Yesterday’s gap has broken my streak of doing one of these a day until I run out of summer editions of the quizzes for Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, but I’m still powering through them anyway. Today’s edition comes from August of 2016 and is titled after a very novel looking fellow from Roman Polanski’s horror-comedy The Fearless Vampire Killers, famously the production in which he met his first wife Sharon Tate. I actually do wonder why I never got around to seeing it and hope to sometime soon, even though I haven’t been in a rush to watch a film by him since 2013 for obvious reasons (I also never caught the soundtrack to the musical adaptation Dance of the Vampires for the reason that I wanted to see this movie).

Anyway, with nothing to say about the namesake, let us move forward on his quiz.

1) Name the last 10 movies you’ve seen, either theatrically or at home

1 – The Wizard of Oz at the Siskel Center in 35mm
2 – Tombs of the Blind Dead off the new Synapse blu-ray
3 – Pontypool at home
4 – Smoking, the 1966 Joe Jones short film, at home
5 – Millennium Actress off the recent Shout! blu-ray
6 – Nope in IMAX
7 – Kwaidan at the Logan Theatre
8 – James and the Giant Peach at the Music Box
9 – Ring at the Logan Theatre
10 – Ju-On: The Grudge at the Logan Theatre

2) Favorite movie feast

Babette’s, baby! Would love to one day recreate it in the kitchen.

3) Dial M for Murder (1954) or Rear Window (1954)?

Rear Window

4) Favorite song or individual performance from a concert film

The Who stealing the fucking show from the Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus with the most explosive rendition of “A Quick One, While He’s Away” one can imagine without the use of their usual pyrotechnics, provided in their documentary The Kids Are Alright which feels like it fits enough as a concert film to not be cheating (if you think it is… I’ll go with Hendrix doing “Wild Thing” in Monterey Pop).

Excluding another film from the same director, if you were programming a double feature what would you pair with:
5) Alex Cox’s Straight to Hell (1986)?

Woof, I’m expecting a lot of these to be made up of movies I haven’t yet seen and Straight to Hell is particularly embarrassing because I’ve had this on DVD for 8 years now as a gift. Good thing “another film from the same director” is forbidden because my kneejerk was Walker, but with that eliminated… I guess Six-String Samurai, maybe.

6) Benjamin Christensen’s Haxan: Witchcraft Throughout the Ages (1922)?

The Love Witch, fully aware I’m invoking the work of Anna Biller within 24 hours of her showing her ass for the millionth fucking time.

7) Federico Fellini’s I vitteloni (1953)?

Easily Everybody Wants Some!!, like this is the laziest answer outta me for this one.

8) Vincente Minnelli’s The Long, Long Trailer (1953)?

Stanley Donen’s Two for the Road (I have not seen The Long, Long Trailer)

9) Sam Peckinpah’s The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)?

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (I have not seen The Ballad of Cable Hogue and in fact missed a Chicago Film Society screening of it this year)

10) George Englund’s Zachariah (1971)?

The toughest one because I haven’t even HEARD of this movie. Going off the letterboxd summary of its plot… I guess El Topo?

11) Favorite movie fairy tale

Is it really as basic as The Wizard of Oz? So soon after rewatching it? Probably.

12) What is the sport that you think has most eluded filmmakers in terms of capturing either its essence or excitement?

Wrestling, and I mean legit Olympic wrestling. Not pro-wrestling. Can you imagine the gay porn opportunities? I haven’t seen Vision Quest, is that gay enough?

13) The Seventh Seal (1957) or Wild Strawberries (1957)?

Wild Strawberries

14) Your favorite Criterion Collection release

Tough call, I’ll go with the Brazil box set just for how exhaustive it is: the amount of on-set material, the laying about on what a fucking nightmarish battle it was to get released, the willingness to include the much-compromised cut by the studio, and on top of it all… you get to watch Brazil!

15) In the tradition of the Batley Townswomen’s Guild’s staging of the Battle of Pearl Harbor and Camp on Blood Island, who would be the featured players (individual or tag-team) in your Classic Film Star Free-for-all Fight?

Robert Mitchum and Marlene Dietrich, they both seem like people who could throw the fuck down.

16)  Throne of Blood (1957) or The Lower Depths (1957)?

I have not yet seen The Lower Depths so while Throne of Blood is one of my favorite movies, you definitely do not want to underestimate any post-war Kurosawa picture.

17) Your favorite movie snack

I’ve moved away from movie snacks lately, but perhaps Jelly Belly jellybeans? Those are really the ones I’m willing to snack on in a movie theater these days.

18) Robert Altman’s Quintet— yes or no?

The closest I come yet to a hard no, that movie sucks. But I guess Altman had to get it out of his system somehow so I guess still gotta be my “every movie deserves to exist” yes.

19) Name the documentarian whose work you find most valuable.

Frederick Wiseman, just find his massive institutional fly-on-the-walls very inviting in structure and insightful in comprehensiveness.

20) The Conversation (1974) or The Godfather Part II (1974)?

The Conversation

21) Favorite movie location you’ve visited in person.

Third time I have to answer this this summer. I guess I’ll go with Woodstock, IL – shooting location of Groundhog Day – where I took my dog one summer day.

