorly-made films, in a conventional sense. To point at a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is to evade the issue.

11) Name any director and one aspect of his/her style or career, for good or bad, that sets her/him apart from any other director.

Preston Sturges; fast talk.

12) Best car chase

The French Connection. Why fight it?

Robert Fiore said...

13) Favorite moment directed by Robert Aldrich

The Dirty Dozen switching armbands during maneuvers. Honorable mention to Donald Sutherland impersonating a general.

14) The last movie you saw in a theater? On home video?

In the theater Black Mass, on home video The Horse’s Mouth. I saw the poster for the new movie about the Krays on my way into the theater for Black Mass and said to myself, “I know one movie whose trailer I’m going to be seeing.” Black Mass is okay if you’re up for a gangster picture but nothing special, except for Johnny Depp’s impression of a dead-eyed reptile.

15) Jane Greer or Joan Bennett?

Joan Bennett for all those childhood afternoons watching Dark Shadows.

16) Second-favorite Paul Verhoeven movie

Starship Troopers. It’s the propaganda movie the regime in the picture would make about itself, so convincing people took it at face value.

17) Your nominee for best/most important political or social documentary you’ve seen

The Sorrow and the Pity. I would never say Woody Allen had bad taste.

18) Favorite movie twins
22) All-time best movie cat

The Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp. “Do you see that thing swimming round and round?/Maybe we could be reaching in and make it drown!” Walt Disney wasn’t racist on Asians, he just hated cats.

19) Best movie or movie moment about or involving radio

Hokey as it is, The Next Voice You Hear sticks in my mind.

20) Eugene Pallette or William Demarest?

Why choose when you usually have both of them? If the lifeboat’s about to sink, Demarest.

21) Favorite moment directed by Ken Russell

To me every Ken Russell movie has a message, and the message is “you don’t want to see this movie.”

23) Your nominee for best movie about teaching and learning, followed by the worst

Best, Repo Man. Worst, every family movie where the kid is taught to just be him or herself, which come to think about it is nearly all of them.

24) Name an actor/actress currently associated primarily with TV who you'd like to see on the big screen

Jon Hamm, I suppose. Or Peter Capaldi.

25) Stanley Baker or David Farrar

Like Ida Lupino, David Farrar for Black Narcissus alone. Unlike Lupino, I’m really not aware of anything else he was in.

26) Critic Manny Farber once said of Frank Capra that he was "an old-time movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director, but all the details give the impression of a contrived effect."

What is the Capra movie that best proves or disproves Farber's assertion?

It’s indisputable, but we’re in feature-not-a-bug territory here. It’s two movies of his that didn’t work that prove what he was really about. You Can’t Take it With You demonstrates that Capra wasn’t about eccentricity or non-conformity, he was about heart. It’s his characters’ heart that makes them eccentric or non-conformist. Arsenic and Old Lace – to begin with, any version that didn’t get Karloff to play The Man Who Looks Like Karloff is a failure right off the bat. I mean, how expensive could it have been? We’re not talking about Clark Gable here. That aside, suffering was just too real a thing to Frank Capra for him to do black humor convincingly.

And who else in Hollywood history might just as easily fit his description?

Joel and Ethan Coen.

Josh K. said...

My answers are posted here: http://moviebot.blogspot.com/2015/10/its-been-long-time-since-i-wrote-post.html

Insperatus said...




1. "Waffles." The Ladykillers.

2. Blood Simple. Leaves me cold and makes me leery of Coen Brothers purists.
3. Within the last decade alone, The Lone Ranger and the Conan reboot. All time? Hudson Hawk.

4. Ida Lupino for trying to smash the glass ceiling instead of wallpapering Tim Burton's overcrowded shrine.

5. Yes. But only if he bought me dinner first.

6. No movie has ever done a disservice to history. History is a narrative, not a science. As batshit as Braveheart of Birth of a Nation may seem to be, they're a valid attempt to create a historic attempt. And hilarious for historians.

7. Wallace and Gromit. One of the rare popular forms of entertainment that highlights the cinematic beauty of the North of England. Nick Park is my Ansel Adams.

