Among his regular readers, blogger Dennis Cozzalio (he of the wonderfully titled Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule site… and that’s not him pictured above, btw) is well-regarded for his in-depth film knowledge and the thoughtful essays he gladly shares. The L.A.-stationed Mr. Cozzalio remains one of my long-time reads for the moving picture. But beyond that, his semi-regular movie quizzes remain the stuff of legend. For October and the Autumn, he’s teed up another:
PROFESSOR ARTHUR CHIPPING’S MADDENINGLY DETAILED, PURPOSEFULLY VAGUE, FITFULLY OUT-OF-FOCUS BACK TO SCHOOL MOVIE QUIZ
Personally, I regard these as interview questions. But, that’s me. Anyone interested in film is invited to take part. You can paste the questions and craft your answers into Google’s sometime temperamental Blogger comment system in Dennis’ post. Been there, done that (thank you very much). Or, do as I’ve learned to do: post your answers on your own blog (if you have one) and leave a comment on his post with a link back to your answers. As Dennis encourages:
“Unlike the last two quizzes, there is no overriding theme, just a series of posers intended to stimulate your thinking and sate your appetite for entertainment. But the learned professor would like to emphasize, by way of the customary preamble to all SLIFR quizzes, that in posting your answers you be as elaborate and loquacious in your responses as possible, all the better for the reader who is ready to indulge in them.”
So, on to the subject at hand:
1) What is the biggest issue for you in the digital vs. film debate?
My issue is with the studios’ conviction digital is as much of an improvement as they believe (hence their primary reason for abandoning 35mm film). Many point to the permanence in the signals of 0s and 1s, and that is yet to be proven over time. It’s the gist of my article in support of keeping 35mm around, at least for older films and in step with revival theaters like the New Beverly Cinema that wish to continue to project them.
2) Without more than one minute’s consideration, name three great faces from the movies
For those who don’t recognize them, from left to right: Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Linda Darnell.
3) The movie you think could be interesting if remade as a movie musical
4) The last movie you saw theatrically/on DVD, Blu-ray, streaming
5) Favorite movie about work
6) The movie you loved as a child that did not hold up when seen through adult eyes
Oh, I don’t know. But, it was probably a Jerry Lewis movie.
7) Favorite “road” movie
8) Does Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National Convention change or confirm your perspective on him as a filmmaker/movie icon? Is that appearance relevant to his legacy as a filmmaker?
About as much as John Wayne’s politics affected me. That is to say, none. Neither of their views are mine, but I judge their work in film on the criteria of what I’ve come to think of cinema. Politics is a science and film is an art. I can watch Wayne’s and Eastwood’s films all day, even if I vehemently disagree with them on their political stances.
9) Longest-lasting movie or movie-related obsession
Actually going to a movie theater. Even with the offerings of home theater setups, high-definition picture, and extras like director commentary and behind the scenes features available on disc, nothing replaces being in a darkened hall with a bunch of strangers to watch a movie together. The communal experience, no matter that it doesn’t last beyond the 90 minutes to three plus hours it takes for the film to be projected, the act of being at the altar of cinema, remains the same singular special obsession I acquired as a child (going on fifty-something years now). And if it happens to be in a movie palace with at least that many years under its belt, well, that’s icing on the cake.
10) Favorite artifact of movie exploitation
The oh so glorious movie soundtracks.
11) Have you ever fallen asleep in a movie theater? If so, when and why?
A week ago last Sunday. Can you blame me, it was Hotel Transylvania for crying out. I only went to take my daughter to see it. God, that was awful!
12) Favorite performance by an athlete in a movie
13) Second favorite Rainer Werner Fassbinder movie
Sorry, I’m seen not a one of his.
14) Favorite film of 1931
15) Second favorite Raoul Walsh movie
16) Favorite film of 1951
17) Second favorite Wong Kar-wai movie
18) Favorite film of 1971
19) Second favorite Henri-Georges Clouzot movie
20) Favorite film of 1991
It’s a tie:
21) Second favorite John Sturges movie
22) Favorite celebrity biopic
That would be Spike Lee’s Malcolm X:
23) Name a good script idea which was let down either by the director or circumstances of production
24) Heaven’s Gate– yes or no?
Ah, not really. I’ve seen two different cuts through the years (on cable and VHS, I think) and liked neither one. Only if a friend would offer to lend me their copy of the new Criterion Collection edition to come, I’d think to see it again… maybe. Are you loaning, Dennis?
25) Favorite pairing of movie sex symbols
Would Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Charade count?
26) One word that you could say which would instantly evoke images and memories of your favorite movie. (Naming the movie is optional—might be more fun to see if we can guess what it is from the word itself)
27) Name one moment which to you demarcates a significant change, for better or worse, on the landscape of the movies over the last 20 years.
Would Twilight count for worse?
28) Favorite pre-Code talkie
We’re back to this again:
29) Oldest film in your personal collection (Thanks, Peter Nellhaus)
30) Longest film in your personal collection. (Thanks, Brian Darr)
Note: this will change when the Blu-ray of Lawrence of Arabia comes out next month (which will clock in at 227 minutes)
31) Have your movie collection habits changed in the past 10 years? If so, how?
Only the fact I collect more of them now (to my wife’s consternation).
32) Wackiest, most unlikely “directed by” credit you can name
It’s likely not what you’d define as ‘wacky’, but my unexpectedly favorite remains Sam Peckinpah’s director’s title on the film below, which arrives on William Holden’s immortal words at the end of this sequence:
33) Best documentary you’ve seen in 2012 (made in 2012 or any other year)
The Flaw (2011)
34) What’s your favorite “(this star) was almost cast in (this movie)” anecdote?
As my colleague Kevin (aka Jack Deth) only recently reminded me:
“… Hollywood originally wanted Marlon Brando and Jack Lemmon to play Butch and Sundance.”
35) Program three nights of double bills at a revival theater that might best illuminate your love of the movies
For Friday, it’s Westerns:
On Saturday, let’s go Epic:
For Sunday, finish with a Sun-baked Noir triple-feature (hey, it’ll still be shorter than Saturday’s run):
36) You have been granted permission to invite any three people, alive or dead, to your house to watch the Oscars. Who are they?
37) Favorite Mr. Chips. (Careful…)
Well, that would be the gentleman in the lead image for this post, Robert Donat.