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September 06, 2010


It's that time of year at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. The answers provided depend in some cases on how one reads or misreads the questions.

1) Classic film you most want to experience that has so far eluded you.

Experience or simply watch? If you mean experience, I wish I was Mark Damon going down on Christiane Kruger in Little Mother by Radley Metzger. As far as watching a classic film, I'm still hoping someday to see It's Trad, Dad once during my lifetime.

2) Greatest Criterion DVD/Blu-ray release ever

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As far as I'm concerned, nothing I've seen from Criterion holds a candle to AnimEigo's DVD release of Imamura's Black Rain. Colored subtitles, lots of notes, an alternate ending, and an interview with Takashi Miike who was an assistant to Imamura.

3) The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon?

The Maltese Falcon.

4) Jason Bateman or Paul Rudd?

Slightly more enthusiasm for Rudd.

5) Best mother/child (male or female) movie star combo

Prof. Huxley, please be more precise. Are we talking on screen or biological mothers and children? On screen: Josephine Siao and Jet Li. Biological: Jane Birken and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

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?

Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh.

7) Favorite Preston Sturges movie

Christmas In July

8) Odette Yustman or Mary Elizabeth Winstead?

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Mika Nakashima

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?

It happened during an argument with some guy about Citizen Kane. Not a serious relationship, but the young woman who was friends with us both tried to end the argument by saying, "It's just a movie".

10) Favorite DVD commentary

Renny Harlin on Driven, explaining how he edited Sylvester Stallone out of what was suppose to be his movie.

11) Movies most recently seen on DVD, Blu-ray and theatrically

DVD: Man in the Moon (Basil Dearden - 1960). Theatrically: I Hate Luv Storys.

12) Dirk Bogarde or Alan Bates?


13) Favorite DVD extra

Alternate endings.

14) Brian De Palma’s Scarface— yes or no?

I believe this was asked previously, Prof. Huxley. I lived in Miami Beach, all Scarface, all the time. I prefer the Hawks version.

15) Best comic moment from a horror film that is not a horror comedy (Young Frankenstein, Love At First Bite, et al.)

The moment in Psycho when you're not sure if the car will sink.

16) Jane Birkin or Edwige Fenech?

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17) Favorite Wong Kar-wai movie

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In the Mood for Love

18) Best horrific moment from a comedy that is not a horror comedy

The dropped baby in C.R.A.Z.Y..

19) From 2010, a specific example of what movies are doing right…

The Good, the Bad, and the Weird got a theatrical release in the United States.

20) Ryan Reynolds or Chris Evans?

Gene Evans

21) Speculate about the future of online film writing. What’s next?

I'll be writing about Asian horror movies on my blog in October. If I get a press pass and screeners, I'll be writing about the Starz International Film Festival in November.

22) Roger Livesey or David Farrar?

Oh, like I watch Michael Powell movies for the men?

23) Best father/child (male or female) movie star combo

On screen: John Huston and Faye Dunaway. Biological: John Mills and Hayley Mills.

24) Favorite Freddie Francis movie (as Director)

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors

25) Bringing Up Baby or The Awful Truth?

Bringing Up Baby

26) Tina Fey or Kristen Wiig?

Margaret Cho

27) Name a stylistically important director and the best film that would have never been made without his/her influence.

Powell and Pressburger's The Red Shoes has influenced several filmmakers. Not quite his best, but an influence on Dario Argento's Tenebre.

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.)

I think Walsh's A King and Four Queens, essentially a comedy of manners in cowboy garb, offers some possibilities.

29) Link to a picture/frame grab of a movie image that for you best illustrates bliss. Elaborate.


I think the scene with "Can't Buy Me Love" from A Hard Day's Night speaks for itself quite nicely.

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) You mean like Gone with the Breeze?

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at September 6, 2010 12:19 AM