Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May Is Exam Month

End of the school year, and over at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, the wonderful Dennis Cozzalio has posted another marathon quiz. There are no qualifications needed to take this exam, you just mosey over and answer. The Siren loves doing these things and so she's posting her answers here, as well as in the comments at SLIFR. Do go over and add your voice to the throng. Dennis compiles the answers and the results are always fascinating. Already I have made discoveries about some fellow cinephiles. **cue portentous music**

1) Best transition from movies to TV (actor, actress, producer/director, movie/show)

Pace some of my commenters on the "stars I don't like" post, Lucille Ball set the gold standard for that long ago.

2) Living film director you most missing seeing on the cultural landscape regularly.

Bill Forsyth most of all. Gregory's Girl, Local Hero and Comfort and Joy helped make the 1980s worthwhile. Bill, come back! Also Victor Erice, although he has never been a very public figure. I also agree with Bubblegum Cinephile about Whit Stillman.

3) Eugene Pallette or Charles Coburn

I want to say Coburn just to see how Karen reacts (and he was so great in The Lady Eve, The More the Merrier and The Green Years). But it's Pallette, for his voice, Friar Tuck and because he wins the Heaven Can Wait smackdown with that scene over the funny papers. Plus, he has me howling with laughter every time I see My Man Godfrey: "Take a look at the dizzy old gal with the goat." "I've had to look at her for 20 years. That's MRS. Bullock." "I'm terribly sorry!" "How do you think I feel?"

4) Fill in the blank: “I pray that no one ever turns _____________ into a movie.”

The Paris Hilton Story. My dream is that I will one day ask my children who Paris Hilton was and get the blankest of blank stares.

5) Jane Greer or Veronica Lake

Greer was the better actress, but Lake was in Sullivan's Travels, wanting to work with Lubitsch. So Lake it is.

6) What was the last movie you saw in a theater? On DVD? And why?

In the theater, Cluny Brown, because it's very hard to find. (Once again, Fox, I have to ask, what the HECK is wrong with you people and your stinginess with your library?) On DVD, last was A Slight Case of Murder, for Edward G. Robinson (and indeed it was very cute and so was he). On cable, Love Songs, which turned up unexpectedly on TV5.

7) Name an actor you think should be a star.

I guess I am supposed to name someone contemporary, so I pick the gorgeous, mesmerizing but underutilized Maria Bello. I also think Benoit Magimel should be a worldwide big name, although I have no idea if his English is up to Hollywood. As for neglected names from the old days, I'm working on a whole list of those.

8) Foxy Brown or Coffy. Foxy, because she's a whole lotta woman.

9) Favorite TV show still without its own DVD box set

Frank's Place. I watched the whole series in its all-too brief run and it's one of the few TV shows I would buy.

10) Jack Elam or Neville Brand

Neville, for Stalag 17 and DOA.

11) What movies would top your list of movies you need to revisit, for whatever reason?

My problem isn't needing to revisit movies, it's revisiting ones I love too often, thus leaving less time to for the ones on my "drat, I still need to see that" list. If I loved it, I want to see it again.

12) Zodiac or All the President’s Men

All the President's Men. I haven't seen Zodiac, but Se7en left me unimpressed, to say the very least.

13) Using our best reviewer-speak, what is an “important” film comedy? And what is to you the most important film comedy of the last 35 years?

If it's funny, a comedy eschews the very notion of importance, as Groucho said: "What significance? We were just four Jews trying to get a laugh." With apologies to George S. Kaufman, an "important" comedy is what closes Saturday night. By that yardstick, the most important comedy is 1941 I guess.

14) Describe the ideal environment for watching a movie.

Big screen, good sight lines for the vertically challenged (like me), a sound system that is enveloping without being deafening and, most important of all, an audience that doesn't think any type of big emotion is automatically "camp."

15) Michelle Williams or Eva Mendes

I have seen very little of these ladies, but I'm going with Williams just because she isn't in that remake of The Women.

16) What’s the worst movie title of all time?

Curse of the Cat People, because to this day it misleads people about the content of that jewel of a movie.

17) Best movie about teaching and/or learning

The Miracle Worker. That last scene, when Helen Keller at last understands the basis of language, gets me every time. There's no more beautiful depiction of unlocking a mind than seeing Patty Duke fly around the backyard, pounding each object and begging to be told its name.