22) If you could have directed a scene from any movie in the hope of improving it, what scene would it be, and what direction would you give the actor(s) in it? (question submitted by Patrick Robbins)

Goddamn, this is a tough question to ask because honestly I try to approach movies as is and even when I criticize them, not be like “oh the director shoulda done this to fix it”. It’s like how if I see a painting I don’t like, I’m not gonna say the artist should have used a different style of paint, it just doesn’t speak to me.

In the spirit of the spot, I’ll go with a much too easy one: I woulda stopped Brando mid-sentence on the set of Superman and told his ass to pronounce “Krypton” correctly.

23) The Doors (1991) or  JFK (1991)?

I never finished The Doors, a fact I’m sure my brother would disown me for if he was aware.

24) What is your greatest film blasphemy or strongest evidence of your status as a contrarian? (H/T Larry Aydlette)

Everything I hear about Marlon Brando off-screen suggests he was a fascinating human being, everything I see on-screen outside of On the Waterfront emboldens my attitude he was a terrible actor.

25) Favorite pre-1970 one-sheet

26) Favorite post-1970 one-sheet

27) WarGames (1983) or Blue Thunder (1983)?

I have not seen Blue Thunder.

28) Your candidate for best remake ever made

Some Like It Hot

29) Give us a good story, or your favorite memory, about attending a drive-in movie

Shout out to J.A.B., K.C., and Houston (whose last name I keep forgetting) about that time mid-2020 during the early points of the pandemic when the Thunderbird Drive-In in Ft. Lauderdale where we went to see Mad Max: Fury Road. If I were emperor of the universe, only road movies would play at drive-ins.

30) Favorite non-horror Hammer film

One Million Years B.C.

31) Favorite movie with the word/number “seven” in the title (question submitted by Patrick Robbins)

I’m basic as fuck, cause it’s Seven Samurai.

32) Is there a movie disagreement you can think of which would cause you to reconsider the status of a personal relationship?

If somebody told me they did not consider Triumph of the Will or The Birth of a Nation to be evil films. I mean, I find absolute aesthetic pleasure in the former and it’s fair to try to approach them both academically but someone who thinks they are not evil works of art is probably somebody I do not want to have in my life.

33) Erin Brockovich (2000) or Traffic (2000)?

Erin Brockovich

34) Your thoughts on the recent online petition demanding that Turner Classic Movies cease showing all movies made after 1960.

Wack. I’m perfectly willing to admit cinema peaked with the silent era, but you don’t hear me demanding those are the only movies publicly exhibited. I just think it loudly.

(Seriously, though, any metric that does not consider The Sound of Music or Night of the Living Dead classic movies needs to be reconsidered).


Onward with our run down the summer quizzes from Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, we encounter this April 2015 post (which is not even summer to me, come on! But it IS saying summer in the title) that also doubled as a celebratory 10th anniversary summary post that has been nice enough to function as my primary map to how many quizzes I have left to indulge in. We’re still a long way from the end (assuming Collazzo’s last post from January of this year is unceremoniously his last, but hey… I took forever to post this year too so hope springs eternal…) so let’s keep rolling and avoid me having to acknowledge what a weirdly boring disappointment I found Bad Teacher and Diaz’s performance in it.

1) Name a line from a movie that should’ve become a catch phrase but didn’t *

We need more and more opportunities to use the phrase “Negative, I am a meat popsicle” or we fail as a society.

2) Your second favorite William Wellman film


3) Viggo Mortensen or Javier Bardem?

Mortensen. Sure, the dude has Green Book to blame but he’s so fucking weird in Green Book that I think he’s the only dude that makes it watchable. He is tied to all of Cronenberg’s best 21st Century works and he hangs out with fucking Buckethead. I do love Bardem, but not a contest.

4) Favorite first line from a movie.

“If they move, kill ’em!”

5) The most disappointing/superfluous “director’s cut” or otherwise extended edition of a movie you’ve seen? *

I know I just praised Mortensen to the high heavens, but easily easily easily… The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Sorry, nerds.

6) What is the movie you feel was most enhanced by a variant version? *

Blade Runner is the easiest go-to (and one could also say the same about Once Upon a Time in America, except I’ve never seen that said by someone who saw the theatrical cut so that feels a bit disingenuous even while I’m sure it’s worse), but I will go ahead and state The Abyss feels like whichever cut you choose, you are getting a much different movie in a way I find truly fascinating… even while I prefer the extended cut.

7) Eve Arden or Una Merkel?

Leaning to Eve Arden just because she sticks around in my brain more.

8) What was the last DVD/Blu-ray/streaming film you saw? The last theatrical screening?

Last blu-ray was a rewatch of 2009’s Sweetgrass, last streaming watch was a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode of Teenagers from Outer Space, DVD and theater remain unchanged: Chaplin shorts from the former, Nope from the latter.

9) Second favorite Michael Mann film

The Insider

10) Name a favorite director’s most egregious misstep

John Ford deciding he was too thirsty for Katharine Hepburn to leave the set of Mary of Scotland.

11) Alain Delon or Marcello Mastroianni?

I would have picked Alain Delon before he turned out to be a raging fascist over the last decade. Wasn’t that dude supposed to submit himself to euthanasia? A cool fucking screen presence who is involved in many of my favorite films, but Marcello Mastroianni exemplified the sort of cool I wanted to be even at his sloppiest.

