Doodad Kind of Town

Let’s Get Quizzical
December 6, 2009, 1:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve often lurked at Dennis Cozzalio’s blog, though I’ve not made my presence known there. I hope, however, he won’t mind if I take a crack at his latest quiz. (My apologies for missing the accreditations on some of these questions . I’m having challenges with cut-and-paste functionality in the new version of Internet Explorer), so I actually had to transcribe these one-by-one.

1. Second favorite Coen Brothers movie.

Well, my top 3 would be Fargo, A Serious Man, and O Brother, Where Art Thou. I’ve never taken the time to rank those three, but off the top of my head, I’d probably go with “A Serious Man” in the Number 2 position. (Fargo would be number 1.)

2. Movie seen only on home format that you would pay to see on the biggest movie screen possible. Lawrence of Arabia.

3. Japan or France? France. My knowledge of Japanese cinema is embarrassingly paltry.

4. Favorite moment/line from a Western. Does this count?

5. Of all the arts movies draw upon to become what they are, which is most important or the one you value most? Writing, writing, writing. You can have great actors, great photography, and a director who’s working his/her heart out to shape the story -but if the script is weak, the film will still be an essentially empty experience.

6. Most misunderstood movie of the 2000s (the Naughties) I don’t think that A. I. (Artificial Intelligence) really got its due.

7. Name a filmmaker/actor/actress/film you once unashamedly loved who has fallen furthest in your esteem. My knee jerk response to this is Woody Allen, but since everyone beats up on him these days, I’m going to go with a film – Lina Wertmuller’s Seven Beauties. I first saw in 1977 as a college freshman and thought it was a masterpiece. When I re-visited it a couple of years ago, I was appalled by it. It was grotesque just for the sake of being grotesque.

8. Hebert Lom or Patrick Magee? I’ll pick Herbert Lom because he’s in the Pink Panther movies I watched with my dad (a die hard Peter Sellers fan) as a kid. It’s a sentimental choice.

9. Which is your least favorite David Lynch movie? I haven’t seen that many, but I’d go with Inland Empire. It’s not that I didn’t admire the originality and the audacity of it, but it was a real grind to get through. I tend to consider it as three and half hours of my life that I’ll never get back.

10. Gordon Willis or Conrad Hall? I’m going with Gordon Willis, just based on his work during the Golden Age of Woody Allen.

11. Second favorite Don Siegel movie. Oh, God, I don’t even have a first favorite Don Siegel movie. How about Two Mules for Sister Sara. ?

12. Last movie you saw on Blu Ray/DVD? In theaters? In a theater – An Education. As for the DVD, I don’t’ remember; most films I’ve watched at home recently have been from On Demand or recorded from TCM. My last OnDemand rental was Shrink. My last DVR viewing was Fat City. Probably the last thing I watched on DVD was the pilot episode of Thirtysomething.

13. Which DVD in your private collection screams hardest to be replaced by a Blu-Ray?My DVDs are all content to be DVDs for the moment, since I’ve yet to acquire a Blu-Ray player. I have do have plans to purchase one after Christmas however, and the first Blu-Ray disc I’m planning to buy is Wings of Desire.

14. Eddie Deezen or Christopher Mintz-Plasse? I had to look these people up on IMDB. Then the lights came on. Gotta go with Mintz-Plasse – Mc Lovin!

15. Actor/Actress you feel automatically elevates whatever project they are in, or whom you would watch in virtually anything? I would pay good money just to watch Maggie Smith take out the trash. No one can make a meal out of ordinary line of dialogue or a simple reaction shot like Dame Maggie. She even classes up crap like The First Wives Club and Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.

16. Fight Club – yes or no? Yes.

17. Teresa Wright or Olivia De Haviland? DeHaviland is like Hollywood royalty, but I’m going with Teresa Wright, just for Shadow of a Doubt.

18. Favorite Line/Moment from a film noir:
“There’s a speed limit in this town, Mr. Neff. Forty-five miles an hour.”
“How fast was I going, officer?”
“I’d say around ninety.”(Double Indemnity,of course)

19. Best (or worst) death scene involving an obvious dummy substituting for a dummy or any other unsuccessful special effect. I honestly can’t think of one, but there’s a TV moment from Monty Python’s Flying Circus where one of them is fighting an obvious stuffed-toy lion as if it’s a true life-or-death battle. That always makes me laugh.

20. What’s the least you’ve spent on a film and still regretted it? My friends treated me to Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry for my birthday several years ago, and I still felt like I deserved some sort of recompense just for sitting through it.

21. Van Johnson or Van Heflin? Van Johnson

22. Favorite Alan Rudolph film. Look at the header of this blog and take a wild guess.

23. Name of a documentary you feel more people should see. I think every Catholic who makes excuses for pedophile priests should be forced to watch Deliver Us from Evil.

24. In deference to this quiz’ professor, name a favorite film which revolves around someone being stranded. John Sayles’ Limbo.

25. Is there a moment in your knowledge of film, or lack thereof, which caused you an unusual degree of embarrassment and/or humiliation ? If so, share. Attempting this quiz – particularly questions 3, 11, 36, 46 and 50.

26. Ann Sheridan or Geraldine Fitzgerald? I’m going with Geraldine Fitzgerald just because she played the salty old grandmother in Arthur, one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

27. Do you or any of your family members physically resemble movie actors or other notable figures in the film world? If so, who? Sadly, no. If just one of us did, I’d have a great answer, but no. We’re all one-of-a-kind.

