PROFESSOR RUSSELL JOHNSON'S "MY ANCESTORS CAME OVER ON THE MINNOW" THANKSGIVING/CHRISTMAS MOVIE QUIZNote from Allison: Any question I didn't have time for, I deleted. ;)
1) Second-favorite Coen Brothers movie.
Hudsucker Proxy. It used to be my favorite, however, I finally had to admit to myself that Fargo was the much better movie. A Serious Man also killed me, but I'd have to rewatch it to make sure I didn't love it better than the aforementioned films.
2) Movie seen only on home format that you would pay to see on the biggest movie screen possible? (Question submitted by Peter Nellhaus)
La double vie de Véronique. They played it at LACMA the weekend I went to visit my grandmother in Arizona. I was kind of sad, because it's my favorite film.
3) Japan or France? (Question submitted by Bob Westal)
France. I subscribe to TV5Monde and watch everything from France I can get my hands on; the highlight of my year is when the French film fest takes place in Los Angeles.
4) Favorite moment/line from a western.
Pursued. (scroll over the text to see the spoiler) When Teresa Wright's character married Robert Mitchum's character to get revenge on him.
5) Of all the arts the movies draw upon to become what they are, which is the most important, or the one you value most?
The novel. It is sincerely overrated. It seems that books are only still published these days in the hopes a film will be made out of it. Seriously, there are many novels I'd adapt, but few short stories or plays and even fewer comic books.
6) Most misunderstood movie of the 2000s.
May. Heck, I probably misunderstood it, probably.
7) Name a filmmaker/actor/actress/film you once unashamedly loved who has fallen furthest in your esteem.
Gwyneth Paltrow. Probably.
9) Which is your least favorite David Lynch film (Submitted by Tony Dayoub)
Inland Empire. The worst is probably Dune, but I didn't have the patience to sit through it. I paid $25 apiece for my friend and I to watch it at the AFI Fest when it came out. Basically, it is a complete waste of talent and effort and I hope David Lynch completely changes after this. It looked so terrible on the big screen.
11) Second favorite Don Siegel movie.
The Lineup. It's tough, because I like noir more than westerns, but perhaps my favorite Siegel film is The Shootist, but just by a margin. I rated them both 7/10 on IDMB.
12) Last movie you saw on DVD/Blu-ray? In theaters?
DVD: The Grocer's Son.
Theater: It's Complicated.
13) Which DVD in your private collection screams hardest to be replaced by a Blu-ray? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom)
N/A - I for one am not buying into the Blu-ray craze.
15) Actor/actress who you feel automatically elevates whatever project they are in, or whom you would watch in virtually anything.
Actor: Steve Martin
Actress: Isabelle Huppert
16) Fight Club -- yes or no?
Yes. Mainly, but depending on my mood. The first time I tried to watch it, I went to bed exhausted and asked my brother what happened in the morning. I was shocked, because I knew he could never make up something like that.
17) Teresa Wright or Olivia De Havilland?
Teresa Wright. Thank you for asking, because I have never found Olivia De Havilland too appealing. That, and Teresa Wright's in Shadow of a Doubt, one of my favorite films.
18) Favorite moment/line from a film noir.
Gilda. When Rita Hayworth tells Glenn Ford how exciting of an emotion hate is.
19) Best (or worst) death scene involving an obvious dummy substituting for a human or any other unsuccessful special effect(s)—see the wonderful blog Destructible Man for inspiration.
Meet Joe Black. I watched the death scene five hundred times because I was so amused by it.
20) What's the least you've spent on a film and still regretted it? (Submitted by Lucas McNelly)
The Cell. I pretty much walked into the theater and out, but I was still disturbed. I worked at a theater at the time, so I took chances. (Not sure whether the question was in regard to $ or time.)
22) Favorite Alan Rudolph film.
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. By default. I am dying to see Songwriter, though. Perhaps that is the one I'll really like.
23) Name a documentary that you believe more people should see.
Harlan County, U.S.A. It's classic without being deceitful or emotional, but has a great soundtrack as well.
24) In deference to this quiz’s professor, name a favorite film which revolves around someone becoming stranded.
Castaway. If only more people talked to volleyballs.
25) Is there a moment when your knowledge of film, or lack thereof, caused you an unusual degree of embarrassment and/or humiliation? If so, please share.
Yes. I was embarrassed when I saw the movie A Clockwork Orange, so the first time someone asked me if I had seen it, I lied and said no.
26) Ann Sheridan or Geraldine Fitzgerald? (Submitted by Larry Aydlette)
Geraldine Fitzgerald. Right now I'm working on Jonathan Rosenbaum's 1000 Essential Films. There was a very good film on the list called Good Sam. Gary Cooper was great in this, but Ann Sheridan plays his less than sympathizing wife. I didn't really like her delivery (she drove me up the wall the whole time). Geraldine Fitzgerald was in this great episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour called "Power of Attorney" (click on the link to watch).
27) Do you or any of your family members physically resemble movie actors or other notable figures in the film world? If so, who?
Yes. My grandfather (now deceased) resembled Clint Eastwood. My grandfather lives on through him.
28) Is there a movie you have purposely avoided seeing? If so, why?
Rocky. The sequels were so bad I just can't bring myself to watch the first.
29) Movie with the most palpable or otherwise effective wintry atmosphere or ambience.
Frozen River. I just say this because this guy I dated really didn't like this movie and was kind of rude about it, so I chose not to continue to see him.
31) The best cinematic antidote to a cultural stereotype (sexual, political, regional, whatever).
Gentleman's Agreement. Gregory Peck is the best he's ever been in this!
32) Second favorite John Wayne movie.
The Quiet Man. My first would have to be The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
33) Favorite movie car chase.
The French Connection. Any other car chase would be inferior.
34) In the spirit of His Girl Friday, propose a gender-switched remake of a classic or not-so-classic film. (Submitted by Patrick Robbins)
Yes, I think I will tell my thoughts on this much later.
36) Favorite Andre De Toth movie.
Veronica Lake was my favorite wife of his.
37) If you could take one filmmaker's entire body of work and erase it from all time and memory, as if it had never happened, whose oeuvre would it be? (Submitted by Tom Sutpen)
Fred Zinnemann, with Harmony Korine being a close second.
38) Name a film you actively hated when you first encountered it, only to see it again later in life and fall in love with it.
Breakfast at Tiffany's.
41) Your favorite movie cliché.
When the bad guy explains the reason for everything to the good guy (when he's tied up), only for the good guy to later escape.
42) Vincente Minnelli or Stanley Donen? (Submitted by Bob Westal)
Robert Wise or Alfred Hitchcock.
43) Favorite Christmas-themed horror movie or sequence.
Holiday Horror, the script I wrote that was never produced.
44) Favorite moment of self- or selfless sacrifice in a movie.
Bruce Willis in Armageddon. I am laughing so hard as I write this.
45) If you were the cinematic Spanish Inquisition, which movie cult (or cult movie) would you decimate? (Submitted by Bob Westal)
Rocky Horror Picture Show.
47) Favorite eye-patch wearing director. (Submitted by Patty Cozzalio)
John Huston. I can't think of anyone better.
48) Favorite ambiguous movie ending. (Original somewhat ambiguous submission---“Something about ambiguous movie endings!”-- by Jim Emerson, who may have some inspiration of his own to offer you.)
Crimes and Misdemeanors. I always felt Woody Allen could have wrapped that movie up in another 30 minutes and was surprised when it ended. I imagined the best ending to it of all time.
49) In giving thanks for the movies this year, what are you most thankful for?
Cria Cuervos. Porque te vas.