12) Jean-Luc Godard famously stated that “all you need for a movie is a girl and a gun.” Name one other essential element that you’d add to the mix.

A cut.

13) Favorite one-sheet that you own, or just your favorite one-sheet (please provide a link to an image if you can)

I own a poster of Elle autographed by Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert (gracias to Nathaniel at The Film Experience for that, please support that site!) and yet still the position of privilege is given to the one-sheet of my favorite movie of the 2010s. Maybe the poster will be dethroned when that Who Killed Captain Alex? poster arrives in the mail, though.

Please excuse the blurriness and glare, but it’s late and I’m tired.

14) Catherine Spaak or Daniela Giordano?

I’ve only seen one movie with either actor, but Spaak had more to do in The Cat o’ Nine Tails so I guess she wins by fiat.

15) Director who most readily makes you think “Whatever happened to…?”

Joel Anderson of Lake Mungo fame. It’s pretty obvious the dude has been so burnt out by filmmaking that he didn’t even contribute to the Second Sight release but I do genuinely wonder what was the breaking point for that dude. Such a huge talent and he just disappeared for good.

16) Now that some time has passed… The Interview, yes or no?

Yes to its existence, no to the movie being worth a damn.

17) Second favorite Alberto Calvalcanti film

I haven’t seen a single movie of his.

18) Though both displayed strong documentary influence in their early films, Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog have focused heavily on the documentary form late in their filmmaking careers. If he had lived, what kind of films do you think Rainer Werner Fassbinder, their partner in the German New Wave of the ‘70s, would be making now?

I can actually see Fassbinder moving into adaptations of theatre classics, based in his background with Munich Action-Theater. I definitely don’t see that guy making documentaries like his contemporaries.

19) Name a DVD you’ve replaced with a Blu-ray. Name another that you decided not to replace. *

I have replaced so many DVDs with Blu-Rays in the year of our lord 2022. I guess the latest is that I finally after all these years upgraded my Brazil Criterion DVD set to the Blu-Ray, but I’m still keeping the DVD set just cause I like how chonky it looks. One I did not replace and probably never will is 28 Days Later… or also The Blair Witch Project. They’d have to come with a lot of special features for me to upgrade them, otherwise there’s no ability to upgrade that sort of DV visual material.

20) Don Rickles or Rodney Dangerfield?

Dangerfield, he just seems like he would have been so much fun to hang out with.

21) Director who you wish would hurry up and make another film

Panos Cosmatos, come on! Every movie he makes is a movie I wish I made.

22) Second favorite Michael Bay film

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

23) Name a movie that, for whatever reason, you think of as your own

Jammin’ the Blues, which feels so directly like the thing that clicked most to me about intersecting visuals and sounds into a ball of excitement that one can’t but be infected by witnessing. Certainly I’ve found myself more stimulated since by short film material like Begone Dull Care, The Heart of the World, and The Wizard of Speed and Time but you never forget your first and I mean… I was a lover of jazz drumming before I was a lover of on-camera effects and animation, frankly.

24) Your favorite movie AI (however loosely you care to define the term)

Roy Batty, unless having a body is a cheat in which case I’ll go with the most basic answer that is HAL-9000.

25) Your favorite existing DVD commentary track *

I find more and more I thrive on the conflict that is at the center of the Limey commentary. Soderbergh and Dobbs truly went at each other there.

26) The double bill you’d program on the last night of your own revival theater

Dragon Inn and Goodbye, Dragon Inn

27) Catherine Deneuve or Claudia Cardinale?

I know I just talked shit about Alain Delon being a fascist and it’s not like Catherine Deneuve isn’t herself majorly racist towards Arabic people like me but… y’all can not underestimate how often I think down there instead of up here. Like I mentioned about Vivien Leigh in an earlier quiz, the Larry David quote remains true to me “Here you have some one who, not only doesn’t want you, doesn’t even acknowledge your right to exist, wants your destruction… that’s a turn-on.” Sorry, Claudia, you’re gorgeous and an excellent actor too.

(* Questions provided by long-time SLIFR reader and quiz participant Robert Fiore. Thanks, Bob!)


Rolling right along on this summer run through my personal TeenBeat magazine quizzes, the stuff of Dennis Collazo’s blog Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. This quiz is dated from June of 2011 and named after the lead character in Nicholas Ray’s rather excellent Bigger Than Life, embodied by a performance from James Mason using his effete personality as a disorienting vehicle to his character’s growing toxic masculinity, amplified by Ray and his crew’s utilization of the widescreen format to make him bigger and smaller as needed. If you have not seen Bigger Than Life, I much recommend it but this ain’t a review of that movie because that’d make me tired. Gonna go with the quiz stuff instead. Let’s rock!

1) Depending on your mood, your favorite or least-loved movie cliché.

Least loved is easy: daddy issues in writing. Go to fucking therapy, maybe it’ll make you a better writer.

Favorite is a little tougher but… when they be using flowing window curtains to imply a couple have banged.

2) Regardless of whether or not you eventually caught up with it, which film classic have you lied about seeing in the past?

I’ve since seen them both, but I’m sure I’ve previously said in elementary school I saw either Grease or The Goonies to be cool or whatever.

3) Roland Young or Edward Everett Horton?

