Search This Blog

Monday, September 19, 2016

Answering fun film questions -- Liebster Award Edition!

If random but revealing observations from a movie fan will entertain you for fifteen minutes of your time, then please keep reading.  For anyone who is reading this I strongly encourage you to leave one or more comments in the comments section, and anyone who wishes, consider yourself tagged!
First, thank you!! to my new blogging friend Hamlette from Hamlette's Soliloquy for tagging me with the 'Liebster Award'.  This blogging award challenges me to answer 11 questions about my movie passions.  Alright, let's go!

1.  Is there a movie that has really yummy-looking food in it that you'd love to eat?
Well, I can eat anytime and anyplace, so there are very few movie meals that don't look good to me!  That said, I have to perhaps go with something obvious:  the meal in BABETTE'S FEAST (1987).  This is a lovely quiet Danish film about two unmarried sisters in a remote 19th century Danish village who take in a French expatriate down on her luck to be their servant. It turns out she is a gourmet chef and in the final scenes of the film, she prepares a meal that all the villagers will never forget.  The irony is that they have no idea what they're eating!
This is just the first course!
One of the most memorable scenes in the film for me was when a French opera singer comes to give lessons to one of the sisters in her younger years, and the two have a connection while singing Mozart's luscious duet 'La ci darem la mano' from Don Giovanni (in French).  The singer was portrayed by actual opera star Jean-Philippe Lafont. Below is the scene from the film .  I can remember when this film came out, rewinding and watching this scene over and over on my poor VHS tape.  
2.  What era do most of your favorite movies take place in?
Oh my gosh, this is a tough one, as my favorite films span many decades. If I think about those classic films that I recommend to people, probably more of them are set in the 1930s than any other single decade.  So much art deco loveliness, and class comedies, screwball comedies, and melodramas.  Think MY MAN GODFREY, TROUBLE IN PARADISE, UNION DEPOT.

3. What two actors/actresses have you always hoped would make a movie together, but didn't/haven't yet?
Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess of Grantham in 'Downton Abbey' would give George Sanders as Addison DeWitt in ALL ABOUT EVE a run for his money in the snark department.  Both of these British actors dominated the big and small screen whenever they appeared and I would have loved to see them co-star in a film.

4.  If money, time, and supplies (and crafting ability) were not considerations, what movie character would you love to cosplay or dress up like for Halloween?
One rarely gets a chance to dress like a 18th century French queen, and so why not take the opportunity to be the center of attention by being Norma Shearer as Marie Antoinette in the lavish 1938 production?  If as a bonus Ty Power becomes infatuated with you, I would probably never take that outfit off.
Wondering how much that headdress weighs!
5.  Have you ever cosplayed or dressed up like a movie or TV character for Halloween?  
OK, once in graduate school I dressed up as Winnie the Pooh.  (Yeah, OK, it's lame.)  Dressing up isn't really my thing, and because Halloween usually falls during the World Series I've been known to impersonate my favorite baseball player.  This year it might have to be David Ortiz, aka Big Papi, the Red Sox slugger who is retiring after this season.
Good excuse to post a Big Papi pic, right here.
6.  What movie would your family/friends be surprised to learn you truly enjoyed?
My family and friends have been trained to expect any number of varied film recommendations from me.  From Russian silent films to modern Westerns, I enjoy so many.  I'm not a huge fan of Action/Sci Fi blend pictures, so perhaps it might be a surprise that I enjoyed BLADE RUNNER.  Then again, it's been seen as a Western in disguise, young Harrison Ford is in it (woo!), and now it's considered a classic of sorts, so I suppose wouldn't be a complete surprise that I loved it.  I probably can cite many more films that others loved and I didn't (I sense a new topic for a blog post!).

7.  What's one book you hope no one ever makes into a film?
I think most any good book, in the hands of the right director and production, could a good movie make.  I think the question is more about what book do I love so much that I would hate to have my own imagining of the tale ruined by assigning a real production to it.  As a child I adored the 'Little House' books and hated how the TV series distorted that universe.  The illustrator, Garth Williams, was so good in capturing the mood of Ingalls Wilder's text, that I would have a hard time appreciating a film version even if the story was not altered.  That said, I might enjoy a biopic about Laura Ingalls Wilder, or her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, both of whom had very interesting lives.
Garth Williams' illustration of 'Pa' fiddling for his daughters Laura and Mary
in Little House in the Big Woods.
8.  Do you know the Wilhelm Scream when you hear it?  Google is my friend.  The Wilhelm Scream is new to me.  So, the answer to this question WAS: no.  I'm feeling a little sheepish here.  However, believe me, I'll be sensitized to this for ever and ever, you can bet on it.  In the comments section, please let me know what your most memorable 'Wilhelm Scream' is -- I will learn from you!

