Monday, July 27, 2009
Benny or Barrymore?
There's a great questionnaire over at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, which I got to via Allure.
Some are impossibly hard - I mean, do you have a favourite use of high-definition video on the big screen? - and some are just plain fiendish. But it certainly gets you thinking.
Here are my answers, and I officially call on absolutely everyone to join in.
1) Second-favorite Stanley Kubrick film.
Tricky. Hate so many, can stand so few. Of those that seem to me to be most tolerable, I suppose the second most tolerable (after Lolita) is The Shining.
2) Most significant/important/interesting trend in movies over the past decade, for good or evil.
Unsimulated sex in mainstream narrative cinema
3) Bronco Billy (Clint Eastwood) or Buffalo Bill Cody (Paul Newman)?
Clint. No question.
4) Best Film of 1949.
Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff
5) Joseph Tura (Jack Benny) or Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore)?
Tough - but Oscar has it, just.
6) Has the hand-held shaky-cam directorial style become a visual cliché?
Is Bob Hope a Catholic?
7) What was the first foreign-language film you ever saw?
I can't remember. Another of the many advantages of growing up with BBC-2.
8) Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) or Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre)?
If only they were all this easy. Mr who?
9) Favorite World War II drama (1950-1970).
The Great Escape (1963)
10) Favorite animal movie star.
Mut (A Dog's Life )
11) Who or whatever is to blame, name an irresponsible moment in cinema.
The Moon is Blue (1953)
12) Best Film of 1969.
Taste the Blood of Dracula
13) Name the last movie you saw theatrically, and also on DVD or Blu-ray.
Theatrically - Piccadilly (1929). (It was yesterday, by the way: I have been to the cinema since 1929, albeit only once or twice.) On DVD - The Tuxedo with Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt in sexy specs.
14) Second-favorite Robert Altman film.
No answer possible. I don't have a second favourite disease either. Or a second favourite fascist.
15) What is your favorite independent outlet for reading about movies, either online or in print?
So many blogs.
16) Who wins? Angela Mao or Meiko Kaji?
Purely on the basis of a Google image search, I'd have to go with Meiko.
17) Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) or Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly)?
Jennifer Tilly, hands down.
18) Favorite movie that features a carnival setting or sequence.
19) Best use of high-definition video on the big screen to date.
See question 14
20) Favorite movie that is equal parts genre film and a deconstruction or consideration of that same genre.
An American Werewolf In London (1981)
21) Best Film of 1979.
22) Most realistic and/or sincere depiction of small-town life in the movies.
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
23) Best horror movie creature (non-giant division).
George Zucco's Mexican Flying Serpent
24) Second-favorite Francis Ford Coppola film.
The Conversation is the only one I like. Of the rest, the only ones I can see anything in at all (ie: interesting visual style) are One From the Heart and Dracula, and of the two, the one with least else wrong with it is One From the Heart.
25) Name a one-off movie that could have produced a franchise you would have wanted to see.
Freddy Got Fingered
26) Favorite sequence from a Brian De Palma film.
The screen tests in The Black Dahlia. But everything else the man's ever done: just terrible.
27) Favorite moment in three-strip Technicolor.
Any moment in Singin' in the Rain. But two-strip is more fun.
28) Favorite Alan Smithee film.
The Birds 2: Land's End (1994)
29) Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) or Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau)?
No idea who either of these characters are, but it's a pretty fair bet the correct answer is Walter Matthau.
30) Best post-Crimes and Misdemeanors Woody Allen film.
Anything Else (2003)
31) Best Film of 1999.
Had no ready answer for this so did a net search - turns out it was probably the bleakest year for movies in the medium's history: American Beauty, Star Wars 4, Notting Hill, Being John Malkovich, The Mummy, The Spy Who Shagged Me, In Dreams, The Bone Collector... and I could go on. How did we get through it?
Yet, somehow, amidst all this madness and shallow ambition, they accidentally made the best film of the whole decade: The Straight Story.
32) Favorite movie tag line.
"The Hero Is A Berk." (Top Secret)
33) Favorite B-movie western.
Apache Drums (1951) - a great Val Lewton movie still awaiting its due.
34) Overall, the author best served by movie adaptations of his or her work.
W. Somerset Maugham
35) Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn) or Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard)?
36) Favorite musical cameo in a non-musical movie.
The girl in the radiator in Eraserhead
37) Bruno (the character, if you haven’t seen the movie, or the film, if you have): subversive satire or purveyor of stereotyping?
Taking the question at face value: purveyor of stereotyping. Strange question though.
38) Five film folks, living or deceased, you would love to meet.
Charles Laughton, Fay Wray, Cecil B De Mille, Clara Bow, Robert Benchley. (Jennifer Love Hewitt came in sixth.)