Thursday, March 21, 2013


And now, part two of our peek into Miss Brodie's score book for her most recent SLIFR Movie Quiz, in which she (and we) begin by contemplating a studio director probably less loved than the breakfast meat which shares his name.

9) Second Favorite Lloyd Bacon film

As of last week's James Cagney triple feature at the Film Forum, without hesitation the Siren cites Picture Snatcher. (Favorite is 42nd Street, bien sûr.) (Self-Styled Siren)

He has so many to choose from! But actually, I haven't seen any. (Thom McGregor)

Footlight Parade, although it's a testament to Bacon's skill that I enjoy Knute Rockne despite my Notre Dame antipathy, and I've always meant to see Marked Woman. (Brian Doan)

Whew. Marked Woman is my favorite, this I know for sure. Much as I love 42nd Street and Footlight Parade, I’ll go with Wonder Bar—a great showcase for Jolson and it has that hot S&M dance with Del Rio and Cortez. (Tom Block)

Never knowingly seen one, let alone two. (estienne64)

Brother Orchid, after Boy Meets Girl. Wasn't really much more of an artist than the key grip was, though, was he? More of a technician. (Robert Fiore)

The one he made in 1952. (Patrick)
      I have a sad childhood attachment to The Good Humor Man. (Matthew David Wilder)

So many films I haven’t seen. But Boy Meets Girl takes the second spot of the ones I have seen. Gotta go with Here Comes the Navy as #1. (Marilyn Ferdinand)

Seriously? He directed 130 pictures! Oh, very well: Larceny Inc. (Mike Schlesinger)

Picture Snatcher (1933) (Jeff Gee)

Footlight Parade (after 42nd Street, of course). (weepingsam)

Why are you doing this to me? I’m not sure I’ve seen any other than 42nd Street, so what can I tell you. (Mr. Peel)

You Were Meant For Me, from 1948, with Jean Crain as a girl who marries bandleader Dan Dailey. The feel for place (pre-War smalltown America and the hotels and ballrooms where the band spends its time) and time (Roaring Twenties heading into the Great Depression) are both evocative. Most memorable is Crain’s surprisingly open expression of sexual yearning in her early scenes. (wwolfe)

10) Richard Burton or Roger Livesey?

Roger Livesey, hands down. He's just better company. Plus he knows where he's going. (Sean Axmaker)

Burton, for his mocking laughter on the lawn in Virginia Woolf and his many shades of gray in Spy Who Came In from the Cold. (Tom Block)

Burton. No star was more daring than Burton in that string of incredibly weird allegedly bad movies he did from the late sixties well into the seventies. Imagine Brad Pitt jumping on board Doctor Faustus, Hammersmith is Out and The Medusa Touch. Or any of those Dick Movies. (Matthew David Wilder)

Roger Livesey was in some of my favorite movies, while I don't think Burton was ever in a movie I actually liked. Burton was the more interesting personality, and a better actor. 
(Robert Fiore)

Livesey is one of the most romantic leading men ever. See Michael Powell's I Know Where I'm Going. (Anne Thompson)

"Roger... I have some terrible news..." (Patrick)

Burton in Night of the Iguana & Virginia Woolf just barely edge out Livesey in the Archers movies. (Jeff Gee)

 Livesey. Burton never made a Powell-Pressburger movie. (Larry Aydlette)

 The most painful answer in the bunch, because the Siren has been immersed in Burton's diaries, and they are nonstop joy, fascination and delight. But the Siren cannot live without I Know Where I'm Going!. Livesey. (Self-Styled Siren)

I’d take Richard Harris over either one. (Weigard)

I’ll go against the expected go-against-the-expected here, and say Burton.  Livesey was great but within a fairly narrow range. Burton was spectacularly reckless with his talent and could be downright awful, but occasional hit extraordinary heights. (Roderick Heath)

11) Is there a movie you staunchly refuse to consider seeing? If so, why?

Thousands! Because life is too short. (David Cairns)

I have no desire to see Natural Born Killers again. In college we took an exchange student who claimed he had never seen a theatrical film before and he threw up halfway through and had to leave. The guilt is still with me. (Steve Rust)

Anything that insults my intelligence and/or is depressing. Or both. Identity Thief would be a current choice. (Mike Schlesinger)

A Serbian Film (2010) because, metaphor or not, I find the violent and pornographic exploitation of children reprehensible. (Tony Dayoub)

Ken Loach’s Kes. I know the movie is highly praised. I was curious when I first heard about it and, [spoiler alert] unfortunately, could not avoid reading about the horrible ending. I just don’t think I could bear watching the film now knowing that something that tragic and maddeningly cruel was awaiting a child. (Robert T. Daniel)