18) Dracula (1931) or Horror of Dracula (1958)

Horror of Dracula. I think the older one is just too creaky and, at this point, too familiar. It's as impossible to watch now as it is to look at the Mona Lisa with eyes unshaded by the gazillion dreary misuses she's been put to.

19) Why do you blog? Or if you don’t, why do you read blogs? (Thanks, Girish)

I started blogging to stave off insanity while adjusting to a new, much quieter city. I continued blogging for all the freebies from high-end retailers. What, you mean YOU'RE not getting those? No, actually I blog so I can revenge myself on ex-lovers on the front cover of the New York Times Magazine...

20) Most memorable/disturbing death scene.

The execution in Paths of Glory--the one soldier openly sobbing, no grace or courage, dying for nothing at all, dying because that is all their leaders know how to do any more, send young men to die.

21) Jason Robards or Robert Shaw

Robards. He's the one thing I truly enjoy in Once Upon a Time in the West.
22) A good candidate for Most Blasphemous Movie Ever

Viridiana, for sure. Not just blasphemy, but layered, complex, endlessly funny blasphemy. When I posted about it one of my regular commenters, Gloria, pointed out that the infamous "Last Supper" also contains a visual pun on a Spanish idiom, with the one beggar woman "taking a picture"--which is slang for flashing your undies.

23) Rio Bravo or Red River

Red River by a mile. Rio Bravo is fun and all, but Red River has the depth, plus John Wayne's best performance ever. I don't have to sit through any ersatz Gene Autry singalongs in Red River. And while Dino could have drunk Monty under the table any day, I think he would have been the last person to try and out-act him.

24) Werner Herzog is remaking Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage—that’s reality. Try to outdo reality by concocting a match-up of director and title for a really strange imaginary remake.

I know I'm supposed to be funny here but I'm inclined to try this experiment for real. John Huston said in his memoirs that Hollywood took the wrong approach to remakes--they re-did something that was perfect the first time around. He said they should take movies that had good elements but somehow didn't come off, and cited his own "Roots of Heaven" as an example. So, to be serious AND weird--Claude Chabrol could handle The Sound and the Fury, which was butchered so badly the first time around. He has the intellect but also the skepticism necessary to approach the Faulknerian South without wanting to remind us constantly how damn colorful and Gothic and meaningful everything is. Quentin Compson--continue the old, odd tradition of Brits playing Southerners and get Jamie Bell, just because he could do it and because Quentin should NOT be a heartthrob.

25) Bulle Ogier or Charlotte Rampling

At work I fielded a phone call from Charlotte Rampling once, and she was every bit as snooty as her Georgy Girl character. I loved it, finding out she was exactly as I wanted her to be. Charlotte all the way.

26) In the Realm of the Senses— yes or no?

It's been eons since I saw it (at home on VHS, must have been early 90s) but I remember thinking it was interesting but quite anti-erotic; the guy I was dating fell asleep. As a seduction ploy I got much better results with 8 1/2. So I'm going with no.

27) Name a movie you think of as your own (Thanks, Jim!)

Letter from an Unknown Woman. I will probably never see this in a theater with an audience simply because, like Jim, I cannot bear the thought of the morons tittering over anything that doesn't seem sufficiently "realistic."

28) Winged Migration or Microcosmos

Haven't seen them but I still pick Winged Migration. I am not a bug person.

29) Your favorite football game featured in a movie.

"Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, this time I think we go up-a da middle." Horsefeathers. This is what Oliver Stone should have watched before making Any Given Sunday. Or maybe he did.

30) Wendy Hiller or Deborah Kerr

Deborah, although Wendy's divine.

31) Dirtiest secret you have that is related to the movies.

I have no movie secrets. If I love Yolanda and the Thief and the world does not, then the world is WRONG, wrong, wrong.

32) Name a favorite film and describe how it is illuminated and enriched by another favorite film.

I think the two Imitation of Life versions really form a dialogue about race, caste, class, and women's issues in the U.S. over the course of 25 years.

33) It’s a Gift or Horsefeathers

Horsefeathers. I'm a dedicated Marxist.

34) Your best story about seeing a movie at a drive-in.

