Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Summer School for CinemaGeeks

Though summer is supposed to be vacation time, Mr. Dennis Cozzalio of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule blog insists on assigning home work - blaming it on poor Alan Rickman.... Yes, it's PROFESSOR SEVERUS SNAPE’S SORCERER-TASTIC, MUGGALICIOUS MID-SUMMER MOVIE QUIZ - 38 questions to be answered.... I've certainly been loafing my summer away, but I think I have managed to answer this - so - here goes:

1) Second-favorite Stanley Kubrick film.
A: The Killing

2) Most significant/important/interesting trend in movies over the past decade, for good or evil.
A: I think I have to say, the change in media. The shift from film to digital video; and the shift from film for exhibition to, again, digital forms of exhibition and distribution - from DVDs to digital projection to the internet. In fact - yes - this is what matters most, I think. I don’t know what it is going to do to the art form - but art follows technology, and I expect what emerges from the new systems of production and distribution will have its own value.

3) Bronco Billy (Clint Eastwood) or Buffalo Bill Cody (Paul Newman)?
A: Buffalo Bill - when in doubt, it’s always Altman.

4) Best Film of 1949.
A: Late Spring, easily.

5) Joseph Tura (Jack Benny) or Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore)?
A: Jaffe - that’s one of the great characters of the 30s.

6) Has the hand-held shaky-cam directorial style become a visual cliché?
A: as much as anything, no more than anything else. It is, but you can say than about almost everything.

7) What was the first foreign-language film you ever saw?
A: I don’t know for sure. Some of the earliest ones I remember were Seven Samurai, the Seventh Seal - I think I saw them on TV somewhere, but I don’t remember when. I definitely saw Ivan the Terrible in 1986 or so, but I was used to subtitles by then, so I must have seen something. Seven Samurai and Seventh Seal were two of the earliest I deliberately sat down to watch, I know that.

8) Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) or Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre)
A: Probably Lorre, though I haven’t seen much of either.

9) Favorite World War II drama (1950-1970).
A: I would say Kon Ichikawa’s Fires on the Plain.

10) Favorite animal movie star.
A: I thought this would be harder, but - a bunch of us were talking about the Thin Man at work - that’s the answer! Asta!

11) Who or whatever is to blame, name an irresponsible moment in cinema.
A: Not sure what this means, exactly. I suppose I might as well take the opportunity to express, for the first time in a couple years, just how godawfully insultingly stupid Life is Beautiful is. It's all right, kiddies, just pretend it didn't happen and it will be like it never happened! hooray!

12) Best Film of 1969.
A: A Touch of Zen?

13) Name the last movie you saw theatrically, and also on DVD or Blu-ray.
A: Since it's taking me most of a month to answer... when I started - 7/17/2009 - the answer was: Tetro in the theater; Happy Feet on DVD... As of 7/25/09: In the Loop in theaters; Lang's Spiders on DVD. Today? 8/5/2009: Hands Over the City on DVD; The Lost World (1925 of course) in a theater; Up new in a theater (though that's almost second run, too...) [Just a coincidence, by the way, seeing Up and the Lost World so close together... a nice one of course. You can work Spiders in there as well - hot air balloons flying to South America?]

14) Second-favorite Robert Altman film.

15) What is your favorite independent outlet for reading about movies, either online or in print?
A: CinemaScope? Or Bordwell and Thompson’s blog?

16) Who wins? Angela Mao or Meiko Kaji? (Thanks, Peter!)
A: I can’t really say, I don’t know how many times I have seen one of them (especially Mao) without knowing it - but I remember Meiko Kaji, so I’ll say her.

17) Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) or Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly)?
A: Lean toward Tomei . . . in fact - it’s almost always Tomei, who is gorgeous, and wonderful, in everything she does.

18) Favorite movie that features a carnival setting or sequence.
A: I’ll say some came running, maybe especially since I get to include a picture!

19) Best use of high-definition video on the big screen to date.
A: Zodiac? Che? Both are first rate. Zodiac, I suppose, gets the nod for being more specifically built around DV - the lighting possibilities and so on. Che is just gorgeous, but it would be just as gorgeous or more on 35. Zodiac would kind of have to be a different looking film.

20) Favorite movie that is equal parts genre film and a deconstruction or consideration of that same genre.
A: There are probably lots of these - I might as well say McCabe and Mrs. Miller - which is and subverts everything it is exquisitely.

21) Best Film of 1979.
A: Kieslowski’s Camera Buff

22) Most realistic and/or sincere depiction of small-town life in the movies.
A: Not sure. The art film division probably starts with Hou Hsiao Hsien and Wu Nien-jen - City of Sadness, A Time to Live a Time to Die, A Borrowed Life . . . though if I wanted to be perverse, I could say Satantango . . . American - Some Came Running is in there; so are Preston Sturges’ small town films - Miracle of Morgan Creek, Hail the Conquoring Hero. Or maybe it’s Local Hero . . . Or better - Whiskey Galore?

23) Best horror movie creature (non-giant division).
A: A really good question . . . Bridgitte Lin?

24) Second-favorite Francis Ford Coppola film.
A: The Godfather Part I.

25) Name a one-off movie that could have produced a franchise you would have wanted to see.
A: DArkman comes to mind. Though actually - just about any of the Coen brothers’ films would count - Marge? The Dude? Ulysses Everett McGill? Hi and Ed McDunnough? You bet I’d pay to see more of any of them.

26) Favorite sequence from a Brian De Palma film.
A: I can’t really answer this

27) Favorite moment in three-strip Technicolor.
A: Probably something from The Adventures of Robin Hood.

28) Favorite Alan Smithee film. (Thanks, Peter!)
A: I’m not sure how to find this - I don’t think I’ve seen any of the classics listed on IMDB . . .

29) Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) or Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau)?
A: Buttermaker, of course.

30) Best post-Crimes and Misdemeanors Woody Allen film.
A: Husbands and Wives is actually pretty good. The only one since then that counts as a genuinely good movie (of those I have seen.)

31) Best Film of 1999.
A: Charisma - Kurosawa’s . . . (where’s 89? City of Sadness, is that answer.)

32) Favorite movie tag line.
A: I can't answer this on demand. I will think of it sometime tomorrow, in the middle of a meeting or walking home...

33) Favorite B-movie western.
A: I'm not sure what counts as a B - but if it is, Seven Men from Now seems like an obvious choice. And 40 Guns, especially given the final question below...

34) Overall, the author best served by movie adaptations of her or his work.
A: Well - why not Dashiell Hammett? The Thin Man films, Maltese Falcon, all the various versions of the Glass Key and Red Harvest - why not?

35) Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn) or Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard)?
A: I’ll have to say Susan Vance.

36) Favorite musical cameo in a non-musical movie.
A: I could probably come up with more, but it’s hard to beat Ricky Nelson and Dino in Rio Bravo.

37) Bruno (the character, if you haven’t seen the movie, or the film, if you have): subversive satire or purveyor of stereotyping?
A: satire - whether it works or not, I don’t know.

38) Five film folks, living or deceased, you would love to meet. (Thanks, Rick!)
A: Nice question.... Well? 1) Barbara Stanwyck, for I am a groupie. 2) Sam Fuller, of course. 3) Boris Karloff, because not only was he in so many great films - he’s supposed to have been a really nice guy. 4) Speaking of Karloff - Val Lewton. 5) Jean Luc Godard - because - you gotta have Godard. And Jacques Rivette. They’re both alive, so I get the extra one, right?

1 comment:

RC said...

Very nice -- -love your answers.

Love Asta too!