I'm a little late on the uptake, but PROFESSOR HUBERT FARNSWORTH'S ONLY SLIGHTLY FUTURISTIC HOLIDAY MOVIE QUIZ went up over at Dennis Cozzulio's Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule on December 23rd. filmicability participated in this sort of stunt back at the beginning of fall in September 2010, and is excited to throw in again (and is even more excited to hear it's a turn-of-the-season tradition). The professor's questions are alternately expected, surprising and occasionally inscrutable, but always fun. I decided to become more terse with my answers, as you'll see. Here we go:
1) Best Movie of 2010
2) Second-favorite Roman Polanski Movie
3) Jason Statham or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
4) Favorite movie that could be classified as a genre hybrid
The Wicker Man (1973) (horror/mystery/musical)
5) How important is foreknowledge of a film’s production history? Should it factor into one’s reaction to a film?
Production histories can be interesting if we're talking about older titles. Interest in them should never overtake the movie itself, though; it's the movie that's the important thing, right? Following a film from production to completion via the press is a dicey, pricey proposition. Sometimes troubled production histories stand in the way of enjoying a really great movie (like Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate). Sometimes, production histories make us think a so-so movie is cleverer than it is, simply because it was financed and made in a chancy way (say, Kevin Smith's Clerks). On and on it goes. Astounding, actually, are the myriad of ways your moviegoing could be fudged up by too much foreknowledge of all aspects of any film. So, day to day, I try to stay away from stories about a film's production, again, unless it's an older title.
6) William Powell & Myrna Loy or Cary Grant & Irene Dunne
Cary Grant and Irene Dunne were sexier, if not as witty.
7) Best Actor of 2010
I wish I could say it was Edgar Ramirez in Carlos. But it was Ben Stiller in Greenberg.
8) Most important lesson learned from the past decade of watching movies
CGI looks just as fakey as the worst stop-motion out there.
9) Last movie seen (DVD/Blu-ray/theater)
On DVD, it was Clint Eastwood's Blood Work. On VHS, it was Marvin and Tige with John Cassavetes. On computer, it was The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash. And in the theater it was The Fighter.
10) Most appropriate punishment for director Tom Six
Without recognizing his name at first: complete moviegoing indifference.
11) Best under-the-radar movie almost no one else has had the chance to see
Tuesday After Christmas from Romania, about the dissolution of a marriage. Brave and straightforward drama, with no outlandishness whatsoever.
12) Sheree North or Angie Dickinson
Angie Dickinson, natch!
13) Favorite nakedly autobiographical movie
All That Jazz
14) Movie which best evokes a specific real-life place
A late 1970s southern high school in Dazed and Confused
15) Best Director of 2010
Apitchapong Weerasethakul for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
16) Second-favorite Farrelly Brothers Movie
17) Favorite holiday movie
A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's A Wonderful Life
18) Best Actress of 2010
Greta Gerwig in Greenberg
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
Overall, I'll miss Harvey Pekar the most. But his dip into movies was a slight one. Jill Clayburgh, Dennis Hopper, Sally Menke, Arthur Penn, and Dino De Laurentiis would top my list, really. And Maury Chaykin...does anybody out there know who Maury Chaykin was? Only the best character actor to come out of Canada in the last 30 years.
21) Think of a movie with a notable musical score and describe what it might feel like without that accompaniment.
Lawrence of Arabia without Jarre's music would be like thirstily visiting a well devoid of water.
22) Best Screenplay of 2010
Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
23) Movie You Feel Most Evangelistic About Right Now
Greenberg, of course! Can't you tell?
24) Worst/funniest movie accent ever
Worst accent might be Matthew Broderick's on/off again British accent in Richard Donner's Ladyhawke. What makes that worse than, say, Kevin Costner's multitude of bad tongues in things like JFK, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Thirteen Days is that we expect MORE of Broderick, even at that young age. He had, after all, come from an acting family and a smart start on Broadway. I notice Broderick has never tried to do accents since. Funniest movie accent is John Cleese's "outrageous French accent" in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (he also, as the sorcerer near the end, does a funny Scottish one in it, too).
25) Best Cinematography of 2010
Best that I saw: Mikhail Krichman's work in the Russian film Silent Souls. Best that you might have seen: Adam Kimmel's lensing of Never Let Me Go.
26) Olivia Wilde or Gemma Arterton
Gemma Arterton, though this is only based on looks alone.
27) Name the three best movies you saw for the first time in 2010
A Matter of Life and Death, Los Angeles Plays Itself, and Edvard Munch
28) Best romantic movie couple of 2010
J.R. Ackerly and Tulip in My Dog Tulip. Two humans? Okay...well, I could go with Stiller and Gerwig in Greenberg again, and I have good reason to. But instead I think I'll cite Ellen Burstyn and Martin Landau in Lovely, Still.
29) Favorite shock/surprise ending
The last 10 seconds of Takeshi Miike's Dead or Alive.
30) Best cinematic reason to have stayed home and read a book in 2011
Scott Pilgrim excepted, all movies with superheroes in them.
31) Movies in 2011 could make me much happier if they’d only...
...keep paying attention to examining the lives of real, everyday people.