Gus Van Sant's Psycho. It's offensive to me on so many levels and, really, what's the point? (Edward Copeland)

I’ve always kind of avoided seeing Salo, but I don’t know if that falls under ‘staunchly refuses’. Mostly I just don’t think about what I don’t want to see. I’m not even sure that my not seeing any of the Saw series has to do with anything other than mild apathy. How about any movie that stars Gerard Butler? (Mr. Peel)
      Only one. Harold and Maude. I refuse to see Harold and Maude and I refuse to read The Catcher in the Rye.. I passed on this as a youth and I intend to keep it that way for obvious reasons. (Matthew David Wilder)
      I'm not a horror movie guy generally, and I would say I pointedly avoid horror movies where characters get mutilated. But, here's my perversity: I will watch an action picture like 13 Assassins, which might have been better titled Total Massacre, and be happy as a clam, but the far less violent Audition I found distasteful. (Robert Fiore)
      Titanic. Just because enough people already have seen it. (Thom McGregor)

Lots, but first thought is A Serbian Film. (The Siren strongly advises her gentlest readers not even to Google that one if they don't know it.) Because why would I? The people who boast about how they can sit through anything, do they believe someone greets you at the Pearly Gates to say "Dude, you made it through Cannibal Holocaust! Here's your door prize!" The Siren considers hard-core images of degradation and sadism to be brain pollution. Not to mention a colossal waste of her precious time on earth, considering she just looked at Lloyd Bacon's filmography and realized she's got dozens left. (Self-Styled Siren)

I think I've survived just fine all this time without seeing Salo, so that's a film I think is best left that way. (Sean Axmaker)

Antichrist. And you KNOW why. (Jeff Gee)  

I don’t think I’ll ever watch the opening scene to Saving Private Ryan. I don’t want those images in my head, and I think I might get sick to my stomach. (wwolfe)

“Staunchly refuse” makes it sound like a large, conscious moral decision, but between my disinterest in the director, my unwillingness to support such a project, and the descriptions of it being such a turn-off, I won’t be seeing The Passion of the Christ any time soon. Frankly, I wasn’t crazy about The Last Temptation of Christ either, but the idea of Christians protesting it while turning out in record numbers for Passion sums up a lot of what’s sorry about America. (Tom Block)

So many. Lately, Les Miserables. I don't like the material and I don't like Tom Hooper's previous movie. (Larry Aydlette)

Sure-- I'll never see The Passion of the Christ, a film whose existence bothered me so much that I openly mocked it to folks standing in line for tickets as I left the multiplex (I'm both ashamed and unashamed of that). Otherwise, I think there are films I probably won't see, for a variety of reasons, but that I'm not staunchly against ever seeing. For instance, my difficulty with films about mental illness means I've never seen Shock Corridor, despite my admiration for Samuel Fuller. I have trouble watching films about the suffering of the elderly (especially after Umberto D. just destroyed me-- god, that scene with the dog and the train! I get shudders and a lump in the throat just typing this). This means it will probably be awhile before I get around to Amour or Make Way for Tomorrow. And then there are those films I've skipped out of sheer cussedness, just because I got sick of people telling me "YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!!" Or worse, the various internet discussions around various films that make you sound like a bad cinephile if you haven't seen fill-in-the-blank (be patient and I'll get to you eventually, Holy Motors). (Brian Doan)

Pink Flamingos. Saw a few scenes in a class that nearly made me vomit. Which, I know, might be the point, but I’m good. (Scott Nye)

Gruesome horror flicks-- Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th,Saw, Hostel. That said, I can handle gross and scary, from Halloween and Dawn of the Dead to They Came from Within and Walking Dead. They just have to be well-written and directed. (Anne Thompson)

The Passion of the Christ. One, I know how it ends. Two, the hypocrisy over the violent and bloody content that is nothing less than torture porn getting a pass as long as it's "educational." And third, despite all the props for historical accuracy and being in the original Aramaic, our Lord and Savior was still played by a white guy. (W.B. Kelso)

Oh, I reckon it’s probably now A Serbian Film. I guess being on the second half of life, and being cursed with a long memory, I’ve come to a point where there’s some things I don’t wish to see. Mainly, because I can’t un-see them (at least while I’m still walking the planet). Much like “Life is too short to read bad books,” knowing I’m not going to enjoy something that crosses a line for me is just not worth the screen time. There are too many other good and varied film I’ve yet to see that I’d rather give the limited time I have toward. I’m sure others will disagree (which is okay), but there it is. (Michael Alatorre)

