Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Kubrick, Hargenson, Goulet

I realized today that, while in the middle of completing my movie, I completely forgot about the most recent quiz at SLIFR. I'm hoping the esteemed Professor Snape will accept the movie as extra credit to make up for my tardiness; unfortunately, he's not known for his leniency.

1) Second-favorite Stanley Kubrick film.


2) Most significant/important/interesting trend in movies over the past decade, for good or evil.

The most interesting to me is the trend of movies that mix romance and sci-fi to explore love from a metaphysical point of view. These include A.I., Solaris, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Birth and The Fountain.

3) Bronco Billy (Clint Eastwood) or Buffalo Bill Cody (Paul Newman)?

Buffalo Bill

4) Best Film of 1949.

The Third Man

5) Joseph Tura (Jack Benny) or Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore)?

Joseph Tura

6) Has the hand-held shaky-cam directorial style become a visual cliché?

Seeing as most of my film is hand-held, I sure hope not! Actually, it has become a visual cliche, though I still think it's a valid way to shoot a film. They key, I think, is not to purposefully shake the camera but to try to hold it as still as possible, which better recreates the sensation of seeing through our own eyes.

7) What was the first foreign-language film you ever saw?

Dubbed Godzilla and Pippi Longstalking movies aside, I think it was Ran.

8) Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) or Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre)?

Mr. Moto, but I'm not a big fan of either.

9) Favorite World War II drama (1950-1970).

The Bridge on the River Kwai

10) Favorite animal movie star.

Philip Marlowe's nitpicky cat in The Long Goodbye.

11) Who or whatever is to blame, name an irresponsible moment in cinema.

Breakfast at Tiffany's is a lovely film that I can't bring myself to buy because of Mr. Yunioshi.

12) Best Film of 1969.


13) Name the last movie you saw theatrically, and also on DVD or Blu-ray.

In theatres, Halloween II - some interesting ideas sandwiched between a whole lot of ridiculousness, but I won't count Rob Zombie out yet. On DVD, Woyzeck.

14) Second-favorite Robert Altman film.

McCabe and Mrs. Miller

15) What is your favorite independent outlet for reading about movies, either online or in print?

Glenn Kenny's blog is indispensible, and becoming an independent outlet has made his writing far more eclectic and entertaining.

16) Who wins? Angela Mao or Meiko Kaji? (Thanks, Peter!)

I must admit that I'm not familiar with Meiko Kaji - looking at her IMDb page, it's time to get familiar.

17) Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) or Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly)?

Olive Neal. Rarrr.

18) Favorite movie that features a carnival setting or sequence.

The Elephant Man

19) Best use of high-definition video on the big screen to date.

I loved the inky blacks and sharp contrasts of Public Enemies (though it's worth noting that even Michael Mann and David Fincher, easily the best directors working in HD right now, still rely on celluloid for some scenes).

20) Favorite movie that is equal parts genre film and a deconstruction or consideration of that same genre.

Kill Bill

21) Best Film of 1979.

Apocalypse Now. Great year.

22) Most realistic and/or sincere depiction of small-town life in the movies.

The opening scenes of A History of Violence did a great job of evoking average, peaceful small-town days to the point where I could almost smell the autumn leaves, making the rest of the movie much more disturbing.

23) Best horror movie creature (non-giant division).

The chestburster.

24) Second-favorite Francis Ford Coppola film.

The Godfather Part II

25) Name a one-off movie that could have produced a franchise you would have wanted to see.

Still waiting for Buckaroo Banzai vs. The World Crime League.

26) Favorite sequence from a Brian De Palma film.

The buildup to the bloody baptism in Carrie. I love how De Palma prolongs the inevitable to the point of frustration, the slow motion coupled with Pino Donaggio's score toying with both our empathy for Carrie and our desire to see the prank played out. I love how Sue's attempt to stop it is thwarted by the gym teacher who assumes Sue is there to hurt Carrie - one of many examples in De Palma of terrible things happening as the result of miscommunication. And the close-up of Chris Hargensen licking her cherry-red lips, turned on by her sadistic plan, is probably my favorite shot in the De Palma canon.

27) Favorite moment in three-strip Technicolor.

From Vertigo: Judy emerging from the hotel bathroom, bathed in green light and reborn as Madeliene, as Bernard Herrmann's score swells on the soundtrack.

28) Favorite Alan Smithee film. (Thanks, Peter!)

Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes (Smithee was co-director)

29) Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) or Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau)?

Buttermaker, no contest. I always thought Crash Davis was a douchebag.

30) Best post-Crimes and Misdemeanors Woody Allen film.

I have a soft spot for Sweet and Lowdown.

31) Best Film of 1999.

In a year almost as competetive as 1979, Eyes Wide Shut

32) Favorite movie tag line.

"Man is the warmest place to hide."

33) Favorite B-movie western.

I used to love watching B-westerns with my grandfather, but I have to admit that the titles and movies are blurred together. For some reason, the only one I can distinctly remember right now is The Shakiest Gun in the West.

34) Overall, the author best served by movie adaptations of her or his work.

Both Mario Puzo and Peter Benchley were lucky to have their biggest hits immensely improved on film.

35) Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn) or Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard)?

Susan Vance

36) Favorite musical cameo in a non-musical movie.

Robert Goulet serenading a distraught Susan Sarandon in Atlantic City.

37) Bruno (the character, if you haven’t seen the movie, or the film, if you have): subversive satire or purveyor of stereotyping?

I don't know if I'd go with subversive, but anything that creates gay panic in super-straight dudes is okay by me.

38) Five film folks, living or deceased, you would love to meet. (Thanks, Rick!)

I could name five hundred, of course, but if I had power over life and death to arrange a meeting, I'd love to have dinner with five wildly different directors and let the sparks fly. Let's go with Martin Scorsese, John Waters, Sam Peckinpah, Jean Cocteau and Dario Argento.