Extremely tough call. I think I might pick Horton just ’cause I feel more familiar with him in succession of those Astaire/Rogers musicals he did.

4) Second favorite Frank Tashlin movie

The Girl Can’t Help It, assuming we are disqualifying Tashlin’s Looney Tunes work.

5) Clockwork Orange— yes or no?

Yes and unlike previous encounters of this type of question for Salo and Human Centipede where I can get some personality throwing them down as filth (though I think that’s an immense discredit), I’m actually confused as to why this is a question.

6) Best/favorite use of gender dysphoria in a horror film
 (Ariel Schudson)

This is absolutely the sort of thing y’all want to hear a cis man talk about, given that cis people are the world’s biggest experts on this matter. But in the spirit of this, I’ll probably go with the final shots of Sleepaway Camp, which have seldom left my brain in the 7 years since I first watched that movie.

7) Melanie Laurent or Blake Lively?

Blake Lively, I think she’s proven one of the more interesting actors of the 21st Century and I’ve yet to see a performance out of her that I don’t enjoy. Laurent is great in Inglourious Basterds, but I honestly can’t think of anything else where she’s made an impression to me (and I think her directing in Mustang is good, but I’m not writing home about it).

8) Best movie of 2011 (so far…)

lol at “so far…”. Since this quiz was posted on 1 June 2011, it was probably The Tree of Life and it remains The Tree of Life over 11 years later.

9) Favorite screen performer with a noticeable facial deformity
 (Peg Aloi)

Michael Berryman is my default pick, although Robert Z’Dar is somehow challenging that in my brain now. I’ll stick to Berryman, that man is such a good sport and knows precisely how to play into horror exploitation cinema in a manner that’s effectively creepy.

10) Lars von Trier: shithead or misunderstood comic savant? (Dean Treadway)

Shithead. Inspired shithead, but shithead nonetheless and I have no time to play his games anymore.

11) Timothy Carey or Henry Silva?

Henry Silva. I’m not fond enough of either actor to determine a superior, but Silva’s in Megaforce so that’s all I need.

12) Low-profile writer who deserves more attention from critics and /or audiences

Assuming we’re talking screenwriter, Dan O’Bannon.

13) Movie most recently viewed theatrically, and on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming

Just watched Nope this afternoon at Woodridge’s Cinemark IMAX 15/70. DVD and Blu-Ray are the same answers as this question got a few days ago, some Chaplin shorts and L’Avventura. Streaming, I caught Stuart Gordon’s last movie Stuck on Tubi.

14) Favorite film noir villain.

Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity

15) Best thing about streaming movies?

Lol, you are asking the wrong motherfucker here, streaming is the bane of cinema in my eyes. I guess a nice thing is that I can have my Roku set-up in my bedroom and catch a quick Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode before I sleep.

16) Fay Spain or France Nuyen?
 (Peter Nellhaus)

I barely know who they are. I guess I’ll give it to Spain.

17) Favorite Kirk Douglas movie that isn’t called Spartacus (Peter Nellhaus)

Ace in the Hole. Spartacus is not my favorite Kirk Douglas movie, it’s not even my favorite Kirk Douglas movie directed by Stanley Kubrick.

18) Favorite movie about cars.

Does Mad Max 2 count? Obviously Fury Road is post-2011. If neither count, maybe Le Mans.

19) Audrey Totter or Marie Windsor?


20) Existing Stephen King movie adaptation that could use an remake/reboot/overhaul.

Ooff, y’know if I did this quiz back when it was posted, my answer would have been Pet Sematary with better actors but then the remake happened in 2019 and that turned out to be a mistake. In 2022, The Dark Tower seems the most obvious pick, but that’s cheating in my view. I suspect Cycle of the Werewolf might qualify but I have not seen Silver Bullet, so for all I know that’s a good movie (plus I haven’t read Cycle). I guess I’ll go with Dreamcatcher for right now, I think that’s a salvageable premise.

21) Low-profile director who deserves more attention from critics and/or audiences.

Julie Dash.

22) What actor that you previously enjoyed has become distracting or a self-parody?
 (Adam Ross)

Taika Waititi is the easy pick, Chris Pratt is another easy pick, and Sacha Baron Cohen is also such a pick. But that’s all 2022 picks, so I guess going by 2011… Zach Galifinakis maybe? We all thought he was hot shit after the first Hangover but by the time the second one rolled by, he felt like a one-trick pony.

23) Best place in the world to see a movie.

From personal experience, definitely the Music Box but I’ve always wanted to watch a movie at the Cine Thisio in Greece.

24) Charles McGraw or Sterling Hayden?

Sterling Hayden, I barely know McGraw exists next to Hayden.

25) Second favorite Yasujiro Ozu film

Late Spring

26) Most memorable horror movie father figure.

Because this is asking for “most memorable” is why I’m picking Jack Torrance in The Shining and not like… an actually good dad.

27) Name a non-action-oriented movie that would be fun to see in Sensurround.

The Annihilation of Fish, which I suspect is where James Earl Jones speaks the most.

28) Chris Evans or Ryan Reynolds?

Wow, between asking me to say a nice thing about streaming and this question, it’s extremely clear that this quiz comes from 2011 and not from 2022 where Evans, Reynolds, and streaming have all become forces of evil in my eye. That said, I’ll pick Evans since he has the most performances I like and my annoyance with him is more his off-screen bullshit while Reynolds has been stuck on Deadpool-mode for the rest of his life.