8. Irma Vep.

9. Mazurki, for being a 6'5" immigrant and his gorgeous turn in Some Like It Hot.

10. Action movies. Hard Boiled. Double mic drop (whilst sliding down a bannister.)

11. Errol Morris (and Steve Hardie) for the simple use of a camera rig to change the way humans respond to questions.

12. Ronin. The last time I physically clenched and involuntarily yelled, "God, that was close!" in a theatre.

13. Huey Lewis' other news.

14. Fantastic Four. The Wages of Fear.

15. Joan Bennett, if only so I can reference her murderer husband, "Walter Wanger."

16. Soldaat van Oranje, one of the best World War 2 films you've never seen.

17. Into Eternity (2010)


19. Thad Beaumont and George Stark. No spoilers by telling you which film.

19. Mother Night.

20. William Demarest, simply by virtue of not being a massive, racist dick.

21. Ken Russell directing Ken Russell portraying Ken Russell in The Russia House.

22. The one in the "Bring out your dead!" scene in Holy Grail.

23. if.... (1968), and Waiting for Superman
24. Stephen Colbert needs to single-handedly revive the musical film genre, if only to spare him a lifetime of late night mediocrity.
25. Stanley Baker. Welsh bloody legend.

26. Part 1: The "Why We Fight" films. FDR and the country needed America's most powerful weapon turned against the Axis powers and they immediately hired Hollywood's best soldier.

26. Part B: John Frankenheimer.

Peter Nellhaus said...

1 ) Favorite moment from a Coen Brothers movie

The legal banter between Clooney and Zeta-Jones in Intolerable Cruelty.

2 2) Scratching The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty and The Hudsucker Proxy from consideration, what would now rate as your least-favorite Coen Brothers movie?

Burn after Reading

3 3) Name the most underrated blockbuster of all time

Spartacus

4) Ida Lupino or Sylvia Sidney?

Someone should write about the unlikely collaboration between Sidney and Tim Burton. That said, Ida Lupino starred in more movies, and keeps on being rediscovered as a director. Plus, I have three films with her name in my collection, so Lupino wins.

5 5) Edwards Scissorhands—yes or no?
Yes.

6) The movie you think most bastardizes, misinterprets or does a disservice to
the history or historical event it tires to represent
We're all tired of misrepresentation, Daddy-O. Every historical film would seem to have problems, but I really have to wonder about Vincente Minnelli's pastel colorization of WWII footage for Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
7 7) Favorite Aardman animation

I fell over laughing at The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

8) Second-favorite Olivier Assayas movie
Clouds of Sils Maria.

9) Neville Brand or Mike Mazurki?
I met Mike Mazurki, so there!

10) Name the movie you would cite to a nonbeliever as the best evidence toward
convincing them of the potential greatness of a favorite genre
Song of Bernadette, a film about religion, that allows for interpretation of events, and refuses to be didactic.

11) Name any director and one aspect of his/her style or career, for good or bad,
that sets her/him apart from any other director
Lina Wertmuller made me walk out on a film starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The most annoying filmmaker, ever.

12) Best car chase
Genevieve. It just pokes along, stopping to allow Kay Kendall to play the trumpet.

1 13) Favorite moment directed by Robert Aldrich

When Burt Reynold's declares that the US is a banana republic in Hustle. Aldrich was prescient about what was and would happen.

Peter Nellhaus said...


1 14) The last movie you saw in a theater? On home video?
In a theater, the documentary Don't Think I've Forgotten, about Cambodian pop musicians mostly killed by the Khmer Rouge. On home video, The Rabbi's Cat on Netflix Instant.

1 15) Jane Greer or Joan Bennett?
Bennett for working keeping Fritz Lang busy.

1 16) Second-favorite Paul Verhoeven movie
Basic Instinct.

1 17) Your nominee for best/most important political or social documentary you’ve seen
Marcel Ophuls' Memory of Justice.

18) Favorite movie twins
Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringer.

1 19) Best movie or movie moment about or involving radio
Christmas in July.

2 20) Eugene Pallette or William Demarest?
Politics aside, Pallette.

2 21) Favorite moment directed by Ken Russell
The musical number in Lair of the White Worm

22) All-time best movie cat
Sammy Davis, Jr.

23) Your nominee for best movie about teaching and learning, followed by the worst
Best: Laurent Cantet's The Class. I can't really say it's the worse, but education was besides the point in Bad Teacher.

