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November 26, 2009


Once again, it's quiz time, as found over at "Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule". Here are my answers with some illustrations.

1) Second-favorite Coen Brothers movie. The Big Lebowski has grown on me, though I didn't like it that much when I first saw it. First for me is O Brother, Where art Thou?.

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2) Movie seen only on home format that you would pay to see on the biggest movie screen possible? (Question submitted by Peter Nellhaus) John Woo's full five hour Red Cliff. Not only have I already seen it on imported region free DVD, but I expect the rest of you will hop on the bandwagon when the Region 1 DVD and Blue-ray are released this Spring.

3) Japan or France? (Question submitted by Bob Westal) As much as I like both, I'm more partial to Japanese cuisine and cinema.

4) Favorite moment/line from a western. "That'll be the day." If it's good enough for Buddy Holly, it's good enough for me.

5) Of all the arts the movies draw upon to become what they are, which is the most important, or the one you value most? Painting and photography, use of composition. There is more to filmmaking than having the camera in focus.

6) Most misunderstood movie of the 2000s (The Naughties?). Tears of the Black Tiger. Most western critics are unaware of the tradition of Thai filmmaking that Wisit Sasanatieng had drawn from in making this film.

7) Name a filmmaker/actor/actress/film you once unashamedly loved who has fallen furthest in your esteem. Pat Boone. He was considered something of a local hero when I lived in Teaneck, New Jersey about forty years ago.

8) Herbert Lom or Patrick Magee? Or both in Asylum and And Now the Screaming Starts. I give Lom the edge for El Cid and Spartacus, Phantom of the Opera and a fistful of Jesus Franco films.

9) Which is your least favorite David Lynch film (Submitted by Tony Dayoub) Dune.

10) Gordon Willis or Conrad Hall? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom) Willis has been more consistently good and sometimes great.

11) Second favorite Don Siegel movie. The Killers, because of Clu Gulager's scene stealing, and Lee Marvin beating up Ronald Reagan. Top film, The Beguiled.

12) Last movie you saw on DVD/Blu-ray? In theaters? On DVD, Female by Michael Curtiz, from 1933. In a theater, Yang Yang, a Taiwanese film, part of the Starz Denver Film Festival.

13) Which DVD in your private collection screams hardest to be replaced by a Blu-ray? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom) Back to question 1: Red Cliff.

14) Eddie Deezen or Christopher Mintz-Plasse? Default to Deezen, who was hilarious in 1941.

15) Actor/actress who you feel automatically elevates whatever project they are in, or whom you would watch in virtually anything. Maggie Cheung. See The Iceman Cometh to understand.

16) Fight Club -- yes or no? Yes.

17) Teresa Wright or Olivia De Havilland? No contest, De Havilland.

18) Favorite moment/line from a film noir. The long take of the holdup in Gun Crazy.

19) Best (or worst) death scene involving an obvious dummy substituting for a human or any other unsuccessful special effect(s)—see the wonderful blog Destructible Man for inspiration. What appears to be a "Ken" doll substituting for Michael Gough in the gloriously stupid Konga.

20) What's the least you've spent on a film and still regretted it? (Submitted by Lucas McNelly) I don't remember how much, but it couldn't have been more than two dollars to see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a beloved film that I don't much care for.

21) Van Johnson or Van Heflin? Heflin.

22) Favorite Alan Rudolph film. Choose Me

23) Name a documentary that you believe more people should see. More people, not just cinephiles, should see Alain Resnais' Night and Fog.

24) In deference to this quiz’s professor, name a favorite film which revolves around someone becoming stranded. Roger Corman's Attack of the Crab Monsters starring, yes, Russell Johnson.

25) Is there a moment when your knowledge of film, or lack thereof, caused you an unusual degree of embarrassment and/or humiliation? If so, please share. I was shamed for not having seen any Ingmar Bergman films in an early film studies class. I saw virtually everything available at a retrospective at the now defunct Elgin Theater in NYC during my sophomore year.

26) Ann Sheridan or Geraldine Fitzgerald? (Submitted by Larry Aydlette) Ann Sheridan. I loved her in City for Conquest.

