I can’t believe it. Less than two weeks since receiving my last Liebster, Trav S.D. from the sterling show-biz blog Travalanche has nominated me for yet another Liebster Award!
While I am honored as always, I bear the same concerns that I mentioned when I answered the questions for my previous Liebster Award nomination. Therefore, as with that one, I am only going to answer the questions that were put forth to me. I know there’s a whole list of things you’re supposed to do when you’re Liebster-nominated; read my previous entry to see how I responded to that.
With that, here are Trav S.D.’s questions and my responses.
Where do you stand on colorization?
From the time it was first widely used, I have regarded it as an abomination. Don’t bother telling me that the filmmakers would have used color if they could have. Even if that’s so, they made their movies to look the best they possibly could with the tools at hand. Slopping some color on it to please indiscriminate tastes does nobody any favors. To paraphrase Orson Welles’ comment to Ted Turner about Citizen Kane, keep your goddam Crayolas off our movies.
What’s your favorite moronic movie, to watch with a bunch of friends while drinking?
I don’t drink anymore, and I don’t hang out with friends to watch movies. (Time out for a big “Awwww…”) But I have sat with my son several times and watched Strange Brew, the movie spin-off of the Bob & Doug McKenzie characters from “SCTV.” Dumb as a bag of rocks. But as soon as Bob says, “Do our new movie theme, eh,” and Doug opens his mouth and orchestral music comes out, I know another 90 minutes of my life is gone.
What’s your favorite wound-licking movie, to watch for comfort when you’re alone and feeling morose?
Glengarry Glen Ross. If you ever want a movie to remind you that other people have it far worse than you at their jobs, this is the one.
What’s your favorite cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare?
Kenneth Branagh’s version of Much Ado About Nothing, a sumptuous celebration of life. If you’re expecting a generic camera-nailed-to-the-floor Shakespeare adaptation, you’ve come to the wrong movie.
What director or actor would you most like to punch in the nose?
Jerry Lewis, on both counts. His directorial stance is the height of self-indulgence, with gags and scenes that go on long beyond their payoffs. (And I’ve yet to find even a die-hard Lewis buff who has the nerve to defend Hardly Working.) And yet, taken in small doses — or reined in, as he was in early works such as Don’t Give Up the Ship — he could be one of the funniest men on Earth. If only he would have kept just one person on his payroll to tell him “No.”
Haha, here’s one to get you in hot water. [I’ve cut out the middle of this question due to repetition and for brevity’s sake.] Which nation besides the U.S. makes the best movies, and why? (My first answer would be the U.S., though I don’t trust it.)
T.S.D., I think you should have trusted your first instinct. I admire a lot of movies from other countries, but I still think the ol’ U.S. of A. does it best. If we don’t, then why have other countries turned to ours for movie-making inspiration for the past several decades?
What movie makes you really hungry?
The Age of Innocence. Martin Scorsese fetishizes food in that movie the way he usually fetishizes Mafia violence.
What movie makes you want to throw up?
The Blair Witch Project. With that pretentious jumpy-camera style, it was all I could do not to lose it right in the theater.
Who’s your favorite screen comedian?
This question is as painful to me as the old “Who’s funnier, Chaplin or Keaton” debate. Great movie comics are not so plentiful that we should hold one in high esteem at the expense of his brethren. In my just afterlife, Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, and The Marx Brothers will be performing me to vie for the title.
What movies were so terrible you walked out, or turned them off, or changed the channel?
As much as everyone got off on it, I walked out on a first-run showing of Brian DePalma’s Scarface. Call me square, but watching guys getting their limbs chainsawed off was not my idea of entertainment.
Name some favorite directors who aren’t male, white, straight, etc. Who should I seek out and watch to expand my perspective?
I am by no means an expert on the field of female directors, and I don’t mean this to sound condescending. But I’ve always maintained that, if someone tells you a woman can’t direct a movie as well as a man can, sit them down and show ’em a double feature of Jodie Foster’s Little Man Tate and Barbra Streisand’s The Prince of Tides — two movies I found as quietly shattering as anything any male director whipped up.
So that takes care of another Liebster Award. If you don’t want to hear any more of my tired opinions on the state of cinema, stop sending me the damned things!