Friday, January 18, 2008


As a member of the WGA, Annie Frisbie is on strike, but thankfully her words continue to appear online. When she's not adapting a novel for a Lifetime Network movie, or c0-producing the Kristen Stewart/Steve Zahn drama Speak, Annie often contributes her talents to The House Next Door, where she has written about the documentary Into Great Silence, Hannibal Rising and her personal wrap-ups for 2007 and 2006. The former editor of Zoom In Online, Annie currently maintains Reading is My Superpower -- a turbo charged book blog. Be sure and check out her How to Turn a Book Into a Movie post, with strong advice from someone who knows.

Favorite gross-out moment: 'It has to be prom night in Brian DePalma's Carrie. The entire sequence is one of my all-time favorites (no surprise, given my aforementioned predilection for hysteria). Within that sequence, there's one moment that I just go crazy for--and that's Nancy Allen licking her lips just before the bucket comes down. Thanks for that close-up, Mr. DePalma.'
Last time you were at a drive-in: 'We saw Grindhouse at the drive-in this past summer, and it was a perfect experience. I can't imagine enjoying it half as much in the movie theater.'

Earliest movie-watching memory: 'My father taking me to see Watership Down at the Rotunda Theater in Baltimore. It was the first movie I ever saw and I remember the experience vividly. I was only 3 or 4 years old and loved the movie so much that a book with stills from the film telling the story became one of my favorites. Recently a friend came over with her 3-year-old and he pulled out my VHS copy and started begging to watch the bunny movie. We put it on for him, and I was surprised at how dark it was--too dark for sensitive 21st Century children perhaps. But that won't deter me from sharing with my daughter in a few years.

Describe the frequency of your movie viewings: 'It's lessened somewhat in the last few years, thanks to the ever-degraded theater-going experience. And now that I've got a new baby, it might be a while before I get back to the cinema. I just don't enjoy movies as much on DVD, but maybe one day we'll get that flatscreen TV and never want to leave the house again. I guess the answer to the question is that my husband & I watch as many movies as possible, given time and budgetary constraints.'

That'll be tha day: 'My husband and I got into a very heated argument over Forrest Gump. I said he couldn't possibly think it was a good movie. He got very offended by that remark. Back when I worked at Kim's Underground, I used to have knockdown drag out fights about movies all the time. I once got so upset during a "discussion" of Lee Marvin that I threw a plastic soda bottle.'

Favorite book on the subject of film: 'I love Noel Carroll's The Philosophy of Horror--really anything by Noel Carroll or David Bordwell (they worked together on another great book called Making Meaning).'

Film era or genre you're a little obsessed with: 'I'm obsessed with melodrama, particularly classic Hollywood women's pictures like Imitation of Life, and also the gothic offshoots.'

Pick one of the following four movies to write two sentences about:
McClintock --
Sleeping Beauty--'There never has been and never will be a scarier dragon than Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, shooting tongues of green fire at a notably bland Prince in defense of a Barbie-beautiful Princess who was much lovelier when dressed in rags. Disney might be best at turning children into mindless consumers, but the classic movies sure could tell a good story, once upon a dream.'
Death Wish--
Withnail & I--

What movie are you ashamed to say you haven't seen, and what's your excuse?: 'I'm not sure I'm brave enough to admit to the gaps in my film education, having spent 4 years teaching film history and screenwriting to impressionable undergrads. I can't say that I've never discussed in class a film I've never seen, but I've never pretended to see a film I haven't. Oh, and I did doze off a few times during screenings while in grad school for Cinema Studies (True Heart Susie) but never during a truly important film. Okay, fine--I've never seen Gone with the Wind because I thought the book was BORING. '

Last DVD you bought: 'Stranger Than Paradise (Criterion), as a Christmas gift for my husband. Before that, I bought Revolution 9, a great film about a man's descent into schizophrenia, directed by Tim McCann and co-starring Adrienne Shelley.'

Turner Classic Movies recently wrapped up a month of guest programming, if you were a guest programmer on TCM what three films would you pick to best represent your tastes, or a favorite genre or theme?: 'Black Narcissus, The Innocents and Seance on a Wet Afternoon. I adore gothic melodrama, and I'd program these films as companion pieces to Hitchcock's Rebecca and David Cronenberg's The Brood for a repressed sexuality Halloween marathon.'

Favorite kind of movie to review: 'I prefer reviewing older movies to new releases. I'm much more interested in re-examining a film after some time has passed and seeing what still works and what feels dated.'

Three things you've learned from watching movies: '1- Rosebud is a sled. 2- Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father. 3- It's Gwyneth Paltrow's head in the box.'

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1 comment:

Erich Kuersten said...

Yo! Shout out for Kim's Underground. Great to read about Annie Frisbie. i too prefer writing about older movies, especially period pieces. Writing about a 1939 movie set in the Civil War for example, gives you a double time warp perspective... but that would be GONE WITH THE WIND!