12) Favorite filmmaker collaboration

Director Chuck Jones, writer Michael Maltese, voice actor Mel Black. Screwball surrealism meets vaudeville existentialism in on 7-minute cartoon after another. (Sean Axmaker)

RoBurt productions (Robert Aldrich and Burt Reynolds) (Larry Aydlette)

      John Williams and Spielberg in E.T. People forget how avant-garde this movie is. No movie so small was composed entirely in such a massive, whamming, Wagnerian way. The ratio of size-of-score to size-of-movie is unique in cinema--and it works. The movie is druglike, a dream. It is as if the images and music are flowing out of one mind. (Matthew David Wilder)
       Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan? (Better together than apart, anyway.) (estienne64)

Samuel Peckinpah and Warren Oates. (Katherine Wilson)

Cary Grant is the only actor I ever loved in my whole life. --Alfred Hitchcock (Brian Doan)

Rudy Wurlitzer and Robert Frank’s codirection of Candy Mountain. (Josh K.)

Lucky McKee and Trygve Allister Diesen’s Red. Unless anthology films count, in which case it’s edged out by Rampo Noir. (xterminal)

John McTiernan and Jan DeBont were never as good apart as they were together (The Hunt for Red October,Die Hard). Same with Peter Bogdanovich and Polly Platt (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon). (Anne Thompson)

Ernst Lubitsch and Samson Raphelson. (Robert Fiore)

Paul Thomas Anderson and Jonny Greenwood. (Thom McGregor)

13) Most recently viewed movie on DVD/Blu-ray/theatrical?

Sam Raimi's Oz the Great and Powerful at El Capitan on Hollywood Boulevard, complete with organ player. (Anne Thompson)

John Milius’ The Wind and the Lion on DVD. It was all right. Milius in interviews is often much more interesting than his films. The Master on Blu-ray. I’m pretty much watching sections of it every day now. Skin Game at the New Beverly. As for new movies, Oz the Great and Powerful at the Vista. I’m not seeing many new films these days. Lousy digital projection. (Mr. Peel)

DVD - Simon, starring Alan Arkin. Theatrical - Django Unchained. (Patrick)

The Sting. I still love it. (Thom McGregor)

Watched Heaven With a Barbed Wire Fence on DVD from the 20th Century Fox Cinema archives last night. But if you include streaming, I just signed up for a free Hulu Plus trial and saw The Murderer Lives at Number 21 via Roku. (Sean Axmaker)

I introduced my fiancé to No Country for Old Men last weekend. Like most people, she was puzzled by the ending at first, but she appreciated it overall. (Robert T. Daniel)

DVD – Robert Benton’s Bad Company  Theatrical – Werner Herzog and Dmitry Vasyukov’s Happy People (Josh K.)

DVD - A Celtic Pilgrimage with John O'Donahue. (Steven Rust)

DVD: Hollywood Hotel (1937). More Busby Berkeley mayhem with an incredible jam-session in the middle, where Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa really cut loose and wail. BluRay: Forbidden Planet (1956). Theatrical: Skyfall (2012). Streaming: Violence(1947). And yes, dammit, VHS: Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933). (Note to self: watch more Joan Blondell musicals.) (W.B. Kelso)

DVD is Creation, the Paul Bettany Darwin movie, of all things. Theatrically, it’s been a Chilean weekend, as I saw Night Across the Street yesterday and No today. (weepingsam)

DVD: Heaven's Gate. Haven't seen a movie in a theater since...I can't remember. (Larry Aydlette)

Holy Motors/Arnold’s Wuthering Heights/some noir thing. (Tom Block)

On DVD, The Detective (Alec Guinness as Father Brown), on Blu-ray Jour de Fete, in the theater Silver Linings Playbook, and just before that Tristana. (Robert Fiore

14) Favorite line of dialogue from a horror movie

“Speak. I know you have a civil tongue in your head because I sewed it back myself." (W.B. Kelso)

"Yeah, they're dead. They're... all messed up." - Sheriff McClelland, Night of the Living Dead (Patrick)

"I never" (Self-Styled Siren)

 "I live in the weak and the wounded, Doc." from Session 9, but it needs to be in context. (Dave Stewart)

Willie Best inThe Ghost Breakers: "If you IS a ghost, this ain't gonna do me no good. If you AIN'T a ghost this ain't gonna do YOU no good." (leo86)

My favorite line is actually misremembered, and I like it best the way I misremember it, which is "Any man would be proud to be buried in that coffin!", spoken by Peter Lorre in Comedy of Terrors. (Robert Fiore)

"I can't lie to you about your chances, but... you have my sympathies." - Ash (Ian Holm), Alien (1979) (Tony Dayoub)

