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December 27, 2008


While one could read my responses to the latest quiz at Sergio Leone & the Infield Fly Rule, they may be easier to read here. For those not familiar, Dennis Cozzalio has a fictional professor presenting a list of questions ranging from academic to the outright silly, all related to film. Answering the questions is sometimes a time consuming ordeal. The best part is reading other peoples' answers to see if anyone has actually checked IMDb - for example the person in a previous test who confused Fritz Lang with Friz Freleng. Sometimes the questions need to be examined a little closer. One of the questions this term involves the choice between two Fox foxes, Sheree North and Jean Peters. Had I made it in academia, I would have posed a smackdown between Fay Spain and Yvette Vickers, or maybe Setsuko Hara and Hideko Takamine.

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

Last film theatrically: Pere Noel est une Ordure. On DVD: Fasssbinder's Third Generation, with Burn After Reading coming next.

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

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Crooks Anonymous (Ken Annakin - 1962)

Naughty is nice.

3) Ida Lupino or Mercedes McCambridge?

Is that a fair question? Lupino as an actress and as a director.

4) Favorite actor/character from Twin Peaks

Joan Chen, though I'd show up where Peggy Lipton is serving coffee.

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'd actually like to see Dr. No filmed as Fleming wrote it, with Bond battling a giant octopus.

6) Favorite Spike Lee joint.

So hard to choose. Probably Inside Man for being the most entertaining.

7) Lawrence Tierney or Scott Brady?

Tierney did more memorable work.

8) Are most movies too long?


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

Harvey Keitel as Tom Paine in La Nuit de Varennes.

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

Gorgo vs. Godzilla

11) Jean Peters or Sheree North?

anne of the indies 3.jpg

Ms. North was a cutie, but Jean Peters has Anne of the Indies, Viva Zapata! and Pickup on South Street on her resume.

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

Some films get better with multiple viewings. And sometimes one gives in to participating in a blog-a-thon.

13) Favorite road movie.

Alice in the Cities

14) Favorite Budd Boetticher picture.

Of available films on DVD, Ride Lonesome because of Pernell Roberts and James Coburn and the physical presence of Karen Steele. I do wish The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond was on DVD, though. I saw it a couple of times on TV. Boetticher and cinematographer Lucian Ballard pissed off Jack Warner by shooting in the style of a Thirties gangster movie.

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

Encouragement: Mom. Informed: initially Andrew Sarris.

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

I think everyone's seen the Walk on the Wild Side credit sequence enough to have it almost memorized.

17) Kenneth Tobey or John Agar?

I'm giving this to Agar. Not only was he in more actual movies, but he played the one and only Billy Shear in Along the Great Divide, thereby allowing me to sneak in a pop song reference that Dennis might appreciate.

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.

More often than not, Godard seems to be cranky. Contempt is probably his most popular film and is often considered his best.

19) Favorite Jonathan Demme movie.

Married to the Mob

20) Tatum O’Neal or Linda Blair?

I should probably answer with Jodie Foster. My twelve year old niece really likes The Bad News Bears as do I, so the vote goes to Tatum.

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

The moment in Medium Cool when the off screen voice yells to Haskell Wexler that what they are filming is real.

22) Favorite Claude Chabrol film.

Les Bonnes Femmes

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

Minoru Kawasaki gets introduced to the US on three DVDs. The Rug Cop is the funniest.

24) Dennis Christopher or Robby Benson?

Christopher for Breaking Away, Don''t Cry, It's only Thunder and his part in the TV series "Profiler".

25) Favorite movie about journalism.

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Park Row

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

Sam Fuller would have made commentary tracks that would have been as good or better than his movies.

27) Favorite movie directed by Clint Eastwood.


28) Paul Dooley or Kurtwood Smith?

Dooley, mostly for his support in Altman films.

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

I will have seen even fewer nominees than in previous years and won't even care.

30) Your hope for the movies in 2009.

My hope is that there some good new movies to be seen.

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.)

I don't have a top ten. But The Class is my choice for the best of 2008.

BONUS QUESTION (to be answered after December 25):

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

I'm a Buddhist. I'm not even expecting any movie related Hanukkah gifts for that matter.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at December 27, 2008 12:46 AM