1 24) Name an actor/actress currently associated primarily with TV who you'd like
to see on the big screen
I don't watch TV.

25) Stanley Baker or David Farrar
Baker, like this question needed to be asked.

26) Critic Manny Farber once said of Frank Capra that he was "an old-time
movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways
he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director,
but all the details give the impression of a contrived effect."

What is the Capra movie that best proves or disproves Farber's assertion?
And who else in Hollywood history might just as easily fit his description?
It's a Wonderful Life is full of contrived effects.
Clint Eastwood may well be the last of the traditional craftsmen.

Jeff Gee said...

1) Favorite moment from a Coen Brothers movie

Maybe the scene in A Serious Man where Rabbi Marshak explains, “These are the members of The Airplane!” And I think there may be three or four favorite Coen Brothers moments in the trailer for the upcoming Hail, Caesar.

2) Scratching The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty and The Hudsucker Proxy from consideration, what would now rate as your least-favorite Coen Brothers movie?

I’m going to go with Burn After Reading. It wants to be fun, I want it to be fun, but when Brad Pitt gets shot in the face I wasn’t thinking “Haw!” or even “No!” I was thinking “Nah.”

3) Name the most underrated blockbuster of all time

pass

4) Ida Lupino or Sylvia Sidney?

The only reason I’m not saying “Ida, of course!!” is because I’m too much of a gentleman to dis the wonderful Sylvia Sidney that way.

5) Edwards Scissorhands—yes or no?

No. It lands squarely in my… what’s the opposite of a sweet spot? A sour spot? It is the “Sometimes When We Touch” of motion pictures.

6) The movie you think most bastardizes, misinterprets or does a disservice to the history or historical event it tires to represent.

Godzilla. In reality, Raymond Burr was not in Tokyo. Fact.

7) Favorite Aardman animation

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, but I hear wonderful things about Shaun the Sheep.

8) Second-favorite Olivier Assayas movie

I saw his segment of Paris, je t'aime. but I remember absolutely nothing about it. That means my favorite is Irma Vep, which I thought was okay. I admit I think of it more as a Maggie Cheung movie than an Olivier Assayas movie, though.

9) Neville Brand or Mike Mazurki?

Mike. I love Mike. I wish he lived in my neighborhood so we could talk about stuff on the line at the grocery store, while the old lady with the Mets cap is buying 50 bucks worth of lottery tickets.

10) Name the movie you would cite to a nonbeliever as the best evidence toward convincing them of the potential greatness of a favorite genre.

I have never had any interest in convincing nonbelievers of anything. Why ‘potential’ greatness? What genre hasn’t been around long enough to produce a dozen all-but universally acknowledged masterpieces? Kung Fu movies? Soft-core porn? Really, give this nonbeliever you’re so concerned about one of those ‘1000 Movies You Must See Before You Die’ books. They were made for people like that.

I think also, when people say things like “I don’t like Westerns” that’s legit and you should leave them alone. Sometimes it means “I don’t want to think of myself as the kind of person who likes Westerns.” Sometimes it means something else. But I doubt it ever means “I don’t like Westerns because the genre shows no potential for greatness.”

11) Name any director and one aspect of his/her style or career, for good or bad, that sets her/him apart from any other director

Antonioni’s nearly pathological humorlessness never fails to amaze me, even when he’s in peak form.

12) Best car chase

French Connection. I know it’s really boring to hear that over and over again, but there you go.

13) Favorite moment directed by Robert Aldrich

The entire wargame sequence in The Dirty Dozen is wonderful, maybe more exciting and certainly more fun than the actual mission.

14) The last movie you saw in a theater? On home video?

Home video: Maps to the Stars.
Theater: Can’t remember, consarn it.

Jeff Gee said...

15) Jane Greer or Joan Bennett?

Joan. I mean: W. C. Fields, Fritz Lang, Suspiria. But in Jane’s favor, let me quote wwolfe: ‘Given Bennett's long career, is it fair to rate Greer higher based essentially on one movie?’ So, yes, okay, it’s Joan and her terrific career over Jane and her 90 minutes of glory—and yet it almost balances out, doesn’t it?.

16) Second-favorite Paul Verhoeven movie

Well, Dennis, you have convinced me to put Showgirls on my queue, so this answer could change, but for the moment it is Starship Troopers, with RoboCopat number one.