27) Do you or any of your family members physically resemble movie actors or other notable figures in the film world? If so, who? Several people noted my father's resemblance to Maximillian Schell at the time that Judgment at Nuremberg was out.

28) Is there a movie you have purposely avoided seeing? If so, why? I could have seen Precious in advance, but because of the hype, and because I hated Lee Daniel's previous film, Shadowboxer, I'm in no rush.

29) Movie with the most palpable or otherwise effective wintry atmosphere or ambience. I liked the scene in Yubari, Japan, in Millenium Mambo, with the walk in the deep snow.

30) Gerrit Graham or Jeffrey Jones? Graham, for his early films with Brian De Palma.

31) The best cinematic antidote to a cultural stereotype (sexual, political, regional, whatever). John Wayne and Clint Eastwood starring in films with screenplays by formerly blacklisted writers.

32) Second favorite John Wayne movie. The Searchers. This may sound like heresy to some, but my favorite is Hondo.

33) Favorite movie car chase. Bullitt.

34) In the spirit of His Girl Friday, propose a gender-switched remake of a classic or not-so-classic film. (Submitted by Patrick Robbins) Freebie and the Bean.

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35) Barbara Rhoades or Barbara Feldon? Barbara Steele.

36) Favorite Andre De Toth movie. Play Dirty

37) If you could take one filmmaker's entire body of work and erase it from all time and memory, as if it had never happened, whose oeuvre would it be? (Submitted by Tom Sutpen) Brett Ratner. Just because his films make boatloads of money will never make them good.

38) Name a film you actively hated when you first encountered it, only to see it again later in life and fall in love with it. It took me a while to really appreciate Love with the Proper Stranger.

39) Max Ophuls or Marcel Ophuls? (Submitted by Tom Sutpen) I've seen several of Marcel Ophul's films, but still I have to give it to Max.

40) In which club would you most want an active membership, the Delta Tau Chi fraternity, the Cutters or the Warriors? And which member would you most resemble, either physically or in personality? To quote Groucho Marx, I wouldn't join a club that would have me as a member.

41) Your favorite movie cliché. The young woman who leaves the window open in a vampire movie.

42) Vincente Minnelli or Stanley Donen? (Submitted by Bob Westal) Minnelli has made more films I like or love.

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43) Favorite Christmas-themed horror movie or sequence. Paco Plaza's Cuento de navidad.

44) Favorite moment of self- or selfless sacrifice in a movie. We're talking about virtually every movie starring Setsuko Hara.

45) If you were the cinematic Spanish Inquisition, which movie cult (or cult movie) would you decimate? (Submitted by Bob Westal) I would force those kids who've been flocking to the Twilight films to see Let the Right One In.

46) Caroline Munro or Veronica Carlson? No contest here. Munro.

47) Favorite eye-patch wearing director. (Submitted by Patty Cozzalio) Raoul Walsh.

48) Favorite ambiguous movie ending. (Original somewhat ambiguous submission---“Something about ambiguous movie endings!”-- by Jim Emerson, who may have some inspiration of his own to offer you.) Jacob's Ladder, because it annoyed so many people I knew at the time.

49) In giving thanks for the movies this year, what are you most thankful for? Terrific films by John Woo and Marco Bellocchio. Also, AnimEigo put me on their screeners list.

50) George Kennedy or Alan North? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom) Kennedy. I've seen films with North but I had to look up his name on IMDb.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at November 26, 2009 12:09 AM


How long does it take to make a movie? Six months in pre-production? Six weeks shooting? Six years for a writer to dream it all up in the first place? How about 30 days? Thats the challenge a group of three young L.A. filmmakers have set themselves. Their aim is to make a 90 minute feature film from initial concept to production in just one month. Start date, November 20th, 2009. Here is their website that is documenting their progress day by day. http://www.30dayfeaturefilmchallenge.com - check out the current dream team in just 8 days. Challenge yourself, JOIN THEM!!!

Posted by: 30 Day Feature Film Challenge at November 28, 2009 04:35 AM

Good calls on KONGA and CRAB MONSTERS! Plus, thanks for remembering CITY FOR CONQUEST.

Posted by: Flickhead at November 28, 2009 06:52 AM


Posted by: imitrex at December 1, 2009 06:51 PM