Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: Courtesy of SLIFR: Professor Hubert Farnsworth's Only Slightly Futuristic Holiday Movie Quiz

Friday, December 31, 2010

Courtesy of SLIFR: Professor Hubert Farnsworth's Only Slightly Futuristic Holiday Movie Quiz

by Tony Dayoub

Let's cap off 2010 with another scintillating cinephilic census from Dennis Cozzalio, now posted at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. Visit his site to post your own answers. My answers appear after the jump.

1) Best Movie of 2010
I am Love

2) Second-favorite Roman Polanski Movie
Rosemary's Baby (1968). It isn't that hard to figure out which one's the first, Mr. Gittes.

3) Jason Statham or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
I like them both, but seeing as Dwayne was actually a classmate of mine (quite a nice one, too) at the University of Miami, I'll give it to him.

4) Favorite movie that could be classified as a genre hybrid
Theatrical cut of Blade Runner (1982), even more overtly a science fiction-noir mash-up than the director's cut.

5) How important is foreknowledge of a film’s production history? Should it factor into one’s reaction to a film?
I try to avoid pre-release info now that I review films on a regular basis. But some times it's unavoidable (I'm thinking about James Cameron's films), and in those rare exceptions I believe it's legitimate to discuss it.

6) William Powell & Myrna Loy or Cary Grant & Irene Dunne
Powell and Loy

7) Best Actor of 2010
Édgar Ramírez for Carlos

8) Most important lesson learned from the past decade of watching movies
One will find the state of cinema is just as healthy as it as always been, as long as one does the difficult work of seeking films outside of the mainstream Hollywood product.

9) Last movie seen (DVD/Blu-ray/theater)
DVD: 127 Hours Blu-ray: Ghostbusters (1984) Theater: True Grit

10) Most appropriate punishment for director Tom Six
Can't say. I haven't seen The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009). But from what I've heard, it doesn't sound like it would really bother me too much. Plus he gets points for shock factor.

11) Best under-the-radar movie almost no one else has had the chance to see
I don't think it's officially been released yet, but watch out for the Mexican cannibal film, Somos lo que hay (We Are What We Are).

12) Sheree North or Angie Dickinson
Angie rules.

13) Favorite nakedly autobiographical movie
Seconds (1966). I'm convinced Rock Hudson's performance came from a place where his double life chafed pretty strongly.

14) Movie which best evokes a specific real-life place
Cutter and Bone ( aka Cutter's Way) (1981) presents the strange duality of a paradise like Santa Barbara

15) Best Director of 2010
Olivier Assayas, simply for being able to wrestle with the logistics of mounting a production like Carlos and creating a fast-paced 5-hour thriller.

16) Second-favorite Farrelly Brothers Movie
Shallow Hal (2001)

17) Favorite holiday movie
Scrooge (1970)

18) Best Actress of 2010
Natalie Portman for Black Swan

19) Joe Don Baker or Bo Svenson
Joe Don Baker

20) Of those notable figures in the world of the movies who died in 2010, name the one you’ll miss the most
Tony Curtis

21) Think of a movie with a notable musical score and describe what it might feel like without that accompaniment.
Kubrick's The Shining (1980) wouldn't be half as frightening without the score.

22) Best Screenplay of 2010
Aaron Sorkin's screenplay for The Social Network (and I'm no fan of any of his previous work).

23) Movie You Feel Most Evangelistic About Right Now
Anton Corbijn's The American (2010) has been sorely underrated.

24) Worst/funniest movie accent ever
How about most misguided and/or offensive? Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

25) Best Cinematography of 2010
Matthew Libatique's for Black Swan

26) Olivia Wilde or Gemma Arterton
Gemma Arterton (watch Stephen Frears' Tamara Drewe (2010) and tell me I'm wrong)

27) Name the three best movies you saw for the first time in 2010 (Thanks, Larry!)
Bigger Than Life (1956), Lola Montès (1955), The Night of the Hunter (1955), all thanks to Criterion.

28) Best romantic movie couple of 2010
I really enjoyed TWO couples whose respective movies betrayed them, Russell Crowe & Cate Blanchett in Robin Hood and Mark Wahlberg & Amy Adams in The Fighter.

29) Favorite shock/surprise ending
William L. Petersen's fate in To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) is so shocking, yet fitting, that it validates the sheer 80s-action-flick excess which precedes it.

30) Best cinematic reason to have stayed home and read a book in 2010
The price difference for watching a movie in 3D despite a film's inability to showcase the effect properly.

31) Movies in 2011 could make me much happier if they’d only _______________
... abandon the idea of focusing on pre-sold properties. Originality is where it is at (and there's still plenty of room to evoke previous material within that).


Jake said...

Where did you see We Are What We Are? I heard some big buzz for that a few months ago and then it just kind of dropped out.

And get out of town! You'd never seen Night of the Hunter? Of course, considering what an upgrade the quality was and how revealing that doc was, I almost felt like I saw it for the first time despite being a huge fan. I forgot to mention Bigger Than Life and Lola Montes to my own list of first-watches in my blog post, but those absolutely belong.

"31) Movies in 2011 could make me much happier if they’d only _______________
... abandon the idea of focusing on pre-sold properties. Originality is where it is at (and there's still plenty of room to evoke previous material within that)."

I'll say. I think the best screenplays this year were almost all adapted but made into something unique and totally cinematic. Then again, any film I would have nominated for original screenplay felt so improvisational and visual that screenplay itself isn't nearly the best barometer for judging creativity. I wouldn't give Certified Copy a writing award, but damn was it incredible and original despite fitting neatly in Kiarostami's usual trappings.

Tony Dayoub said...

Hey, Jake. I saw WE ARE WHAT WE ARE at NYFF. You can read my review here.

As for NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, what can I say? Everyone's got their blind spots.

Wish I could have caught CERTIFIED COPY at NYFF (the Siren recommended it to me a number of times), but I missed the press screening and just got too busy to go to the public one.

Happy New Year.

Dean Treadway said...

Great choices! I did mine on filmicability last night. Questions, though: how could you not be bothered by THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE. What a pointless way to illustrate a political point. Ugh. I prefer to pretend it doesn't exist.

Nice list of three movies you got to see this year. I wish I could go back and unsee each one of them, in order to see 'em again fresh. And love your comment about TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. You're so right.

It was a pleasure to finally meet you face to face at the NYFF. Now that I'm back down south, let's see a movie!

Dean Treadway

Tony Dayoub said...

I'll tell you how I can't be bothered by THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, Dean. I haven't seen it yet. Pure speculation on my part (as I admitted in my response above). I might sing a different tune once I see it.

Sorry it took me so long to respond, buddy. But I've been busy with some side projects.

It was a pleasure to meet you, also. Now that you are here in Atlanta, we SHOULD catch a movie together. In fact, we should ALL catch a film together. It's funny how only the local guys commented on this piece (Jake, aren't you an Atlanta native as well?). Let's see if we can get our schedules together and see something.

bill r. said...

TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA is a good choice for "shock ending". I couldn't get past the idea that the question was about twist endings, and therefore couldn't come up with anything that interesting.

Tony Dayoub said...

Isn't it, though? My first viewing of TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA is the only time I was convinced I would hate a movie for most of its running time, before the last 5 minutes turned me around to such a degree that it's become one of my personal favorites.