17) Your nominee for best/most important political or social documentary you’ve seen

Night and Fog.


18) Favorite movie twins

See question 21.

19) Best movie or movie moment about or involving radio.

I recommend to everyone the bizarre Canadian horror movie Pontypool, set almost entirely in a radio studio. My single favorite radio moment might be in That Thing You Do when the band hears its song on the radio for the first time.

20) Eugene Pallette or William Demarest?

This is a coin flip. Eugene Pallette won today. There’s no movie that isn’t the better for one of these guys being in, and they’re both in The Lady Eve and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which I now want to see on a double bill.

21) Favorite moment directed by Ken Russell

Helen Mirren descending the staircase in Savage Messiah. This used to be available on YouTube but I can no longer find it. Bleh! Bleh!!

22) All-time best movie cat

Sylvester. Many many great moments, but my favorite is Syvester stomping up and down the stairs in army boots to keep Elmer Fudd awake in Back Alley Oproar.

23) Your nominee for best movie about teaching and learning, followed by the worst.

Zero for Conduct is my choice for best. (Cudos to Robert Fiore for selecting Repo Man!) Worst: There are just so… freaking… many…

24) Name an actor/actress currently associated primarily with TV who you'd like to see on the big screen

Walton Goggins from Justified.

25) Stanley Baker or David Farrar

Did David Farrar ever appear in a Lucio Fulci movie? Nope. So I don’t have to ask if he was ever in a Lucio Fulci movie about which Wikipedia says: “Carlo Rambaldi, a special effects artist, saved Fulci from a two-year prison sentence by presenting the fake dog props in court to a seemingly unconvinced judiciary. This was the first time in film history that an effects artist had to prove his work was not real in a court of law.” Stanley Baker was!

26) Critic Manny Farber once said of Frank Capra that he was “an old-time movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director, but all the details give the impression of a contrived effect.”

What is the Capra movie that best proves or disproves Farber's assertion? And who else in Hollywood history might just as easily fit his description?


Really, this is a statement about Farber, not Capra, although I guess it’s to his credit that he acknowledges Capra’s craftsmanship and mastery. What he’s really saying (AFAIC) is that he’s immune to the effects Capra achieves through his mastery. It’s a statement about warring sensibilities, in other words. I am immune to the effects a lot of people achieve through their mastery, but I might want them to hire me someday, so let’s let it go.

Mike Schlesinger said...

1) Favorite moment from a Coen Brothers movie—Tough, but JJL having a three-way conversation with Bruce Campbell, the crossword guy and herself while typing a story and maintaining her flawless Hepburn impression in HUDSUCKER PROXT.

2) Scratching The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty and The Hudsucker Proxy from consideration, what would now rate as your least-favorite Coen Brothers movie?—I like all of those. Anyway, LLEEYN DAVIS. Pointless and goes nowhere.

3) Name the most underrated blockbuster of all time—Why, IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD, of course!

4) Ida Lupino or Sylvia Sidney?—Close call, but Lupino.

5) Edwards Scissorhands—yes or no?—Yes.

6) The movie you think most bastardizes, misinterprets or does a disservice to the history or historical event it tires to represent—A documentary, believe it or not—WACO: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, which presents the FBI as bloodthirsty butchers who slaughtered innocent people of faith, and makes absolutely no mention of Koresh’s arms-dealing, murder and pedophilia.

7) Favorite Aardman animation—It’s not clay, but ARTHUR CHRISTMAS.

8) Second-favorite Olivier Assayas movie—Only seen a handful of his films, so pass.

9) Neville Brand or Mike Mazurki?—Tie.

10) Name the movie you would cite to a nonbeliever as the best evidence toward convincing them of the potential greatness of a favorite genre—THE GENERAL (silents).

11) Name any director and one aspect of his/her style or career, for good or bad, that sets her/him apart from any other director—Chuck Jones, for realizing the value of underplaying in a medium defined by the opposite.

12) Best car chase—THE SEVEN-UPS.

13) Favorite moment directed by Robert Aldrich—Borgnine walking across the top of the train as it crosses a bridge in EMPEROR OF THE NORTH POLE. One of the most beautiful pieces of film ever.

