In the immortal of Raul Julia, “I’m just stalling for time”. I figure as long as I don’t have an article ready for post, I can maybe pop in a few more of these surveys a day from the reliable ol’ Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule and see what happens. Tonight’s selection is from 2012, which will explain certain questions (ie. the Clint Eastwood one) so let’s go ahead and blast into the past.
1) What is the biggest issue for you in the digital vs. film debate?
That it ostensibly has to be an either or matter. I love and prefer watching movies shot on film projected on film, just the way they were meant to be. But if we work with digital, there’s suddenly a new tool in which to preserve much of that material as well as a means by which to allow people’s further awareness of film and celluloid and the need to maintain and restore it.
2) Without more than one minute’s consideration, name three great faces from the movies.
Peter Lorre, Maria Falconetti, Buster Keaton
Lorre was probably the first in my head not only because it’s a weird face but because I just finished watching two Lorre movies in a row about evil hands of a pianist killing others – Mad Love and The Beast with Five Fingers.
3) The movie you think could be interesting if remade as a movie musical.
Boy, should I have a better answer to this than Love, Simon. I hope I do before I finish this quiz.
4) The last movie you saw theatrically/on DVD, Blu-ray, streaming.
Theatrically: Tenet, great time still ambivalent about doing so in COVID era.
DVD/Blu-Ray: The Phantom of the Opera (1925) in my preference of the original 114-minute one and I am pretty damn sad that the Kino blu-ray couldn’t do much to help the fucked up 16mm print that version is saved off of compared to the pristine truncated versions.
Streaming: Not counting the Netflix special Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein, The Cat and the Canary off of Amazon Prime.
5) Favorite movie about work.
Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times. I would have to pick a movie that’s anti-work as fuck.
6) The movie you loved as a child that did not hold up when seen through adult eyes.
A lot of these movies exist, but I’ll say Space Jam for now. Which will get me in trouble with certain people, but have to say that I loved it as a child when I was more of a Michael Jordan fan than a Looney Tunes fan but hate it now that I’m more of a Looney Tunes fan (but still a nostalgic Michael Jordan fan).
7) Favorite “road” movie.
Feel like dystopic car ride movies like Mad Max: Fury Road and Death Race 2000 are cheating, so I will go with Y Tu Mama Tambien.
8) Does Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National Convention change or confirm your perspective on him as a filmmaker/movie icon? Is that appearance relevant to his legacy as a filmmaker?
It doesn’t really for a couple of simple reasons: I still like his movies, I’ve already been sus of him based on his treatment of Sondra Locke, I’ve long known he was a Republican for the stupidest of reasons given that most of his specific politics are pretty leftist as hell.
The only real change I can think of is that his bullshit with the chair is the beginning of all of my understanding that Eastwood is trash working with non-actors, inanimate objects included.
9) Longest-lasting movie or movie-related obsession.
Movies in general, if I want to be fucking smart about it. But I guess I could say that my obsession with movie monster designs and particularly with slasher monsters like Freddy and Jason never really died. I used to have pictures of the grossest monster make-up designs hanging in a corner of my room between band and movie posters and surfing images.
Maybe I’ll have that corner again after I move.
10) Favorite artifact of movie exploitation.
I wasn’t sure what was meant by artifact (I almost went with the cars in the movies), but going directly off the definition of the term itelf: the VHS covers. They’d be the most ridiculously sensational (and depending on the material, often tasteless) things.
11) Have you ever fallen asleep in a movie theater? If so, when and why?
A couple of times. I think the funniest two to bring up would be:
– The Cannes premiere of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, attended by all these celebrities and right there in the middle of the picture and my first screening at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. And I ended up experiencing first-hand what one of my friends warned me about regarding the Palais… those seats are comfortable enough to fall asleep in. And it’s something I’d end up something I’d be slipping into over and over through out the festival.
– This all-nighter showcase of horror films by the Secret Celluloid Society at the Coral Gables Art Cinema on Halloween 2015. Specifically how the last film was The Texas Chain Saw Massacre which I had seen a million times at that point and since I was super exhausted, I kept trying to drift off to sleep in my seat but something horrifying would occur and the screams or violent sounds would wake me up once more.
12) Favorite performance by an athlete in a movie.
I don’t want to go with any athletes that have made the full transition to film actor (ie. The Rock, Roddy Piper, Jim Brown, Vinnie Jones, Fred Williamson, etc.) so I will go with Hulk Hogan’s surprise appearance in Gremlins 2: The New Batch just for adding to the awesome absurdity of the film. And I deeply wish I saw it for the first time in a movie theater as a child, that would have made my life.
Bonus: I ran into this sudden Hulk Hogan impression from none other than Noel Gallagher while browsing on YouTube.
13) Second favorite Rainer Werner Fassbinder movie.
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. Although asking me this question is asking throw a dart between several Fassbinder movies I deeply love. One of my favorite filmmakers.
14) Favorite film of 1931
City Lights. Anybody who doesn’t love this movie has no heart.
15) Second favorite Raoul Walsh movie.
