Friday, January 26, 2007

FRIDAY SCREEN TEST: Andy Horbal

[A note about this series: As a child, The Oregonian's entertainment magazine A&E was something I looked forward to every week, not only for movie reviews by Shawn Levy, but for their weekly Film Freak. Each week, the paper would profile someone on their movie tastes -- it was usually someone in the local entertainment field, but sometimes it was a baker, or city official or a nobody. I was always praying that the Film Freak would somehow pluck me out of Madeleine Elementary for a quick interview. Little things like that were cherished in the pre-Internet age. I'm hoping Friday Screen Tests will inspire similar enthusiasm -- each week, a new blogger or critic. I've been planning this for awhile and have a good corps of my favorite writers onboard with me. Enjoy.]

I first found Andy Horbal's No More Marriages! via his supremely overwhelming and thought provoking Film Criticism Blog-a-thon -- which ended up being so wonderfully vast, that it probably deserves a disclaimer at the top warning readers what they're getting into. Andy's posts have a way of stirring conversation that only adds to his editorial (this poll generated 277 comments), and it doesn't hurt that he usually uses a series of excellent screen grabs to illustrate his points. Andy also keeps a handy running post of monthly links, pointing readers toward the furthest reaches of pop culture and beyond.

NO MORE MARRIAGES?: The unique title of Andy's blog is perhaps a reference to the movie that inspired its creation a year ago this month: Brokeback Mountain.

THAT'S A WRAP!: 'I saw The Mummy in high school and I left the theater saying to my friends, "Bloody hell! I could make a better film than that!" I think I started looking at film schools the next day...'

ONE AND DONE: The phrase 'what is your favorite movie?' rankles some of us in its bitter singularity: how can you choose just one? Andy's final answer is at the ready: Playtime. It's a good time to be a fan of the Tati classic, as it recently received the treatment by Criterion.

SEVEN DAYS WITHOUT A MOVIE MAKES ONE WEAK!: 'I get all itchy if a day goes by without a movie...'

NO SUMMERTIME BLUES: 'I disliked the first Spider-Man a great deal and I had no reason to believe the sequel would be much better, but I quickly realized that I was watching perhaps the single best summer special effects spectacular ever. A movie like this is a mixed blessing: every summer since I've found myself ponying up $8 for movies like The Island and Superman Returns just in case...'

SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK AGAIN: 'LSD + Night of the Living Dead = A lifetime of looking over your shoulder...'

ONE CRITIC'S GARBAGE: 'My negative responses to film are as interesting to me as my positive responses, so I end up spending as much time re-watching and thinking about "bad" movies as I do "good" ones. Because, the thing is, if I'm watching the film, then someone liked it enough to spend money on it. Someone expected other people to like it. So where's the discrepancy, right? Is there something wrong with me? I'll give you a representative selection of a "bad" movie that fascinates me: Rocky IV. I disagree with just about every decision made in the making of that film, but I love it. That movie is America...'

STRIKE UP THE FLUX CAPACITOR: Seeing The Passion of Joan of Arc during its original theatrical run must have been a lot like being struck by lightning...

LIFE AS HE KNOWS IT: '"Wake up woodchuck chuckers, it's... Groundhog Day!" The most life-affirming movie ever made. Ever.'

Contact DVD Panache if you are interested in contributing to Friday Screen Test.

1 comment:

Piper said...

Hats off Adam. This is a great idea. Congrats.