I have never been to a drive-in. I was a deprived child.

35) Victor Mature or Tyrone Power.

Victor is the best thing in von Sternberg's mad and marvelous The Shanghai Gesture. But Tyrone could really act, witness Nightmare Alley. So it's Power.

36) What does film criticism mean to you? Where do you think it’s headed?

Oy, this is a little too much for me to contemplate at the mo but I do think it's becoming more fragmented. The days of one powerful voice having an outsize influence, whether it be Crowther or Kael or Ebert, are gone.


Greg said...

Great answers. Looking through everyone's answers always makes me think, "I should have said that!" If only I'd thought about it more I might have come up with that. I've got to stop being the first commenter on things like Dennis' quiz - it's killing me.

The Siren said...

I loved it that you were the first to comment, because your responses are always so well-written and thoughtful. It gives a person a little nudge, to see someone smart just go ahead and take the plunge.

Peter Nellhaus said...

Hey, I enjoyed seeing Yolanda and the Thief over at Theater 80 St. Mark's, many years ago.

I hope you can find time and space in your queue and schedule to see the Chinese remake of Letter from an Unknown Woman. I'd love to know your thoughts on this version.

Uncle Gustav said...

I appreciate your mentioning Maria Bello. I've grown quite fond of her over the years. The Jane Austen Book Club was a delight.

X. Trapnel said...

Agreed about Palette, but why, oh why did the screenwriter, not have him reply, "YOU'RE sorry!!!???" Just imagine the sound

Gerard Jones said...

Entertaining and thought-provoking as ever, Campaspe. No one but you could have made your answers to someone else's quiz so much fun to read. I'm sure I'll sift through and find much to comment on, but for now:

YES on Eugene Pallette. I like Coburn too, and he certainly had more "grativas" (and perhaps a bit more specific gravity at that), but Pallette is just so damned much fun. Banging the dishes in The Lady Eve! And the floating, luminous, greenish Pallette-Head zooming at us at the end of The Gang's All Here has haunted me for years.

But NO on Veronica Lake over Jane Greer! Yes, Sullivan's Travels is magnificent, and yes, she was just fine (better than fine in the diner scene), but Jane Greer! Out of the Past alone makes her one of the great underappreciated film dames, and she brought so much oomph to so many otherwise ordinary roles in lightweight fun stuff like The Big Steal.

Now I have to stop myself or my comments will be as long as your post. (This is why I need to drag my own blog out of the political mire and back to movies where it was meant to be!)

Meanwhile, in between Siren appearances I'm going back and rereading all your earlier posts. I just discovered your blog a few years ago and I've discovered years of gems to mine in your archives. Just last night I finished the great perfume series of ought-five.

Gerard Jones said...

I meant "I discovered your blog a few WEEKS ago." Why can't I make ordinary typos like "hte" or "adn" instead of ones that always change the whole meaning?

Greg said...

Campaspe - You're too kind.

Flickhead - I thought most of your answers were hilarious. You have a talent at delivering the online one-liner and non-sequitor to great effect.

Uncle Gustav said...

Thanks, Jonathan. Unfortunately, I felt compelled to delete my answers when, for the Jason Robards vs. Robert Shaw coin toss, someone opined, "Jaws, motherfuckers." Not my crowd. My knuckles haven't hit the floor yet.

The Siren said...

AHEM. My knuckles are right where they've always been. Can't you re-post? As a New Yorker, I've always refused to let one unruly passenger define the subway ride ...

Uncle Gustav said...

Can't we talk about Maria Bello instead?

Gerard Jones said...

Re this:

27) Name a movie you think of as your own (Thanks, Jim!)

Letter from an Unknown Woman. I will probably never see this in a theater with an audience simply because, like Jim, I cannot bear the thought of the morons tittering over anything that doesn't seem sufficiently "realistic."

Is this still a problem in NYC? Even at the Forum? I'm disappointed to think so. In the SF area, I haven't had this tittering-moron problem for years.

It used to be horrible: even Casablanca wasn't safe in the '80s, as female hoots and hisses filled the air after "You must do the thinking for both of us." But for the past 15 years, I'd say, the audiences have been entirely in synch with the moviemakers, whether it's young hipsters at a Castro festival or the cane-and-walker crowd at an early showing at the Stanford.

