Film Club has NOT had my attention in the month of July. All apologies. I haven't watched much and I haven't been thinking much about film lately. I'm back now.
I bought a new Roku box. I've mostly been using it to stream Doctor Who (it takes me a long time to watch any episode because I've found that it's the perfect sleep aid and I usually only last a few minutes; despite this, I do love the show--I should have a post about it coming soon after I've finished watching Series 1 of the reboot) and The Colbert Report, but I'm pretty sure that I'll be watching more movies soon.
I bought the most recent copy of Film Comment. For several years (maybe late 2007 through mid-2012), I bought every issue. It was one of my favorite things to read cover to cover every (other) month. I got more movie news and reviews from FC than I did online. Somewhere along the way, I stopped reading new issues and then stopped buying them. BUT! I've already half-devoured this new issue, enjoying an Ebert appreciation from Bordwell and an excellent Midnight review from Lopate (a gifted essayist and often overlooked as a great film critic).
Jeff and Brandon have returned to the blogs. They're writing about films I haven't seen (Cache, Dardenne stuff). I can't respond to all that. Still, it's been a good spur to get me writing again.
So, I'm feeling the film bug nipping at me. Back to blogging.
Way back when, the day he posted it, I started Jeff's film quiz but never finished it. Here are my incomplete answers, posted as is instead of spending too much time on it. I answered the questions quickly, then put the quiz aside to answer the questions I hadn't finished or left blank. I never got back to it. Sorry. If I spend too long fretting about answers and being perfect, then inertia sets in and nothing gets done.
1. Name your five favorite actors and actresses of all time.
1) Peter Falk
2) Paul Newman
3) James Stewart
4) Randolph Scott
5) Daniel Day-Lewis
1) Marie Windsor
2) Myrna Loy
3) Anna Karina
2. Can you remember the first foreign-language film you saw that made an impact on you? If so, what was it?
Wings of Desire. I'm not sure what year I first encountered it. Maybe '96. I hadn't seen anything like it.
3. Favorite moment in a horror film? Least favorite?
The sad moment in which the Wolf Man reveals that he's yearning for death in The Wolf Man Meets Frankenstein. Least favorite is any jump scare in contemporary horror. Lame-o.
4. Pick a film for each member of film club that you’d really like for her/him to see.
Adrienne: The Lady Vanishes
Brandon: New Jerusalem (Alverson)
Ben: The Fisher King (Gilliam)
Chris: Collision (Doane)
Lisa: Sightseers (Wheatley)
5. Is there a film(s) that you once loved (and maybe even purchased) that now makes you question what you ever saw in it?
6. IFC has started releasing films on demand the same day they hit theaters. Would you like more studios to do this or are you afraid it may strike the death knell for movie theaters?
7. Favorite movie(s) set during the summertime?
8. Which director working today do you think would make a great western if given the chance (assuming he/she hasn’t already made one)? Or if you don’t like westerns, which director working today do you think would make a great sci-fi flick (also assuming he/she hasn’t made one yet)?
9. Describe a perfect moment in a movie (courtesy of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule).
The pre-credits sequence for the pilot of Breaking Bad. Three establishing shots of large unmovable rock formations speckled with the flickering shadows of unseen clouds rolling by. The first shot is almost five seconds. The next is about half a second shorter and the next about half a second shorter than the second. The fourth shot is an empty blue frame. Ambient outdoors sounds morph into a crescendoing musical drone as a pair of empty pants floats into frame from the top left corner. The camera pans down to follow the pants' descent to a dirt ground. As the pants hit the ground, a large RV enters the frame and runs over the pants as it speeds down a dirt road. Cut to a from-behind shot of a naked man wearing a gas mask driving the RV. Cut to a side view of the same man. Reverse shot of another man
10. Here’s a decent list of movies that came out in 1990: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990_in_film
Can you name your top five favorites from the year?
1) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
2) Miller's Crossing
4) Back to the Future Part III
5) Short Time
7) Joe Versus the Volcano
8) Dick Tracy
9) Green Card
10) Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Ducktales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp
Moving on, I'll try to quickly answer Chris's Quiz
1. Is there a TV show that you'd love to see a movie version of? If yes, what? If no, think a little harder. If still no, sorry for wasting your time.
Breaking Bad: The Saul Goodman Story
2. What's your favorite place/setting to watch a movie (out of the choices listed below)? Why? ALSO, least favorite and why?
a) Small theater
b) Big theater
c) Drive-in theater
d) In a house, alone
e) In a house, with a group
I love all of those places. I'll watch movies alone on my phone or with great big crowds watching great big screens. Even though I never get out there anymore, my favorite film place is probably the Cornell Cinema at Willard Straight Hall. It's a lovely place to watch films. Absolutely essential anywhere is a respectful audience. I don't deal well with chatty audiences.
3. If you could be an extra in any film, what would it be AND what scene would you like to be in?
I'd like to be one of the guys in the pool hall watching the game between Fast Eddie and Minnesota Fats. Not sure why that was the first thing that popped into my head.
4. Name a movie you loved as a kid that still feels special even when you watch it now.
Hmmm... Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, but I haven't watched it in many years.
5. Best film decade (out of the choices listed below)? And tell us why, if you're so inclined:
c) 00s (aughts)
I'd probably pick the Aughts because the end of that decade saw the birth of CR5FC.
Bonus: Hypothetically, your friends have rented out a theater for your birthday. You get to choose the movie that's screened; what are you going with?
Rubin & Ed. Hopefully, a 35mm print specially presented in person by Trent Harris.
Finally, I've seen the following films in July. I've been logging on Letterboxd. I need to get back to writing something here.
The Blue Umbrella
The Blue Umbrella is the new Pixar short. I was a bit disappointed that it felt more like an expensively produced student film than the polished gems we often get from Pixar.
Kick-Heart is fantastic. It ends abruptly. At first, I thought that this might be a flaw. It's not. The brevity of the film leaves one wanting more, which is almost always a better feeling than being sick from having had way too much.
The Lone Ranger
Three of the 2013 films that I've seen so far this year have been Disney films! And they've all been positive experiences! Oz, The Lone Ranger, and Monsters University all prove that the Mouse Empire still knows how to make big and bold family movies with lots of heart.
Trade Winds has become one of my favorite movies despite a few flaws. I'll write an Essentials post if I ever get to see it again.