Sunday, July 19, 2009

Your Summer Quiz is Due at SLIFR

Another brilliant quiz has been constructed by Dennis Cozzalio of the brilliant movie blog Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. Head here to the take the quiz. My answers come after the jump...

1) Second-favorite Stanley Kubrick film.

2001: A Space Odyssey

2) Most significant/important/interesting trend in movies over the past decade, for good or evil.

The length of films – it’s both good and bad. It’ good because in this hyperkinetic, ADD society we live in I find it interesting that some of the most popular movies every year are 140+ minutes long (with a lot of comedies clocking in at 120-30+ minutes). It’s bad because a lot of those films don’t need that much time to tell their story. What ever happened to the art of making the 90-minute action or comedy film? I mean Passenger 57 was only 81 minutes long…

3) Bronco Billy (Clint Eastwood) or Buffalo Bill Cody (Paul Newman)?

Bronco Billy

4) Best Film of 1949.

The obvious answer is The Third Man, but I’ll go with the noir masterpiece Force of Evil by Abraham Polanski.

6) Has the hand-held shaky-cam directorial style become a visual cliché?

In action movies, yes. Quantum of Solace would have been a lot better had they decided to film the action scenes by keeping the camera on some medium shots for more than half a second. However, the shaky-cam can still be an affective tool a la a Dardenne Brothers or Michael Mann film.

7) What was the first foreign-language film you ever saw?

John Woo’s The Killer

9) Favorite World War II drama (1950-1970).

Army of Shadows

10) Favorite animal movie star.

The Mogwai from Gremlins

11) Who or whatever is to blame, name an irresponsible moment in cinema.

Michael Bay – not for his directing, but for producing the horrid remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre which kick started the barrage of god-awful “re-imaginings” of classic horror films.

12) Best Film of 1969.

I don’t want to repeat myself (because Army of Shadows is already mentioned here), so I’ll say The Bird with the Crystal Plumage by Dario Argento.

13) Name the last movie you saw theatrically, and also on DVD or Blu-ray.

Theatrically: Public Enemies
DVD: The Son

14) Second-favorite Robert Altman film.

3 Women

15) What is your favorite independent outlet for reading about movies, either online or in print?

Every blog I have listed under “what I read”.

17) Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) or Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly)?

Mona. Not even close.

18) Favorite movie that features a carnival setting or sequence.

Some Came Running. I agree with Scorsese that it remains one of the most brilliant and expressive uses of Cinemascope.

Click here to watch video

19) Best use of high-definition video on the big screen to date.

Miami Vice.

20) Favorite movie that is equal parts genre film and a deconstruction or consideration of that same genre.

Hmmm. I could just answer with my favorite film 8 ½, but I think I’ll go with a movie I just talked about on my blog: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.

21) Best Film of 1979.

Good year for movies (Alien, Breaking Away, Manhatten), but I’ll go with the obvious (and deserving) selection: Apocalypse Now.

22) Most realistic and/or sincere depiction of small-town life in the movies.

Wow. Great question. Can I cheat? I’ll assume you said yes…anything by David Gordon Green, October Sky, American Movie, and Breaking Away.

23) Best horror movie creature (non-giant division).

Freddy Kreuger. But only when he was a serious boogeyman, not the sardonic caricature he became in the films sandwiched between the original Nightmare film and New Nightmare.

24) Second-favorite Francis Ford Coppola film.

Jack…I kid, I kid…The Godfather.

25) Name a one-off movie that could have produced a franchise you would have wanted to see.

The Talented Mr. Ripley. I know there have been other adaptations of the Highsmith books about Tom Ripley, but I think it would have been amazing to see Matt Damon and the late, brilliant director Anthony Minghella continue telling their version of Ripley.

26) Favorite sequence from a Brian De Palma film.

The homage to Argento in The Untouchables where the viewer gets the POV of the black-gloved killer made famous by Argento’s gialli films. Here it is:

Click here to watch video

27) Favorite moment in three-strip Technicolor.

I like Jamie’s answer of anything from Argento’s Suspiria, but I don’t want to copy him. So, I’ll go with the scene on the lake in Leave Her to Heaven where Gene Tierney’s femme fatale watches her fiancĂ©’s paraplegic brother, one of the last people to stand between her and her future husband, drown. The scene is incredibly eerie and off-putting because we don’t expect these noir moments to occur in beautiful, vibrant thee-strip Technicolor. Video below (go to about the 5:20 mark):

Click here to watch video

28) Favorite Alan Smithee film. (Thanks, Peter!)

Let’s Get Harry -- written by Samuel Fuller; starring Gary Busey, Mark Harmon, Ben Johnson, Rick Rossovich, and Robert Duvall.

29) Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) or Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau)?

No question about it: the wisdom of Crash Davis.

30) Best post-Crimes and Misdemeanors Woody Allen film.

Deconstructing Harry

31) Best Film of 1999.

This question is quite relevant to what I’ve been doing the last few months on my blog.

Anyway the best film of 1999 is The Talented Mr. Ripley.

32) Favorite movie tag line.

"Does for rock and roll what "The Sound of Music" did for hills." This is Spinal Tap.

33) Favorite B-movie western.

What a convenient question as I was just talking about this movie: The Last Hard Men.

34) Overall, the author best served by movie adaptations of her or his work.

Stephen King

35) Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn) or Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard)?

Susan Vance. I fall in love with her every time I watch Hawkes’ masterpiece.

37) Bruno (the character, if you haven’t seen the movie, or the film, if you have): subversive satire or purveyor of stereotyping?


38) Five film folks, living or deceased, you would love to meet. (Thanks, Rick!)

(In no particular order): Orson Welles, Ingmar Bergman, Cary Grant, Roger Ebert, and Keira Knightley of course…


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