The one common exception is the unintentional inflation gag. Says Walter Neff of the LA mansion in Double Indemnity: "It probably cost forty thousand." That one always cracks up San Franciscans struggling to pay for their $800,000 one-bedroom condos.

The Siren said...

It's hit or miss. If the revival gets a big write-up in the Times you're doomed, in my experience. Seeing Rocco and His Brothers at Film Forum was sheer undiluted horror. There were a few annoying moments during Woman in the Window as well.

On the other hand, Cluny Brown at Lincoln Center was wonderful. The audience was completely with every joke. It may not be a coincidence that, despite some fresh young faces, overall the audience skewed quite old; they knew what they were there for.

Peter, yes, I do have that still! I am so backed up with my viewing that I have put myself on a temporary DVD buying ban.

x. trapnel, I love the line the way it is but you're right, any time that incredible voice boomed from indignation was something to treasure.

Gerard Jones said...

Even Visconti's not safe? Staggering. I'd blame the problem on too many youngish New Yorkers always "looking for something to do" and wanting to strut their know-it-all New Yorkness along the way. (Mind you, I love New York and New Yorkers. But sometimes the hip young ones can be annoying.)

Visiting cineastes who speak to events in SF like Noir City and the Silent Film Festival invariably praise us for having the most knowledgeable and passionate movie fans anywhere. I always took that to be an easy applause line ("I love you, San Francisco!"), but maybe there's something to it. Our main local old-movie critic, Mick LaSalle, sometimes has weird taste (Norma Shearer!) but he is really good at putting the movies in historical context when he writes them up. And the Castro schedule is an education in itself. Plus a lot of revivals are preceded by introductory speeches, which usually manage to convey the message, "We're not here to titter."

ajm said...

As for question #2 (Living film director you most missing seeing on the cultural landscape regularly), I nominate Albert Brooks -- he's overdue for another LOST IN AMERICA-level classic.

#9 (Favorite TV show still without its own DVD box set): FERNWOOD 2-NIGHT, Norman Lear's MARY HARTMAN spinoff.

#13 (what is to you the most important film comedy of the last 35 years?): ANIMAL HOUSE. Not because it's hilarious (which it is) but because it launched the 1980s teen sex comedies and, this later, the Farrelly brothers/Judd Apatow-type grossout megahits.

#17 (Best movie about teaching and/or learning): PYGMALION, a much better film than MY FAIR LADY

#20 (Most memorable/disturbing death scene): Dick Van Patten, HIGH ANXIETY

Eddie Selover said...

Siren, Siren, Siren -- you love Frank's Place too? This only confirms that you are my dream woman.

Letter From an Unknown Woman is of course a masterpiece, not least due to Howard Koch's ironic, tough but wistful screenplay. He didn't do too badly by The Letter, either.

Charles Coburn's reputation always mystified me -- he's hideous to look at, and not really very funny (except in The Lady Eve, thanks to Sturges). Eugene Pallette, however, is some kind of genius. Check him out in The Half-Naked Truth, a wild pre-Code comedy in which Lee Tracy attempts to pass him off as a eunuch. Think about that one....

The most blasphemous movie ever is either Life of Brian (a merciless deconstruction of Christianity) or The Favor, the Watch, and the Very Big Fish, in which Jeff Goldblum poses as Jesus and slowly rolls his big, mischievous eyes heavenward.

Worst movie title? I'd say it's anything with a III at the end of it.

The Siren said...

Gerard, New York is the biggest and brightest but San Francisco is everyone's favorite American city. It completely enchanted me when I went there for a week, even though I was having a too-long denouement for a too-long drama of a relationship. It doesn't surprise me that the film culture is as gracious as everything else.

AJ, if I had given a serious instead of sarcastic answer to #13 I would have to agree, even though I didn't find Animal House funny when it came out. I was in the middle of my screwball period and it just grossed me out. (Yep, I was a weird kid all right.) And YES Pygmalion is a wonderful movie, Leslie Howard is a delicious Higgins and Wendy Hiller is also great.

Edward, I do find Coburn very funny in The More the Merrier and a lot of other movies. I would not have thought this genial old character actor (who really needed the monocle -- I found that out recently!) would divide people but he does.

