Brando's most recent quiz....
1. What film hit you at the right place and right time, pertaining to and illuminating things that were happening in your life the moment you saw it?
I don't know. Every film does this.
2. What would be your top 5 ranked Pixar films?
I've seen every Pixar film and can safely say that they have not made a dud yet. This list is plenty arbitrary. The top three could be swapped around. Toy Story has lost some of its power over me, but it remains an important historical film for me. It was the first film that I ever went to see three times at the cinema. That was 1995. The next time I would do that would be Julien-Donkey Boy in '99. Then, not again until There Will Be Blood in 2008. Then, Adventureland in 2009 (though this repeated viewing was due to a double showing while I was ushering at Cornell). Those are the four movies that I've seen three times at the cinema. But, I'm getting further away from the question. Here's the list:
4) Toy Story
5) Toy Story 3
3. To reiterate Cheddar’s question…. What movie/movies had the biggest negative effect on you?
This is a good question. I think that you meant it as "which movies have emotionally wounded you?" but I'm taking it as "which movies have actually changed your life for the worse?" Maybe seeing Monty Python's Meaning of Life or so many Rodney Dangerfield films (Back to School, anyone?) too early in life shaped my humor in a negative direction. I'm sure that there have been films that have had me contemplating a life of crime and violence. I could probably come up with a good list of "negative effect" movies if I looked at a list of all the crap I watched from the 80s.
4. What seasons seem to inspire you to see and write about films the most and least?
I don't even know. It'd be interesting to look back over stats. Oh, wait; I did that once and no one cared.
I think I have a natural ebb and flow throughout the year in which I'll binge on films and then take a three week break without watching anything, then binge again. I do know that Breaking Bad inspires me to be a raving lunatic fanboy.
5. What are five movies that you love that you feel comfortable never seeing again?
This question is not for me. The movies that I love are, by definition, the ones that I want to see again. They're also the ones that have settled deepest in me, though, and that I don't always feel the need to see again soon because I feel like they're with me even though I'm watching other lesser movies.
6. What anticipated 2012 film/films are you feeling the most uneasy about expectation wise?
Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. I have high hopes, but I get nervous over any contemporized Shakes adaptations.
7. Likewise, what former favorite actors are trudging down dangerous territory for you, also what actors have already strayed down the path to the point in which their name now means nothing? I’m realizing now that this is a mean sounding question.
Maybe my answer is meaner than your question. I've never really cared about actors as much as writers and directors. So, the career decisions of Nic Cage and Johnny Depp, for example, don't really bother me. I think that both are still enjoyable actors who are fun to watch. The problem I have with the movies they've been in have to do with writing and direction more than their performances. I can't think of a single actor who has "strayed down the path to the point in which their name now means nothing." These actors are just waiting for the right writers and directors. I like The Gos, but that doesn't mean I'll watch him in Crazy Stupid Anymovie. I like Bryan Cranston a lot, but only because of what Gilligan and the BB team have given to him and received from him. Cranston as cameo in Rock of Ages doesn't interest me. Cranston as director of Modern Family doesn't interest me. And so on. I'm basically a Bressonian actor as model kind of guy.
8. What is your take on a screenwriter’s impact on a film’s success, in other words how much of an auteurist are you?
The script is the most important part of a film, but it's still the director that takes the script and puts flesh on its bones. Ideally, the director has written the script or has worked closely with the person who has written the script.
9. What types of “provocative” cinematic trends/ideas still feel fresh, which seem to be losing their oomph in the modern age of self awareness?
I'm not sure what you had in mind here. Just shock cinema? Porno tricks? Those were old before they were new. Maybe ironically, I think that the "self awareness" (or interiority) of a Bergman or a Rohmer or a Tarkovsky (etc) is still fresh and provocative and their heirs continue to stand out in an age of mass spectacle.
10. What’s your favorite horror film of the 1990s (that isn’t SCREAM Cheddar!)?
Probably Misery. I haven't seen it in several years, but I'm pretty sure that it holds up.