Once a quarter, Dennis Cozzalio over at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule posts a lengthy yet always fascinating quiz for the movie-bloggy world. I’ve answered a few times in the past, but I’ve been absent from class for the last several months (this is not the first time in my life such a thing has occurred). Well, here are my answers, turned in late, naturally.
1) Classic film you most want to experience that has so far eluded you.
Well, it was those silent Josef von Sternbergs, but thanks to Criterion, that problem is solved. Now, I think I’d have to go with the full version of Jacques Rivette’s Out 1.
2) Greatest Criterion DVD/Blu-ray release ever
This is too hard, but I’ll go with the Six Moral Tales Boxset.
3) The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon?
The Big Sleep, without a doubt. Always Hawks over Huston.
4) Jason Bateman or Paul Rudd?
Bateman. Rudd could never have pulled off Teen Wolf Too.
5) Best mother/child (male or female) movie star combo
Gotta be Ingrid Bergman and Isabella Rossellini.
6) Who are the Robert Mitchums and Ida Lupinos among working movie actors? Do modern parallels to such masculine and no-nonsense feminine stars even exist? If not, why not?
Not really, at least not in Hollywood. Our stars are expected to be malleable and therapy-seeking.
7) Favorite Preston Sturges movie
The Lady Eve, followed closely by Unfaithfully Yours.
8) Odette Yustman or Mary Elizabeth Winstead?
Winstead. Mostly because I keep thinking she’s the daughter of Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead. Also, she’s prettier.
9) Is there a movie that if you found out a partner or love interest loved (or didn’t love) would qualify as a Relationship Deal Breaker?
Nope. Disagreement makes life interesting.
10) Favorite DVD commentary
The group commentary on Criterion’s Seven Samurai disc is pretty cool, with different experts each talking for 20 minutes or so. But Hunter S. Thompson babbling incoherently through Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas sure is fun.
11) Movies most recently seen on DVD, Blu-ray and theatrically
DVD: Mr. Thank You (Hiroshi Shimizu)
Blu-Ray: The World (Jia Zhangke)
Theatrically: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright)
12) Dirk Bogarde or Alan Bates?
Dirk is a great name, but Bates was in the Mel Gibson Hamlet. I’ll give the edge to Bates’s beard.
13) Favorite DVD extra
Jean-Pierre Gorin’s video essay on Pierrot le fou.
14) Brian De Palma’s Scarface— yes or no?
Nope. Hawks over DePalma as well.
15) Best comic moment from a horror film that is not a horror comedy (Young Frankenstein, Love At First Bite, et al.)
“It ‘tis the man himself!” – Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker’s Dracula
16) Jane Birkin or Edwige Fenech?
17) Favorite Wong Kar-wai movie
18) Best horrific moment from a comedy that is not a horror comedy
The girl and the cat in Satantango is one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen.
19) From 2010, a specific example of what movies are doing right…
That Apichatpong Weerasethakul won the Palme D’Or. I fully expected it to go to someone awful. This is almost, but not quite, mitigated by Sofia Coppola winning in Venice.
20) Ryan Reynolds or Chris Evans?
Ryan Reynolds, just for Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place.
21) Speculate about the future of online film writing. What’s next?
Consensus-building and consolidation of the most-respected sites/writers. I doubt there will ever be much money in it, though.
22) Roger Livesey or David Farrar?
Livesey. His performances in Blimp and A Matter of Life and Death are better than Farrar’s in Narcissus and The Small Back Room. Though Farrar’s great in those movies. Anton Walbrook in The Red Shoes is the best P & P performance though.
23) Best father/child (male or female) movie star combo
Henry and Jane Fonda.
24) Favorite Freddie Francis movie (as Director)
Never seen one. He’s got some good DP credits though.
25) Bringing Up Baby or The Awful Truth?
Bringing Up Baby was the first screwball comedy I ever saw, flipping into the middle of it on TCM. I was hooked for life and it will always be my favorite.
26) Tina Fey or Kristen Wiig?
Tina Fey. I like Wiig, but find her recurring characters painfully unfunny.
27) Name a stylistically important director and the best film that would have never been made without his/her influence.
Well, Seven Samurai is my pick for the best film ever, and it would never have been made without the influence of John Ford on Akira Kurosawa.
28) Movie you’d most enjoy seeing remade and transplanted to a different culture (i.e. Yimou Zhang’s A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop.)
There should be more Kung Fu/Western crossovers, so how about Seven Men From Now set in medieval China?
29) Link to a picture/frame grab of a movie image that for you best illustrates bliss. Elaborate.
So many choices, but I’ll go with this one from the end of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Millennium Mambo of a film festival blanketed with snow.
30) With a tip of that hat to Glenn Kenny, think of a just-slightly-inadequate alternate title for a famous movie. (Examples from GK: Fan Fiction; Boudu Relieved From Cramping; The Mild Imprecation of the Cat People)
The Galoshes of Spokane.