The Thief of Bagdad, which resembles my culture as much as Hungry Hungry Hippos resembles my culture but it’s not like I go to movies for versimilitude.
16) Favorite film of 1951.
Gerald McBoing-Boing, the noisemaking jit. Which happens to be accessible to anybody who wants to see it on YouTube.
17) Second favorite Wong Kar-wai movie.
Chungking Express, no less a masterpiece than my number one pick and possibly the one that dazzled me more on first watch.
18) Favorite film of 1971.
… Good God, is it really the avant-garde short I watched for the first time last year? I think I’ll go with Larry Gottheim’s Barn Rushes.
19) Second favorite Henri-Georges Clouzot movie.
The Wages of Fear, which will probably get me attacked for putting it as low as second-place.
20) Favorite film of 1991.
The Double Life of Veronique, barring a rewatch of Barton Fink, baby.
21) Second favorite John Sturges movie.
The Magnificent Seven, which not only used to be my first favorite but even was my among my favorite movies ever made. My, how I’ve changed.
22) Favorite celebrity biopic.
Does Ed Wood count? I don’t know, I had a loose definition of “celebrity” as “anybody who is famous enough to have a biopic made of them”. If we’re referring to a much more public figure, can’t think of one more focused on the “public” aspect than Jackie.
23) Name a good script idea which was let down either by the director or circumstances of production.
Shit, and to think I used My Fair Lady for an answer a few days ago. I will go with The Last Stand, the Kim Ji-Woon picture where I was expecting more of an action-movie Bacurau – a pastoral interrupted by violence – rather than the direct-to-video movie we got. But hey, it did have the charm of watching a movie directed, scored, and shot by South Koreans and starring an Austrian, a Puerto Rican, and a Brazilian play their own modern cowboy movie.
24) Heaven’s Gate— yes or no?
Very much yes. If the New Hollywood era had to implode, I’m glad it did so in the name of such an ambitiously slow amble through Americana-that-was.
25) Favorite pairing of movie sex symbols.
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, because you obviously know they’re really in love with each other and not their “love interests”.
26) One word that you could say which would instantly evoke images and memories of your favorite movie. (Naming the movie is optional—might be more fun to see if we can guess what it is from the word itself).
27) Name one moment which to you demarcates a significant change, for better or worse, on the landscape of the movies over the last 20 years.
The complete hissy fit everyone had w/r/t Martin Scorsese’s comments about Marvel movies, illustrating both the asphyxiating manner in which Disney has sucked up all the cultural conversation in an inescapable way as well as how fragile shit gets from the slightest divergence from the popular norm.
(My close second was The Lion King remake making a billion dollars thereby embodying the 800 pound gorilla that is blockbusters making a billion or bust and the self-cannibalization that Disney is taking to in order perpertuate their brand, which is another annoying thing about Marvel movies).
28) Favorite pre-Code talkie.
Trouble in Paradise. Imagine being denied of smoky innuendos like that.
29) Oldest film in your personal collection (Thanks, Peter Nellhaus).
Probably something off the Buster Keaton short films collection. I know The Rough House is the earliest one so I’ll say that one.
30) Longest film in your personal collection. (Thanks, Brian Darr).
Doing us the dignity of recognizing that Dekalog is a miniseries and not a film, I will go with Shoah.
31) Have your movie collection habits changed in the past 10 years? If so, how?
My sudden increase in income over the past 2 years have allowed me to indulge much more than is advisable (while my neurotic nature still prevents me from overdipping too much outside my budget).
This is another way to say that I am more willing to snatch out-of-print stuff when I spot it in the wild because now I know I can afford it.
32) Wackiest, most unlikely “directed by” credit you can name.
The Straight Story by David Lynch and Pootie Tang by Louis CK are the lowest-hanging of low-hanging fruit so I might as well go to the other unexpected Disney project from a man you wouldn’t expect: Robert Altman’s Popeye (which I genuinely like).
33) Best documentary you’ve seen in 2012 (made in 2012 or any other year)
Ouch, one that needed to be answered in 2012 itself. I’m willing to bet the answer to this is This Is Not a Film, but at this point I don’t think we’ll ever know. Maybe The House Is Black, but I can’t recall if that was a 2012 watch or a 2013 watch.
34) What’s your favorite “(this star) was almost cast in (this movie)” anecdote?
There is not a single one of these anecdotes funnier in a morbid way than O.J. Simpson not getting the titular role of The Terminator because nobody would buy him as a cold-blooded killer. He sure showed us…
35) Program three nights of double bills at a revival theater that might best illuminate your love of the movies.
Demons (1985) vs. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003)
Dawn of the Dead (1978) vs. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1991)
The Tree of Life (2011) vs. Cats (2019)
36) You have been granted permission to invite any three people, alive or dead, to your house to watch the Oscars. Who are they?
Orson Welles, Groucho Marx,
Kermit the Frog Vincent Price, but I really would like the third to be a Muppet if allowed.
37) Favorite Mr. Chips. (Careful…)
Robert Donat. With apology to Mr. O’Toole but I just find Donat so much warmer.