Today I was informed by Karen at the blog Shadows and Satin that she nominated me for a Liebster Award. And so, standing humbled before you, I proudly carry on the Liebster tradition. When you win a Liebster, you are asked to:
(a) Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you;
(b) Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself; and
(c) Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the award, and give them 11 questions to answer on their blogs when they post their nominations.
So let me begin with the questions I received from Karen:
1. On your perfect viewing day, what five films would air back-to-back on TCM?
I’ve seen a lot of great movies, but I can think of only three that mainline me with pure joy from the moment they begin: Preston Sturges’ The Palm Beach Story, The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, and the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. Honorable mention to Laurel & Hardy’s Way Out West and the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. An eclectic quintet, to be sure, but that’s what I’d go for.
2. What’s your favorite movie-related book?
The Silent Clowns, by Walter Kerr. It’s a coffee-table book that transcends coffee-table books. It’s as beautifully put together as the best silent movies, and its critiques of the era read like a summer breeze.
3. Name an underrated film that you’d recommend.
Strange Invaders (1983), a deadpan, dead-perfect send-up/tribute to 1950’s sci-fi flicks, filled with delicious performances and dry wit.
5. What’s your favorite western?
You won’t believe this, but it’s Django Unchained. I have never been romantic about the American Western and have longed to see a movie that peeled away the cobwebs of the genre’s sentimentality. Quentin Tarantino done it.
4. What movie do you watch every time it comes on TV?
The Beatles cartoon Yellow Submarine. That “Once upon a time” opening sucks me in every time.
6. If you had Aladdin’s lamp, what three wishes would you make?
I am actually quite happy with my lot in life as is. The only wish I would make is to go back in time and make passionate love to my freshman English teacher. (She had enormous breasts. I don’t expect you to understand.)
7. What movie have you seen more often than any other?
The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I was a teenager right when it became a midnight phenomenon. As for how many times I’ve seen it, I lost track after 50.
8. Name one thing you believed as a child that turned out not to be true.
I wish I had a nickel for every adult who lorded it over me because I was a kid who knew nothing and they knew everything. It’s amazing, what you see from the other side once you become an adult.
9. What is your favorite guilty pleasure movie?
Swamp Thing. It gets by on a pass because it’s based on a famous comic-book series, and it has a fairly decent plot. So not everybody notices that you’re waiting for the scenes where Adrienne Barbeau bounces around bralessly.
10. Name a movie that it seems everyone has seen except you.
I have seen none of the post-’90s Batman movies. Nihilism just doesn’t do it for me.
11. Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum?
Bogie. He could play a creep, but he always had somewhat of a redeeming quality. I’m not sure Mitchum even tried to ever have that.
Now, because nobody asked, here are 11 random facts about me.
1. My job is Social Media Specialist. It’s too complicated to explain, except that it involves a lot of writing and Facebook. But I’ve been at it for two years, and I absolutely love it. I’ve been in the workforce for 30 years, and I never thought I’d be able to say that about any job I ever had.
2. I have written, directed, and starred in plays — nothing you’ve ever heard of, but I have done a number of them on a local basis. If you have a creative bug, don’t ever let anyone talk you out of it. Do whatever you can to get your work seen (or heard or read, or whatever). I haven’t done a play in years because I no longer feel the need to do so. I got it all out of my system after keeping it bottled up inside for decades.
3. Via phone, e-mail, and (rarely) in person, I have interviewed some damn interesting people: cartoon director Chuck Jones, movie director Richard Brooks, movie composers Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, actress Adrienne Barbeau (see #9 above), and Laurel & Hardy biographer Randy Skretvedt. Nobody cares about interviewers — you don’t read an interview with Brad Pitt to catch the byline “By Joe Blow.” But I’m pretty proud to have talked to some people whom a lot of other people would love to chat with.
4. I saw Diane Keaton once, in a mall in L.A. I saw her across the counter, and I guess my eyes must have lit up, because she gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look, as if to say, “Please don’t embarrass me in public!” I just smiled wildly and moved on.
5. I love chicken. As I’ve grown older, most of my tastes have changed and I’ve given up a lot of the junkier foods, but I can still hunker down on a chicken. Fried, roasted, grilled, somewhat raw, it doesn’t matter. I’ve seen the PETA videos and I know I should care more about the bird’s welfare, but I maintain the same philosophy that I’ve always had: If it’s a choice between me and the chicken, the chicken’s gonna lose every time.
6. I have a 22-year-old daughter. Having a 22-year-old daughter is like starting out a drive on the most beautiful pathway in the world, then heading into a deep, dark, seemingly interminable tunnel, and then being gratified to finally reach light on the other side. Seasoned parents, you know what I’m talking about.
7. I appreciate my bed at this point in my life far more than I ever previously did. These days, when I wake up on Saturday mornings, I will remain in bed for a half-hour and luxuriate in the fact that I don’t have to rush to be anywhere.
8. I’m not a workaholic by any means, but I am amazed at the amount of time that people waste at my office just wandering around and shmoozing with co-workers — and they’re getting paid for it! And a lot of them can’t figure out why I’m not more social with them. I’ll tell you why I’m not more social with you — I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL 35 YEARS AGO.
9. I despise whistlers. I guess that’s silly, but when someone starts whistling, I get so distracted that I’m caught up in actually trying to figure out what tune they’re whistling. But no matter what tune they’re whistling, it always sounds as though they’re farting out the wrong end.
10. I love blogging. I always thought I had to be Roger Ebert, sharing my brilliant reviews with millions of eager readers. Now I figure, what’s wrong with having just 100 followers? That’s 100 more people than were interested in my reviews a few months ago.
11. I saved this one for last. A lot of my readers and fellow bloggers are female, so I truly hope this won’t offend you. But I have to confess, I am mesmerized by large breasts. I don’t get it, it’s embarrassing, and I try my best not to stare. But then, Christina Hendricks. Or somebody who dresses like her. And then she’s mortified that I’m wide-eyed over the very appendages that she’s put on display. It’s God’s curse on me.
I mean, come on.
Now that I’ve offended virtually my entire readership, here are the blogs I nominate as the recipients for a Liebster. I didn’t go for 11, but the ones that I’ve nominated are great blogs, so check them out!
Girls Do Film
Outspoken and Freckled
Once Upon a Screen
A Shroud of Thoughts
And here are my 11 questions for my Liebster-lings:
1. “All-time favorite movie” is too tough. What is your favorite genre, and what is your all-time favorite movie in that genre?
2. “Theatrical” is too easy. What’s your all-time favorite TV-movie?
3. The Great Movie Genie is allowing you to permanently change the ending of one movie. Which one do you choose, and why?
4. You’re the latest heinie-kissing Hollywood exec, slavishly following trends. Which movie, good or bad, would you like to sequelize or remake?
5. Name the movie whose screening you’d like to co-host on TCM with Ben Mankiewicz.
6. Describe your most memorable movie occasion — not necessarily your favorite film, but a movie you enjoyed with friends, one that evoked a particular memory, etc.
7. What is your favorite line of movie dialogue?
8. Why are movies special to you?
9. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
10. What is your favorite book about movies?
11. You have your favorite movie actor or actress to yourself for 24 hours to do with what you will. Name, please.
And that is that! I’ll be interested to read everyone’s responses!