9.  When a character onscreen has to hold their breath, do you try to hold your breath to match theirs?  I honestly can't remember ever doing this.  However, I suppose one can do it completely unawares!  I believe my breath was coming raggedly for the entire 92-minute running time of the ultra-suspenseful Western, the original 3:10 TO YUMA, and especially in the scene in the hotel where Glenn Ford and Van Heflin are holed up together.  If you've never seen it, watch watch watch!
Van Heflin tries to keep Glenn Ford at bay during 3:10 TO YUMA
I haven't yet seen the remake, but I can almost guarantee: it isn't better.
10.  What upcoming movies (or TV series) are you excited about?
Speaking about remakes, I just read in the Boston Globe here about the upcoming release of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN -- a 2016 remake with Denzel Washington and other assorted modern stars.  While advance reviews have been mixed, I am excited about this for the sheer fact that it may make people who haven't watched the original film, or the earlier Japanese film it's based on (SEVEN SAMURAI by Kurosawa) discover these films and become classic film lovers themselves.   What may be most fascinating is Peter Sarsgaard as the villain.  Check out the trailer below.  (In the comments section -- who wants to see this, and who wants to avoid it like the proverbial plague??)

11.  What are your favorite movie blogs?  I've listed these in my 'Recommended sites and blogs' list on the lower right side of my blog home page, but I want to also call out the wonderful writers at two of my local cinemas: Brattle Blog and Harvard Film Archive series pages -- check out the latest here about Russian Silent cinema.

So, I will ask anyone who is interested to answer one or more of the questions below, either in the comments section or as a separate post.
1. Who was your first movie crush that you can remember?
2. Who is your current or most recent movie crush?
3. Is there a film you refuse to see?  If yes, why.
4. If you could travel back in time to visit the set of one of your favorite films and tell the director in real time to change something, what would it be?
5. What is a comedy that most everyone loves and that you don't find the least bit funny?
6. What is the classic film stereotype that you hate the most?
7.  How do you attempt to debunk said stereotype?
8. Provide a link to one blog post that you really enjoyed and think others would, too.
9. Name a film director that should be better known, and your favorite film of theirs.
10. What upcoming film or TV series are *you* most excited about?
11.  What keeps you motivated to continue blogging?


  1. I find the questions and the answers to Liebster awards fascinating, although I haven't been so good on joining in the fun lately.

    Forget the Wilhelm scream, that's old hat. What I live for is the "Goofy Yell". Check it out.

    A couple of your questions spoke to me:

    9. Name a film director that should be better known, and your favorite film of theirs.
    Robert Wise. While not an unknown name, to many they think immediately of "The Sound of Music" and "West Side Story". I would like the first reaction to be "Born to Kill" or "Run Silent Run Deep" or "Blood on the Moon" or "The Set-Up".

    10. What upcoming film or TV series are *you* most excited about?
    The 5th season of "Longmire" begins in less than a week. Abruptly cancelled by A&E after an impressive 3rd season, the program was picked up by Netflix last year and continues.

    1. So my film education continues: The Wilhelm Scream, the "Goofy Yell", haha!
      Thanks for the Robert Wise picks. THE SET-UP is on my watch list -- I enjoy Audrey Totter and I've only seen her in a few things.
      "Longmire" is a series I haven't watched. I watch hardly any TV unless it's baseball or TCM, so I know I am missing out.
      Thanks for commenting -- I know your recommendations are golden! :-)

  2. I love and adore the original 3:10 to Yuma and could watch it once a month for pretty much forever.

    I kind of want to see the new Mag7, and my husband finds the whole idea of its existence appalling.

    1. Hi and thanks again for the inspiration! I see you've written quite a bit on 3:10 TO YUMA (can we start a fan club just for that film??) and I'm going to read those soon. I also know from your Liebster post that Mag 7 is your favorite Western -- so your opinion on the new one will be of real interest!

    2. I know several people who would join a 3:10 fan club :-D

      I saw the new Mag7 this afternoon. Overall, sigh... it had so much potential. I liked the cast a lot, and I liked some of the things they did, but some of their storytelling just had me shaking my head.

      HOWEVER. I was weeping at the very end. Literally weeping, hands over my face, tears streaming everywhere. Because as the end credits started, they launched into the original Mag7 theme by Elmer Bernstein, and it was so unexpected (they don't really use it the rest of the movie, just riff off some of its cadences once in a while) that I burst into tears. Happy, thrilled tears, because MAN, do I love that song.

    3. Wow, OK, thanks for the update! Maybe I'll check it out after all. I only recently saw the original (1960) so I don't have as strong an attachment to it. That said, time is short and I'd rather watch something older ;-) We'll see!

    4. If you want to read an incredibly long blog post that is rife with spoilers (which are marked) that basically could have been written by me except it wasn't, Millie has a great one up here on her blog, Classic Forever.