For the first time ever, my blog pal Dennis Cozzalio has cooked up a movie quiz that I can answer (for the most part), meaning either my cinematic knowledge is improving or he's kindly taken something off his curveball - the latter, more likely. In either case, here are his questions followed by my responses:
1) The classic movie moment everyone loves except me is: "Show Me the Money!" from Jerry Maguire. It always makes me cringe. I usually take the opposite stance on this issue, however: I'm frequently surprised by the number of people who pooh-pooh the most memorable scenes from movies or TV shows. I always want to ask how they think the film or episode would play without them.
2) Favorite line of dialogue from a film noir: "You were born to be murdered." - Trevor Howard to Joseph Cotten in The Third Man. It's a line that perfectly encapsulates the entire genre (even though, of course, he isn't killed).
3) Second favorite Hal Ashby film: The Last Detail.
4) Describe the moment when you first realized movies were directed as opposed to simply pieced together anonymously. * Around the time I started watching Siskel & Ebert, 10-11 years old. Spielberg was likely the first director I was conscious of - so Raiders or E.T., I would guess.
5) Favorite film book. Mark Harris's phenomenal Pictures at a Revolution.
6) Diana Sands or Vonetta McGee? Who?
7) Most egregious gap in your viewing of films made in the past 10 years. I've avoided Harmony Korine like the plague so far, but Spring Breakers may finally change that.
8) Favorite line of dialogue from a comedy. "You slut." - Bill Murray, Tootsie.
9) Second favorite Lloyd Bacon film. Who?
10) Richard Burton or Roger Livesey? Burton easily over Whatshisface.
11) Is there a movie you staunchly refuse to consider seeing? If so, why? Anything by Vincent Gallo. Others will undoubtedly tell me I'm missing out. I say there's more than enough narcissistic bullshit in real life, and much more adeptly staged and focused.
12) Favorite filmmaker collaboration. Kurosawa and Mifune.
13) Most recently viewed movie on DVD/Blu-ray/theatrical? DVD: Lockout. Blu-Ray: Paris, Texas. Theatrical: Thief of Bagdad (the one with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr).
14) Favorite line of dialogue from a horror movie: "Take me!" - Father Karras's ultimate sacrifice in The Exorcist.
15) Second favorite Oliver Stone film: W., believe it or not. I think it's a brilliant black comedy.
16) Eva Mendes or Raquel Welch? The "sexy duds" category. I'll pick Raquel.
17) Favorite religious satire: Life of Brian by default. Slim pickings.
18) Best Internet movie argument? (question contributed by Tom Block) Matthias Stork's "Chaos Cinema." He went on to confuse his own ideas the more he tried to explain them (and became needlessly apologetic to his straw-man critics), but his original video essay is still a game-changer.
19) Most pointless Internet movie argument? (question contributed by Tom Block) Anything concocted by the Neo-Auteurists, such as insisting the reliably shitty Paul W.S. Anderson is a major filmmaker or, worse, a better filmmaker than Paul Thomas Anderson. (hat-tip Steven Santos)
20) Charles McGraw or Robert Ryan? I don't need to know who McGraw is to say Ryan.
21) Favorite line of dialogue from a western: "Trust you? Why should I trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders? You don't even trust your own pants." - Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West (although the line was partly co-opted from Ace in the Hole).
22) Second favorite Roy Del Ruth film: Dunno.
23) Relatively unknown film or filmmaker you’d most eagerly proselytize for: I've already proselytized for The Big Year, an uncommonly gentle comedy that finds truth and beauty in conventionality.
24) Ewan McGregor or Gerard Butler? McGregor, a good actor, in a walk.
25) Is there such a thing as a perfect movie? Not often, but yes. I do grow weary of critics proclaiming every movie they see from their favorite director as a masterpiece. After a while the word starts losing its meaning.
26) Favorite movie location you’ve most recently had the occasion to actually visit * The Hotel Coronado in San Diego, the setting for the second half of Some Like It Hot.
27) Second favorite Delmer Daves film: ?
28) Name the one DVD commentary you wish you could hear that, for whatever reason, doesn't actually exist * The riotous James Ellroy and Eddie Muller (Crime Wave) should do commentaries for every classic film noir ever made.
29) Gloria Grahame or Marie Windsor? GG.
30) Name a filmmaker who never really lived up to the potential suggested by their early acclaim or success: Kevin Smith, who decided a long time ago he'd rather be a slacker poseur than build on the success of Clerks and the creative promise of Chasing Amy.