Isn’t it crazy I’m talking shit about Reynolds here after praising his wife several answers ago?

29) Favorite relatively unknown supporting player, from either or both the classic and the modern era.

I guess Edie McClurg for the modern era, Thelma Ritter for the classic era.

30) Real-life movie location you most recently visited or saw.

I just talked about the Third Man and Before Sunrise locations from my trip to Vienna in May, so I guess I’ll pick from one of the four slasher film haunts I’ve checked out through 2019. My favorite was probably the Texas Chainsaw Massacre spots ’round Austin, but the nicest picture is definitely this one from Pasadena looking at spots from Halloween.

31) Second favorite Budd Boetticher movie

I have seen a grand total of two, so The Killer Is Loose.

32) Mara Corday or Julie Adams?

Julie Adams in that one-piece in Creature from the Black Lagoon ensures her win forever and ever.

33) Favorite Universal-International western.

Either The Beguiled or High Plains Drifter, either way Clint Eastwood is there.

34) What’s the biggest “gimmick” that’s drawn you out to see a movie?
 (Sal Gomez)

Watch Crispin Glover be weird in person prior to a screening of It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine.

35) Favorite actress of the silent era.

Maybe I’m just still hung-up on Show People a year after seeing it for the first time, but Marion Davies is right there.

36) Best Eugene Pallette performance
 (Larry Aydlette)

The Pops in My Man Godfrey, a straight man to his family who is absurd enough to be a believable patriarch towards them. I will however say that my deep affinity for Pallette’s Friar Tuck was close to derailing that answer.

37) Best/worst remake of the 21st century so far? (Dan Aloi)

Can’t use Point Break since that’s 2015. I’ll select the 2005 remake of The Fog.

38) What could multiplex owners do right now to improve the theatrical viewing experience for moviegoers? What could moviegoers do?

Multiplex Owners? Continue making their movie theater experiences more accessible for people with disabilities, we at the bare minimum up in here for them. Plus one could also shoot for proper maintenance in bulb replacement, screen cleaning, and screen masking.

Moviegoers? Shut the fuck up when the movie up and if you must use a cell phone, go outside the auditorium.


Moving right along on my summertime indulgence of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule‘s irregular quizzes as far back as 2005, my next line is this quiz from July of 2009. I do recognize that despite the undying love for Alan Rickman (who deserves it – both as performance and as actor), the work of J.K. Rowling has become more and more cursed given how she’s shown her ass. I don’t pick the professors, though, and given that I could not be mistaken for a fan of the Harry Potter franchise (probably couldn’t be in 2009 either; my childhood read them voraciously but by the time I completed the seventh and final book days after its release, I never went back to the point of even skipping the fifth movie that summer*), my conscience is clear. On we go…

*I also have the hot take that the Harry Potter movies are better than the books overall.

1) Second-favorite Stanley Kubrick film.

Barry Lyndon.

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

Playing by 2009 rules makes this pretty hard… my brain in its laziness looks to horror cinema once more and it’d be a lie to call the 2000s’ overglut of slasher movie remakes significant or important, but I confess to finding it interesting for one major reason: they seem like they really wanted to be MEAN again. The late 90s were driven by toothless irony heralded by Scream and even though the 2000s remakes continued the 90s slashers’ trend of starring evening television teen drama stars, by the time Freddy vs. Jason (not a remake, but feels in the spirit the set of movies) rolled in: there was a return to some genuine interest in making things cruel for the characters. It continued on with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake pictures (headlined by R. Lee Ermey’s effortless ability to throw away sympathy), the first Black Christmas remake, Rob Zombie’s trashy Halloween remakes, the New French Extremity tinged Hills Have Eyes remakes, and if we are to hard-stop at 2009 (therefore not being able to acknowledge Jackie Earle Haley’s unsmiling Freddy Krueger performance), we still have My Bloody Valentine 3D, the Friday the 13th remake, and The Last House on the Left remake.

I’m not saying it’s particularly the most successful approach – the 1980s had a dingy, physically dirty quality to its visuals that the 2000s’ digital cinematography could never hope for (though Texas Chainsaw Massacre was arguably the closest, given that the returning the cinematographer from the original was already familiar digital visuals as a tool from his music video days) – but it is interesting to me massively and I think a source of some salvaging that the 2000s slashers were at least willing to go back to viciousness.

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

Buffalo Bill and the Indians is sadly one of my glaring Robert Altman gaps (and given the irony of last night’s quiz invoking the name of Dino de Laurentiis, I could probably call this a de Laurentiis gap as well) so I shall abstain. I do wish it noted that my Eastwood apologism might lean me to Bronco Billy anyway.

4) Best Film of 1949.

The Third Man

5) Joseph Tura (Jack Benny) or Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore)?

This is probably the only instance you could get me voting Benny over Barrymore, if particularly for the fact that Tura as a character felt uniquely tailored to Benny’s flaws to make them outright boons in a miraculous way I find worthy of hailing (Twentieth Century is the better film over To Be or Not to Be, though).

