Friday, June 15, 2007

FRIDAY SCREEN TEST: Peter Nellhaus

Peter Nellhaus, who also contributes to Screenhead and Twitch, keeps an entertaining cache of film reviews at Coffee, Coffee, and More Coffee (where he has captured the essence of life in only four words). Peter is able to provide generous coverage of various film festivals (Miami Beach's Italian Film Festival [posts 1, 2 and 3], and the Aurora Asian Film Festival [posts 1, 2, 3 and 4] to name a couple) and also hosted the rich William Shakespeare Blog-a-thon in April. A simple jaunt through Peter's reviews will show you that he's a true student of film and has interests in many genres. His like for Thai cinema was put on display this year when he took an extended visit to Thailand, and wrote a series of posts about the Asian nation's film industry (see here, here and here for most of them).

HOW DO YOU SAY 'KILL ME' IN THAI?:
'I saw "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" when I was in the hospital (I was in Thailand and it was the only English language programming). How is it that this movie was popular? It wasn't even dumb funny. Am I missing something in contemporary comedy?'

THE DEFENSE RESTS: 'Hollywood can fend for itself. Obviously they don't miss my support, otherwise they'd be making better films. More often I ask people why they are still watching Hollywood movies if there are better film choices available.'

CELEBRITY TRAFFIC: 'I have had several. The best were at Telluride. Of those, my favorite moments were a brief meeting with Julie Christie in 1974, and interviewing Henry King by a creek, an appropriately pastoral setting ... I had a nice chat with Jonathan Demme about mutual acquintances that I knew from NYU. Part of my neighborhood in Miami Beach was used for second unit filming of "Transporter 2". My wife looked longingly at Jason Statham's stunt double ... There was also the time I worked at the Greenwich Theater in NYC, and saw how James Coco kept his weight up.'

OF LOVE AND FILM IN THE SUMMER OF '69: 'I had an interest in films that started to get serious in junior high. I had read film reviews, but was unaware of the serious critics until high school. We did get the Sunday New York Times, which meant reading about a bunch of interesting films that never showed up in Denver. I did enjoy Renata Adler at the time. My mother directed me to Pauline Kael. The big revalation for me was Andrew Sarris' "American Cinema" and "Interviews with Film Directors" which I read almost back to back in the summer of 1969.'

TRUER WORDS...: 'William K. Everson told my class that there was no reason not to see a new movie everyday. I usually have a steady stream of DVDs.'

NOW SHOWING AT COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE AND CINEMA: 'I'd show movies unavailable on any home format. That's reason enough to show movies in a theater. Assuming I could get my hands on them, I'd show "Omicron" by Ugo Gregoretti, "Cover Me Babe" by Noel Black, John Ford's "Seven Women", the 70mm versions of "Playtime" by Tati and "The Big Trail" by Walsh, and selected films from Frank Borzage.'

WISHFUL THINKING: 'In some cases [purchasing DVDs] is the only way I'll see certain films, which is why I have a region free player. In most cases I buy films I tell myself I'll be watching multiple times. I still have a bunch that haven't even been unwrapped.'

THERE IS A MAN!/A CERTAIN MAN!: 'I get a chill down my back when the chorus girls come out and sing the "Citizen Kane" song and Orson Welles gets up to dance with them. It doesn't matter whether I'm seeing "Kane" in a theater or on TV.'

CAN THE WORLD LEARN HOW TO SPEAK LIKE PETER NELLHAUS?: '"I don't think so", to quote Fred Willard from 'Best in Show.'"

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1 comment:

Cinebeats said...

I found my way here thanks to Greencine and enjoyed this interview with Peter a lot. He's an interesting & friendly guy and I really like his blog.These Friday Screen Tests are fun reads since a lot of the bloggers I enjoy seem to have been interviewed.