Friday, June 13, 2008

FRIDAY SCREEN TEST: Joseph Campanella

Joseph Campanella is a relative newbie to Print City, but he's spreading the word that his Cinema Fist should be considered a permanent residence (any other questions should be directed to his site's banner image). The Fist pounds you with the news that you must see Blast of Silence and 2001: A Space Odyssey may be the best movie of all time (also: naked knife fights). A little advice: as you'll read below, the dude has Sicilian roots, so hold off on reciting that Dennis Hopper monologue to him -- he's probably heard it before.

EARLIEST MOVIE-WATCHING MEMORY: 'It's not so much a single memory, but sort of an amalgam of thoughts... I remember long summers when I was around 5 or 6, where I would have marathons all day long with the films Jaws, Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Then there is my fond memory of watching Empire Strikes Back on my family's first surround sound stereo on VHS and the day my brother came home with our first laserdisc (letterboxed!) Goodfellas. I think the first movie I saw in the theatre was The Abyss.'

LAST DVD YOU BOUGHT: 'Touchez Pas Au Grisbi and Seven Notes in Black (The Psychic) Different shit. Same day. Touchez is a brilliant 1950's french crime film that has made me realize, there is more than just Melville. Seven Notes in Black is probably Lucio Fulci's finest picture. A fever dream of self-fulfilling prophecies.'

IF YOU WERE A TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER, WHAT THREE FILMS WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BEST REPRESENT YOUR TASTES, OR A FAVORITE GENRE OR THEME: 'I've been looking at my computer for about 15 minutes, trying to come up with something, but I can't commit. I think it's a large character flaw on my part, but it does prove my love of film in general. Anyway, I guess, for the sake of anyone reading, I should stop babbling and pick three movies. How about some WESTERNS!!!!!!! If You Live, Shoot! (Giulio Questi, 1967) for its surrealist horror charm. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966) for being possibly the best movie ever made. And The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969) for showing me that playing with guns is, in fact, dangerous.'

FAVORITE MOVIE ENDING: 'North by Northwest. The jump cut to her being pulled on the bed. The train going in the tunnel. It doesn't get much better than that. Except for maybe the final shot of Sleepaway Camp.'

WHAT MOVIE ARE YOU ASHAMED TO SAY YOU HAVEN'T SEEN, AND WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE: 'Gone With the Wind. It's just so long! When I watch a movie for the first time, I want to see it all the way through. I think to get through this one, I'd have to take a 2 week vacation just to get through the first act! In a way though, I'm lying to you all because I have seen Once Upon a Time in America more than once in a year. But, c'mon. There's always time for a little Leone, right?'

Date With an Angel
Only Angels Have Wings
Angels in America
Angel Heart -- 'I have never seen this movie, but I have talked about watching it with a friend of mine, almost on a monthly basis for three years. I can honestly say, this is a movie that I want to see, but have no interest in actually seeing.'

WHO WOULD YOU AWARD AN HONORARY BEST ACTOR/ACTRESS OSCAR TO: 'Joseph Pilato for his performance in Day of the Dead (George Romero, 1985). I wouldn't say he's better than Daniel Day-Lewis, but he is.'

LAST TIME YOU WERE AT A DRIVE-IN, WHAT DID YOU SEE: 'I have never been to a drive-in in my life. It's pretty horrible for a film fan, I know, but I hear they have shitty sound. Plus, I always thought I would die in a car. So, I stay out of them as much as possible.'

FILM ERA OR GENRE YOU'RE A LITTLE OBSESSED WITH: 'Italian films of all kinds. Spaghetti Westerns. Spaghetti Nighmares. Giallos. Modern Italian Cinema of the 1960's. Neorealist films. White telephone films. Crime films of the 60's and 70's. My parents are from Sicily, so these movies have played a large part in my life. But it's sort of ridiculous because I'm just as obsessed with American, French...etc...crime-horror-western...blah.blah.blah......'

'Roger Ebert. I've been watching his show since I was a kid. I've been reading his reviews since I could read. I had the honor of interning at the show for half a year, and I must say, he is A. One of the most knowledgeable people, not only on the subject of film, but on everything in general. B. A great champion of independent and foreign cinema. C. One of the nicest, most down to Earth people on Earth.'

FAVORITE BOOK ON THE SUBJECT OF FILM: 'Hitchcock/Truffaut Does that count, because its more of an interview than a book. Also, Film Form by Eisenstein. Film as Art. Painting with Light....'

DESCRIBE THE FREQUENCY OF YOUR FILM INTAKE: 'About 5 or 6 a week. Give or take a few from time to time. Sometimes in the theatre, more often on Digital Versatile Disc. Netflix is a Godsend.'

'1. Violence is cool. 2. Violence is not cool. 3. Our world looks much better in GRAYSCALE.'

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

1 comment:

elgringo said...

"Hitchcock/Truffaut" is incredible.

For some reason, the definition of a "white telephone" film escapes me. To Google!