Dennis Cozzalio's film quizzes are a popular diversion for film bloggers everywhere, and he's just posted his newest one over at his always-great blog Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. This is a holiday quiz, to span the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. My answers are posted below. Check out Dennis' site to see other responses and to post your own.
1) Second-favorite Coen Brothers movie.
I can usually easily rank the films of directors I like, but for some reason I have a really hard time sorting out a hierarchy of Coen Brothers movies. Maybe The Man Who Wasn't There, but then that film could easily be my favorite too.
2) Movie seen only on home format that you would pay to see on the biggest movie screen possible? (Question submitted by Peter Nellhaus)
3) Japan or France? (Question submitted by Bob Westal)
Godard, Rivette, Rohmer, Chabrol, Marker, Franju, Varda, Denis, Pialat, Vigo, Resnais, Assayas, Renoir, Tati, Tavernier, Breillat. France, no contest.
4) Favorite moment/line from a western.
The down-the-barrel shot in Forty Guns.
5) Of all the arts the movies draw upon to become what they are, which is the most important, or the one you value most?
The art of photography: the image is the essence of cinema.
6) Most misunderstood movie of the 2000s (The Naughties?).
7) Name a filmmaker/actor/actress/film you once unashamedly loved who has fallen furthest in your esteem.
My initial enthusiasm for Billy Wilder, founded on films like Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment, has cooled as I've been exposed to more of his uneven and often disappointing work.
8) Herbert Lom or Patrick Magee?
Lom: you can't beat Inspector Dreyfuss' neurotic craziness.
9) Which is your least favorite David Lynch film (Submitted by Tony Dayoub)
Is it cheating to say The Alphabet or Six Men Getting Sick? I haven't seen Dune and I like all his other features.
10) Gordon Willis or Conrad Hall? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom)
Gordon Willis, if only for shooting some of Woody Allen's most gorgeous movies, but also for Little Murders.
11) Second favorite Don Siegel movie.
12) Last movie you saw on DVD/Blu-ray? In theaters?
On DVD, Schindler's List, unfortunately. In theaters, Richard Kelly's The Box.
13) Which DVD in your private collection screams hardest to be replaced by a Blu-ray? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom)
I haven't yet given in to Blu-Ray. But Claude Chabrol's films have been badly treated on DVD, so I suppose I'll say that I'd really love to see a lavish Blu-Ray set of his films, restored and treated well at last.
14) Eddie Deezen or Christopher Mintz-Plasse?
I guess I have to go with McLovin.
15) Actor/actress who you feel automatically elevates whatever project they are in, or whom you would watch in virtually anything.
I don't think there's anyone I'd watch in anything, but Isabelle Huppert is never less than fascinating to watch, whatever she's in.
16) Fight Club -- yes or no?
17) Teresa Wright or Olivia De Havilland?
Teresa Wright was always great.
18) Favorite moment/line from a film noir.
Gaby Rodgers unleashing the apocalypse in Kiss Me Deadly.
19) Best (or worst) death scene involving an obvious dummy substituting for a human or any other unsuccessful special effect(s)—see the wonderful blog Destructible Man for inspiration.
Not a death scene, but in terms of spectacularly unsuccessful special effects, I do love the ridiculous fake spider and puppet bats in Mark of the Vampire.
20) What's the least you've spent on a film and still regretted it? (Submitted by Lucas McNelly)
I saw Rock Hudson's Home Movies for free and still regretted it.
21) Van Johnson or Van Heflin?
22) Favorite Alan Rudolph film.
23) Name a documentary that you believe more people should see.
Bells From the Deep and Gesualdo are two unfairly overlooked Herzog documentaries, but they're actually among his best works.
24) In deference to this quiz’s professor, name a favorite film which revolves around someone becoming stranded.
25) Is there a moment when your knowledge of film, or lack thereof, caused you an unusual degree of embarrassment and/or humiliation? If so, please share.
I'm always embarassed when I realize I've never seen a movie I really should have seen by now.