14) The last movie you saw in a theater?—GRANDMA. On home video?—SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE (1935 version).

15) Jane Greer or Joan Bennett?—Greer. Bennett always seemed like a stiff.

16) Second-favorite Paul Verhoeven movie—BLACK BOOK.

17) Your nominee for best/most important political or social documentary you’ve seen—BERKELEY IN THE SIXTIES.

18) Favorite movie twins—Raquel Welch.

19) Best movie or movie moment about or involving radio—WHO DONE IT? (1942)

20) Eugene Pallette or William Demarest?—Tie.

21) Favorite moment directed by Ken Russell—LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM: Amanda Donohoe is intoning a Satanic invocation; the doorbell rings and she mutters, “Shit!”

22) All-time best movie cat—Sylvester.

23) Your nominee for best movie about teaching and learning, followed by the worst—Best: GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS (1939). Worst: Any inspirational sports movie involving a high school or college team.

24) Name an actor/actress currently associated primarily with TV who you'd like to see on the big screen—John Larroquette.

25) Stanley Baker or David Farrar—Baker.

26) Critic Manny Farber once said of Frank Capra that he was "an old-time movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director, but all the details give the impression of a contrived effect." What is the Capra movie that best proves or disproves Farber's assertion? And who else in Hollywood history might just as easily fit his description?—1) IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. 2) James Cameron.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Mike: For your answers #7, 10, 15 and 21 alone, my thanks for playing. But I'd be glad to see you taking the test no matter what your answers were!

Jeff: I'm with you completely on #5, and your considered answers to #10 and #26 are what the SLIFR professorial staff lives for. Thanks!

Weigard said...

1 ) Favorite moment from a Coen Brothers movie
Oh, this is painful. Just one? Hmm… Perhaps this is a little beyond a moment (but hey, I’ve got to expand a little!) – the precredits sequence in Raising Arizona.

2) Scratching The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty and The Hudsucker Proxy from consideration, what would now rate as your least-favorite Coen Brothers movie?
I guess I never quite got Barton Fink -- but that’s one I should revisit.
3) Name the most underrated blockbuster of all time
It seems to me that Star Wars: The Phantom Menace gets a worse rap than it really deserves. Certainly it has its issues (Jar Jar, some writing, some acting, some directing) – but it’s a pretty clever little story! The emperor’s rise to power is more subtle than I would have expected from Lucas. Plus pod racing, the duel with Darth Maul – there’s still a lot to like.

4) Ida Lupino or Sylvia Sidney?
Sylvia Sidney, although probably because I’m just more familiar with her.

5) Edward Scissorhands—yes or no?
Oh yes. Ed Wood would be close, but I think Edward Scissorhands is my favorite Tim Burton film.

6) The movie you think most bastardizes, misinterprets or does a disservice to
the history or historical event it tries to represent

I should have a better answer than this, but they really mucked up Midway, a really fascinating battle, with added melodrama, as well as some heavy-handed writing and “all star cast” syndrome.

7) Favorite Aardman animation
Perhaps an odd choice, but I just loved the American version of Creature Comforts.

8) Second-favorite Olivier Assayas movie
N/A, alas.

9) Neville Brand or Mike Mazurki?
Mazurki for Murder My Sweet.

10) Name the movie you would cite to a nonbeliever as the best evidence toward
convincing them of the potential greatness of a favorite genre

For filmed Broadway musicals, I might point to Hairspray -- it seems to capture the excitement and energy of an actual stage production about as well as any I’ve ever seen. And where it seems to me to fall a little short (John Travolta) – that’s probably the main factor that got it made. Just goes to show, Hollywood doesn’t quite get the musical any more.

11) Name any director and one aspect of his/her style or career, for good or bad,
that sets her/him apart from any other director

Hmm, how about Jacques Tati and his ability to make a silent film out of a talkie? There’s dialogue, but I really don’t need French subtitles to figure out what’s going on. I saw The Illusionist (OK, not technically Tati) with a friend who knew Gaelic, so she understood what the little girl was saying, and I didn’t – and we concluded you could get the gist without knowing a word.

12) Best car chase
I don’t have a strong preference for any – perhaps the final chase in The Blues Brothers, just for general insanity and destruction. But I DO have a favorite post-chase scene – Matt Damon and Franka Potente’s conversation in the Mini after their flight through Paris in The Bourne Identity.

