Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Professor Ed Avery’s Cortizone-Fueled, Bigger-Than-Life, Super Big-Gulp-Sized Summer Movie Quiz!

Film blogger Dennis Cozallio, who runs the always enjoyable cinema blog, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, has handed out another of his always enjoyable movie quizzes.  Below are the questions and my answers to said questions.

The original post from Dennis' site can be read here, and you can post your own answers there as well.

1) Depending on your mood, your favorite or least-loved movie cliché

Who doesn't love a good cliche.  They make the world go 'round.  See how I successfully evaded answering that question.

2) Regardless of whether or not you eventually caught up with it, which film classic have you lied about seeing in the past?

I have never lied about seeing or not seeing a movie.  There are some I should probably be embarrassed having not seen by the tender(ish) age of 43, but I unashamedly admit to every one of them.  I am not going to mention them here though.

3) Roland Young or Edward Everett Horton?

Sure, Roland Young is good, but dear sir he is no Edward Everett Horton.

4) Second favorite Frank Tashlin movie

I must admit to the sad fact that I have only ever seen one Frank Tashlin movie - Susan Slept Here (and that was only earlier this year) - which means by definition that must be my favourite, which also means I cannot have a second favourite.  These being the sad facts (Tashlin is one of those fringe filmmakers I still haven't made it around to, but have damn good plans to rectify that before the end of the year) I cannot rightfully answer this question.  However, Mr. Tashlin did direct a lot of animated shorts for Warner Brothers, so that being so, I name Slap Happy Daffy as my second favourite.

5) Clockwork Orange-- yes or no?

Why is this even a question?  Is it because some are put off by the violence and supposed misogynistic storytelling?  Is it because some have this self-righteous moral code that they expect everyone else to live by as well?  I happen to love this film.  Artistically it is Kubrick at top form (though he rarely was at anything but) and anyone who cannot get past the violence (and it is pretty damn blatant for a relatively mainstream film) and see how cinematically remarkable this film is, is just someone who knows nothing of cinema.  I suppose this rant means I should answer the question as thus - yes please.

6) Best/favorite use of gender dysphoria in a horror film (Ariel Schudson)

Psycho!  The first horror movie I ever saw also had the first transvestite I ever remember seeing.  Okay Norman Bates isn't actually a tranny but what the hell did I know when I was nine.  Mother isn't feeling herself today.

7) Melanie Laurent or Blake Lively?

Granted, Miss Lively was a show-stopping scene-stealer in Ben Affleck's The Town and could have the acting chops unseen earlier in her career (that stupid pants movie!?) but Melanie is Shosanna Dreyfus, and because of that will always have a high place in my affections.  So Miss Laurent it is.

9) Favorite screen performer with a noticeable facial deformity (Peg Aloi)

I suppose the obvious answer here is Joaquin Phoenix and his hairlip/cleft palate thingee, unless one wants to count Charlotte Gainsbourg's uniquely strange looking, but wholly sexy face. 

10) Lars von Trier: shithead or misunderstood comic savant? (Dean Treadway)

Why can't it be both? Seriously, he can be, and is both.  The man says some of the most ridiculous things sometimes (and I do think it is at least partly on purpose even though these purposeful jabs do tend to get out of hand due to what is an obvious lack of impulse control) and he can make a movie that pisses half the world off with its audacity, misogyny and overwhelming pretentiousness (and talking foxes!) but I sure do like those damned movies.  So I think we should go with misunderstood comic shithead savant.

11) Timothy Carey or Henry Silva?

Timothy Carey!  Timothy Carey!!  Timothy Carey!!!

12) Low-profile writer who deserves more attention from critics and /or audiences

Alan Smithee.

13) Movie most recently viewed theatrically, and on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming

Theatrically: Super 8
DVD: Fail-Safe
Blu-ray: Senso (Criterion)
Streaming: The Baxter

14) Favorite film noir villain

Does The Night of the Hunter count as noir?  Sorta right?  No, not really?  I can't say Mitchum?  Really, no?  C'mon.  Okay okay, I'll pick someone else.  How about Orson Welles as Hank Quinlan in Touch of Evil?  I know that one counts dammit!

15) Best thing about streaming movies?

Instant gratification is always a great thing!  But, if you are streaming these on your computer screen or, God forbid your phone, then you are not getting the experience you should be and in that way streaming movies is yet another killing blow to that beautiful thing we call cinema.

16) Fay Spain or France Nuyen? (Peter Nellhaus)

Just for her role (her final one I do believe) as Mrs. Roth in The Godfather: Part II I say Fay Spain.

17) Favorite Kirk Douglas movie that isn’t called Spartacus (Peter Nellhaus)

Actually my favourite Kirk Douglas isn't Spartacus anyway - so take that!  Therefore my choice is Paths of Glory, just edging out The Bad and the Beautiful.  For incidental reference, Spartacus comes in at sixth place overall, just after Ace in the HoleDetective Story and Two Weeks in Another Town.

18) Favorite movie about cars

I would have to call a tie in this situation.  Yeah, I am declaring a tie, deal with it.  I just cannot decide between Vanishing Point and Two-Lane Blacktop.  Both spectacular, both subversive, both obsession-driven, both are my answer.

19) Audrey Totter or Marie Windsor?

I can't think of a film by either one of these actresses that I have seen.  If there is one, it wasn't that memorable - or at least the actress's performance was not memorable.  Pass.

20) Existing Stephen King movie adaptation that could use an remake/reboot/overhaul

Could we get Tarantino remaking Carrie? 

21) Low-profile director who deserves more attention from critics and/or audiences

One of the most daring directors working today is Kelly Reichardt.  Her Meek's Cutoff is out now and is one of the best films of 2011 so far.  Her Wendy and Lucy from 2008 is as close to a masterpiece as one can get.  Granted, she does get the critical love she deserves but audiences have yet to be convinced. 

