Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Quiz Time!

Dennis Cozzalio has another movie quiz going on at his blog Sergio Leone And The Infield Fly Rule. This one is entitled the "Dr. Zachary Smith's Lost in the Space at the end of Summer movie quiz". I love participating in these (though I missed the last one) and reading everyone else's answers. If you can, pop over and contribute. Here's what I submitted:

1) Your favorite musical moment in a movie

- In "Almost Famous" when young William Miller drops the needle on The Who's album "Tommy" and we transition several years ahead as Townsend's guitar kicks in.
- The fun and energy of "How could you believe me when I said I love you when you know I've been a liar all my life?" from Stanley Donen's "Royal Wedding".
- The moment a woman in a bathtub begins singing in "You, The Living" - I've only seen it once and it still gives me chills...
- Just about anything from "Young Girls Of Rochefort".

2) Ray Milland or Dana Andrews

Milland feels like a long time favourite friendly uncle that I might see at family gatherings once a year. Andrews is the new grumpy boyfriend of one of the aunts who won't speak to any of the kids unless it's to get them to bring him another beer. So if I'm watching a film, it's gotta be Andrews...

3) Favorite Sidney Lumet movie

"Network" and "12 Angry Men" are (at least for the moment) tied right at the top of my favourite films of all time list. So I guess that makes them my favourite Lumet movies too.

4) Biggest surprise of the just-past summer movie season

That I managed to avoid having to go see "Clone Wars" with my son (he went to it as part of a friend's birthday party). Phew!

5) Gene Tierney or Rita Hayworth

Tierney is splendiferously gorgeous and always came across with a sense of mystery about her. Sorry Rita.

6) What’s the last movie you saw on DVD? In theaters?

On DVD, it was my first viewing of the Canadian classic "Mon Oncle Antoine". It starts a bit slow, but the middle section is chock full of wonderful slices of rural Quebec life. I was taken aback a little by where things ended, but after thinking it over for a bit it feels like an appropriate place to end his "coming of age" - he learns a great deal about love and trust.

In the theatre, I just saw "Man On Wire" which was a completely compelling amazing documentary about Philippe Petit's high wire walk between the World Trade Centre towers in 1974.

7) Irwin Allen’s finest hour?

"The Towering Inferno" - Newman, McQueen, Holden, Dunaway and thousands of gallons of water pouring over them...Without CGI!

8) What were the films where you would rather see the movie promised by the poster than the one that was actually made?

"Detroit Rock City" promised a good time road movie with friends having fun on their way to see the band Kiss. I saw no evidence of any fun and certainly did not have a good time.

9) Chow Yun-Fat or Tony Leung

Chow Yun-Fat was beyond all previously known limits of cool in John Woo's Hong Kong films, but Leung has spanned many different genres and is the superior actor.

10) Most pretentious movie ever

Hal Hartley's "The Girl From Monday". Claptrap. Flapdoodle.

Of course, the Oscar winning "Crash" was a condescending lecture, so that probably belongs near the top as well.

11) Favorite Russ Meyer movie

"Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill". Also the only Meyer movie I've seen. But it was quite a lot of fun if not, you know, good.

12) Name the movie that you feel best reflects yourself, a movie you would recommend to an acquaintance that most accurately says, “This is me.”

"Airplane" or "Raising Arizona" - not that I'm overly funny or absurd myself, but I appreciate those qualities. Recently, "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" - I just feel like I'm all bundled up when I watch that film.

13) Marlene Dietrich or Greta Garbo

Dietrich, if only because she was the inspiration for Lili Von Shtupp.

14) Best movie snack? Most vile movie snack?

The very refreshing Junior Mints or anything with chocolate and mint together. As far as vile goes, those nacho chips with the thick gooey cheese dipping sauce make my stomach churn just thinking about them.

15) Current movie star who would be most comfortable in the classic Hollywood studio system

Edward Norton - then he couldn't be tempted to tamper with scripts and try change the director's intent. He could just act.

16) Fitzcarraldo—yes or no?

Yes. Even if the rest of it was terrible (and some of it is pretty slow), the sequence pulling the boat over the mountain is just fascinating - not just to watch it, but even just as a concept ("he did what?!?!").

