SISTER CLODAGH'S SUPERFICIALLY SPIRITUAL, AMBITIOUSLY AGNOSTIC LAST-RITES-OF-SPRING MOVIE QUIZ
1) Favorite movie featuring nuns
A: How about Rivette's The Nun?
2) Second favorite John Frankenheimer movie
A: Seconds, right?
3) William Bendix or Scott Brady?
A: I think I'd say William Bendix
4) What movie, real or imagined, would you stand in line six hours to see? Have you ever done so in real life?
A: I have not done this. There are undoubtedly films I would, though - Out 1? if you're gonna spend 13 hours watching it, what's another 6 waiting for it?
5) Favorite Mitchell Leisen movie
A: Easy Living seems the obvious answer.
6) Ann Savage or Peggy Cummins?
A: I think it's Peggy Cummins
7) First movie you remember seeing as a child
A: The first actual movie I saw was 1776, as a class trip. I saw things on TV, but can't really say what I remember seeing first. My Fair Lady maybe? on TV of course... Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?
8) What moment in a movie that is not a horror movie made you want to bolt from the theater screaming?
A: I can never figure out how to answer these questions. I mean - this stuff happens - and it comes to me, but never when I am thinking about it directly like this.... I recently got to see Satantango again - the kid and the cat have to be on the short list for this sort of thing.
9) Richard Widmark or Robert Mitchum?
A: A very painful choice. Mitchum it is, but Widmark is wonderful.
10) Best movie Jesus
A: Enrique Irozoqui, in Gospel According to Matthew. Though I'm tempted to say Justin Theroux in The Ten - the best Jesus joke anyway.
11) Silliest straight horror film that you’re still fond of
A: In Dreams, maybe? is that a straight horror film? It's certainly silly. But gorgeous and compelling enough... "Fond" might be a strong word for it, but I'm also reminded of Daybreakers, a pretty awful vampire movie featuring Ethan Hawke and Sam Neill and Willem Dafoe which was oddly appealing...
12) Emily Blunt or Sally Gray?
A: Emily Blunt, I'll say, since I just saw The Five Year Engagement.
13) Favorite cinematic Biblical spectacular
A: Intolerance sounds likely.
14) Favorite cinematic moment of unintentional humor
A: Another one of these... this probably makes me a bad person - but I always thought the people falling off the Titanic were especially ridiculous looking - like a pinball machine. Something about the FX just failed utterly to suspend disbelief. I remember finding it difficult not to laugh...
15) Michael Fassbender or David Farrar?
A: Fassbender is the answer to any question that involves him, I think.
16) Most effective faith-affirming movie
A: O Brother Where Art Thou?
17) Movie that makes the best case for agnosticism
A: The Passion of the Christ?... seriously - shoot - A Serious Man? Especially since it is about the question, more than any kinds of answers.
18) Favorite song and/or dance sequence from a musical
A: Night and Day, in the Gay Divorcee.
19) Third favorite Howard Hawks movie
A: Bringing up Baby, I guess. Which leaves it ahead of Twentieth Century, To Have and Have NOt, Rio Bravo, Scarface - lord...
20) Clara Bow or Jean Harlow?
A: Jean Harlow, who is wonderful, in every way
21) Movie most recently seen in the theater? On DVD/Blu-ray/Streaming?
A: Theater - was Damsels in Distress when I started this, but now it's The Five-Year Engagement; DVD = Letters From Iwo Jima; been a while since I've streamed anything, for a variety of reasons...
22) Most unlikely good movie about religion
A: Would Life of Brian count? though it's not unlikely that it's a good movie - it is unlikely, perhaps, that it is such a good film about religion, as well as a good joke...
23) Phil Silvers or Red Skelton?
A: Man, when I was a kid, a really small kid, I looked forward to 2 television shows - horse racing, and Red Skelton. I don't remember it, other than it was full of pantomime and clowns and what not, and Clem Kadiddlehopper, but I loved it. Phil Silvers can't compete with that.
24) “Favorite” Hollywood scandal
A: good lord, who knows. Ingrid Bergman running off with Roberto Rosselini?
25) Best religious movie (non-Christian)
A: The Burmese Harp, I think, is very hard to beat.
26) The King of Cinema: King Vidor, King Hu or Henry King? (Thanks, Peter)
A: King Hu!
27) Name something modern movies need to relearn how to do that American or foreign classics had down pat
A: Another question I think about often enough, but now, trying to answer it, I can't come up with anything. It pops into my head, that's the problem - I see something and I think, they did this right back in the day - but without the initial inspiration, it doesn't pop into my head. However - usually romantic comedies are fine inspiration for What Is Wrong With Hollywood Today - maybe the problem is that Five Year Engagement was pretty good - maybe that it stayed fairly interesting to the end. That might be the answer - 2 things: 1) classic films knew how to maintain a good start and stay as good at the end as they were in the middle. Contemporary films fall down after the first half hour all the time. 2) Classic filmmakers knew how to tell a story in 90 minutes - 80! 70! How man modern films would, in fact, be quite effective if they stopped at 80 minutes? Knowing how to make movies that are as long as the running time might be the real answer.
28) Least favorite Federico Fellini movie
A: I was quite underwhelmed by Juliet of the Spirits...
29) The Three Stooges (2012)—yes or no?
A: Not going to bother, no.
30) Mary Wickes or Patsy Kelly?
A: I think this is Mary Wickes.
31) Best movie-related conspiracy theory
A: It would be tempting to say something like, Orson Welles directed the Third Man! But that's kind of nonsense, and there are people who act like they really believe it, so, I don't know...
32) Your candidate for most misunderstood or misinterpreted movie
A: Well - I got a lot of mileage out of explaining Inland Empire a few years ago, as part of a misunderstood movies blogathon... not to mention Batman & Robin. But neither of those films, or posts, are exactly about how movies are misunderstood - so - this is another one that I can answer when something reminds me of one of my pet theories - but I can never remember when I am not reminded. Alas. Thinking recently a lot about World War II, though, gets me thinking, in turn, about Japanese films - The Human Condition, say - a superb film (films) - but that, in turn, makes me think about Kobayashi - and his films, I think, are misunderstood a bit. In the sense that politically, he tends to make anti war films - Hara-Kiri, Samurai Rebellion, and The three Human Condition films are all anti-war, anti-militarist films - except they illustrate, all too well, how hard it is to make an anti-war war film. With their superman heroes, their excitement and thrills - they make the spectacle too appealing - they make war too beautiful. So - you could say that - Kobayashi is not alone in making films that seem to advance one message in their stories, but undermine it with their style - but he might be the best...
33) Movie that made you question your own belief system (religious or otherwise)
A: The Hiding Place? I mean - what other possible argument could there be for god but that he makes people do good? and stories like that do make that case at least, at least for a god that's exactly the size of his believers.
[UPDATE - I've had to repost this a couple times - I think I have gotten the new blogger working at last, but it's been a struggle. This post was displaying badly for a while - I think I have it cleaned up enough now, but who knows. I should have known better than to attempt a long post like this before I'd worked out the kinks with this editor...]