Thursday, June 30, 2011

15 Questions

I'm suffering a little from blog fatigue right now. Since last September, when I really started to ramp up my efforts here, I've been on kind of a tear and it's starting to burn me out. I didn't even write about all of the queer films I saw this month. There are three that I chose to leave be, mainly because all I had to say about them was that they starred cute boys with a certain idealized "look" and what does that say about the gay male gaze? I never got around to writing my exegesis of gender construction in Looney Tunes, either, though I may come back to that in the future because I've actually done a lot of the preliminary legwork on that. It's a matter of will at this point, and I don't have the will to do the rest. I've also had some real-world things rearing up to bite me in the ass.

So I need to pause for a bit to catch my breath. As a stopgap, I thought I'd answer a movie meme I've seen rattling around the blogosphere. I first saw this over at The Girl with the White Parasol (and pay Rachel a visit, she's a terrific blogger), but I've seen it elsewhere, too. It's fifteen questions about my movie habits. So without further ado...

1. Movie you love with a passion.

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers is so central to my love of movies that I can't imagine life without it, but it's hard for me to say that I love it with a passion. It's not a lovable movie. As a result, my answer is a cliche:

Everyone goes to Rick's...

2. Movie you vow never to watch.

Fight Club is one of my very best friend's favorite movie, so I feel bad for slotting it here, but I so despised David Fincher's first three movies that I made a vow never to watch another of his movies, ever. I've inadvertently broken that vow once (I saw Panic Room a few years ago not realizing that it was Fincher; I hated it). In the meantime, Fincher has become one of the lions of American cinema and I'm told that his last three movies are legitimately great movies, that I'm needlessly depriving myself (and, yes, I DO know how unreasonable I'm being). But fuck it, I'm not going to give in. If I cave on Fight Club (or The Social Network or whatever else) I'm headed down the rat hole. I'd prefer not to go there.

3. Movie that literally left you speechless.

I was a complete wreck after seeing In the Mood for Love for the first time, but there are a LOT of movies that I could slot into this spot. I'm an easier mark for great movies than I let on.

4. Movie you always recommend.

5. Actor/actress you always watch no matter how crappy the movie.

That's easy: Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Helpfully, they made several movies together! Also fortunately: they didn't make very many unwatchably bad movies. In fact, their very presence makes ANY movie watchable. THAT'S star power for you.

6. Actor/actress you don't get the appeal for.

Also easy: Julia Roberts. And not just because she's made more than one movie with Joel Schumacher. She just rubs me the wrong way.

7. Actor/actress, living or dead, you'd love to meet.

I'm sure I'd regret meeting Tallulah Bankhead, but, boy howdy, I'm sure I'd have stories to tell afterward. And who WOULDN'T want to meet George Sanders?

8. Sexiest actor/actress you've seen. (Picture required)

Ooh. This is a toughie. Do I go with Julie Adams in that white one-piece, maybe? Catherine Deneuve is the most inhumanly beautiful actress I've ever seen, but that's not the same as "sexiest." And I'm already on record as saying I'd kill for Jane Greer, but I'll give that a rest. Let's go with this:

Claudia Cardinale, who was "European in the sixties" sexy while being a brunette. That's a hell of a combo for me.

For men? Well, I wouldn't kick Gregory Peck out of bed for eating crackers, that's for sure! And that voice! I'll just leave my panties over in on the chair to dry.

9. Dream cast.

This is completely free-associated:

Plucky girl reporter: Joan Bennett

Male sidekick photographer who secretly loves her: James Cagney

Her acerbic editor: William Demarest

Stiff who's her boyfriend of record: Ralph Bellamy

Her sarcastic mother: Marjorie Main

Sinister femme fatale: Hedy Lamarr

Evil Mastermind: Conrad Veidt

Conflicted scientist: Boris Karloff

Lead police detective: William Powell

His wife: Myrna Loy

Saloon Keeper: Joan Blondell

Weasly informer: Peter Lorre

Miscellaneous thugs: Mike Mazurki, Rondo Hatton, Jack Elam

Dog: Asta

Screenwriters: Ben Hecht and Jules Furthman

Director of Photography: Nicholas Musuraca

Director: Howard Hawks

10. Favorite actor pairing.

As if there were ever any doubt:

12. Favorite decade for movies.

Oddly enough, the current one.

13. Chick flick or action movie?

This didn't use to be an either/or choice...

14. Hero, villain, or anti-hero?

Villainy! If ever a good deed I did in all my life I do repent it from my very soul!

15. Black-and-white or color?

You're asking me to pick between this:

And this:



Erich Kuersten said...

It's funny that right below Fight Club you put In the Mood for Love because if I have a director I refuse to waste any more time on, it's Wong Kar Wai. That whole unexpressed, unrequited love that spans costume changes and endless circling camera movements... ugh. Fight Club, Zodiac, and Social Network are all amazing, but I agree that Fincher is overrated, I hated Seven, Panic Room, The Game, and even Ben Button. Nice list! Sorry to hear you're burned out, it's that Krell brain boost. But you should see your brain now, it's up there in lights, with the greats!