26) Ann Sheridan or Geraldine Fitzgerald? (Submitted by Larry Aydlette)
27) Do you or any of your family members physically resemble movie actors or other notable figures in the film world? If so, who?
28) Is there a movie you have purposely avoided seeing? If so, why?
I purposely avoid obvious crap blockbusters all the time: why waste time seeing something I know won't have anything to offer me?
29) Movie with the most palpable or otherwise effective wintry atmosphere or ambience.
John Carpenter's The Thing for a certain kind of harsh, arctic winter. Curse of the Cat People for a more dreamlike and magical vision of winter.
30) Gerrit Graham or Jeffrey Jones?
31) The best cinematic antidote to a cultural stereotype (sexual, political, regional, whatever).
Robert Altman's final film A Prairie Home Companion is an antidote to popular stereotypes about country/rural culture, warmly and lovingly examining Americana without resorting to stereotyping.
32) Second favorite John Wayne movie.
My favorite is Rio Bravo, by a long shot. Second favorite is tougher to narrow down, but I'd probably go with She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
33) Favorite movie car chase.
The one that takes up most of the second half of Death Proof.
34) In the spirit of His Girl Friday, propose a gender-switched remake of a classic or not-so-classic film. (Submitted by Patrick Robbins)
To stick with Hawks, imagine how weird and interesting The Big Sleep would be with the gender roles reversed: Bacall as a suave, seductive private eye, and Bogie as a cool, calm society brat. Might not change the movie much at all, actually. On the other hand, to stick with Cary Grant, imagine Cukor's Holiday with Grant as the upper-class scion born into a privilege and wealth he has little use for, with Hepburn as the lower-class go-getter who wants to really make something of herself and enjoy her life rather than simply marrying into money. It completely changes the dynamic of the film and would make it something of a feminist statement in addition to an examination of class like the original.
35) Barbara Rhoades or Barbara Feldon?
36) Favorite Andre De Toth movie.
Play Dirty is amazing: gritty and formalist at the same time, with the best offhand bleak ending of all time.
37) If you could take one filmmaker's entire body of work and erase it from all time and memory, as if it had never happened, whose oeuvre would it be? (Submitted by Tom Sutpen)
I don't think I hate any director that much. I wouldn't miss Michael Bay much, though.
38) Name a film you actively hated when you first encountered it, only to see it again later in life and fall in love with it.
Vertigo. I didn't outright hate it on first viewing, but I was very much underwhelmed, and have since come to appreciate it greatly; I enjoy it more, and find more of interest in it, every time I watch it.
39) Max Ophuls or Marcel Ophuls? (Submitted by Tom Sutpen)
40) In which club would you most want an active membership, the Delta Tau Chi fraternity, the Cutters or the Warriors? And which member would you most resemble, either physically or in personality?
41) Your favorite movie cliché.
The film noir cliché of the dangerous woman.
42) Vincente Minnelli or Stanley Donen? (Submitted by Bob Westal)
43) Favorite Christmas-themed horror movie or sequence.
Does Eyes Wide Shut count? Its protagonist's terror of female sexuality is framed against a backdrop of lovely colored Christmas lights.
44) Favorite moment of self- or selfless sacrifice in a movie.
The final moments of The Wrestler.
45) If you were the cinematic Spanish Inquisition, which movie cult (or cult movie) would you decimate? (Submitted by Bob Westal)
Anything that's appreciated "ironically," or for being "so bad it's good." I prefer "so good it's good."
46) Caroline Munro or Veronica Carlson?
47) Favorite eye-patch wearing director. (Submitted by Patty Cozzalio)
Andre De Toth.
48) Favorite ambiguous movie ending. (Original somewhat ambiguous submission — "Something about ambiguous movie endings!" — by Jim Emerson, who may have some inspiration of his own to offer you.)
Denis Levant's dance at the end of Beau travail.
49) In giving thanks for the movies this year, what are you most thankful for?
All the evocative, provocative images, moments, sounds and ideas the movies at their best can deliver, and the richness of cinematic history that provides so much to explore and enjoy.
50) George Kennedy or Alan North? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom)