Dennis Cozzalio has done another one of his great movies quizzes over at Sergio Leone and the Infiled Fly Rule. I love filling these things out (my first two can be found here and here). These were my answers this time around.
1) Favorite quote from a filmmaker
"Light is life." --Spielberg
2) A good movie from a bad director
Red Dragon: How that hack Ratner was able to fashion a film that was just as good (arguably better) than Micheal Mann's Manhunter is beyond me. Then again, with a story by Thomas Harris, a script by Ted Tally, cinematography by Dante Spinotti, a music score by Danny Elfman and a cast that features Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Ralph Feinnes, Emily Watson and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, I guess a retarded monkey could've directed that movie and it would've turned out good.
3) Favorite Laurence Olivier performance
4) Describe a famous location from a movie that you have visited (Bodega Bay, California, where the action in The Birds took place, for example). Was it anything like the way it was in the film? Why or why not?
I remember visiting the Statue of Liberty once when I was a kid and as I looked over the side of the island into the rocks far below I wondered to myself: "How the heck did Daryl Hannah manage to climb up this in Splash?"
5) Carlo Ponti or Dino De Laurentiis (Producer)?
De Laurentiis because he produced the '76 version of King Kong.
6) Best movie about baseball
The Natural. That movie is magic. Pure magic.
7) Favorite Barbara Stanwyck performance
It's hard to beat Double Indemnity.
8) Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Dazed and Confused?
Spicoli all the way, dude!
9) What was the last movie you saw, and why? (We’ve used this one before, but your answer is presumably always going to be different, so…)
The last film I saw in the theatre was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (which I liked) and the last movie I saw on DVD (for, I swear, about the zillionth time) was Midnight Run. I love that flick.
10) Whether or not you have actually procreated or not, is there a movie you can think of that seriously affected the way you think about having kids of your own?
When I watched The Pursuit of Happyness a while back (a story which very closely parallels my experiences with my own father) I realized that if I ever have children, I would do anything for them. Absolutely anything.
11) Favorite Katharine Hepburn performance
12) A bad movie from a good director
13) Salo: The 120 Days of Sodom-- yes or no?
14) Ben Hecht or Billy Wilder (Screenwriter)?
You do realize that this question is impossible to answer, right?
15) Name the film festival you’d most want to attend, or your favorite festival that you actually have attended
I've always wanted to go to Cannes but I doubt that's ever going to happen. Setting my sights a little closer to home, Sundance would be nice.
16) Head or 200 Motels?
How about getting head in 200 motels?
17) Favorite cameo appearance
There's a scene in The Great Muppet Caper where Miss Piggy is desperately trying to get to an English art gallery in order to foil a jewel robbery. She asks a truck driver (played by Peter Ustinov) if he would kindly give her a ride and he refuses. Frustrated after several attempts to be nice, she throws open the door, grabs him and with her trademark "Hiyaaaaa!" hurls him out of the cab into a nearby pile of garbage cans. While Miss Piggy drives away, Ustinov tries to get to his feet, banging into the cans in the process, when suddenly the lid of one of them flips open and Oscar the Grouch pokes his head out. "Hey, what's all the racket?" he says. Peter looks at Oscar and asks "What are you doing here?" Oscar turns to the camera and replies, "A very brief cameo." Peter also looks at the camera and mutters "Me too." They really don't get much better than that.
18) Favorite Rosalind Russell performance
I know this is pathetic but I have yet to see a single film with Rosalind Russell in it (though His Girl Friday is very high on my list).
19) What movie, either currently available on DVD or not, has never received the splashy collector’s edition treatment you think it deserves? What would such an edition include?
Like a lot of folks I've been waiting for a definitive edition of Blade Runner with all previous versions (domestic theatrical cut, international theatrical cut and the so-called "director's cut") on it as well as features on the making of the film. Also, I'd like to see a nice DVD release made of Branagh's four-hour version of Hamlet. Fortunately, both of these situations are soon to be remedied.
20) Name a performance that everyone needs to be reminded of, for whatever reason
Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler. My reasons are here.
