Sometimes, people give you a thumbs up. Recently, Andy Buckle over at The Film Emporium did me that honor by name-dropping me in his Liebster Award blogathon post. Over a week has passed since he published his own response to this chain event– I’ll use work, real life, and a mountain of movie reviews as my excuse for that. The good news is that I’ve finished my own entry for you to peruse, along with the six criteria for the event as listed below:
- Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
- Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
- Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
- Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post.
- No tag backs
- Go to their page and tell them.
So let’s get to it. First, eleven things about me:
1. I used to work at the AMC in Framingham, MA as a summer job during my later years in high school.
2. My favorite movie theaters to this day remain the Brattle in Cambridge, MA and the Charles in Baltimore, MD.
3. I have a weakness for chocolate covered pretzels. Really.
4. I own and know how to play a didgeridoo. Also really. It’s in my basement. Grant that I bought it in San Francisco, so for some of you that might not count.
5. Next year, I am going to make it a goal to attend either SXSW or TIFF.
6. My favorite books of all time remain The Sun Also Rises and The Hobbit.
7. I would give anything and more to see Corey Stoll get his own Hemingway spin-off series after his fine and noble work Midnight in Paris.
8. I very rarely hate movies, but this year alone I hated, hated, hated The Bourne Legacy, Battleship, and Chernobyl Diaries.
9. I live in New England because few places I’ve been to showcase the passage of the seasons half as well.
10. I think cigarette smoke looks amazing on black and white film, and that people should make more black and white films featuring cigarette smoke.
11. When I was in middle school, I watched Braveheart nearly every Friday night.
And now for the eleven questions Mr. Buckle posed:
1. What was the film that made you feel the most terrified watching?
Tough call. It’s probably a toss-up between Killer Clowns From Outer Space and Arachnophobia, films I watched for the first time when I was in middle school. Maybe that’s just easy pickings, then, but I can’t remember being as scared watching any film as an adult as I was watching those movies as a kid. In recent memory– meaning the last half a decade or so– the films that come to mind immediately would be V/H/S and The Descent.
2. Chaplin or Keaton?
Why make a man choose between these two greats? Why? You’re a cruel master, Buckle, but if I must answer, I must say “Chaplin”, for no other reason than he just does it for me in the departments of mime and slapstick comedy.
3. What is the greatest shift/turnaround of opinion, either positive or negative, you have had after a repeat viewing?
To this day that honor probably still goes to my favorite film of all time, Oldboy, though The Boondock Saints comes very, very close. Contrast my reaction to Oldboy on repeat viewings to my reaction to The Boondock Saints; the former just gained more and more esteem and impact and quality in my eyes with each successive viewing, while the latter’s warts began to show the more I put it in rotation in my DVD player in college.
4. What is your first memorable trip to the cinemas?
Grant that my memory doesn’t go back very far, but I still have very vivid mental recreations of the first time I went to see Jurassic Park on the big screen. The theater itself wasn’t very remarkable– just a run-of-the-mill General Cinema, before AMC absorbed them– but I remember the raw experience of watching the film as a kid really, really clearly. I can still think about it and get the same goosebumps today as I did nearly twenty years ago.
5. If you were to add one film to last year’s Best Pic nominees to make up 10 what would it have been?
Certified Copy. Or Drive. Thing is, the further I’ve gotten away from the former, the more it’s risen in the ranks of my 2011 top ten list; I put it at #6, but if I were to go back and do it again, it would probably be tied for #1 with Drive. It might even beat it, and that’s saying a lot, because Drive is amazing. That said, I could see Certified Copy being a “Best Pic” nominee in the real world much more easily, and it is really, really, really excellent. Kiarostami remains a master of his craft.
6. What is your single favourite performance ever?
Bruce Campbell as Ash in Army of Darkness. Sorry, his geek-coolness, loudmouth bravado, and ability to get the tobacco juice beaten out of him without breaking a sweat just works for me. For something a little more respectable (though you should respect Army of Darkness), Toshiro Mifune’s turn as Kikuchiyo in Seven Samurai never fails to move me. His choked cry of “he’s just like me” knocks the wind out of me without fail.
7. What is you favourite animated film?
Oh, that’s an easy one. The Iron Giant. The last act never fails to choke me up, and apart from that, it’s supported by two absolutely note-perfect preceding acts and brought to life with outstanding animation and voice work. I’ll take this over even the best modern animated films any day of the week.
8. What is your favourite era (decade) of cinema?
Honestly, I don’t really have one. I’m not trying to be coy, either. I just haven’t sat down and evaluated all the decades of cinema and elected a favorite. Off-hand, my first inclination is to say “2000-2009″, if not because it’s loaded with great films– and it is– but because it’s the decade in which I’ve gained the most awareness as a critic and a film enthusiast.
9. What is the best film you have seen in 2012 so far?
It’s a three-way tie between Moonrise Kingdom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Cabin in the Woods.
10. Name an underrated television show you feel doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Andy Richter Controls the Universe, hands-down. Richter’s an incredibly funny guy in his own right, but this show put him front and center in the most boring world possible and mined endless absurd humor out of it with ease. His daydreams are the easy highlight here.
11. Is there a film you feel completely alone in liking/disliking?
I thought Paul was incredibly solid, but I think I’m the only one who had that reaction.
Which leads me to the eleven questions I’m to pose to other bloggers:
1. Why do you write about film?
2. Who are your biggest influences in film writing?
3. What is your least favorite cinematic fad of the day?
4. How often do you attend film festivals?
5. What’s the last movie that you saw, whether you’ve reviewed it or not?
6. Do you have an aversion to films made before 1980?
7. How far are you willing to go to catch screenings of your annual must-sees?
8. How much do you consider the music you listen to in a film as part of the experience?
9. Do you have a favorite genre?
10. What do you think about a world where celluloid no longer exists and everything is shot on digital?
11. What are your most overrated and underrated films of all time?
If you are one of the following people, then tag, you’re it– answer the above at your leisure: Cut the Crap Movie Reviews, DearFilm, Duke & The Movies, Fogs’ Movie Reviews, French Toast Sunday, Go See Talk!, Man I Love Films, Marshall and the Movies, Morgan On Media, Victor’s Movie Reviews, The Matinee. Fire away, everybody!