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

I definitely remember having that feeling in 2009 for certain, so I’ll keep my answer to yes. But I will add that it is, like any other stylistic tool, something that can be sharp as fuck in the right context. It’s not Bloody Sunday and The Bourne Ultimatum‘s faults that suddenly every other thriller wants to ape their styles.

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

Seven Samurai in my high school film class*. As I mentioned in the most recent episode of A Night at the Opera, it was an essential moment because it made me recognize foreign-language cinema is not some impenetrable fortress or something to be intimidated by (probably because Kurosawa already has a Western sensibility) and I like to think any cinephile has that first moment unlocking foreign-language cinema for them.

*I saw Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (my first movie) before I spoke English and Life Is Beautiful in an elementary school class, but both were shown in French so that does not count for me. Especially Life Is Beautiful, because that movie sucks.

8) Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) or Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre)?

Both of these performances strike me as too racist for me to jump into so I’m not the least bit ashamed to say I have not seen a single Charlie Chan or Mr. Moto picture yet (obviously, I have seen Shanghai Express and Werewolf of London, so I’m not a stranger to Oland’s yellowface performances).

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

Part of me really wants to pick Mirror as the superior movie, but that’s not really ABOUT World War II the way we think of when we think of wartime drama. So my pick is Bertolucci’s The Conformist.

10) Favorite animal movie star.

Probably Skippy from the Thin Man pictures.

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

Is it low-hanging fruit to state the death of Vic Morrow, Myca Dinh Le, and Renee Shin-Yi Chen on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie? Maybe but everything about the circumstances of those children’s working on the set was fucking sketch and it ghastly that it ended with their tragic killing.

12) Best Film of 1969.

Costa-Gavras’ Z.

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

Just this morning got out of James and the Giant Peach at the Music Box, though depending on what time I finish this, it’s possible the latest movie I see in a theater will be Kobayashi’s Kwaidan. My last blu-ray watch was Antonioni’s L’Avventura and my last DVD watch was

14) Second-favorite Robert Altman film.

Short Cuts.

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

I honestly don’t think I was reading much about movies so much as just watching as many as I could. I guess Wonders in the Dark was perhaps it.

16) Who wins? Angela Mao or Meiko Kaji? (Thanks, Peter!)

If we’re going by the shamefully few performances I’ve seen them in, I’m sure Scorpion and Lady Snowblood would definitely best the tragic characters Mao played in Fate of Lee Khan and Enter the Dragon. But given that Mao was herself a martial artist (who briefly trained with Bruce Lee!!!) and Kaji was strictly an actor, there’s no denying the actors themselves pit against each other would result in a decisive victory for Mao.

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

Mona Lisa Vito. Both of these are, for the record, two of the most underrated Oscar-winning performances ever and y’all should show respect. And I’m not just saying that because I ended up having crushes from both performances.

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

Perhaps Strangers on a Train? That carnival stalking is magnificent thriller filmmaking and so is the carousal climax, but what else would you expect from Hitchcock?

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

INLAND EMPIRE. Was the case in 2009, it’s still the case in 2022 (where I just rewatched it once again on the big screen 3 months ago!). Largely because it just trashes HD video. See also: Full Frontal for pre-2009 and Film Socialisme and Goodbye to Language for post-2009.

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

oooohhhh, so many to choose from. Perhaps The Searchers. I’m kind of of the attitude that revisionist Westerns are kind of a moot concept because a lot of the best Westerns were already autocritical and examining of their genre tropes by the 1940s if not later, but The Searchers certainly feels monumental in its clear-eyed awareness of what Westerns exemplify and the cruel things that are the bedrock of those concepts.

21) Best Film of 1979.

Yuri Norstein’s Tale of Tales. Sure do hope we get to see The Overcoat completed sometime in the next 10 years.

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

I can’t speak to realism, I don’t think (does Naranja, FL count as a “small-town”? I’m not convinced it does). But when it comes to sincerity, the first two movies that pop in my head are either American Graffiti (I mean, it’s cynical about remaining there but wistful in the memory nevertheless) and Stand by Me.

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

The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Just recently got myself an action figure of the dude to sit on the creative desk for what I’ve made into my work room.

24) Second-favorite Francis Ford Coppola film.

The Godfather Part II (no, my number one favorite is not The Godfather, it’s The Conversation).

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

Every day that Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World did not kick-start a full adaptation of that book series is a sad fucking day to me, especially lately after reading that Ethan Hawke interview where he suggested Russell Crowe was probably partly responsible for Peter Weir’s burnout from filmmaking.

26) Favorite sequence from a Brian De Palma film.

The final jump scare in Carrie, gonna be honest. I don’t wanna say more if the person reading it hasn’t seen the movie. I’m not a fan of the movie itself, but that whole third act is worth the watch and especially the final beat.

27) Favorite moment in three-strip Technicolor.

The thunderstorm in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Just gorgeous.

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

I usually dodge these and none of the ones I caught have given me a reason to believe that’s been a mistake, so out of the small handful I have seen: Hellraiser: Bloodline. It’s not a good movie, but it’s not even the worst theatrical Hellraiser picture, let alone the worst in the franchise outright. Watching it right after Hellraiser III makes it look perfectly fine at times.

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

Crash, baby.

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

It can’t be… is it really Match Point in my head? I think it might be, which is hilarious given that movie is just Crimes and Misdemeanors-lite. Which still of course leaves room for great cinema but…

31) Best Film of 1999.

