Friday, February 22, 2008

FRIDAY SCREEN TEST: Ed Hardy, Jr.

Ed Hardy, Jr. knows how precious time (and words) are to us working-class movie fans -- that's why he is committed to giving you his views on film in no more than 24 words over at Shoot the Projectionist. Of course, he is capable of using many more than 24 words on a film, and he also drives to expand the boundaries of his readers' film knowledge -- often through the borders of Poland. Ed's Polish Film Posters series is consistently entertaining (the El Dorado one is all kinds of perfect) and has been known to make one yearn for some makowiec. Ed's had a couple of noteworthy events on his blog in the past year, the 31 Flicks That Give You the Willies project (ahem) and his four part gender analysis of Pinky Violence. The latter provides a wealth of information and careful analysis of a series many film fans may not be familiar with.

LAST TIME YOU WERE AT A DRIVE-IN: 'I grew up near the drive-ins in Union City, CA so I have a ton of drive-in memories: there was Army of Darkness at a birthday party, or the time my family was pictured in a local paper's "Death of the Drive-in" story watching Back to the Future in our drop-top Impala. The last film I saw there was David Fincher's The Game. It was too dark to see anything and I had to see it again in a theater. They closed the drive-ins down not too long after.'

FILM ERA OR GENRE YOU'RE A LITTLE OBSESSED WITH: 'I have become obsessed with a variety of genres over the years. Most recently it's been Italian westerns & slashers and Japanese crime films from the sixties and seventies. It was that period in American film (the Easy Riders, Raging Bulls years) that initially ignited my passion for film as a teenager.'

EARLIEST MOVIE-WATCHING MEMORY: 'My parents took me to see The Neverending Story when I was four (4) and I've still got the theme song stuck in my head.'

LAST DVD YOU BOUGHT: 'Being the poor, unemployed student/artist type, I don't buy DVDs. But for Christmas I got two seasons of Seinfeld and Donnie Darko.'

FAVORITE GROSS-OUT MOMENT IN A FILM: 'This was the hardest question to answer. I'm just not a gross-out kind of guy. So I'm gonna have to go with the most recent example of a moment both grossing me out and making me laugh: in Superbad when Seth walks by with menstrual blood on his pants and the two guys on the couch are giving him a hard time, one wipes his finger on the other, laughing, and goes, "It's blood." That's all.'

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES RECENTLY WRAPPED UP A MONTH OF GUEST PROGRAMMING, IF YOU WERE A GUEST PROGRAMMER WHAT THREE MOVIES WOULD YOU PICK TO BEST REPRESENT YOUR TASTES, OR A FAVORITE GENRE OR THEME?: 'Godard's My Life to Live (Vivre sa vie, 1962), Alex Cox's Repo Man (1984) and Robert Redford's Quiz Show (1994). All three of these films have blown me away in different ways. My Life to Live grabbed me from the first frame and shook my perceptions of film grammar the way they always told you the Nouvelle Vague was meant to. I love it equally for its self-concious literary pretensions and its exhilirating embrace of life. Repo Man is a work whose brilliance is only illuminated through repetition. The first time I saw it I thought, "What's all the fuss about?" Five viewings (in three days) later, I was hooked on every genius line of dialogue, every sighting of the Chevy Malibu, every production gaffe. I am currently holding myself back from quoting literally every word of the film. Quiz Show crept up on me in an entirely different way. When I saw it I thought it was good, but in that classic, mainstream Hollywood sort of way. But over the years I've seen it again and again and it never stops being fun, funny and, occasionally, wise. Moments in it have lingered with me and will continue to--like the other films I mentioned and like all great films.'

WHAT MOVIE ARE YOU ASHAMED TO SAY YOU HAVEN'T SEEN, AND WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?: 'I've never seen It's a Wonderful Life all the way through. I wouldn't be ashamed to say it if I didn't complain about it every "Holiday Season." But I just detest what I've seen of it. I love Jimmy Stewart but whenever he starts yelling "Kids! Kids!" I get a little pukey.'

PICK ONE OF THE FOLLOWING FOUR MOVIES AND WRITE TWO SENTENCES ABOUT IT:

Withnail & I--Friendships of the bottle have a way of providing the most intense memories and the most bittersweet endings.Withnail & I has both, along with that other thing so crucial to friendship: a million laughs.
McClintock!--
Death Wish--
Sleeping Beauty:

FAVORITE KIND OF MOVIE TO REVIEW: 'The kind that I am compelled by, but unsure of why. When there's something to work out by writing about a film--even if it's just whether or not you like it--the piece has a better chance of surprising you, which is infinitely more interesting than writing something "good."'

LAST TIME YOU VEHEMENTLY DISAGREED WITH SOMEONE ON THE SUBJECT OF FILM: 'All the time. The community I'm part of thrives on debate. My close friend and sometime Shoot the Projectionist contributor Darren Russell and I constantly disagree--especially on the subject of Scorsese.'

FAVORITE BOOK ON THE SUBJECT OF FILM: 'For years it was Robert Kolker's Cinema of Loneliness. But a year and a half ago or so I came across Steven Shaviro's The Cinematic Body in a used book store. It has the most personal, exciting and thought-provoking writing on film around--next to Shaviro's blog, that is.'

DESCRIBE THE FREQUENCY OF YOUR FILM INTAKE: '3 films a month in the theater (usually the Parkway Speakeasy in Oakland, CA), another 3 On Demand at my mom's house, and 8 or 10 from Netflix. So on average, a film every other day or so.'

THREE THINGS YOU'VE LEARNED FROM MOVIES: '1. "You never say, 'I'm gonna punch you, Steve. You just smile and suckerpunch the guy." 2. "On the run from Johnny Law--it ain't no trip to Cleveland." 3. "Glory fades."'

Email DVD Panache if you are interested in being featured on Friday Screen Test.

6 comments:

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Adam: Thanks for publishing my Screen Test, and for your kind words at the header. Oh--and thanks for asking about WITHNAIL AND I!

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