Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bringing up Bunnies

Whoa. Guess it's been a while. {wipes some dust off the screen} Sorry about that, Compy. Need to get some...Endust.

So, first off, I must offer belated thanks to Schlockmania curator Don Guarisco for bestowing upon me the prestigous Zombie Rabbit Award. First conceived by iZombie, the award is a pay-it-forward recognition of those World Wild Web text destinations that have captured one's fancy and, more importanly, one's reading-while-the-boss-ain't-lookin' free time. Now sure, there are plenty out there who insist rabbits are queeeeaahhhs that smell like a bag o' bullshit, but seeing how I've only been at this blogging game for nine months, including an unexpected summer break, to get any kind of recognition this early in my third career means quite a lot. And since I've been asked to pass on the honor/horror to ten more people, I'll do so with rabid relish. In no particular order...

1: Three Cheers for Darkened Years [Witney Seibold]
2: Jobu's Teepee [Amy Harber]
3: Cat's Blog [Cathie Horlick]
4: Aesthetisexuality [Sara Seltzer]
5: Kim Dot Dammit [Kim Nicolini]
6: House of Self Indulgence [Yum Yum]
7: Queer Sighted [Dave White]
8: Standing on My Soapbox Shouting At You [Hope Kaplan]
9: Noir Pictures [Lisa Jane Persky]
10: Jason Staebler is Dead [Joe Neff]

Meanwhile, summer is over, the freshman are getting fat, and I'm cleaning up the sidewalk where the frat boys shat. Yes, Dennis Cozzalio, magistrate of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, has been served a syllabus by Professor David Huxley, who no doubt likely owns a pair of bunny slippers, for a back to school movie quizz. Bells are ringing, and there's scant time for scantron, so off we go...

1) Classic film you most want to experience that has so far eluded you.

Well, I'm going to lose points with the good professor right now by admitting I have not experienced BRINGING UP BABY. But my most-wanted experience...I've still never been to a proper presentation of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN.

2) Greatest Criterion DVD/Blu-ray release ever

Nobuo Nakagawa's JIGOKU (HELL) from 1960. A long time ago, I was asked what I thought was the least-recognized influential film in my estimation, and I stated this one, because even in my commonly-accepted geekdom I had never seen mention of it and as far as I knew it never got an initial U.S. release, yet upon seeing it in the early part of the '00's I was blown away by its staggering images of otherworldly torment, images that predate not only modern horror, but even the beloved Christian scare films of Ron Ormond and Estus Pirkle that played churches in the '60's all the way into the present. The fact that Criterion put its imprimatur on this movie and released it on DVD, aware of its extremely marginal awareness in the U.S., meant that they were ready to put their reputation on the line to get more people to check it out, and for that they'll always have my gratitude.

3) The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon?

The stuff that dreams are made of.

4) Jason Bateman or Paul Rudd?

Jason Bateman, because he managed The Dregs of Humanity during their short-lived career.

5) Best mother/child (male or female) movie star combo

Gena Rowlands and Nick Cassavetes

6) Who are the Robert Mitchums and Ida Lupinos among working movie actors? Do modern parallels to such masculine and no-nonsense feminine stars even exist? If not, why not?

Too loaded a question. Pass.

7) Favorite Preston Sturges movie

I'm inclined to say THE PALM BEACH STORY because of its accelerated ridiculousness, but ultimately I'm a raging sentimentalist with a predilection for the elegant blonde noir vixen, so I gotta say SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS.

8) Odette Yustman or Mary Elizabeth Winstead?

Odette would definitely be in the glamour gal category I just said I'm a sucker for, but Mary Elizabeth seems like the more plausible fantasy for a moax like myself.

9) Is there a movie that if you found out a partner or love interest loved (or didn't love) would qualify as a Relationship Deal Breaker?

I once had a quite vociferous argument with an ex-g.f. over her inability to appreciate LOCAL HERO. Ain't the only reason she's got the ex- hyphenate before her, but it was a significant factor.

10) Favorite DVD commentary

You mean aside from mine? *cough cough* I'd probably go with Tim Lucas's exhaustingly thorough commentaries for various Mario Bava films, which of course would be mere appetizer to his humonungous banquet book ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK.

