Friday, September 05, 2014

In Response To Professor Dewey Finn

The indefatigable Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule blog has wrapped up the summer with another questionnaire. While it's been a while since I've participated in one of these, its not for lack of interest. These polls always tug and pull the best cinematic thoughts from my mind, and this one is no exception. My replies as follows:

1) Band without their own movie, from any era, you’d most like to see get the HARD DAY’S NIGHT or HEAD treatment 

 Radiohead. Although I don’t know how good it’d be considering Thom Yorke’s inherent introverted personality and the rest of the band’s general disdain for commercialism. 

2) Oliver Reed or Alan Bates? 

 “Gor”, “Sitting Target”, “These Are the Damned” Oliver Reed takes it!

 3) Best thing about the move from physical to streaming media in home video 

 As someone who’s recently been hyper-exposed to the world of streaming and multimedia ways of finding films, the sheer quantity of hard-to-find, obscure and offbeat right at the tip of my fingers is something I’ve always hoped the Internet would allow. YouTube, Amazon and other (somewhat nefarious) sources have given me access to so many films I’d only heard about or remember through my forays among the VHS shops back in the day.

 4) Worst thing about the move from physical to streaming media in home video

 Having said all the above, the agony of NOT being able to find a certain movie with all those resources is absolute madness. It’s haunts me for weeks trying to find that elusive title. I feel like Burgess Meredith with all his books and a pair of broken glasses.

 5) Favorite Robin Williams performance 

 I always really loved his role in “Cadillac Man”.

 6) Second favorite Carol Reed movie

 “Odd Man Out”

 7) Oddest moment/concept in rock music cinema 

Oddest? I don't know but most disturbing clash of supposed peaceful harmony and real life is the Altamont stabbing captured in The Rolling Stones "Gimme Shelter".

 8) Favorite movie about growing up 

 “The Adventures of Sebastian Cole”…. little seen movie from the late 90’s with Adrian Grenier and Clark Gregg that’s touching on so many levels.

 9) Most welcomed nudity, full or partial, in a movie (question submitted by Peter Nellhaus, class of 2004)

Any bit of skin Jessica Alba flashes.

10) Least welcomed nudity, nude or partial, in a movie
       (question submitted by Peter Nellhaus, class of 2004)

Kathy Bates in “About Schmidt”

11) Last movie watched, in a theater, on DVD/Blu-ray, via streaming

Theater- Calvary
DVD- Medium, weird 1985 Polish film about, well a medium.
Streaming- Joseph Losey’s “The Lawless”

12) Second favorite Bertrand Blier movie

Very odd director choice… and considering I’ve only seen 2 of his films, I suppose “Get Out Your Handkerchiefs”?

13) Googie Withers or Sally Gray?

Withers, because she was in some great 40’s noirs

14) Name a piece of advice derived from a movie or movie
       character that you’ve heeded in real life

If you can't spot the sucker within the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.

15) Favorite movie about learning

I have no idea why it always stuck with me, but “Lean On Me”.

16) Program a double bill of movies that were announced but,
       for one reason or another, never made. These could be
       projects cancelled outright, or films that were made, but at
      one time had different directors, stars, etc., attached-- 
      and your "version" of the film might be the one with that
      lost director, for example (question submitted by
      Brian Doan, class of 2007) 

Always been fascinated by the tale of Serge Eisenstein’s cancelled “Que Viva Mexico”, which if history is true, actually produced tons of footage, but was later abandoned and cut into two short films with no real original director intention. It sounds awesome: A sort of travelogue/tribute to Mexico, traveling from the Mayan civilization to the Spanish colonial era to the revolution to a Day of the Dead celebration in the present day.

Double bill the newly restored “Que Viva Mexico” with “El Norte” for a trenchant journey through the land of our continenet to the south.

17) Oddest mismatch of director and material

Sidney Lumet and “The Wiz”

18) Favorite performance by your favorite character actor

Fav character actor, JK Simmons and his hilarious role in “Burn After Reading”

19) Favorite chase scene

The tailing scene of Popeye Doyle and Fernando Rey on foot in New York City and the subway… just a perfect example of sound, editing and camera position. Automobile chase: “Ronin”

20) Movie most people might not have seen that you feel like
        proselytizing about right now

Really the entire career of Japanese director Yoshitaro Nomura, but especially his 1974 film "The Castle of Sand", one of his very few movies available on DVD. Just a terrific police procedural that goes to some devastatingly intimate places.

21) Favorite movie about high school

"Some Kind of Wonderful"

22) Favorite Lauren Bacall performance

“The Big Sleep”

23) David Farrar or Roger Livesey?

Sorry, no preference for either. I struggled to find anything interesting looking them up on IMDB.

24) Performance most likely to get overlooked during the
       upcoming awards season

This has been a terrible year for movies so far, but best performance I’ve seen that probably won’t get a shred of notice is Marion Cotillard in “The Immigrant”

25) Rock musician who, with the right project, could have been
       a movie star

Janis Joplin…. So ripe for burned out, soulful portrayals of women singers. Then again, she probably achieved that in her short life without movie roles.

26) Second favorite Ted Post movie

“Diary of a Teenage Hitch Hiker”

27) Favorite odd couple

Howard the Duck and Lea Thompson

28) Flicker or Zeroville?

Hmm, is it bad that I have no idea what this question means?

29) Favorite movie about college

The nihilism I felt as presented in “The Rules of Attraction”

30) In a specific movie full of memorable turns, your favorite 
        under appreciated performance

Alfred Molina in "Boogie Nights"

31) Favorite movie about parenting

I plead the fifth not being a parent just yet.

32) Susannah York or Sarah Miles?


33) Movie which best evokes the sense of place in a region with
       which you are well familiar

Born and raised in Texas, we have a great legacy of filmmaking, and, by sheer designation, a lot of ground to cover.  South Texas, anything by Eagle Pennell. West Texas “The Last Picture Show” and Dallas, Texas “Office Space”. Central Texas, “Aint Them Bodies Saints”

34) Name a favorite actor from classic movies and the 
       contemporary performer who most evokes their

Richard Widmark and Eward Norton

35) Your favorite hot streak of any director (question submitted
       by Patrick Robbins, class of 2008)

Paolo Sorrentino.... "The Consequences of Love" (2004), "The Family Friend" (2006), "This Must Be the Place" (2011) and "The Great Beauty" (2013)

1 comment:

weepingsam said...

I've got to finish this... I started it but keep getting distracted.