Beau Travail

32) Favorite movie tag line.

Basic-ass choice but…

33) Favorite B-movie western.

It is to my bottomless sheepishness that I’m not sure I can identify one from the Westerns I’ve seen. Everything I can think of has been canonized enough to make me doubt my answer, even Johnny Guitar which might be it for me.

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

Possibly Patricia Highsmith?

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

Really fucking me over, making me choose. I guess I’ll pick Bullock, which might be my favorite performance of Lombard’s much too short career.

36) Favorite musical cameo in a non-musical movie.

The amount of screentime he has makes calling this a “cameo” pushing it, but Tom Jones in Mars Attacks! just kept sticking to my brain no matter how long I try to think of something else. Do people still pretend this isn’t a great movie?

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

Eh, a little of both: the character itself is a stereotyping of homosexuality without any self-consciousness on how belittling it is. The satire is on culture’s obsession with celebrities (at least for the movie, the tv show is maybe impish attempts to trigger homophobia? I can’t remember, he was my least favorite segment of Da Ali G Show). Is it successful satire? I thought the movie was ok when I saw it, but I don’t really feel like revisiting it ever since Cohen has grown to annoy me as creative and actor. Honestly, my main thing about Bruno, Borat, and the rest of the line-up is that I think people who are fans of that material – and I can at least say the 2006 Borat holds up mighty well and there’s gems of moments in the recent Who Is America? – need to be willing to admit that shit is based on some level with xenophobia. Cohen invents faux pas that he wants us to associate with Kazakhs or gay people and a lot of it is reasonably objectionable faux pas that get us to understand why somebody may want to excuse themselves. Somewhere done the line, we convinced ourselves that the “gotchas!” that are few in Borat and Bruno as films are the text, but really Bruno is about watching a gay man alienating black people or Palestinians and using that for other means rather than auto-critique.

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

Orson Welles is of course the immediate answer. Tom Savini. John Carpenter. John Lurie. Rudy Rae Moore. (maybe Ray Harryhausen as an alternate).

I’ll disqualify John Waters since I have in fact met him.


Y’all know how it is: if I take way too long between posting (and that’s a fucking understatement for what has been my lowest year of activity for this site since… possibly ever?), I feel like I gotta go back to school before I can get back to writing. And y’all of course know my favorite pastime for that is nothing less than Dennis Collazo’s quizzes over at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, so maybe I can knock-off all of his summertime quizzes over the next few days and get to the others at the appropriate non-time travelling season.

For now, I jump into this quiz from July of 2007, associated with a character from a movie I have not seen – Carl Reiner’s Summer School – but looks rad enough…

1) Favorite quote from a filmmaker

I’ve lately found myself thinking of François Truffaut declaring “Today, I demand that a film express either the joy of making cinema or the agony of making cinema. I am not at all interested in anything in between.” and what that means about the wide spectrum of movies I love engaging with and grappling with. I’ve heard it a billion times and I don’t know what about the last few months triggered it rolling around in my brain but it’s already ready for delivery on seeing this question.

2) A good movie from a bad director

Actually got faced with this question not too long ago, so I fortunately already have an answer all lined up: The Guest is the only movie where Adam Wingard (and his writer Simon Barrett)’s obnoxious sense of self-aware humor actually is a boon to the picture as it enhances the unease of one character’s perspective on the titular lead. It helps that the third act has Wingard’s most interesting visuals and even more that Dan Stevens gives an excellent lead performance.

If I want to play fair and not use a movie released after this quiz’s original posting in 2007, I’ll choose Stanley Kramer’s Inherit the Wind.

3) Favorite Laurence Olivier performance.

Hamlet. I think the director really loved him and wanted to hand that movie over to him, whoever that director was.

4) Describe a famous location from a movie that you have visited (Bodega Bay, California, where the action in The Birds took place, for example). Was it anything like the way it was in the film? Why or why not?

I’ve recently come back from a trip to Vienna where I specifically made a point of visiting locations from both The Third Man and Before Sunrise and it’s interesting looking back to think about some of the locations those movies shared and which movie’s voodoo was most overpowering visiting the spot (I can definitely say that the Riesenrad was 100% The Third Man‘s). I can’t say it felt like “stepping into the movies”, but it did bring a sense of romance to me sliding through those spots.

5) Carlo Ponti or Dino De Laurentiis (Producer)?

Part of me does want to go for de Laurentiis just for how interesting that dude’s sense of mercenary was, but I can’t pretend Ponti doesn’t have the larger quantity of masterpieces under him (though the two share one with Fellini’s La Strada) and seemed to have the better pulse on what’s gonna make a great picture.

6) Best movie about baseball.

Bull Durham, no question.

7) Favorite Barbara Stanwyck performance.

The Lady Eve

8) Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Dazed and Confused?

Tougher question than I expected it to be. I’m going with Dazed and Confused, just because it feels like it captures the sense of life just beginning that I liked to feel at the end of every school year. School was just the bullshit in between.

