PROFESSOR KINGSFIELD’S HAIR-RAISING, BAR-RAISING HOLIDAY MOVIE QUIZ

And another holiday SLIFR quiz from December 2008.

1) What was the last movie you saw theatrically? On DVD or Blu-ray?

Same as the last post. Tenet in theaters, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! on blu-ray.

2) Holiday movies— Do you like them naughty or nice?

I prefer them nice as heck because they’re warm comfort blankets in one of my most relaxed times of year. That said, Gremlins among others remain clear reminders that I will gladly take them naughty as they come (though not too naughty if Fatman should be any indication. That one just barely passes my threshold despite enjoying a good amount of it).

3) Ida Lupino or Mercedes McCambridge?

Mercedes McCambridge. Johnny Guitar power, y’know.


4) Favorite actor/character from Twin Peaks

Special Agent Dale Cooper is just the easiest answer in the world so I’ll go with Ray Wise’s performance of Leland Palmer, an extremely weird performance that feels even more horrifying in the context of what we learn later about him. Specifically avoiding season 3 to stay in the spirit of a question asked in 2008.

5) It’s been said that, rather than remaking beloved, respected films, Hollywood should concentrate more on righting the wrongs of the past and tinker more with films that didn’t work so well the first time. Pretending for a moment that movies are made in an economic vacuum, name a good candidate for a remake based on this criterion.

I feel like Stuart Gordon’s Fortress should have been a lot more memorable than it was: a dystopian high-tech multi-tier lockdown prison escape by a known action figure? That should have been Escape from Butcher Bay: The Movie.

6) Favorite Spike Lee joint.

Do the Right Thing

7) Lawrence Tierney or Scott Brady?

Scott Brady has given better performances in my eyes (Johnny Guitar gang!), even though Tierney is much more interesting as a person (and looks just like The Thing).


8) Are most movies too long?

Yes, I am both too old and I am baby so that makes me extra tired. Decided this once the actuality Arrival of a Train at Ciotat made me think how it’s taking forever to end for some reason.

9) Favorite performance by an actor portraying a real-life politician.

Henry Fonda as Abraham Lincoln? Is that too basic? I could do worse and pick Abraham Lincoln.

10) Create the main event card for the ultimate giant movie monster smackdown.

The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man vs. Talos. I think it’s a perfect fit, to be honest.

11) Jean Peters or Sheree North?

I’ve only seen one movie of Sheree North’s and frankly Pickup on South Street is hard to beat anyway, so Peters.

12) Why would you ever want or need to see a movie more than once?

The main reason is because I enjoyed it so much the first that I’m sure I’ll find the familiarity of pleasant elements comforting. But there’s also just the fact that I’m human: not only am I unlikely to get everything the first time, I’m also sure that there actually is deeper elements that reward that rewatch and the best film experiences bring something revelatory after I approach the movie as a fundamentally changed perspective down the line. You’re not talking to Pauline Kael here.

13) Favorite road movie.

Y Tu Mamá Tambien although somedays my answer is Two-Lane Blacktop.

14) Favorite Budd Boetticher picture.

I’ve only seen two. I’ll pick Ride Lonesome.

15) Who is the one person, living or dead, famous or unknown, who most informed or encouraged your appreciation of movies?

Wow, that is genuinely hard to say because I don’t really feel like there’s one person who really encouraged my appreciation of movies until the time that I was already waist deep in that. Arguably my mom by indulging the times I wanted to go to the movie theaters and often got me DVDs just off-hand but I didn’t care much for the movies she would bring. Which I guess does mean that I would explore and look for the sort of stuff I did dig. In any case, I couldn’t really find people to actually discuss movies until I got to college so I’m at least glad I had folks like Phil and Britt to talk movies with and figure what I liked from there.

16) Favorite opening credit sequence. (Please include YouTube link if possible.)

I just answered this with yesterday’s holiday quiz! Monty Python and the Holy Grail followed by Enter the Void!

Thinking of a third place answer to shake this up… maybe The Sting for being so unexpectedly meta with each title card.


17) Kenneth Tobey or John Agar?