The Vicar of VHS said...

Great stuff! And it turns out our "love with a passion" movie is the same. It may be a cliche, but that's only b/c it's been true so very, very many times...and b/c it's a damn near perfect movie, imo.

Also, I really, really love that image of Maleficent. To an almost disturbing degree. :)

Vulnavia Morbius said...

Hi, Erich,

To each his or her own, I guess. I have to admit that I usually find Wong to be kind of a chore, myself. But not In the Mood For Love. It was like the clouds parted to reveal a shaft of godlight with that movie. But the rest? Meh.

My complaints about David Fincher have very little to do with his chops as a filmmaker and everything to do with the worldview his films express. I have a hard time explaining this to people, but I come away from Fincher's movies feeling diminished somehow. None for me, thanks.

Hi, Vicar,

If Casablanca finds its way onto my television, I usually drop everything to watch it. I can't NOT watch it. King Kong does this to me, too, but I have a more complicated relationship with that movie than I do with Casablanca.

That Maleficent is awesome, isn't it? Bruce Timm sure can draw them, can't he? I had that image as my profile picture on Facebook for a while. I dig it.

Wings1295 said...

Awesome list! I love Casablanca, as well, and don't give a damn if it's a cliche or not. Such a great movie. This Father's Day I watched it with my kids, their first time seeing it. They liked it, too.

And Powell and Loy? Why aren't we best friends???

Aubyn said...

Aw, thank you for the kind words, Vulnavia. Glad you decided to do the meme. And I sympathize with the blog fatigue. I didn't post any more than I usually do so I can't complain, but I'm still feeling a bit tired. A combination of summer, real life, and two back-to-back blogathons.

Who wouldn't want to meet Tallulah? I think I'd be too intimidated to hang with her for more than 10 minutes but still.

Joan Bennett and Hedy Lamarr in the same film? Now that would have been interesting.

And I too hate that romance and action apparently have to be rigidly segregated these days. Else we suffer from estrogen/testosterone poisoning, should we happen to wander into the wrong theater.

Great answers.

Laura said...

Maleficent and Wicked Queen are way, way prettier than the nondescript princesses in their movies. Just sayin'. Well, Aurora's all right. But Snow White? Fairer than the Queen? Pffff, whatever.

I'd love to meet George Sanders, though I'm pretty sure the encounter would consist of him coolly mocking me as I stand there drooling and giggling like the deranged fangirl that I am. And I am totally okay with that.

Vulnavia Morbius said...

Hi, Joe. Glad to see you stopping by. This might be the start of a bee-ootiful friendship...

Hi, Rachel. I can't remember the last action film that provided something for everyone, regardless of gender. The Mask of Zorro, maybe? You'd think that the Pirates of the Carribean movies would be the answer to that, but those are increasingly designed for ADD-afflicted ten-year-olds.

Hi, Laura!

You're right! The villainesses are ALWAYS better in Disney. The villains, too, for that matter. I never bought that Snow White was fairer than the evil queen. The evil queen was not only gorgeous, but regal and imperious, too, which is totally hot. Snow White? Not so much. I'll be interested to see if Pixar fares much better now that they've finally decided to let a girl into the clubhouse. I wish she wasn't a princess, but c'est la vie.

And, yes, I would sit there and take every delicious word of a sound mocking from George Sanders.

Deborah said...

I like Fincher, but I understand you, because I gave There Will Be Blood a chance after swearing never to see another PT Anderson, and boy was that ever a mistake.

But if I ever see another Lars von Trier movie, I may pluck my eyes from my own head.

Vulnavia Morbius said...

Hi, Deborah,

Von Trier is on the same list for me. I was done after Breaking the Waves, but I let a friend of mine talk me into watching Antichrist a few months ago and, boy howdy, do I regret it.

You probably already know what I think of P. T. Anderson.

Mykal said...

Vulnavia: You have been cranking it out at a hellacious pace. I was wondering if perhaps you had super blogging powers.

Please don't ever feel that you've missed anything by skipping Fight Club. Brad Pitt at his absolute worst (meaning he's just so self-consciously cool he makes you want to kick his teeth out). Nothing put spoiled actors posing tough for the extent of the running time.

Erin said...

I'm glad you included In The Mood For Love because I haven't seen it, and I get overwhelmed sometimes with the number of Hong Kong Films there are out there for me to watch. Also, I plan to make this list and link back to you, probably today or tomorrow.

Is there a post in which you discuss Joel Schumacher? It sounded like you didn't like him, and I am mad at him myself at the moment having just watched The Number 23.

Vulnavia Morbius said...

Hi, Erin,

I don't think I've blogged about Joel Schumacher before, but, no, I don't like his movies. At all. Not even the ones that everyone seems to like (I'm thinking of The Lost Boys and Falling Down here, by the way).

Hong Kong movies are a vast ocean, I think. I remember when I first discovered it. It gave me a sense of vertigo that has only intensified over the years as world cinema continually opens new vistas. It used to upset me that I wouldn't live long enough to see all of the great movies that are out there. These days, I'm philosophical about it. It means there's always something new to discover.