11) Movies most recently seen on DVD, Blu-ray and theatrically

Blu-Ray: n/a
Theatrical: SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD [third viewing]

12) Dirk Bogarde or Alan Bates?

Bogarde always seems synonymous with tragedy - for the sake of my sanity (if not my liver), I have to go with Alan Bates.

13) Favorite DVD extra

The original theatrical trailer, because they're getting rarer on modern releases. Either the studios include some altered version that doesn't reflect what played in theatres, or they don't include it at all.

14) Brian De Palma’s Scarface— yes or no?

Yes. What that make me? Bad? Good?

15) Best comic moment from a horror film that is not a horror comedy (Young Frankenstein, Love At First Bite, et al.)

Angela Bettis criticizing the portrayal of cannibalism in Jeremy Sisto's college short film in MAY

16) Jane Birkin or Edwige Fenech?

While I must respect how many of my friends were likely conceived thanks to Ms. Birkin's three minutes of Heaven with Mr. Gainsbourg, I think all of them would like to possess Ms. Fenech's secret of eternal youth.

17) Favorite Wong Kar-wai movie


18) Best horrific moment from a comedy that is not a horror comedy

The climactic "confrontation" between Lee Evans and Oliver Platt in Peter Chelsom's FUNNY BONES.

19) From 2010, a specific example of what movies are doing right...

DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS didn't just restage DINER DES CONS with Americans, but radically explored and heightened the premise and made their own original movie that was just as entertaining as the original.

20) Ryan Reynolds or Chris Evans?

Jason Statham

21) Speculate about the future of online film writing. What’s next?

I see online film writing in the same position that stand-up comedy was in the late '80's/early '90's: too many people think they can do it, and there's too many cheapskate web platforms with Z-Brick walls ready to exploit them. So if the medium is to be taken seriously, there needs to be a thinning of the herd and some of these potzers need to be purged from the tubes: today's EAT PRAY LOVE takedown is the blogging equivalent of yesterday's Jack Nicholson impersonator.

22) Roger Livesey or David Farrar?

Anton Walbrook

23) Best father/child (male or female) movie star combo

Melvin and Mario Van Peebles in SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAAADASSSSS SONG; how many dads would immortalize their son surrounded by scantily-clad yet motherly hookers?

24) Favorite Freddie Francis movie (as Director)

Argh, I've seen so few of Francis' directorial outings. I know it's only reshoots he did, but I'm going to have to say DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, since despite its corny-looking presentation I was caught up in the onscreen battle of man against foliage.

25) Bringing Up Baby or The Awful Truth?

The Awful Truth is I've only seen THE AWFUL TRUTH.

26) Tina Fey or Kristen Wiig?

Shouldn't someone be filling up a slanket with their farts right now?

27) Name a stylistically important director and the best film that would have never been made without his/her influence.

If Lina Wertmuller hadn't proved her ability to get into the muck of machismo and the survival instinct in SEVEN BEAUTIES, I think Kathryn Bigelow would have had a harder time making THE HURT LOCKER.

28) Movie you’d most enjoy seeing remade and transplanted to a different culture (i.e. Yimou Zhang’s A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop.)

Before her untimely death, I had fantasized about a reimagining of THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT with Adrienne Shelly in the Tom Ewell role, charged with making a musical heartthrob out of a gangster's sister's boytoy, and her dragging him from one subscene to the next trying to find a persona that would click, and of course in the process of transforming him falling in love. (Hence the "can't help" part) Oh, and I was going to have The Smithereens cover the theme song too.

29) Link to a picture/frame grab of a movie image that for you best illustrates bliss. Elaborate.

Half a boy and half a man, comforted by the madonna and the whore.

30) With a tip of that hat to Glenn Kenny, think of a just-slightly-inadequate alternate title for a famous movie. (Examples from GK: Fan Fiction; Boudu Relieved From Cramping; The Mild Imprecation of the Cat People)


1 comment:

  1. I'm. Hurt.

    But Dirk Bogarde is so...Dirk Bogardey. He's Dirk Bogarde, fool!