"Why do so many online friends write about horror movies all the time?" Oh, sorry, that's MY favorite line of dialogue about horror movies. (Larry Aydlette)

“Was the smudge trying to warn Clive of danger?" a true WTF moment from The Asphyx. 
(David Cairns)

"Supernatural, perhaps. Baloney, perhaps not."— The Black Cat (Mike Schlesinger)

"They're coming to get you, Barbara!" from George Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead. Indeed. (Anne Thompson)

As a line - “are we not men?” - takes the prize - the whole sequence maybe. “What is the law?” I’m afraid a lot of the things that come to mind for horror films are really comedy lines - Herbert West’s “You’re not even a second rate scientist!” or Dwight Frye’s delivery of “It’s a very fresh one!” Though I suppose Karloff’s “We belong dead!” would be another strong contender. (weepingsam)

 I’ve never been a very big fan of horror movies, so I’m going to fudge a little bit here – “Blücher!” (Weigard)
"     "We all go a little mad sometimes." (Steven Rust)

      15)   Second favorite Oliver Stone film

I'm very hard-pressed to think of one, because everything else falls apart under Stone's endless posturing to be the Biggest Guy In The Room. Weirdly (because I find his conspiracy theories sophomoric), I guess it's JFK-- it's a remarkably stupid film, but one with a feverish desire to slide, skid and surf across the surface of cinema, to get high on the images and try to get us movie-drunk, too. Ignore Stone's tenuous grasp of history-- I suspect his obsession with the Zapruder film has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with the garish, Roger Cormanesque qualities of the bullet smashing the President's head back. It's Stone's ultimate found object. (Brian Doan)

Savages (Larry Aydlette)

Heaven and Earth. (leo86)

Any Given Sunday. Looking down the list I realize I've hardly actually sat all the way through any of his films. (Robert Fiore)

 JFK. A long way behind Salvador, but it does at least have Donald Sutherland's monologue and Kevin Bacon's killer line: 'You don't know shit, 'cause you've never been fucked in the ass.' (estienne64)

After Salvador, it's all just a quagmire. (David Cairns)

There’s no real answer since Salvador is the only one I’d willingly sit through again. I’m interested in Savages, though. (Tom Block)

Talk Radio is the only Stone film I can stand, so I guess all the others are tied for second. (Josh K.)

Nixon (1995). It's really the most involving of his political pictures because it promotes Stone's personal agenda the least. Or at least it feels that way because most folks feel the same way towards Nixon as Stone does. That being said, Stone does surprise by looking for the humanity in the man. (My favorite Stone film is U-Turn (1997).) (Tony Dayoub)

W., believe it or not. I think it's a brilliant black comedy. (Craig)

       16)   Eva Mendes or Raquel Welch?

Welch, I guess, although Rita Hayworth blows them both out of the water. (Brian Doan)

Mendes, with the understanding that I haven’t seen a lot of the “you were thinking what when you accepted that role?” stuff of hers. (xterminal)

Raquel Welch for One Million Years B.C., Kansas City Bomber, and Myra Breckinridge. (Dave Stewart)

Raquel all the way. But I like your thinking. (estienne64)

Back in the day, just saying her name conjured up an image, even to people who'd never seen her act. Say Mendes's name, and millions will say, "Which one is she again?" (Patrick)

Raquel. Anybody my age saying different is unfathomable to me. (Jeff Gee)

Welch, but she never did much for me beyond the obvious. Fonda, Bardot, Christie, MacLaine—these were the ones that drove me wild in the ’60s. Unfortunately, most of them are crazy today. (Tom Block)

You know what? Eva Mendes is a really good actor. Give it to her. (Mr. Peel)

Raquel never seemed at ease in front of the movie camera. Eva was fun in The Other Guys – or, more accurately, Mark Wahlberg’s disbelief at the sight of Will Ferrell married to Eva Mendes was fun – so I could lean her direction. However, The Three Musketeers was a really good movie, where Richard Lester managed to find a way to use Raquel’s awkwardness as a comic asset. So I’ll go with Raquel. (Plus, the poster from One Million Years, B.C. was iconic, even if the movie was not.) (wwolfe)

Oh, come on now. Raquel Welch. The thing is, Raquel Welch was frustrating because you knew she was never actually going to get naked, and it's not like you'd watch her for her acting. (Robert Fiore)

Eva Mendes - worked with Werner Herzog and Leos Carax. End of argument. (Sean Axmaker)

The only Raquel Welch movie I’ve seen is Legally Blonde? Oh dear. I’ll accept my F and move on. (Weigard)

Eva Mendes, because she's a better actress. And because, like me, she's Cuban-American. (Tony Dayoub)



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