Sunday, July 26, 2009
The SLIFR Quiz
Dennis Cozzalio of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule is one of the best film bloggers around--unpredictable, fearless, funny, and an incredibly warm, nice guy who runs a lively comment section free of bickering. The Siren missed his last quiz but she's answering this one in all its epic glory and posting her answers here. The Siren is dying to see answers from her regulars and would love to see lurkers de-lurk, but bear two things in mind:
1. You can post the answers at his place and post a link here, or you can post them here--but if you post them here or at your own Internet hangout, please be sure to go to Dennis's place, read all the other answers (that's the fun part, trust me) and link back in his comments section to wherever you have posted your responses. Please do that even if you only pick and choose a few questions to answer. Dennis loves to see these things, and so do I.
2. According to Dennis, Blogger has some new anti-spam thingamabobber that prevents comment posts of over about 4600 characters. Clearly most comments aren't going to be affected, but this quiz is long enough to trigger the Blogger defenses. (I am not sure what happens if it's too long. I was hoping for a rubber chicken pop-up window but I think it just rejects the comment.) Anyway, it is easiest and safest to post the answers in two parts.
Here we go!
1) Second-favorite Stanley Kubrick film.
Barry Lyndon. (Favorite is Paths of Glory--always has been and always will be.)
2) Most significant/important/interesting trend in movies over the past decade, for good or evil.
Cuisinart editing. I hate it. I start to get interested in a shot and bang! they cut away.
3) Bronco Billy (Clint Eastwood) or Buffalo Bill Cody (Paul Newman)?
Bronco Billy. (Sorry, Yojimboen!)
4) Best Film of 1949.
White Heat. (It's actually The Third Man but this one deserves more love--bless you, Sheila. Also the year of Caught, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Orpheus, On the Town and They Live by Night, lest we forget.)
5) Joseph Tura (Jack Benny) or Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore)?
Tura by a nose. (Sorry, Jack.)
6) Has the hand-held shaky-cam directorial style become a visual cliché?
YES. Put the camera on something stationary every once in a while for god's sake. Or get a dolly. Try for Ophuls rather than Pontecorvo, just for variety's sake.
7) What was the first foreign-language film you ever saw?
On a big screen (at the old Bleecker Street Cinema), Les Enfants du Paradis. An excellent intro, oui?
8) Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) or Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre)?
Mr. Moto--I agree with Robert Fiore at Dennis's place that these movies have fewer stereotypes of all kinds than the Chan films. And I love Lorre, although I get a pang thinking of Dan Callahan's Lorre anecdote. Someone asked Lorre how he got through the Moto films and Lorre replied, "I took drugs."
9) Favorite World War II drama (1950-1970).
So hard, but the first one that comes to mind is Attack!
10) Favorite animal movie star.
Lassie. A childhood thing. The scene from the 1943 movie where she limps up the street...(pause to mop eyes).
11) Who or whatever is to blame, name an irresponsible moment in cinema.
I hate seeing nuclear bombs detonated with minimal consequences in movies, as in True Lies and the execrable Broken Arrow. It makes something casually entertaining that should never even be thinkable.
12) Best Film of 1969.
Army of Shadows. What happened to 1959, huh? Best there was The 400 Blows, by the way, out of a very heavyweight field.
13) Name the last movie you saw theatrically, and also on DVD or Blu-ray.
Theatrically, Cheri. On DVD, Ossessione.
14) Second-favorite Robert Altman film.
The Player. (Favorite is McCabe and Mrs. Miller.)
15) What is your favorite independent outlet for reading about movies, either online or in print?
My blogroll. No, I can't pick, really.
16) Who wins? Angela Mao or Meiko Kaji? (Thanks, Peter!)
17) Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) or Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly)?
Mona Lisa. She had me the second she stepped out of the car and said "I bet this place has lousy Chinese food."
18) Favorite movie that features a carnival setting or sequence.
19) Best use of high-definition video on the big screen to date.
*whistles, looks at her cuticles*
20) Favorite movie that is equal parts genre film and a deconstruction or consideration of that same genre.
Imitation of Life (1959).
21) Best Film of 1979.
22) Most realistic and/or sincere depiction of small-town life in the movies.
Shadow of a Doubt.
23) Best horror movie creature (non-giant division).
Bruce the shark.
24) Second-favorite Francis Ford Coppola film.
The Godfather. (Part II is my favorite.)
25) Name a one-off movie that could have produced a franchise you would have wanted to see.
I wouldn't have complained if Charade had spawned a mini-Thin Man-esque series.
26) Favorite sequence from a Brian De Palma film.
The museum in Dressed to Kill.
27) Favorite moment in three-strip Technicolor.
Ask me to pick a kid next time! (Edited to add: Well, I have to admit--Dorothy emerging into Oz for the first time marked me forever.)
28) Favorite Alan Smithee film. (Thanks, Peter!)
Je ne connait pas cet auteur.
29) Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) or Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau)?
30) Best post-Crimes and Misdemeanors Woody Allen film.
Husbands and Wives.
31) Best Film of 1999.
Summer of Sam. (But comparing that year to 1949 is awfully depressing. Or 1959. Go on, take a look. I dare you.)
32) Favorite movie tag line.
"Don't ever tell anyone what Mildred Pierce did!"
33) Favorite B-movie western.
Hmm, I love Westerns, but true B Westerns--Republic, Monogram, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy--generally aren't my thing. If we mean just a low-budget Western I'll plump for Angel and the Badman (made at Republic but I wouldn't call it a B).
34) Overall, the author best served by movie adaptations of her or his work.
James M. Cain. Three great films, one masterpiece. I'd say that's a pretty good run. Fannie Hurst also comes to mind.
35) Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn) or Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard)?
Irene Bullock. I used it as a screen name once in a forum and they all called me "Irene" assuming the name was too drab to be a pseudonym.***
36) Favorite musical cameo in a non-musical movie.
Nat King Cole in The Blue Gardenia.
37) Bruno (the character, if you haven’t seen the movie, or the film, if you have): subversive satire or purveyor of stereotyping?
If I had to take a guess from what little I have seen, I'd say intended as the former but in danger of sashaying down a slippery slope toward the latter.
38) Five film folks, living or deceased, you would love to meet. (Thanks, Rick!)
I would go for the raconteurs: Orson Welles, King Vidor, Martin Scorsese, Jean Renoir, Peter Ustinov. I would have picked Max Ophuls but according to Ustinov he wasn't much of a conversationalist. I also thought about Luis Bunuel but he might decide to turn the encounter into a huge joke at my expense.
***Speaking of pseudonyms. The Siren is, to whatever extent possible, jettisoning the Campaspe nom de blog in favor of just the Siren. It's simpler, and nobody can spell or pronounce the old one anyway. Campaspe will remain the name on her Facebook account (because it's a pain to change) and she will still answer to Campaspe, as indeed she will answer to most polite forms of address short of "hey you."
Have a beautiful Sunday!