PROFESSOR JULIUS KELP’S ENDLESS SUMMER CHEMISTRY TEST

Let’s go through another one (yes, I’m probably going to go through all of these SLIFR quizzes until I run out in order to avoid the continuous writer’s block I have as a critic). This one is from July 2006.

1) Does film best tell the truth (Godard) or tell lies (De Palma) at 24 frames per second? (Thanks, Peet)

Is it too much of a cop out to say both? I think it’s essentially a little from column A and a little from column B. But if I’m going to have to pick a side, I lean with Godard and not just because I actually like his movies as opposed to De Palma but… the 24 frames per second IS the lie, really. That’s how it imitates motion without capturing it.

2) Ideal pairing of actors/actresses to play on-screen siblings.

John Legend and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Racial differences notwithstanding, they literally have the same face type.

3) Favorite special effects moment.

The skeleton fight in Jason and the Argonauts. Makes me feel like a kid again every time I watch it. True love and care put in each combatant.

4) Matt Damon or George Clooney?

George Clooney easily. Though this is going to be so backhanded a compliment, but I really appreciate how the best Matt Damon performances utilize his dry bland looks.

Max was a real one.

5) What is the movie you’ve encouraged more people to see than any other?

I’m confident this is probably World of Tomorrow but it may also be Mad Max: Fury Road. So, y’know, 2015 was a good fucking year.

6) Favorite film of 1934.

The Thin Man, 100% relationship goals.

7) Your favorite movie theater*

Oof, how timely a moment to answer this question. It is and will possibly always be the Pollack Tempe Cinemas in Tempe, AZ. Second run strip mall theater with a ridiculous lobby in neon hot pink populated by memorabilia and a crowd of wax statues and worthy wide auditoriums with excellent presentation. Caught midnight cult movies there and also cheap late runs of new releases that were so much cheaper. A lot of sentimentality for the beginning of the past decade developing my love of movies while juggling three jobs, 2 majors, and no money. A real miracle and given that it’s literally been a giant expense of one dude for 21 years who just wants to make an accessible state-of-the-art movie theater for us folks, I really hope it’s able to open its doors once everything is safe (they voluntarily closed down since March).

Honestly, between Pollack Tempe Cinemas, The Loft, and Harkins Cinemas (and none for Alamo Drafthouse), I think Phoenix might be my favorite city to watch movies over Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, and New York City.

8) Jean Arthur or Irene Dunne?

Irene Dunne. Holds her own better against Cary Grant and also holds her own against Charles Boyer on top of it. Plus took her awesome stage skills to the screen with Show Boat. Definitely enough to forgive Cimarron. Jean Arthur has appeared in a lot of movies I like, but feels more often a liability to those awesome movies.

9) Favorite film made for children.

My Neighbor Totoro

10) Favorite Martin Scorsese Movie

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

11) Favorite film about children

My Neighbor Totoro doesn’t count? In that case… I shall fuck us up unnecessarily with the other 1988 Ghibli picture Grave of the Fireflies.

12) Favorite film of 1954.

Johnny Guitar.

13) Favorite screenplay written by a writer more famous for literature than screenplays.

Double Indemnity, with the awesome involvement of the hardboiled icon Raymond Chandler.

14) Walter Matthau or Jack Lemmon?

Jack Lemmon. Even the most gifable of Matthau’s faces cannot compete with how much Daphne in Some Like It Hot changed my life.

15) Favorite character name.

I’m between three ridiculous 80s hero names: Matt Hunter from Invasion USA, James Dalton from Road House, or John Matrix from Commando. I think I’m leaning more Matrix because it’s the most unorthodox of all these surnames.

16) Favorite screenplay adapted from a work of great literature, either by the author himself or by someone else.

I could cheat and say Double Indemnity again but I will switch to Solaris with the way it reconstructs itself and its distribution of knowledge (even if Stanisław Lem hated that approach).

17) Favorite film of 1974.

A Woman Under the Influence

18) Joan Severance or Shannon Tweed?

Barely recognized either based on the few movies. I guess I’ll lean Severance ’cause she’s the closest to being an entity in See No Evil, Hear No Evil between that and Of Unknown Origin (the only Tweed movie I’ve seen).

Also killer steel fucking eyes.

19) jackass: the movie— yes or no?

I turned into my adolescence in the early 2000s so though I have not seen a full episode of Jackass or any of the movies outside of Bad Grandpa, I must salute them for their ballsiness.

20) Favorite John Cassavetes Movie.

Same as my favorite movie of 1974 above: A Woman Under the Influence.

21) First R-rated movie you ever saw.

It was either Terminator 2: Judgment Day or it was The Matrix. In either case, it was a result of visiting somebody else’s home with my family and in either case… because my parents were strict as fuck, I was not supposed to be watching these movies.

22) Favorite X-rated film (remember that, while your answer may well be a famous or not-so-famous hard-core film, the “X” rating was once also a legitimate rating that did not necessarily connote pornography).

I’ll split the difference between porn and feature film: Flesh Gordon.

23) Best film of 1994.

Trois Couleurs: Rouge. Quentin Tarantino was right: Pulp Fiction stole its Palme.

24) Describe a moment in a movie that made you weep

The final meeting in Brief Encounter. Probably means less outside of the context of the movie, so y’all should watch it soon.

25) Ewan McGregor or Ewan Bremner?

That’s not fair, setting someone who looks like Ewan Bremner against someone who looks like Ewan McGregor.

26) One of your favorite line readings (not necessarily one of your favorite lines) from this or any year.

This year: “You are sick of prosperity and indulgence. Cannot you invent a few hardships for yourself and be contented to stay?” from Emma.

2006 (if I’m trying to match the time this quiz was first posted): “Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled.” from The Prestige

Any year: “What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? … And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!” from A Man for All Seasons

27) What, if any, element in a film, upon your hearing of its inclusion beforehand, would most likely prejudice you against seeing that film or keeping an open mind about it?

I will confess that learning about Mank‘s creation made me braced for the adaptation of “Raising Kane” that it relievedly was not. But if I’m thinking about 2006, probably the knowledge that Douglas Adams died before he could complete or sign off on the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy screenplay.

28) Favorite Terry Gilliam Movie.

Brazil

29) Jean Smart or Annie Potts?

Annie Potts. Don’t even have to second guess, I love her too much.

30) Is it possible to know with any certainty if you could like or love someone based partially on their taste in movies? If so, what film might be a potential relationship deal-breaker for you, or the one that might just seal that deal?

I imagine it depends on different combinations of person to person. I definitely think I can hang and chill with people based on their tastes in movies but definitely have movies that are total dealbreakers for me – how am I supposed to trust a girl that doesn’t like Lubitsch? – while having practically no movies that “seal the deal” for me since… i dunno, I’m sure I should be having more concerns than if they have the same movies I love. Just gotta make sure she doesn’t have those movies. Like if they like my baby dog Bruno.

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