Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Big Quiz Redux

This time of the year is kind of a slog for me, with most of my movie viewing confined to festival screeners (about which I can't write) and award season movies. I've been struggling to write about the last several films I've seen, which is why things have been so quiet around here. I'm hoping to have pieces about Philomena and Blue is the Warmest Color up by the end of the weekend, but we'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, here's another of Dennis Cozzalio's film quizzes from the extravagantly named blog, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. Enjoy:

1) Favorite unsung holiday film

The Silent Partner.

2) Name a movie you were surprised to have liked/loved

I loved The Lone Ranger (2013). Color me shocked.

3) Ned Sparks or Edward Everett Horton?

Edward Everett Horton. Fractured Fairy Tales counts for a lot.

4) Sam Peckinpah's Convoy-- yes or no?

Oh, hell yes! The ballet for trucks near the end is awesome, but it comes after Kristoferson's Rubber Duck tells a reporter that "The purpose of the convoy is...to keep on moving." I always imagine some guy sitting on a dock somewhere in San Diego wondering aloud, "Where the hell is my freight?"

5) What contemporary actor would best fit into a popular, established genre of the past

Jessica Chastain has the ideal face for Bergman-esque Swedish art films, I think.

6) Favorite non-disaster movie in which bad weather is a memorable element of the film’s atmosphere

Seven Samurai, of course.

7) Second favorite Luchino Visconti movie

Oof. A toss-up between Senso and The Leopard, I think.

8) What was the last movie you saw theatrically? On DVD/Blu-ray?

Theatrically: Philomena. On DVD/Blu? I burned a copy of The Hour of the Wolf to DVD from laserdisc this weekend. Does that count, I wonder?

9) Why do you react the way you do when someone eloquently or not-so-eloquently attacks one of your favorite movies? (Question courtesy of Patrick Robbins)

Live and let live, I think. I got over pissing contests about movies a long time ago. It's not worth it.

10) Joan Blondell or Glenda Farrell?

Oh, Joan Blondell, I think. She was in better movies.

11) Movie star of any era you’d most like to take camping

Lauren Bacall, I think. She's seen it all.

12) Second favorite George Cukor movie

A Woman's Face (my favorite is Holiday)

13) Your top 10 of 2013 (feel free to elaborate!)

Oof. I'm still working on this, but whatever. It'll probably come from this group of films:

Stories We Tell



Drug War


Shun Li and the Poet

The Moo Man


In A World

Side Effects

The Lone Ranger

The Act of Killing

The Unspeakable Act



The Spectacular Now

Short Term 12

The Village at the End of the World

The Sapphires

Twenty Feet From Stardom

Cutie and the Boxer

(plus a few that I can't write about)

This was a pretty good year, actually.

14) Name a movie you loved (or hated) upon first viewing, to which you eventually returned and had more or less the opposite reaction

I hated Vertigo when I first saw it.  I was an idiot when I was a teenager.

15) Movie most in need of a deluxe Blu-ray makeover

Tsui Hark's The Blade. Seriously, this film is a fucking masterpiece and it's barely available at all.

16) Alain Delon or Marcello Mastroianni?

Marcello Mastroianni. He never embarrassed himself as Zorro like Delon did.

17) Your favorite opening credit sequence (provide link to clip if possible)

I doubt that the opening shot of Touch of Evil counts since the revision took out the titles and the score (foolishly, I think). So let's go with Catch Me If You Can:

18) Director with the strongest run of great movies

Hmm....Howard Hawks? I'm sure I'll think of someone better as soon as I post this.

19) Is elitism a good/bad/necessary/inevitable aspect of being a cineaste?

I think it's a bad thing. It makes discourse nasty and it blinds the "elite" to the virtues of many films that might be beneath their notice. It's death to adventure, the first symptom of being hidebound.

20) Second favorite Tony Scott film

Crimson Tide.

21) Favorite movie made before you were born that you only discovered this year. Where and how did you discover it?

Jacques Feyder's Faces of Children. It was given to me by a friend of mine.

22) Actor/actress you would most want to see in a Santa suit, traditional or skimpy

Tilda Swinton, though it would have to be a traditional European Father Christmas sort of outfit.

23) Video store or streaming?

Video store. Definitely the video store. Streaming still has too many drawbacks.

24) Best/favorite final film by a noted director or screenwriter

I'm sure that Charles Laughton is cheating, so we'll go with Bunuel's That Obscure Object of Desire.

25) Monica Vitti or Anna Karina?

Monica Vitti

26) Name a worthy movie indulgence you’ve had to most strenuously talk friends into experiencing with you. What was the result?

I have crap luck when it comes to talking my friends into movie indulgence. I managed to get one friend to watch Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan with me, and that went over well enough. Beyond that...?

27) The movie made by your favorite filmmaker (writer, director, et al) that you either have yet to see or are least familiar with among all the rest

I don't have a favorite filmmaker, but for the sake of argument, I'm least familiar with Rabid among David Cronenberg's feature films.

28) Favorite horror movie that is either Christmas-oriented or has some element relating to the winter holiday season in it

Hmm...this is a toss-up. I want to say Christmas Evil (aka: You Better Watch Out), though in my heart, I know that Black Christmas is a better movie.

29) Name a prop or other piece of movie memorabilia you’d most like to find with your name on it under the Christmas tree

I'd love to have a full-scale model of the robot girl from Metropolis to stand in a corner of my living room. There's a guy who sells them, but they're too rich for my blood.

30) Best holiday gift the movies could give to you to carry into 2014

Award-bait movies that don't suck would be nice. A GOOD romantic comedy would be better.

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