Friday, March 15, 2013

CR5FC Quizzzz

[Questions courtesy of the great Brandon Musa]

1. What is the most overrated film of the past 5 years and briefly explain why?

Hmmm.  I'm not sure.  The first thing that springs to mind is Steve McQueen's SHAME.  An awful and obvious film with nothing to say that is ultimately filled with hackneyed contrivances in a lame attempt to seem bold and edgy.  This is the type of bad faux-expose cinema that seems rampant nowadays.
2. What are your 3 favorite television shows currently running?


p.s. my two favorite shows of all time are THE SIMPSONS and SEINFELD.

3. Name one film and television show you are ashamed to admit to liking?

Film:  I'm almost ashamed to admit how much I like PRETTY IN PINK.  Almost.  Other than that, there are probably several Ben Stiller/Will Farrell/Adam Sandler movies that aren't good that I still laughed at.  I'm only human!


4. What do you look for in a film writer?

A genuinely fascinating ability to read and interpret film (structure, shots, technique), draw connections, and write clearly and persuasively.  I like writers who are more interested in what they are writing about than themselves.  Gimme some passion.

5. Name a great director (in your opinion) who also has enough problems to make you wonder why you hold him/her in such high regard.

Christopher Nolan - Actually wouldn't refer to him as a great director, but I do like him despite how obviously flawed (and full of logical and continuity errors) his scripts are.  He needs to work on simplifying his shit, and also needs to cut out the repetition-of-previously-heard-dialogue motif.  It's not that clever.

Also, Michael Haneke - impeccable formalist with an arrogant sense of superiority over his viewers and a penchant for shock value.  I can recognize his hang-ups, even if I still like him a lot.

6. What is your favorite film era and why do you think this era speaks so much to you?

Either the 30s or the 40s.  I like old things.  And I just think the films were leaner and more dreamy back then.  In the the formative years of the talkies, film just seemed to glow like lambent fire.  Also, they seemed sweeter and more genuine back then.  They were for all ages.  They made the soul swoon.  All that good stuff.

7. Name your favorite five working film critics?

Dave Kehr
Kent Jones
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Glenn Kenny
Roger Ebert

Honorable Mention:
Ed Gonzalez
Manohla Dargis

8. Name your five least favorite.

Armond's become too much of a joke to even take one's hatred for him seriously at this point.  So I won't include him.

Kyle Smith/Rex Reed (The obvious hack category)
Stephanie Zacharek (Controversial pick, I'm sure.  She's a good writer, but she doesn't know much about film yet argues like she thinks she does)
Calum Marsh (Don't even get me started on this twerp)
Richard Roeper/Peter Travers (Lumping them together because neither of what these two write could ever be considered "reviews")
Richard Corliss/Richard Schickel (Two idiots who work for TIME)

Whoops.  That's a lot more than 5.

9. Name a few directors whom you have liked in the past that you are worried about and briefly explain why.

David Gordon Green.  Obviously.

Darren Aronofsky.  I thought his first few films were more auteur driven, but his latest seem to lack a personal touch.  I don't have the highest of hopes for NOAH.

Judd Apatow.  He's made some very funny films, but he seems to be quickly running out of ideas.  Stoked for THIS IS FORTY-FIVE in a few years.

I must be missing some?

10. What actor and actress would make you watch an otherwise uninteresting film?

I'd basically watch anything with Cagney or Jimmy Stewart in it.  Ginger Rogers too.

Modern actors?  I can't think of anyone.  I'm drawn more to filmmakers than actors when I watch movies today.

11. What director would make you watch a film with an otherwise uninteresting plot and why?

All of my favorites.  I suppose Terrence Malick is the best choice just because his films are so visually immaculate that the plotting hardly seems essential to appreciating him.

12. What film did you feel the most intimidated to like despite some heavy reservations (be honest here)?

I don't think I understood L'AVVENTURA at all when I saw it.  But it was supposed to be one of the greatest films of all time, so I felt bad for not being immeasurably stunned by it.  I haven't seen it since, so I don't know how I'd feel about it now.

The first time I saw THE RULES OF THE GAME I felt a similar pull to love it despite not really being all that impressed.  But seeing it again with a more knowing eye changed that entirely.  It's an indisputable masterpiece and deserves to be considered one.

13. What is your favorite documentary?

I don't watch a lot of documentaries.  But I do really love Bob Dylan, so I suppose my favorite is either DONT LOOK BACK or NO DIRECTION HOME.  Also, highly respect NIGHT AND FOG and the bits and pieces I've seen of SHOAH.

14. Billy Wilder or Preston Sturges?

Jesus...I suppose I'm going to go with Billy Wilder just because in addition to the many great films he made (in many various genres) he also wrote some tremendous screenplays for Ernst Lubitsch and Mitchell Leisen.  This is a really tough call though.  Shit.  I change my mind.  It's got to be Sturges.  I can't live without HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO or SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS and he's the better writer.  But wait.  I also can't live without STALAG 17 or DOUBLE INDEMNITY or NINOTCHKA and Wilder's probably the better director.  I don't know.  I want both.

15. Jean Gabin or Humphrey Bogart?

Bogie, but again, another tough call just because of how much I love Gabin.

16. Director you want to like more than you honestly do.

I really like Cassavetes and Altman but I'm not in profound love with them like I feel I should be.  I wish I were.  I also wish I knew more about Brian De Palma and Jonathan Demme, but I feel less bad about mostly ignoring these guys.

Oh yeah.  And Eastwood.  I wish I liked Eastwood as a director.

17. 5 most anticipated films of 2013?

Before Midnight
Like Someone In Love
Spring Breakers
Inside Llewyn Davis
To the Wonder
The Place Beyond the Pines

That's 6.  Oh well.  I'm probably forgetting a bunch.  I'm also not really sure what's coming out later this year.

18. What is your least favorite current sub-genre or film scene?

The modern biopic is pretty soulless and terrible.  I'm pretty much over superhero movies, and I'm sick of fantasy/CGI-fests like OZ and JACK THE GIANT SLAYER.  Take your pick of any of these.

19. Name your 5 favorite unheralded modern day directors in a critical sense.

I'm not sure.  I think most of the better directors today (or at least the ones I like) have all gotten some amount of praise.  Hmmm.  I have no idea.

20. What top 5 or 10 list would you most likely do in the near future if offered by a handsome member of Film Club?

Top 10 westerns?  Top 10 musicals?  You bet.

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