I read the Stefan Zweig novella that "Letter" is based on and can attest to the brilliance of Koch's adaptation. He was definitely a huge talent.

Gerard Jones said...

Campaspe, thanks for your sweet words about my quaint little city. It is a good place for bittersweet denouements: fog, hills, ocean views.

Another thing that's changed with audiences, at least out here, ie the end of the days when people thought they should laugh to prove they caught the double meanings that the rubes missed. Now our culture's so explicit, and the old "codes" have been so exploded, that it seems more sophisticated to be above such stuff. A little while ago I was watching some old movie at the Castro (with, as usual, a mostly gay crowd) and a character let fly one of those old lines like, "What's happened? You used to be so gay!" And there wasn't a laugh in the house. Now it's the rubes who titter.

Oh, and I loved Frank's Place too. I haven't seen a single episode since they were first broadcast, but I still remember some vividly. "The first black in a black club." "Jump down, turn around, pick a bale of cotton."

Gerard Jones said...

Flickhead, please consider reposting your responses to the quiz, or posting them on your own blog or here or someplace. I missed your answers...and I miss them!

That "Jaws, motherfucker" poster, Ryan Walker Knight, actually says some very good things, knows his stuff, and is clearly a kindred spirit. But he's also 26 years old and, alas, that's how these kids today talk.

(At least now I know that "Flickhead" is not intended as an off-color pun. In comic books in the old days they used to forbid writers from using the word "flick" because, in the all-capitals tradition of the medium, "L" and "I" could run together to look like "U.")

Uncle Gustav said...

Gerard, Siren...for you.

Greg said...

Wait a minute - when did that start? Ray you sneaky little...

Mandrake said...

I wish I had more time, but anyway:

2) Ah, Bill Forsyth. Hell, YES! All is forgiven for "Being Human" (just avoid Robin Williams in the future) and "Breaking In" should get a second look from everybody.

6) Yes, Fox is stingy with their library, but so is every studio with the stellar exception of Warner Bros. For example, I wish Paramount would stop sitting on "The Wedding March", "The Last Command", and "Docks of New York". And Universal needs to stop throwing together those cynical "Franchise Collection" sets, where they cram together as many old titles as they can on one disc, effectively implying that all old films are pretty much indistinguishable from one another. I could go on, but work beckons.

33) But I do have time for one more. "It's A Gift". Why? No Zeppo. And the early scene with Fields being harrassed by his wife and little son at the breakfast table is a gem.

X. Trapnel said...

The imbecile laughter that greets "unrealistic" moments in older films most likely comes from people who wouldn't recognize absurdities in contemporary films or whose sense of reality may be impaired to begin with; knowingness is not knowledge.
I've never seen a showing of Vertigo in which the moment James Stewart urges Kim Novak to change her hair color ("It can't matter to you!")does not provoke a snuffle of self-satisfied giggles. Do they really think that the director/writer/actors were unaware of the cruelty? (Watch Novak's reaction.). Likewise the psychiatrist's diagnosis midway through the film, another reliable laugh getter. As with the shrink's speech at the end of Psycho, everything in the film undercuts the reassurences of these "authoritative" explainers all the more subversively because they're done straight--without "irony."
Still, I'd put up with a whole chorus of cacklers to see a double bill of Vertigo and Letter From an Unknown Woman; the dark, swirling depths of these sublime films flow from the same currents.

Gerard Jones said...

Thank you for your delightful answers, Flickhead. Alternately pithy and pissy, just the way I like 'em. And I've now added Too Bad She's Bad to my list.

Exiled in NJ said...

Rather than confess my ignorance to all, I thought this friendly bar would be the spot to answer the few I have some knowledge of:

1. Movies to TV: Sam Waterston, an actor I would avoid at all costs on screen, suddenly become Jack McCoy, all-American boy.

3. Pallette by a girth, the clincher being the Katzenjammer kids.

4. I fear someone will turn the Internal Revenue Code into a film.

9. Missing a DVD treatment: Mr. Rogers

10. Neville Brand: Jack Elam was wasted too many times in silly films.

11. I am afraid the Peggy Lee Syndrome will bite when I revisit films but I would like to find a decent print of Beat The Devil in order to see it again.

