Sunday, December 10, 2006
The following are my answers to Professor Dave Jennings' Milton-Free, Universe-Expanding Holiday Midterm, from Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. These are always a blast, and I encourage you to head over to SLIFR and share your own answers.
]1) What was the last movie you saw, either in a theater or on DVD, and why?
Casino Royale, because I love the idea of Daniel Craig as Bond. The film had some problems, but Craig did not disappoint.
2) Name the cinematographer whose work you most look forward to seeing, and an example of one of his/her finest achievements.
Robert Richardson, whose work with Scorsese, Stone and Tarantino demonstrates audacious use of light and color and a pitch-perfect sense of composition. His work on Natural Born Killers is particularly impressive, juggling 35mm, 16mm, super 8 and video to create a kaleidoscopic, hallucinatory experience.
3) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson?
Baker. It's all about the baby oil.
4) Name a moment from a movie that made you gasp (in horror, surprise, revelation…) The reveal at the end of Brazil.
5) Your favorite movie about the movies.
6) Your Favorite Fritz Lang movie.
M, one of the most genuinely unsettling movies ever made.
7) Describe the first time you ever recognized yourself in a movie. When I first saw Blue Velvet at 13, I immediately identified with Jeffrey Beaumont (though it took a long time to admit as much to myself).
8) Carole Bouquet or Angela Molina?
I need to see more Bunuel.
9) Name a movie that redeems the notion of nostalgia as something more than a bankable commodity.
10) Favorite appearance by an athlete in an acting role.
Fred Williamson as Spearchucker (!) in M*A*S*H*.
11) Favorite Hal Ashby movie.
If ever a movie could be described as having a good soul, it's Harold and Maude.
12) Name the first double feature you’d program for opening night of your own revival theater.
Ah, a question I've pondered for years...Alien and E.T.
13) What’s the name of your revival theater?
My first instinct is Cinevistaramascope, but that's probably too cumbersome for newspaper listings. So let's call it The Vista.
14) Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould?
Gould and his cat.
15) Favorite Robert Stevenson movie.
16) Describe your favorite moment in a movie that is memorable because of its use of sound.
The barely audible helicopters that open Apocalypse Now.
17) Pink Flamingoes-- yes or no? I love me some dogshit.
18) Your favorite movie soundtrack score. Vertigo.
19) Fay Wray or Naomi Watts?
I'm going to avoid nostalgia, commodified or otherwise, and go with Naomi Watts.
20) Is there a movie that would make you question the judgment and/or taste of a film critic, blogger or friend if you found out they were an advocate of it? No. It's all about the quality of the argument.
21) Pick a new category for the Oscars and its first deserving winner. Best cameo (this year: Pamela Anderson in Borat).
22) Favorite Paul Verhoeven movie. Robocop, case closed.
23) What is it that you think movies do better than any other art form? Captivate one’s senses.
24) Peter Ustinov or Albert Finney? Albert Finney. His Scrooge is the only one I can stomach, let alone revisit annually.
25) Favorite movie studio logo, as it appears before a theatrical feature. I love the late 70’s/early 80’s tri-color Avco Embassy logo that appears before movies like The Fog and The Howling.
26) Name the single most important book about the movies for you personally. In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch.
27) Name the movie that features the best twist ending. (Please note the use of any “spoilers” in your answer.) Can’t argue with Psycho.
28) Favorite Francois Truffaut movie. Jules and Jim.
29) Olivia Hussey or Claire Danes? Danes by default, but they’re both sort of generic.
30) Your most memorable celebrity encounter. Watching Martin Scorsese direct for an afternoon taught me more than four years of film studies courses.
31) When did you first realize that films were directed? When I first saw Jaws at the age of five and noticed that the director also made E.T. (my then-favorite movie). On some five-year-old level, I began to understand that a director can tell wildly different stories that are still recognizably directed by the same person. Call it my kindergarten introduction to auteur theory.