21) Louis B. Mayer or Harry Cohn (Studio Head)?
Louis B. Mayer because he inspired Michael Lerner's performance in Barton Fink.
22) Favorite John Wayne performance
The Searchers. I mean, come on.
23) Naked Lunch or Barton Fink?
24) Your Ray Harryhausen movie of choice
Clash of the Titans.
25) Is there a movie you can think of that you feel like the world would be better off without, one that should have never been made?
This is tricky because I do indeed believe that there are some movies that ought not to have been made... just as I feel there are some things that are better not being said or done, some events that were better off never happening and even some people that the world would've been better off if they'd never been born. On the other hand, I also believe that everything happens for a reason and although that reason might not be apparent to us now, I am convinced that there is one. Thus, for every seemingly empty, immoral, destructive, bleak, depressing, random, arbitrary and meaningless thing that happens or gets created, there is purpose to its existence. Thus, given my limited perspective, I don't know that I am ready to say which works of art I think should never have been made. I just don't think I'm qualified to do so.
Having said all that, I think I could've done without Hostel.
24) Favorite Dub Taylor performance
I love the episode of The Cosby Show where Cliff's father Russell keeps trying to give an old friend of his named Slim Claxton (Dub Taylor) 50 dollars that he owes him but Slim keeps refusing it because he's had good luck ever since he gave Russell that money. At the end of the episode, Russell slips the money into Slim's coat pocket while he's in another room. Slim comes out and is about to leave when Vanessa enters all upset because she didn't make the cheering squad. Slim says he has something that will "cheer her up" and he hands her the fifty. As she bounds up the stairs Slim turns to a shocked Russell and laughs heartily. Whenever I see Dub Taylor in anything, I can't help but think of that scene. So warm. So funny. So full of life. I think that's how he'd want to be remembered.
25) If you had the choice of seeing three final movies, to go with your three last meals, before shuffling off this mortal coil, what would they be?
Perhaps I'm taking this question too seriously but I'm guessing that if I am having three "last meals" it means that I know I'm going to die soon. Whether it's an execution for some crime I committed (or perhaps didn't commit but have been found guilty of anyway) or I know I have some disease that's going to take my life in a very short period of time, I suspect I'm gonna want to see something that features a character going bravely to their own death and/or reminds me that this life is not all that there is. So, I'd probably end up watching something like The Mission, The Shawshank Redemption and The Passion of the Christ or perhaps E.T. and Schindler's List in place of one or two of those. I know that's more than three, but I guess I'd have to wait until I got there and just see how I felt. The truth is I'd probably rather be spending time talking with my loved ones than watching movies anyway.
26) And what movie theater would you choose to see them in?
I've always wanted to see a movie at Radio City Musical Hall but I doubt I'd be able to properly enjoy it under those circumstances. Don't get me wrong. The Rockettes are great but I'd prefer to see them before my last hour on Earth.
A) Your proposed entry in the Atheist Film Festival
My problem, speaking as a theist, is that I tend to sift all my experiences (including my analysis of art) through the "lens" that God does exist and any ideas to the contrary are mistaken. Thus, when a character says that he/she doesn't believe in God, I interpret that merely as the character saying it and not necessarily the film/filmmaker saying it. I realize that Ingmar Bergman's and Woody Allen's movies pose the possibility that he doesn't exist (or at the very least they question his existence) but to me that's different from concluding his non-existence. Personally speaking, the concept of a universe without a creator is just incomprehensible to me. So, I don't know that I'd be the best person to select an entry for an Atheist Film Festival... or even, quite frankly, that I'd really want to.
B) What advice on day-to-day living have you learned from the movies?
Whenever I crack an egg I always hear a voice with a French accent telling me to do so quickly; in other words, execute it with mercy, like "ze guillotine" (as in Billy Wilder's Sabrina).
Also, I don't smoke cigarettes but I have on occasion puffed on a cigar and each time I did I remembered Gene Hackman's advice in Young Frankensetein: "Don't inhale until the tip glows."