9) What was the last movie you saw, and why? (We’ve used this one before, but your answer is presumably always going to be different, so…)

Jessica Kingdon’s sex doll documentary short It’s Coming!, in preparation of tackling her feature debut documentary Ascension. Since that short film post-dates the creation of this quiz, I shall further play fair by selecting the thing I watched before my pre-bed visit of Kingdon’s shorts: Charlie Brown’s All-Stars. Which I watched in following with Tim Brayton’s project of catching the seasonal Peanuts specials throughout the year, except I was a few days late from the actual All-Stars game that occurred this past Tuesday.

10) Whether or not you have actually procreated or not, is there a movie you can think of that seriously affected the way you think about having kids of your own?

Not particularly, I think it’s my personal life that makes me not want kids (or marriage, to be frank). Maybe Bambi, it does make me think how fucking shitty it’d be to die while my kid is still a kid. Or The Shining, just fearing I’m capable of the sort of cruelty that movie portrays.

11) Favorite Katharine Hepburn performance.

Extremely tough question. For right now, I might lean on The Lion in Winter but there’s so many candidates for this, honestly.

12) A bad movie from a good director

Same as the question about “good movie from bad director”, I actually have an answer already for when I was asked this question earlier this week: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Thanks for the Seu Jorge exposure, though. It says something that even with the completionist side of me, this is the one Wes Anderson Criterion blu I haven’t gotten. I’ll get it eventually, though.

13) Salo: The 120 Days of Sodom— yes or no?

Yes. It is essential to exist as a work of cinema, political protest, and vulgarity; I would not suggest it is essential for everyone to watch but I’m at least glad I did.

14) Ben Hecht or Billy Wilder (Screenwriter)?

A lot easier to answer than I expected: Hecht’s dialogue is some of the sharpest around but I truly do align with the never-dull always-devastating cynicism that virtually every bit of writing Wilder produced has delivered on. Wilder is my choice.

15) Name the film festival you’d most want to attend, or your favorite festival that you actually have attended.

My experience with film festivals as attendee, filmmaker, press, and volunteer worker are all so deeply exhausting and probably a major part of my burnout from seeking out film as something I’d want to make my profession, so I sadly demur from that second half of the question. The first half though… probably the UCLA Festival of Preservation, just on account of the rarities that’s ensured to exhibit.

16) Head or 200 Motels?

I regret I have not seen 200 Motels. I especially regret that it looks like the sort of thing I would have loved as a college student but now will probably find exhausting. Still as a former Zappa devotee, I feel obligated to fix that gap.

17) Favorite cameo appearance
(Try visiting here and here for some good ideas! This question was inspired by Daniel Johnson at Film Babble)

I’m sure it has to be something other than Orson Welles as the Boss of Hollywood in The Muppet Movie, but I can’t think of the true answer right now sadly.

18) Favorite Rosalind Russell performance.

His Girl Friday, no question. Possibly the greatest accomplishment in comedic acting.

19) What movie, either currently available on DVD or not, has never received the splashy collector’s edition treatment you think it deserves? What would such an edition include?

Erich von Stroheim’s Greed. We’re at least entitled the latest reconstruction in the best definition, that good ol’ 239 minutes… roll that good shit.

20) Name a performance that everyone needs to be reminded of, for whatever reason.

I guess this is a chance to remind y’all that Marisa Tomei deserved her Oscar for My Cousin Vinny and so did Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich.

21) Louis B. Mayer or Harry Cohn (Studio Head)?

Neither of them are people I think I could possibly get along with, despite having a good head for the business in itself. I’ll go with Cohn because I think he was a little less prescriptive and conservative to people’s tastes in cinema, he kept a finger on that pulse.

22) Favorite John Wayne performance.

A much tougher choice than I would have confessed ten years ago: I think I’ve significantly come around on Wayne as an emotional actor. Probably will go with She Wore a Yellow Ribbon right now, but don’t hold me to it.

23) Naked Lunch or Barton Fink?

Barton Fink. Love them both but no contest.

24) Your Ray Harryhausen movie of choice

Jason and the Argonauts since I was a child. Might just be the case that I’ll get to finally see it in 35mm in two weeks, if I can drive fast enough back to Chicago from Detroit overnight. No Sleep ’till Music Box.

25) Is there a movie you can think of that you feel like the world would be better off without, one that should have never been made?

Not really, to be honest. Come to realize art doesn’t work like that.

24) Favorite Dub Taylor performance.

I’ll be honest, I’ve seen a lot of movies with this dude without ever registering him in them. I guess Bonnie and Clyde is the one where he made the most impression on me.

25) If you had the choice of seeing three final movies, to go with your three last meals, before shuffling off this mortal coil, what would they be?

The Tree of Life, The Wizard of Speed and Time short film, Singin’ in the Rain.

26) And what movie theater would you choose to see them in?

Cineteca Matadero. Feels pretty appropriate to watch my last movies in a slaughterhouse before I die.


Your proposed entry in the Atheist Film Festival

Ingmar Bergman’s Winter Light, which I confess deeply feels like, even though it comes from an ex-Christian point of view, resembles my path from Muslim to atheist in exact ways right down to my thought process and my return to Islamic tenets as a guideline.

What advice on day-to-day living have you learned from the movies?

Not that I always particularly follow this advice, even though I believe I should, but a lot of my best “taken from the movie advice” comes from the coolest fella ever, Dalton in Road House. And specifically the line I try to live by is “Be nice… until it’s time to not be nice.”