Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Another Quiz From Sergio Leone And The Infield Fly Rule

The great Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule is featuring another of his famous movie quizzes. Click here to check it out, scroll down to read my responses.


1) Name a line from a movie that should've become a catch phrase but didn't
"I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks."

Not exactly a catch phrase, but it's the answer to many of life's more difficult questions.

2) Your second favorite William Wellman film
My favorite is Battleground, one of the best war movies ever made. And while he made great movies such as The Ox-Bow Incident and The Public Enemy, my second favorite William Wellman movie is Wings, the silent Oscar winner starring Clara Bow and a bunch of airplanes.

3) Viggo Mortensen or Javier Bardem?
Like them both, but I think Javier Bardem is a national treasure.

4) Favorite first line from a movie
"Saigon. Shit. I'm still only in Saigon."

5) The most disappointing/superfluous “director’s cut” or otherwise extended edition of a movie you’ve seen?
Everything George Lucas has ever done to Star Wars

6) What is the movie you feel was most enhanced by a variant version?
Possibly Orson Welles' Touch of Evil. But what I really want is a Blu-Ray with all five versions of TV's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

7) Eve Arden or Una Merkel?
Eve Arden and it's not close. Una Merkel's appeal baffles me.

8) What was the last DVD/Blu-ray/streaming film you saw? The last theatrical screening?
DVD? Season one of television's Lost in Space. Streaming? Amazon Prime's series Bosch. Theatrical? The Imitation Game

9) Second favorite Michael Mann film
Thief (my favorite being The Last of the Mohicans)

10) Name a favorite director’s most egregious misstep
Even though it grossed more money than any movie of the silent era, established once and for all the commercial and artistic viability of the feature film, and influenced everything that came after it, I consider the second half of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation the most blinkered, ill-conceived and pernicious piece of film ever made. And not just through the politically-correct lenses of 21st century glasses, at the time, too, when it was considered so inflammatory, it was banned outright in several U.S. cities. (I've written at length about it here.)

11) Alain Delon or Marcello Mastroianni?
Marcello Mastroianni, for and La Dolce Vita.

12) Jean-Luc Godard famously stated that “all you need for a movie is a girl and a gun.” Name one other essential element that you’d add to the mix.

13) Favorite one-sheet that you own, or just your favorite one-sheet (please provide a link to an image if you can)
Only one sheet I own is of Key Largo, which I bought in a bookstore in Key Largo, Florida, twenty-five years ago.

14) Catherine Spaak or Daniela Giordano?
Honestly, I have no idea who either of these people are.

15) Director who most readily makes you think “Whatever happened to…?”
Pete Wilson, whose student film Das Volkswagen featured a supporting performance by the Mythical Monkey

16) Now that some time has passed… The Interview, yes or no?
Haven't seen it, nor am I likely to see it, for no other reason than that it looks stupid, and not in a fun way.

17) Second favorite Alberto Cavalcanti film

18) Though both displayed strong documentary influence in their early films, Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog have focused heavily on the documentary form late in their filmmaking careers. If he had lived, what kind of films do you think Rainer Werner Fassbinder, their partner in the German New Wave of the ‘70s, would be making now?
Selfies on his phone? I have no idea. But it would be a rare director indeed who would be making better movies in his seventies than he made in his thirties. It's a young-ish man's (woman's) medium.

19) Name a DVD you’ve replaced with a Blu-ray. Name another that you decided not to replace.
Replaced DVD with a Blu-Ray? Citizen Kane. Didn't replace? About 800 others.

20) Don Rickles or Rodney Dangerfield?
Going to see Rickles in New York in two weeks. That's what, twelve times? I've even been personally insulted by Rickles. Rickles Rickles Rickles.

Although let's be honest, he can't act a lick.

21) Director who you wish would hurry up and make another film
Buster Keaton.

22) Second favorite Michael Bay film
Do people honest to God have a favorite Michael Bay film?

23) Name a movie that, for whatever reason, you think of as your own
I love lots of movies, I identify with many of them, I can quote some of them from beginning to end. But I don't think of any of them as "mine." I've never understood the tendency of some fans to become proprietary about the object of their admiration, throwing sharp elbows to keep newcomers at bay. I am a movie evangelist. Come one, come all!

24) Your favorite movie AI (however loosely you care to define the term)
Hal 9000

25) Your favorite existing DVD commentary track
Robinson Crusoe on Mars where Paul Mantee explains how "the monkey never lied to me." I get the impression everyone else in Hollywood did.

26) The double bill you’d program on the last night of your own revival theater
What, we're saying my revival theater has gone belly up? Before I've even opened one?

My goodbyes mostly resemble the ending of The Horse's Mouth, Alec Guinness's brilliant comedy about a half-mad artist — which is to say, I drift away on the tide while involved in another nutty project. (Lost in Space, anyone?)

But the best goodbyes involve saying hello to a beautiful redhead — the ending of Holiday and The Quiet Man being two of my favorites.

27) Catherine Deneuve or Claudia Cardinale?
I think Catherine Deneuve is a better actress but Claudia Cardinale was in more movies that I actually watch — i.e., The Professionals and Once Upon a Time in the West.