A week and day ago Aurora, of the fine Once upon a screen… site, bestowed on moi my third installment of the Liebster Award. My first and second instances arrived last summer — I reference these so I don’t repeat myself. Truth be told, receiving any award, recognition, or readership just never gets old. I am truly grateful (an attribute my mother hammered into me long ago). Thank you, Aurora, and all who are inclined to stop by this Ye Old Site.
Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:
- Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
- Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
- Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
- Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post.
- Go to their page and tell them.
- No tag backs.
11 About Me
- I once had the same hair as my son: lots of wavy, sable brown locks. As I told my colleague Vickie, “No one mentioned it got ‘transferred’ when the first child arrived ;-).”
- Before we ever met, my wife-to-be and I ended up at a number of the same venues and exact times (dating separate people, of course) during the 80s.
- Like my wife, I’m a native Angeleno (both of our parents migrated to Los Angeles years before).
- My most-liked after-school snack during my junior high days was a Snickers bar and an RC Cola (cost me 35¢ for that combo).
- My favorite season is the autumn — but when I was a kid, it was obviously summer.
- Growing up in my first-generation grandmother’s home, we ate Mexican food almost everyday except for important Sunday dinners, when American fried chicken held sway.
- Years later, meeting my future in-laws, I discovered my wife’s family ate mostly southern food, but reserved Mexican food for their special Sunday get-togethers.
- At one time I was an ardent amateur photographer, like my future wife — she had a Nikon, a Canon was in my bag (so opposites do attract).
- I was once on-scene at the filming to one of Die Hard‘s big action sequences (a TMT to come).
- I have a history of sitting in dark, semi-desolate theaters watching films that failed to find audiences during their initial release; many later became well-regarded and/or cult movies (Blade Runner, Sorcerer, The Long Kiss Goodnight, etc.)
- A job I held decades ago still has impact on my movie viewing, even though it lasted only a year and a half: movie projectionist at the Huntington Park Warner Theatre, 1976-77.
My Answers to Aurora’s Questions
- Why do you blog?
What I really get out of doing this blog (hopefully) is a chance to put some of me out there in the ether for the benefit of my children. It’s an archive of sort. My role as father in the family makes it difficult for them to gather much beyond that. Naturally, after they discover that their old man really didn’t have anything deep to say about life and the popular arts, they can move on to puzzle out why mom married this guy.
- What was your “best” filmgoing experience?
My second movie date with my future bride. Falling in love with her while we both watched a Norman Jewison romantic comedy, as I detailed here.
- What classic film would you absolutely love to watch on the big screen and why?
That would be Casablanca. My all-time favorite film. Being in a packed theater, with other devotees of the same, is simply a magical happening. Something both mundane, because it occurs so often in movie halls across the globe at any hour of the day, but singular in way that remains so distinctive for this art form. Friends, family, and strangers getting together to wrap themselves in the warm glow of the cinema. And I just described the exact same experience when I took my entire brood to see that film on its 70th anniversary a year ago this month.
- You’re having a dinner party and your list of guests include five classic film personalities/stars/directors – who’s on your list?
- Cary Grant
- Audrey Hepburn
- Barbara Stanwyck
- Humphrey Bogart
- and this lady, Marlene Dietrich (cause Bette Davis was insistent she’d smoke in the house):
- What is your ideal day off?
Getting up early (I have a hard time sleeping passed sunrise these days), teeing up a favorite film of mine on Blu-ray to start off. Meeting friends or family for lunch at a favorite restaurant. Then, one and all heading to any of grand old movie palaces of my hometown (Grauman’s Chinese, Cinerama Dome, or Mann’s Village) to catch a film I’ve never seen before and let the allure of the motion picture have its way with me once more.
- You can have a half-hour conversation with any fictional character. Who do you choose? Why?
Sitting down with George Bailey and having him relate his triumphs and travails in person. It’s why I wrote this a couple of years back.
- Your favorite movie monster is?
Without a doubt, it’s the stuff of penile nightmares, H.R. Giger’s Alien:
- If you could choose to live in a house/apartment featured in a film or television show, which would it be?
The Petrie household of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Come on, Dick, Mary Tyler Moore, Carl Reiner and company. What’s not to love?
- Name one thing you would have on your bucket list.
To play a round on the old course, St. Andrews Scotland.
I Dream of Jeannie, primarily because she didn’t come with a witch for a mother, and, have you seen Barbara Eden in that outfit?
- Favorite film decade and why?
Easily, it’s the 70s. A particular span of time that proved to be one of the most tumultuous for many in the latter half of the 20th century. A decade filled with economic downturns, disillusionment, and the realization that things really could get a Hell of a lot worst. And did. The timing for film couldn’t have been better, though. For all of its crises and missteps, corruption and loss of idealism, the Me Decade heralded some of the absolute best cinema this country had to offer for the period. The uncertainty and controversy, which followed the waning years of the Vietnam War, aroused an atmosphere that prompted filmmakers to reflect so distinctly upon the eyes of movie audiences. Prompted seemingly from watershed moments, crossroads, and/or deflated dreams, nothing could hold the tide back. It shouldn’t surprise that the era’s off-beat and imaginative comedies, challenging dramatic themes, and stellar crime films of the period have rarely been surpassed.
Here then are my 11 questions…
(Feel free to be as brief or expansive as you wish in your answers.)
- What is your favorite song or piece of music you put on to pull you out of a funk?
- Favorite book you read (or listened to) in 2012?
- Frank Capra’s James Stewart or Anthony Mann’s?
- Your favorite British film is?
- What is your preferred Paddy Chayefsky screenplay (for television or motion pictures)?
- What was the best-loved book you read in high school?
- The best movie you saw as a high school senior?
- Your most-liked song before graduating high school?
- Evelyn Mulray or Diana Christensen?
- Your favorite film that you don’t ever want to see again?
- The one song that will instantly cause you to change the cable channel, radio station, whatever, when it comes on is?
… for my Liebster Nominees
(If you can, great; if you cannot, no worries.)
- Vickie of BEGUILING HOLLYWOOD
- Marianne of Comedy of Errers
- Dan of Top 10 Films
- Brent of Criminal Movies
- Colin of Riding the High Country
- Will of Cinematically Insane
- Margaret of Cinematic Corner
- Fernando of Committed to Celluloid
- Tyson of Head in a Vice
- Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled
- Sergio of Tipping My Fedora
p.s., I’d also invite my periodic guest contributor Kevin (aka Jack Deth) to participate, as well. He doesn’t have a blog (that I know of), but would really enjoy reading his answers.