Friday, March 16, 2007

Class is in session ... again

If you thought spring break was going to be, well, a break -- then you obviously do not attend class at Dennis Cozzalio's Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, where vacations mean another hearty film quiz. Mr. Cozzalio has done this a few times before (he recently posted some of the best answers from his last quiz), and each time I was conspicuously absent. But this week I was in my seat and even turned in my results early, so take a look and by all means take Professor Iwin Corey's Foremostly Authoritative Spring Break Movie Quiz for yourself! Related: I am happy to announce that Dennis will be gracing this site with his presence for a future Friday Screen Test, stay tuned.


1) What movie did you have to see multiple times before deciding whether you liked or disliked it?

I saw Eyes Wide Shut on three consecutive nights when it first came out. Each time I walked out with a different impression of it, and it wasn't really until my fifth viewing when I really wrapped my head around just what I it worked so well and what Kubrick was trying to say with it.

2) Inaugural entry into the Academy of the Overrated
The Blob (1958)

3) Favorite sly or not-so-sly reference to another film or bit of pop culture within another film.
There's a scene in Gremlins 2 of Leonard Maltin reviewing the movie Gremlins only to be attacked by gremlins. This attack is supposed to be happening during the time period of Gremlins 2, which raises way too many questions: Why was Leonard Maltin taping a review for a movie that came out six years ago? In the Gremlins 2 universe, was Gremlins actually a documentary, since the characters in it exist in Gremlins 2 and obviously lived through the original movie? Did the events of Gremlins 2 inspire a similar documentary? Why didn't any of the characters in Gremlins 2 simply say 'didn't you see the movie Gremlins?' when trying to explain the monsters?

4) Favorite Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger movie
'I Know Where I'm Going!'

5) Your favorite Oscar moment
Elizabeth Taylor groaning before announcing that The Silence of the Lambs had beaten out Beauty and the Beast for Best Picture in 1991.

6) Hugo Weaving or Guy Pearce?
Even though I've been mightily impressed by Pearce's recent roles, I have to go with Hugo: He's Nigerian, he has The Eyebrows, he has The Voice, he's Nigerian.

7) Movie that you feel gave you the greatest insight into a world/culture/person/place/event that you had no understanding of before seeing it
Boys Don't Cry, I had never actually believed that people lived in Nebraska.

8) Favorite Samuel Fuller movie
Underworld U.S.A.

9) Monica Bellucci or Maria Grazia Cucinotta?

10) What movie can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Thankfully this is a long list for me, and it includes: The Royal Tenenbaums, The 'burbs, Ride the High Country, Ghostbusters and This is Spinal Tap.

11) Conversely, what movie can destroy a day’s worth of good humor just by catching a glimpse of it while channel surfing?
Any movie completely lacking in joy or creativity, this list is always headed by Last House on the Left, though thankfully I've never seen it on TV.

12) Favorite John Boorman movie
Point Blank, one of my all-time favorites.

13) Warren Oates or Bruce Dern?
Wow this is a tough one, but I'll have to go with Warren Oates because I've almost seen his entire body of work, while I have quite a ways to go with Dern. I also loved how Oates worked his whole career as a background character until Sam Peckinpah finally found a leading role that suited him perfectly ...

14) Your favorite aspect ratio
I wish I had a preference on this, but as long as it's not panned and scanned I'm happy.

15) Before he died in 1984, Francois Truffaut once said: “The film of tomorrow will resemble the person who made it.” Is there any evidence that Truffaut was right? Is it Truffaut’s tomorrow yet?
I don't think that future is possible, nor has it ever been because films for a long time have been born from a wide variety of influences and rarely exhibit any more than a sliver of who is truly making them.

16) Favorite Werner Herzog movie
Fitzcarraldo by a nose over Aguirre: Wrath of God.

17) Favorite movie featuring a rampaging, oversized or otherwise mutated beast, or beasts
Well, I know that Troll 2 is certainly my favorite movie featuring 'monstrous beasts.'

18) Sandra Bernhard or Sarah Silverman?
I've never appreciated anything Sandra Bernhard has done, although seeing her drop into a vat of molten gold in Hudson Hawk came pretty darn close.

19) Your favorite, or most despised, movie cliché
I despise the cookie cutter that previews for the last two decades or so have all been put through. There used to be a creativity at work in previews (especially teaser trailers) that has long been pushed to the side in favor of the same tired formula for each genre (this may require its own post someday).

20) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-- yes or no?
Absolutely yes. It was the first real movie I ever watched and I will always hold it in high regard partly because of that. It's possible that I've seen it more than any other movie, and I will continue watching it around once a year until it becomes unpractical.

21) Favorite Nicholas Ray movie
They Live By Night

22) Inaugural entry into the Academy of the Underrated
The Blob (1988)

23) Your favorite movie dealing with the subject of television

24) Bruno Ganz or Patrick Bauchau?

25) Your favorite documentary, or non-fiction, film
American Movie, each laugh it elicits is multiplied at least 3x when you realize it's 100% true.

26) According to Orson Welles, the director’s job is to “preside over accidents.” Name a favorite moment from a movie that seems like an accident, or a unintended, privileged moment. How did it enhance or distract from the total experience of the movie?
In the VHS version of Pee Wee's Big Adventure there is a strange gaffe that we see as the result of it being filmed in open matte. During PeeWee's drive down the careening road, we see crazy signs whizzing past him on the dark road and in the matted widescreen version that was seen in theaters this was all fine and dandy. But for VHS, it was open matte so we see that the signs are actually on rails being pushed past the camera. This was unintended, but on some level it actually works with the camp level in the film and the celebration of Hollywood cliches at the climax.

27) Favorite Wim Wenders movie
The End of Violence

28) Elizabeth Pena or Penelope Cruz?

29) Your favorite movie tag line (Thanks, Jim!)
'Nine men who came too late and stayed too long...' -- The Wild Bunch

30) As a reader, filmgoer, or film critic, what do you want from a film critic, or from film criticism? And where do you see film criticism in general headed?
Film criticism: To treat each film like they should treat their readers, with some respect.


Anonymous said...

15.) Before he died in 1984, ...

I just watched Marie Antoinette the other night. I'm guessing that that movie exhibit's more than a sliver of Sophia Coppola. (I loved the movie, and I'm sympathetic to its thesis, both in regards to the historic personage, and, perhaps as more of a stretch, in regards to one S. Coppola.)

Adam Ross said...

Good point about Coppola, and I suppose it's true about Wes Anderson as well. I think it's becoming a tougher climate for "personal" movies because in most cases audiences don't care about the person who made it.