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May 01, 2012

My Partially Illustrated Answers to Sister Clodagh's Movie Quiz

Over at Dennis Cozzalio's joint is a new "quiz". As far as I'm concerned, the only wrong answers are those that fail to display even a half-hearted effort to do minimal research on IMDb. Feel free to take this current quiz yourself. The only requirement is a belief in the power of cinema.

1) Favorite movie featuring nuns

judex nun.jpg

I love the killer nuns in Judex. (Georges Franju - 1963.

2) Second favorite John Frankenheimer movie

Yes, Seconds is second.

3) William Bendix or Scott Brady?

Brady's resume includes Gremlin, Strange Behavior, and one of the strangest World War II movies ever, Operation Bikini View image.

4) What movie, real or imagined, would you stand in line six hours to see? Have you ever done so in real life?

To Sleep.jpg

Never stood in line for six hours to see a movie. If I did so, it would be for To Sleep as to Dream, Kaizo Hayashi's debut film from 1986, a tribute to Japanese silent movies that actually looks like it was filmed in that era, unlike an overrated French film from last year. Second choice would be the first filmed version of Black Lizard starring the very seductive Machiko Kyo. The clips indicate this film is more in the spirit of Edogawa Rampo's short novel. Neither film is currently available on DVD from Japan, or anywhere else as far as I know.

5) Favorite Mitchell Leisen movie

Tough one here based on three movies released between 1939 and 1940. I haven't seen any of them in years, but I'm going to go with Arise, My Love.

6) Ann Savage or Peggy Cummins?

Peggy Cummins.jpg

Peggy Cummins. No matter what she wears in Gun Crazy, it looks so right. Let's face it, nobody wears a beret quite like her.

7) First movie you remember seeing as a child

Old Yeller (Robert Stevenson - 1957)

8) What moment in a movie that is not a horror movie made you want to bolt from the theater screaming?

Blood Feud (Lina Wertmuller - 1978). Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and Giancarlo Giannini, and one of the few films I have ever walked out of. Wertmuller is one of the few filmmakers I find truly unwatchable.

9) Richard Widmark or Robert Mitchum?

The The Way West question! I'm going to go with Mitchum.

10) Best movie Jesus

The animated Jesus in Ralph Bakshi's Heavy Traffic. Live actor version - Luis Bunuel's The Milky Way, of course.

11) Silliest straight horror film that you’re still fond of

The Brain that wouldn't Die is the movie that will never die.

12) Emily Blunt or Sally Gray?

emily blunt.jpg

Blunt is smokin'.

13) Favorite cinematic Biblical spectacular

I'm going with The Story of Ruth (Henry Koster - 1960) even though I barely remember the film. But I saw it on a double feature with Please Don't Eat the Daisies with my grandparents.

14) Favorite cinematic moment of unintentional humor

The theatrical release of Rambo III coinciding with Russia's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Mission accomplished.

15) Michael Fassbender or David Farrar?

Setting aside those Michael Powell movies, Farrar also starred in Beat Girl, enough to put him in the all time Hall of Fame.

16) Most effective faith-affirming movie

Song of Bernadette. Even James Agee couldn't resist. What I love about this film is that it keeps open the discussion of the meaning of faith and how it is manifested, and how Henry King is respectful of all of the characters, allowing the viewer to decide for themselves. Maybe I should also mention that I'm not, nor have ever been, a believer in any form of Christianity.

17) Movie that makes the best case for agnosticism

Robert Bresson's The Devil, Probably.

18) Favorite song and/or dance sequence from a musical

"By Myself" - Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon.

19) Third favorite Howard Hawks movie

Red River

20) Clara Bow or Jean Harlow?

I can't even remember Bow in Wings, a film that was dominated by the bromance between Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen. I saw Wellman's film theatrically quite a while ago. A few years earlier, I had been able to see in theatrical presentations, Red Dust and Platinum Blonde. Whether on the big screen or small, Jean Harlow is easily the memorable star.

21) Movie most recently seen in the theater? On DVD/Blu-ray/Streaming?

In a theater: Pina. On DVD: One Night in Mongkok.

22) Most unlikely good movie about religion

I'm not sure if I understand the question. But I'm going to go with The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise - 1951), even if it's a big tip off to have Michael Rennie's Klaatu go by the name of Carpenter, when posing as an earthling. Also for consideration, Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Infernal Affairs for its discussion of Buddhism.

23) Phil Silvers or Red Skelton?

Um, Shecky Greene. (Kidding)

Animated Silvers.jpg

As "King Leer", he oggled at Jayne Mansfield in The Girl can't Help It, and Marilyn Monroe swimming nude in Something's Got to Give, and starred with Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford and Buster Keaton in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Golden Silvers!

24) “Favorite” Hollywood scandal

ava & lana.jpg

Ava hearts Lana.

25) Best religious movie (non-Christian)

The Burmese Harp (Kon Ichikawa -1956)

26) The King of Cinema: King Vidor, King Hu or Henry King? (Thanks, Peter)

avagardner & henry king.jpg
King with Ava and Tyrone.

King Hu is to Chinese martial arts films what John Ford is to westerns; and I love Vidor's Show People which I got to see on the big screen a few years ago, as well as Beyond the Forest. Aside from having a religious experience, sitting down, and talking about his movies with him, I'm finding more to discover with Henry King. Based on his interviews, I need to see his silent films aside from Tol'able David, The Winning of Barbara Worth and The White Sister. As it stands, Way Down East needs to be seen by everyone who loves The Wizard of Oz, because of Margaret Hamilton's performance. A Yank in the R.A.F has that wonderful shot of nothing but Betty Grable's legs. The Black Swan shows how to do a fast and funny pirate movie. There's also the previously mentioned Song of Bernadette. I spent a month devoted to King's films on my blog, and am considering shelling out for gray market silents and import DVDs.

27) Name something modern movies need to relearn how to do that American or foreign classics had down pat

Persona two shot.jpg

Visual style in general. Framing of characters in two-shots, instead of just cutting back and forth.

28) Least favorite Federico Fellini movie

Ginger and Fred left me feeling meh.

29) The Three Stooges (2012)—yes or no?

I might see this on DVD, but the real Stooges were Jewish.

30) Mary Wickes or Patsy Kelly?

Kelly's resume includes The Naked Kiss, Rosemary's Baby AND The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini View image.

31) Best movie-related conspiracy theory

The claim that Sinatra shelved The Manchurian Candidate because of the assassination of JFK.

32) Your candidate for most misunderstood or misinterpreted movie

Kim Ki-duk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring. Kim is NOT a Buddhist, and his version of Buddhism in this film is generic, rather than representative of a specific sect. As a practicing Buddhist for about 39 years, and as someone who has seen a good number of Kim's films in addition to reading several interviews and articles, I think I have some authority here.

33) Movie that made you question your own belief system (religious or otherwise)

After Passion of the Christ, I lost any faith I had in Mel Gibson.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at May 1, 2012 08:19 AM


I actually saw TO SLEEP AS TO DREAM (I would translate "I want to sleep to see a dream) in Japan when it was released. It was fun, but I didn't find it as authentic as all that. It had a touch of student film instead. Of course, I didn't know much Japanese, but for a silent film (especially an absurdist one), that wasn't much of a problem.

Didn't need to wait 6 hours either. It was shown in the back of an art gallery in a dept store, if I remember.

Posted by: Cool Bev at May 1, 2012 10:07 PM