Periodically, blogger Dennis Cozzalio (he of the wonderfully titled Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule site and among the best regarded film blogs out there) opens up to welcome responses from his followers. His in-depth film knowledge and the thoughtful essays he gladly shares online attract many. The L.A.-stationed Mr. Cozzalio remains one of my long-time reads with regards to the moving picture. But beyond that, his semi-regular movie quizzes remain the stuff of legend. This week, he has come up with yet another of his cinematically off-the-wall but thoroughly inspired film exams for the allergy-laden season of Spring.
Psst… these are really interview questions for those who choose to take part.
Whether you are interested in avant-garde cinema (haughty, subtitled, or otherwise) or grindhouse fare (the delightfully smutty variety your mother warned you about), anyone interested in participating is welcome to do so. You can paste the questions and craft your answers into Google’s temperamental Blogger comment system in his post. Been there, done that (thank you very much). Or, do as I’ve learned to do years ago: post your answers on your own blog (if you have one) and leave a comment on Dennis’ post with a link back to your answers. So, on to the subject at hand:
1) Favorite movie featuring nuns
Tough choice as I wasn’t scarred by those cloistered ones growing up (as my wife was in her upbringing). So it’s a subject that I don’t viscerally react to like those with ruler-disfigured knuckles and guilt-panged souls (you won’t see Doubt listed here, therefore). I like the cheery variety of those in black & white habits (or those in films like Nude Nuns With Big Guns, see lead image above). Let’s see… I could choose the melodious ones from The Sound of Music (I can hear the groans emanating from my family as I write that). Okay, I’ll go with Ralph Nelson’s Lilies of the Field from 1963.
2) Second favorite John Frankenheimer movie
3) William Bendix or Scott Brady?
As I’ve probably seen more of Scott Brady‘s work through the years, I’ll go with Sheriff Frank from Gremlins:
4) What movie, real or imagined, would you stand in line six hours to see? Have you ever done so in real life?
I’d only do this for any of the Star Wars films that came after The Empire Strikes Back, if of course Irwin Kershner directed them and Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote their screenplays.
5) Favorite Mitchell Leisen movie
I got nothing.
6) Ann Savage or Peggy Cummins?
I’ll go with my usual response: Linda Darnell for the block, Dennis.
7) First movie you remember seeing as a child
The Mark of Zorro on my grandmother’s black & white TV in her living room (and now you know why I answered the previous question as I did).
8) What moment in a movie that is not a horror movie made you want to bolt from the theater screaming?
9) Richard Widmark or Robert Mitchum?
This is a hard one. Both actors, as movie heroes or villains, in film noir or in westerns, were so damn good at their craft. I’ll go with Robert Mitchum in this case because I just re-watched his stellar work in Night of the Hunter (plus, he was mentioned so prominently in L.A. Confidential, one of my annual viewings).
10) Best movie Jesus
I’ll continue the contemporaneous mood I have going here by selecting the figure from William Wyler’s 1959 version of Ben-Hur. (recently saw this on the big screen for the American Cinematheque’s Easter/Passover showing at the Egyptian Theatre). He has no dialogue and his face is never shown, but this character bears heavily in the film.
11) Silliest straight horror film that you’re still fond of
That would be this one:
12) Emily Blunt or Sally Gray?
13) Favorite cinematic Biblical spectacular
Already covered it:
14) Favorite cinematic moment of unintentional humor
Just about any of the scenes with Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel talking to each other in The Happening.
15) Michael Fassbender or David Farrar?
I’ll say David Farrar only because, given the amount of publicity and talk surrounding Michael Fassbender of late by everybody and their mother, I’m really reaching a saturation point with that talented actor.
16) Most effective faith-affirming movie
17) Movie that makes the best case for agnosticism
Many would say the same movie I just answered for the previous question.
18) Favorite song and/or dance sequence from a musical
That would be the climatic sequence from Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz (1979).
19) Third favorite Howard Hawks movie
20) Clara Bow or Jean Harlow?
21) Movie most recently seen in the theater? On DVD/Blu-ray/Streaming?
22) Most unlikely good movie about religion
23) Phil Silvers or Red Skelton?
24) “Favorite” Hollywood scandal
Humphrey Bogart, 26 years her senior, went from affair to marrying Lauren Bacall, after divorcing his wife of course.
25) Best religious movie (non-Christian)
Martin Scorsese’s Kundun
26) The King of Cinema: King Vidor, King Hu or Henry King? (Thanks, Peter)
I’ll go with Henry King who directed these favorites:
27) Name something modern movies need to relearn how to do that American or foreign classics had down pat
Learn how to not shaky the friggin’ cam, along with frenetic editing. [Ted over at Flixchatter has it right]
28) Least favorite Federico Fellini movie
I admit it here and now, I can’t get through Fellini Satyricon
29) The Three Stooges (2012)—yes or no?
Yes, but I’m probably in the minority.
30) Mary Wickes or Patsy Kelly?
Oh, Mary Wickes, of course. She has to be in so many of the things I watched (on TV and film) growing up. Plus, she had the gift of being funny.
31) Best movie-related conspiracy theory
32) Your candidate for most misunderstood or misinterpreted movie
33) Movie that made you question your own belief system (religious or otherwise)
Don’t they all ;-).
To see all of my answers to every SLIFR movie quiz I’ve participated in, click here.