John Agar, one of my favorite actors. Not particularly for his ability. More because he doesn’t try hard to hide his B-movie belongings.


18) Jean-Luc Godard once suggested that the more popular the movie, the less likely it was that it was a good movie. Is he right or just cranky? Cite the best evidence one way or the other.

Eh, I think he’s a bit of an overachiever. These days Marvel movies dominate the conversations and they are definitely meh as fuck, but the real truth behind Godard’s statement is that the mainstream critics and public have the WORST taste in documentaries (at least lately). They pick them based on subject matter rather than form and most of them lean hagiography or just surface-level wikipedia summary. RBG, Amy, Senna, Searching for Sugarman, Free Solo, The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, Icarus, Fyre, Fyre Fraud, Rat Film, Dawson City: Lost Time, Life Animated, Three Identical Strangers, Won’t You Be My Neighbour?, For Sama, I have to really DIG to find worthwhile documentaries because listening to word-of-mouth rarely ever pays off. I’m glad I do end up finding gems when I put in the work, though.

19) Favorite Jonathan Demme movie.

Stop Making Sense

20) Tatum O’Neal or Linda Blair?

Linda Blair has generally more consistency but Tatum O’Neal has the better overall performance and I just can’t pretend that Blair has ever hit that height of Paper Moon.


21) Favorite use of irony in a movie. (This could be an idea, moment, scene, or an entire film.)

Spoilers for a 61-year-old movie.

Probably the entire first half of North by Northwest, really, where Cary Grant is mistaken for a man who doesn’t even exist.

22) Favorite Claude Chabrol film.

The Butcher

23) The best movie of the year to which very little attention seems to have been paid.

I don’t remember what movies everybody was talking about in 2008. Probably every movie I liked that wasn’t WALL-E or The Dark Knight.

24) Dennis Christopher or Robby Benson?

Robby Benson for whom my entire exposure is his voicing the Beast in the Disney Beauty and the Beast films and that gives him a hell of a leg up on Dennis Christopher being in one of my least favorite Oscarbait films and a really mediocre (but beloved) Stephen King miniseries.


25) Favorite movie about journalism.

His Girl Friday, of course. Though I almost thought about All the President’s Men, the one that made me WANT to be a journalist.

26) What’s the DVD commentary you’d most like to hear? Who would be on the audio track?

Y.K. Kim and Bong Joon-ho watching Miami Connection together. Not particularly with the assumption that they’d be a good fit given that they both appear to come from ideological polar opposites (at least assuming that Kim is a capitalist, which I suspect) but they also both have an energy eager to get along and I know Bong has a bottomless love for all sorts of crazy cinema that I’d love to see where it goes and be optimistic about it.

27) Favorite movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

The Outlaw Josey Wales, though sometimes High Plains Drifter, Unforgiven, or Letters from Iwo Jima sneak up.

28) Paul Dooley or Kurtwood Smith?

Love them both but my adolescence watching Kurtwood Smith berate the kids in That 70’s Show were a great precursor to watching him get real vicious in RoboCop so I’ll always have that in my heart.


29) Your clairvoyant moment: Make a prediction about the Oscar season.

That Heath Ledger was going to win Best Supporting Actor was something literally everybody called.

30) Your hope for the movies in 2009.

I assume that back in December 2008, I was hoping that Avatar would turn out to be the best movie ever.

31) What’s your top 10 of 2008? (If you have a blog and have your list posted, please feel free to leave a link to the post.)

Again, not bothering to look at the US release dates for a year that’s over a decade in the past:
1. The Beaches of Agnès
2. WALL-E
3. Happy-Go-Lucky
4. Wendy and Lucy
5. Of Time and the City
6. A Christmas Tale
7. Burn After Reading
8. Che
9. Summer Hours
10. Hunger

BONUS QUESTION (to be answered after December 25):

32) What was your favorite movie-related Christmas gift that you received this year?

I ain’t gotta worry about this one because I don’t really receive presents for Christmas. I send them to my friends instead. In any case, I’m expecting once I return home that my old co-hosts from A Night at the Opera will each have sent me a movie gift as I too sent them (as we do every year) and I’m sure I will appreciate both just the same.

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