13) Favorite moment directed by Robert Aldrich
In The Flight of the Phoenix, learning Dorfmann’s credentials as an aeronautical engineer.

Weigard said...

14) The last movie you saw in a theater? On home video?
Theater: Serenity, a 10th anniversary screening. Even had myself an artisan fruity oaty bar. Main show sold out too fast, so I ended up at a late night screening, on a day before I had to be up at 5:30 in the morning. No regrets!

DVD: Avengers: Age of Ultron. Liked it better after a second viewing. I still think it’s a little too jam-packed, though – needs more space, so that the big things really feel big, rather than just part of a string of wild and crazy action.

15) Jane Greer or Joan Bennett?
I don’t really remember Bennett in anything, but I definitely remember Greer in Out of the Past.

16) Second-favorite Paul Verhoeven movie
It’s been so long since I’ve seen most of these, I’m having trouble remembering them in any detail. I think I might have Black Book as my second favorite (Carice van Houten rocks!), with Total Recall as my favorite.

17) Your nominee for best/most important political or social documentary you’ve seen
Since my answer for so many documentary questions is Koyaanisqatsi (I don’t know how many times I’ve brought it up – proud proselytizer, I), I should probably do 2nd best on such questions. In that case, The Thin Blue Line has perhaps has the most stunning set of interviews I’ve ever seen in a documentary, and it’s a fascinating film that got an innocent man out of jail. I can’t think of a film that captures Texas quite so well, either.

18) Favorite movie twins
I guess Tweedledum and Tweedledee, from the Disney Alice in Wonderland.

19) Best movie or movie moment about or involving radio
The radio play scenes in Me and Orson Welles.

20) Eugene Pallette or William Demarest?
William Demarest feels like a member of the family.

21) Favorite moment directed by Ken Russell
The thing that sticks in my mind from Mahler is the cabin exploding. It’s been so long, though, I’m not sure if that’s actually in the movie, or if I’m just hallucinating it. So perhaps it’s just my favorite hallucination inspired by a Ken Russell film.

22) All-time best movie cat
Well, I think the cat in Walk on the Wild Side is probably correct, but just to bring up a different one, you’ve got to love Duchess, that swingin’, harp-playin’ kitty in The Aristocats.

23) Your nominee for best movie about teaching and learning, followed by the worst
Best: I’m very fond of Educating Rita.
Worst: As a music teacher from Oregon, I really hate to say Mr. Holland’s Opus, but … yeah.

Weigard said...

24) Name an actor/actress currently associated primarily with TV who you'd like
to see on the big screen

I guess it’s already happening (hooray!), but I’ll go with the star of Mad Men -- Elisabeth Moss.
25) Stanley Baker or David Farrar
I only know each from a couple of films, but the most compelling performance among them was David Farrar’s in The Small Back Room. Hmm, I feel like I’ve written this before.

26) Critic Manny Farber once said of Frank Capra that he was "an old-time
movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways
he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director,
but all the details give the impression of a contrived effect."

What is the Capra movie that best proves or disproves Farber's assertion?
And who else in Hollywood history might just as easily fit his description?

I don’t think “contrived” is the right word. As several people have already mentioned, it seems to suggest a kind of insincerity, and while that may be hard to find nowadays, it seems very genuine in Capra’s films (well, the few I’ve seen). Perhaps “heightened” would be better, simplifying emotions and situations to get at the heart of what he has in mind, and intensifying the emotions in performance to help bring the point across. The filibuster in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington seems to exemplify what I’m thinking of. As for another director – the heightening is quite different, but it doesn’t seem that far-fetched to think of Hitchcock.

Mike Schlesinger said...

You're most welcome. Sorry for all the damn typos, though, and I suppose I could have amplified a few answers, but oh, well...

Beveridge D. Spenser said...

Dennis, your Dressed to Kill posts positively buried your quiz! I don't know if any stragglers will find it. So, that might affect the curve.

Anyway, here's my entry: http://coolbev.blogspot.com/2015/10/cant-do-my-homework.html

Mike Schlesinger said...

Okay, I had a real senior moment there and must change my answer to #23. It's gotta be THE PAPER CHASE.