Saturday, April 28, 2007


Being part of Adam Ross's "Friday Screen Tests" is a whole lot better than getting my name in the new phone book!

Anyone who has spent any time in the blogosphere, either as a reader or writer, knows that one of the great pleasures of being involved in it is becoming acquainted with new people-- fellow bloggers, readers, critics, people from all over the world. Other than getting to keep my own writing muscles in tone, after having let them lay dormant for so many years, this has easily been the most fruitful and satisfying element of starting this blog two and a half years ago. I have received e-mails and worked with several critics who I’d read for several years prior to the inception of SLIFR, which has been thrilling enough. But on top of that, I’ve met and even become friends with several other bloggers and critics and readers who I’d never had the pleasure of knowing before, some who come from my own backyards (Oregon and California), many from all points throughout the country, and several from the other side of the planet. For someone for whom the world has never really been very big, these meetings and friendships have been a very happy revelation. It’s pretty great to be so connected to a world of people who may not always think like you do, but who share that same passion for the possibilities of the art of film, people who won’t automatically fall asleep or shoo you out the door when you start going on about your love for Gloria Grahame, Cinemascope, or a movie that no one else gives two shits about. And you just never know who’s gonna come calling next. A couple of months ago I received an e-mail from fellow blogger Adam Ross, who comments here occasionally and runs his very own site entitled DVD Panache, a delightful smorgasblog that is never less than sharp, often thoughtful and, on occasion, exhaustive. Lately Adam has taken to highlighting the blogs he finds himself returning to over and over again in a series entitled Friday Screen Tests, in which he poses a series of questions to the bloggers in his sights and lets them have free rein on his site to answer them. Recently he has given space to Ted Pigeon of The Cinematic Art, Tuwa of Stairs in Movies as well as Tuwa’s Shanty and the Roots Canal, and Corvallis, Oregon’s own Damian Arlyn of Windmills of My Mind. When he contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in taking part, I was indeed honored, though I must say I took a molasses-in-January approach to returning my answers to him. And they weren’t questions that could be easily tossed off—it took me some time to figure out what the answers were and how best to formulate them— kind of like the professor quizzes on my own site, only this time I wasn’t writing the questions. Here are the ten posers Adam tossed my way:

1. Describe the frequency of your movie watching

2. Has there been a movie recently that absolutely shattered your expectations (good or bad)?

3. Can you give a singular answer to the question "what is your favorite movie?"

4. You hear someone say "I hate old movies" -- what movie would you have them watch?

5. What about "movies never scare me"?

6. What was the first time in your life when you saw a movie and immediately wanted to either write about it or have a group discussion about it?

7. If you could go back in time and see any movie during its original theatrical run (staying only in your seat so as not to alter time),what would it be?

8. Is there a movie for you that epitomizes the phrase "so bad it's good"?

9. Has there ever been a movie that made you seriously consider changing careers (or career paths)?

10. On the worst day of your life, what movie will you put in?

Adam assured me that he would let me know when my day on DVD Panache was to come. Well, dear readers, my day was yesterday! And now you can head directly to DVD Panache your own selves and find out what my answers to these questions are, and at the same time discover, if you haven’t yet already, why Adam’s blog occupies a spot on my sidebar. Adam has lots of kind and generous things to say about this blog— he claims it was the first film blog he ever read! He even likes all the sidebar links to favorite movie theaters throughout Oregon, though he gently chastises me for leaving out his favorite from Portland, the Cinemagic. The theater was, I thought, an unknown quantity to me until I realized that during my day it was an art house known as the Fine Arts. So I do know it, Adam, and you’re right—it’s a beauty. I hope you, and everyone else, enjoys the pic of the former Fine Arts that I was able to unearth from the link you provided. And thanks a ton, Adam, for including me in your project. Hopefully someday you’ll have enough for a whole book!


Adam Ross said...

I appreciate the press, Dennis. I started Friday Screen Test as a tribute to a long-running feature in The Oregonian's entertainment magazine A&E (where once upon a time you could read the writings of one Kim Morgan). It was called Film Freak and every week it would feature someone in Portland's entertainment industry (or just an average Joe) and break down their movie-watching habits and tastes. In the pre-Internet age it was a valuable look into what other people were watching. The series has been fun to write, mostly because of the quality (and diversity) of everyone's answers.

Ted Pigeon said...

Nice post, Dennis, and thanks for the mention. I too have become very fond of the Friday Screen Test. I was reading it long before I was selected for it. It's been a staple in my friday morning blog reading, and I look forward to it each week as a great way to get inside the minds of other film bloggers. When I eventually received the email to participate in it, I was very honored. As you point out, Dennis, the questions Adam poses are not especially easy to answer. They require time and thought, which is why I am so curious to read other film bloggers' answers to them.

Damian Arlyn said...

Interesting that your questions were different than the ones I was asked. It would seem as if Adam amends his questionnaire to suit each individual subject that he gives it to. I like that. :)