13. I have no idea how to do critic speak, but Victor/Victoria is one that took the course away from breaking wind, vomiting, yelling muthafucka....so it got lost.

14. In bed so I can subject the film to the 'blowing Z's' test.

16. Meet The Fockers.....reeks with smarm.

17. Le Maitre de musique

20. Siren got there first, so I choose not film, but TV: the death of Ralph Ciparetto. You hated the guy anyway, but....

21. If all he ever did was tell the tale of the Indianopolis, Shaw will be remembered.

22. The Ruling Class

23. I'll piss Hawks off whereever he ended up, so that he'll remake RB again with Russell Crowe, Will Smith and Frank Sinatra Jr., but the two films are not even comparable. I can't imagine the theater in Anarene closing with Rio Bravo.

24. As said above, Hawks making another Rio Bravo, Lobo or El Dorado.....or did I read that Michael Bay will remake Rosemary's Baby?

27. Nobody's Fool

31. I've seen Notting Hill perhaps 20 times....wife loves it.

34. When I was 12 or 13, a bunch of us somehow sat thru 10 Commandments at the drive in.

Frank Conniff said...

Your answers to that quiz were great, especially listing "Horsefeathers" as having the greatest football game ever, and your response about "important" comedies was perfect. I'll add my two cents to just one entry:

4) Fill in the blank: “I pray that no one ever turns 'The Hours' into a movie."

Oh, wait a minute, they did turn "The Hours" into a movie a few years ago, didn't they? I guess I was just having a moment of repressed memory syndrome to blot out a traumatic experience. But it's my own fault. I was given fair waring by the copy at the top of the film's poster:

"If You Kill Yourself After Seeing Only One Movie This Year, Make It 'The Hours!'

Operator_99 said...

Great choices and rationale - but that is a given coming from you. My only flip around would be to "It's a Gift". I too am a devout Marxist, even including The Big Store, but I just love Fields in this film and think it was one of his best gifts to us. Of course, he didn't do it alone, gotta give a big shout out to Mr. Muckle :-)

Dan Leo said...

I'm afraid I'm too lazy to take these quizzes, but I loved reading The Siren's answers.

By the way, a couple of my earliest memories are of drive-in movies, two in particular, although I don't think I was able to put a name to them until years later when I saw them again, and had Proustian flashbacks as I recognized the images and sounds: "The Searchers", and Audie Murphy in "To Hell and Back".

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Gloria said...

As per blasphemous movies, Viridiana might be Buñuel's high-point, but his own "Simon del desierto" and "Tristana" have a nice touch of blasphemy.

BTW, While Almodovar is something altogether different, he directed a deliciously blasphemous film titled "Entre Tinieblas" in which the nuns of a delerict Madrid convent seek misticism through very unconventional ways.

And I also love Coburn, but Pallete was in a league of his own (just the other day I saw him in "Tales of Manhattan": he and Roland Young royally steal the show from Ginger Rogers and Henry Fonda): he's of course absolutely glorious in "Heaven Can Wait", even though I must say I love Coburn there, too.

Cluny Brown" not available in Region 1 DVDs?! I'm shocked! we have a region 2 release... and in Europe we're usually quite behind in publication of Classic American movies.

As for jerks laughing disrespectfully at old movies, The most disgusting item in my collection is when I saw Murnau's "Faust" in a film festival and a bunch of teens behind me were laughing at Emil Jannings all the time: I actually considered murder very seriously.

31... Guilty pleasures? possibly "Operation Petticoat" (my excuse: it's got Cary Grant and a pink submarine) or "the Big bus" (My excuses. Stockard Channing, the broken milk carton...also, I haven't seen it after my early teens)

Vanwall said...

You always have such a complete answer list - even in school I had to leave some blank; I'm jealous. In no particular order:

No movie secrets? I have a couple I'll have to take to the grave, unless certain people croak before me - they were, and no doubt still can be, revengeful.

Ogier is my first thought, although very few actresses have aged as well as Rampling, but Bulle had me and flickhead from an early age, it seems.

I'm gonna reach back and say "My World and Welcome to It" is the series I want on DVD - not very likely, I know.

You got the worst title dead right! - but I would go with the blasphemy of "La Religieuse" - nothing like kinky nuns.