28. Is there a movie you have purposely avoided seeing? If so, why? Salo: the 120 Days of Sodom. Surely I don’t have to explain why.

29. Movie with the most palpable or otherwise effective wintry atmosphere or ambiance. No one movie sticks out for me. When I think of memorable, winter-feeling scenes, I always remember the montage of NYC-after-a-snowstorm images in the “Splat!” episode of Sex and the City (the one where Kristen Johnson falls out a window, and Carrie decides to move to Paris with Alexandr Petrovsky.) They make an unusually hushed and lovely punctuation point in the show, and they perfectly capture the way the world looks and feels on the morning after a big blizzard has hit and moved on.

30. Gerrit Graham or Jeffrey Jones? Jeffrey Jones, just for the fact that he was the Emperor in Amadeus. “There it is.”

31. The best cinematic antidote to a cultural stereotype (sexual, political, regional, whatever) I got nothing. But I’d like to take this opportunity to wish that someday, someone makes a TV show or film about a small town in Indiana that actually reflects the reality of living in a small town in Indiana. It’s obvious to me that no one who writes a film or sitcom set in the Hoosier State has ever actually been there; the things that are true about small-town Indiana are far funnier and more interesting than the generic Hicksville stuff invented by the scriptwriters. There, I feel better now – thank you for allowing this Hoosier native to go off-topic and speak her mind.

32. Second favorite John Wayne movie. True Grit

33. Favorite movie car chase. I don’t much care for car chases – ironically, they tend to put me to sleep . (I tend to shut down and tune out when I’m overstimulated by noise or frantic visuals.) If I had to choose, I’d go with the one in The French Connection.

34. In the spirit of His Girl Friday, propose a gender-switched remake of a classic of not-so- classic film. I’d really like to see an updated reworking of A Face in the Crowd with the Lonesome Rhodes character re-envisioned as a female talk show host.

35. Barbara Rhoades or Barbara Feldon? I’m going with Feldon, since I can’t think of what Barbara Rhoades has been in.

36. Favorite Andre de Toth movie. Sorry, I got nothing.

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? I don’t think I’d miss any of the films Richard Attenborough directed if they suddenly went away . Even, if you just got rid of A Chorus Line, that’d make the world a better place.

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. Dogville. First time out, I thought it was vile. Rewatching it a few years later, I came to a greater appreciation. I realize that VonTrier intended it as a criticism of America in general – I’m not sure it’s entirely valid in that regard, but it is a cogent (and sometimes mordantly funny) take on the oversentimentalization of small-town life.

39. Max Ophuls or Marcel Ophuls? I’ll get back to you on that after I get around to watching La Ronde (currently in my DVR queue.)

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, physically or in personality? I have to pick the Cutters. Since I was at Indiana University when Breaking Away was made and was an extra in the bleachers during the start of the race scene, it has a deep and lasting significance for me. As for which one I’d be – can we consider Dave’s mom one of the group?

41. Your favorite movie cliche. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy experiences some sort of deep personal growth and wins girl back. Or Girl gets Boy…. either way.

42. Vincente Minelli or Stanley Donen? Stanley Donen.

43. Favorite Christmas-themed horror movie or sequence. Does this count?

44. Favorite moment of self- or selfless-sacrifice in a movie. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days is a really powerful depiction of a young woman who stands up for what she believes in and is willing to die for it, even though she’s frightened. Doesn’t get much more selfless than that. The moment when she says good-bye to parents on the night before her execution will rip your heart out – not so much because of Sophie’s courage, but the way her parents let her go. They’re obviously heartbroken beyond words, but they don’t make her feel worse by falling apart themselves.

45. If you were the cinematic Spanish Inquisition, which movie cult (or cult movie) would you decimate? Based on the annoying crowds at the multiplex lately, my first impulse is to get rid of the Twilight groupies.

46. Caroline Munro or Veronica Carlson? I don’t know who these women are.

47.Favorite eye patch wearing director. John Ford

48. Favorite ambiguous movie ending. Toss up between Limbo and No Country For Old Men. (Bonus answer- least favorite ambiguous ending was the series finale of The Sopranos.)

49. In giving thanks for the movies this year, what are you most thankful for? I’m thankful for the recurring half-price Criterion Collection sales at Barnes and Noble. My DVD collection expanded significantly this year because of them.

50. George Kennedy or Alan North? I’ll go with George Kennedy because I’m really not sure who Alan North is.


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love what you have to say about Maggie Smith! 😀

Comment by Anonymous

Thanks, Anonymous – whoever you are : )Maggie Smith has been my favorite actress sincee I was 13 – she never disappoints.

Comment by Pat

Some great answers to the movie quiz, Pat. I enjoyed reading them.BTW, to embed a link into a comment field you have to use the HTML 'a' tag to it. Click this link to see how to insert this.HTH, and thanks.

Comment by le0pard13

Le0pard13 – Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the "how to" info. my HTML skills are very elementary, but I'm trying to learn.

Comment by Pat

You are so right about Maggie Smith. is cutting prices on BBC product, and I'm tempted by a multi-disc set of Maggie Smith's work.

Comment by Marilyn

Marily – Oooh, a Maggie Smith boxed set? On sale? I'm going to take a look at that, might have to pick up myself.

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