22) What actor that you previously enjoyed has become distracting or a self-parody? (Adam Ross)

Robert De Niro can be looked upon as laughable shadow of his former self.  One of the most daring actors of the 1970's and 1980's who has now succumbed to things like those Ben Stiller so-called comedy things.  Then again, with little performances in Machete and a rather strong if not a bit cliche'd performance in the little seen Stone as well as talks of a reunion with Scorsese, perhaps the old boy is on the proverbial upswing again.  Just stop doing those focking movies with Ben Stiller dammit!

23) Best place in the world to see a movie

A great place to see films is Film Forum in NYC.  The seats may not be the comfiest but their retrospectives are to die for.  Another good place is MOMA (also in NYC) which plays many many many great classic works (and their seats are comfy too).  I have also gotten to see films (thanx to my press credentials) at places like the Sony Screening Room and the HBO Screening Room - damn those places have some comfy-ass seats.  But the best place to watch movies is at Harrisburg Pa's Midtown Cinema - plug plug plug away.

24) Charles McGraw or Sterling Hayden?

C'mon, really!?  Sterling Hayden all the way.  After all, he is the protector of our precious bodily fluids.

25) Second favorite Yasujiro Ozu film

I suppose we are to assume that Tokyo Story is the token favourite and move on from there, right?  Yeah, I suppose that is a safe assumption.  Making a call for my second favourite though is a tougher call.  I believe if a gun were put to my cat's head and I was forced to pick one, I would say An Autumn Afternoon.

26) Most memorable horror movie father figure

Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!  Or in other words, here's Jack in The Shining.

27) Name a non-action-oriented movie that would be fun to see in Sensurround

Tarkovsky's Stalker.  You could actually feel the cold dripping dread of the movie.  Fantastic.

28) Chris Evans or Ryan Reynolds?

Wait, aren't these the same person?  I have occasionally enjoyed Reynolds in things though, off hand I cannot think of anything I have enjoyed Chris Evans in (Captain America as of now still sight unseen).  So to make it official, my final answer is (out of sheer default) Ryan Reynolds.

29) Favorite relatively unknown supporting player, from either or both the classic and the modern era

Guy Kibbee!  Perhaps not a great actor, but I always am happy when I see his name in the opening credits of all those 1930's era Warner Brothers films.  As for the modern era, I will go with Michael Parks whose work with Tarantino alone is worthy of this honour.

30) Real-life movie location you most recently visited or saw

Every time I walk down the streets of New York I see hundreds.

31) Second favorite Budd Boetticher movie

Since I have a tie for my favourite - Seven Men From Now and The Tall T, I will name Comanche Station as my third favourite.

32) Mara Corday or Julie Adams?

In that white bathing suit in The Creature From the Black Lagoon?  It's gotta be Julie Adams.

33) Favorite Universal-International western

Winchester '73.  'nuff said

34) What's the biggest "gimmick" that's drawn you out to see a movie? (Sal Gomez)

Guy Maddin's Brand Upon the Brain!.  When it was first released it came with a live orchestra, singer and complete foley team doing all the sound effects for all the audience to see and hear.  And on top of that, we got a roving array of celebrity narrators.  When I saw it at the CC Village East Cinemas, I was lucky enough to have Isabella Rossellini as narrator.

35) Favorite actress of the silent era

So many to choose from.  Theda Bara, Janet Gaynor, Clara Bow, Mary Pickford,  Marion Davies, Mae Murray, Billie Burke, Zasu Pitts, Gloria Swanson, Pola Negri, Norma Talmadge, Mae Marsh, Lillian & Dorothy Gish all spring to mind immediately.  But above them all is the great Louise Brooks.

36) Best Eugene Pallette performance (Larry Aydlette)

I loved the big man in My Man Godfrey but Friar Tuck wins out.

37) Best/worst remake of the 21st century so far? (Dan Aloi)

I think the list of worst is waaaay too long to delve into here so I will stick with just the best.  Um......

38) What could multiplex owners do right now to improve the theatrical viewing experience for moviegoers? What could moviegoers do?

Multiplexes could slash their prices (obvious answer) but we know that ain't gonna happen.  As for the moviegoers - get off your fucking phones, stop texting, stop talking and watch the fucking movie you (and the rest of us in the theater) just paid to fucking see!! Jesus Christ!!


le0pard13 said...

Oh, hell yes NIGHT OF THE HUNTER counts as film noir -- it better since I used Rev. Powell as my answer ;-). And no surprise the Sterling Hayden fans (me included) used that now iconic upward shot of said in DR. STRANGELOVE for their answer to question 24, Kevyn. Enjoyable reading. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dennis is a certainly a hard task master, I think you did a great job and I enjoyed your answers Kevyn.
Your film knowledge obviously runs deeper than mine because I would struggle to answer some of those, although if I do this quiz my answer to number 18 would be exactly the same as yours, obsession is exactly the right word for my relationship with Two-Lane and Vanishing Point.

Kevyn Knox said...

Thanx guys. Yes Dennis does do some rather interesting questions indeed.

And glad to hear that The Night of the Hunter counts! (I secretly knew it did).

VP81955 said...

Trying to imagine Roland Young as a supporting type in an Astaire-Rogers movie, and Edward Everett Horton as Cosmo Topper. (Somehow it's hard to imagine Constance Bennett as Marion Kerby being quite so playful with an EEH Toppy.)

And for favorite silent actress? Gotta go with Marion Davies, though not choosing Brooks probably diminishes my value with the art-house crowd.

Kevyn Knox said...

Marion Davies would be my second choice. A very underrated comedienne.

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