Never at a drive-in?!? You poor, poor thing - nothing like watching a Disney film out the back of a Ford station wagon with the speaker box hanging next to your ear, or parking in the front row of an almost deserted dollar showing (for the fourth or fifth time) of an artifacted print of "Star Wars" just so you could lay on the hood of a Mustang with friends and look up at a distorted Princess Leia - Mad Dog helps the view here - to say nothing of the intimate setting for discreet foreplay in your own separate parked world, even if it's just your old man's Connie. Better try one before they're gone, and remember: bench seats.

"Nightmare Alley" - oh yeah, Power was for real.

My private film is "Letyat Zhuravli" - I can't stand seeing it with others around.

See? I can't seem to answer everything, but I'll take a lot of yours - you kick ass and take names better.

wwolfe said...

4) Fill in the blank: “I pray that no one ever turns _____________ into a movie.”

I read that too quickly and thought, "I also hope that no one ever turns into a movie."

16) What’s the worst movie title of all time?

“Final Destination 2.”

22) A good candidate for Most Blasphemous Movie Ever

“Change of Habit,” with its last shot of Sister Mary Tyler Moore in church, looking back and forth between Christ and Elvis Presley, trying to decide which sacred icon she should choose.

27) Name a movie you think of as your own.

“History Is Made at Night.”

31) Dirtiest secret you have that is related to the movies

Godard and Bergman movies make me feel like a dumbass.

32) Name a favorite film and describe how it is illuminated and enriched by another favorite film.

“Manhattan.” Allen’s use of the declaration of war scene from “Duck Soup” is inspired.

Karen said...

Oh, gosh--I'm just back from 2 weeks of vacation and not only do I have 189 emails that have to be answered, but a rash of Siren posts, comments, and links to sift through.

Siren, I applaud you for not sinking to the level of goading me with Charles Coburn (yes, edward, he was hideous to look at), but there was no way he was winning that one over the entirely delicious Eugene Pallette.

#4: "ANY tv series." Dear lord, am I tired of movies made from TV series. They all bomb, but the studios just keep making them.

#5--yes, Greer was a better actress. But Lake was a STAR. Man, you can't take your eyes off her when she's on screen. And she inspired that magnificent scene in The Major and the Minor, where the students from the girl school all have her hair style. So, Lake all the way.

Siren, how do you keep your brain from simply going blank? I'm utterly envious. I know I've got an answer for #7, because just last week I was having a "why on EARTH isn't ___ a bigger star??" conversation, but I can't place any names at the moment to save my life.

#13: I tend to agree that film comedies aren't "important" although I also agree that the word could be interpreted as "influential." And I do love me some Animal House. But to go with the more pompous connotation, I would nominate my beloved Sullivan's Travels, because Sturges managed to have his cake and eat it, too, making both a comedy AND a serious social commentary.

#14--I sure couldn't add anything to your answer. Although I might dispense with the audience altogether, with their cell-phone screens glowing in the dark as they text, if not actually talk, and their MST3K interactiveness. I'm intrigued that x.trapnel brought up Vertigo, as that was one of my unpleasant audience experiences, too. Not in the same places, though. I saw it in NYC when the remastered edition was released in the mid-90s, and the whole audience collapsed in laughter when Stewart's way of ministering to the damp, post-Bar Novak was to offer her a drink. Apparently, that is HILARIOUS.

#16: I'll definitely grant you Curse of the Cat People, but the title that ticks me off the most is It Could Happen to You, especially since the studio junked the brilliant, evocative, and highly descriptive Cop Gives Waitress Million-Dollar Tip. I mean, "It Could Happen to You" isn't even true, as applied to that story, not to mention being utterly vague.

#17 -- tie between Goodbye, Mr Chips and The Browning Version, each of which utterly break me up.

#18 -- Dracula, just because I still remember watching it with my sister back in the early 1970s, each of us clutching a sofa pillow for security in the scary places. And because I love it when horror films use the music from "Swan Lake" as the opening credits theme.

#21--Oh, Robert Shaw all the way. ALL THE WAY. And it has nothing to do with Jaws. A Man for All Seasons, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, The Sting, Robin and Marian....oh, he just gives me chills.

I'm going on too long, though, aren't I? I'll just sit here and think.

And maybe sleep off some more jet lag.