17) Your assignment is to book the ultimate triple bill to inaugurate your own revival theater. What three movies will we see on opening night?

"Midnight", "Ball Of Fire" and "One, Two, Three" - great rapid fire screenplays with elements of screwball to each of them. And they all just happen to be co-written by Billy Wilder. They're all dated to a certain extent, but that doesn't impact any of the laughs.

18) What’s the name of your theater? (The all-time greatest answer to this question was once provided by Larry Aydlette, whose repertory cinema, the Demarest, is, I hope, still packing them in…)

I can't compete with Aydlette! Maybe something like "The Movie Parlour" - makes it sound inviting and relaxing.

19) Favorite Leo McCarey movie

It's hard to go against "Duck Soup" ain't it? He may have had a stronger hand in directing the comedy in "The Awful Truth" though - and that was pretty terrific as well.

20) Most impressive debut performance by an actor/actress.

Jean-Pierre Leaud was likely just playing himself in "The 400 Blows", but his character was so strong that he played it again in three other feature films as the character grew up (technically, it may have been his second film, but are we really going to split hairs?).

21) Biggest disappointment of the just-past summer movie season

That I haven't seen "WALL-E" yet.

22) Michelle Yeoh or Maggie Cheung

Maggie Cheung is the single most "watchable" presence on screen I've ever come across - not just because she is gorgeous (and dammit she is), but because she just radiates warmth. I love Yeoh too, but I can't take my eyes off Maggie when she's on screen.

23) 2008 inductee into the Academy of the Overrated

I don't understand the love for "Breakfast At Tiffany's" - and that's coming from someone who pretty much adores Audrey Hepburn.

24) 2008 inductee into the Academy of the Underrated

Both "The Ox-Bow Incident" and "Royal Wedding" jumped to mind as, if not neglected, just not as praised as they should be.

25) Fritz the Cat—yes or no?

No. I'm glad it's out there and I love the fact they did something so anti-everything in a cartoon. There are some scenes that are pretty cool, but that style of animation just makes me slightly ill for some reason.

26) Trevor Howard or Richard Todd

Richard Todd was in "Asylum" and "Stage Fright" which ain't too shabby, but Trevor Howard has "The Third Man", "Green For Danger" and "Brief Encounter" in his back pocket. What the hell would I do without IMDB?

27) Antonioni once said, “I began taking liberties a long time ago; now it is standard practice for most directors to ignore the rules.” What filmmaker working today most fruitfully ignores the rules? What does ignoring the rules of cinema mean in 2008?

Steven Soderbergh and Richard Linklater seem to be two American directors that love to bounce between experimenting in artier realms and then doing something a bit more mainstream. Sometimes they do both at once.

28) Favorite William Castle movie

"House On Haunted Hill" - I thought it would be cheesy minor fun. I didn't expect to actually be scared and even jump during a few parts. When that old lady crept in off the side of the screen I think I actually said out loud "Oh shit!"

29) Favorite ethnographically oriented movie

Depending on how you read that question, it could really encompass a huge range of films that set themselves in specific times/places and have strong characters who exist within that scope. The above mentioned "Mon Oncle Antoine" is a great example of this - showing the culture and community of rural Quebec in the 40s.

30) What’s the movie coming up in 2008 you’re most looking forward to? Why?

"Synecdoche, New York" - because it's Charlie Kaufman and I have no idea where it'll take me.

31) What deceased director would you want to resurrect in order that she/he might make one more film?

There's so many of course, but the one that jumped to mind (and these quizzes are all about what comes to mind first - not long thought out perfect answers) is Jacques Demy. He left too soon and I'd like to think he had another "Bay Of Angels" or "Lola" in him (I'll skip mentioning his musicals, because you just can't reclaim that kind of magic).

32) What director would you like to see, if not literally entombed, then at least go silent creatively?

Is it too obvious to say Michael Bay? Yeah? OK, in that case I'll still say Michael Bay.

33) Your first movie star crush

I think it may have been Kristy McNichol...I seem to remember liking her in that awful TV show "Family" (or whatever it was) before she moved into awful movies.

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