I got this from Dale--he got it from someone else.
1. Popcorn or candy?
Neither. I don't really like the taste of movie popcorn and I hate paying exorbitant movie theater prices for movie candy. Sometimes I buy candy ahead of time, or make my own popcorn and smuggle it in.... but usually I just like to watch movies and save my calories for later.
2. Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever.
Run, Lola, Run. I've been told it's really good.... but in grad school I had a friend who was getting an MFA in film production and I would have to sit through student film shows featuring LOTS of movies where people just walk down halls for 20 minutes or wash their hands repeatedly or whatever, and I just don't relish the idea of watching a movie that consists primarily of scenes of a woman running.
3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar and give it to something else. What do you choose?
Oh, god, only one?!
I'm really tempted to take away the 1990 best picture Oscar for Dances with Wolves and deliver it over to any of the other four contenders--DwW is schlock to begin with, and anything that inflates Kevin Costner's ego is a source of genuine evil; whereas I think Whoopi Goldberg's performance in Ghost (for which she won best supporting actress that year) might have elevated that movie to best picture status.... then again, maybe not. Or I could correct a historical wrong and see that the marvelous Peter O'Toole won for any of the wonderful roles he was nominated for.... But if I gave him the Oscar for Lawrence of Arabia, that would mean depriving Gregory Peck of the Oscar he won in 1962 for his role as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and that would upset a lot of people; so perhaps I could do something about the 1964 Oscar for best actor, which went to Rex Harrison for playing Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady instead of to O'Toole for playing Henry II in Becket, except that I'm not sure that's such an injustice; but then, there's the other movie where O'Toole plays Henry II, The Lion in Winter, for which he was nominated but lost to Cliff Robertson in Charly.... what the hell was Charly and who has seen it? Oh.... it's an adaptation of Flowers for Algernon. Hmm.... that might be a wrong that truly needs righting.
In the end, however, I think I'd have to succumb to my hatred for that wretched mallrat Gwyneth Paltrow and deprive her of the Oscar she somehow won for Shakespeare in Love, and give it instead to the luminous Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth, which was, admittedly, so historically inaccurate that everyone involved should be ashamed. Nonetheless, Cate was really, really good at portraying one of my favorite historical figures of all time.
4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe.
Well, let's see.... I already own several versions of both Michelle Pfeiffer's and Halle Berry's Catwoman outfits from whichever Batman or Catwoman or Small Furry Mammal People movies they were in, and right now I'm lounging about in my Galadriel (Cate Blanchett's character in The Lord of the Rings, for those of you not cool enough to get the reference) outfit because it's just so stinkin' comfortable. As for when I want to make an impression, I never tire of dressing up in my version of the entire ensemble Scarlet O'Hara makes out of the green velvet curtains, though I've gotten a little bored with my Dorothy dress and my ruby slippers--I mean, who doesn't have a Dorothy outfit! Now that snow has arrived, my favorite outfit to wear to the grocery store is my Gandalf the Grey robe and cloak (I have a staff too, but it sticks too far out of the cart), though in summer, I prefer to buy my comestibles dressed as Barbara Bach in Caveman--for one thing, I get such good service at the meat counter that way! I admit I've always wanted some of those "shoes as hats" featured in Brazil, but those aren't an entire costume.... So I guess the new addition to my wardrobe will have to be the thigh-high boots and swingin' dress decorated not with fringe but with blond human hair (which is why it has such nice movement to it when she shimmies) that Hedwig wears at the end of "Wig in a Box."
5. Your favorite film franchise is....
Lord of the Rings. Yeah, I loved all three, though I did get a little tired of the way Elijah Wood would say, ever so earnestly, "Sam...." I went to midnight openings of the first two (I would have gone to a midnight opening of the third, but my life had complications), reread the books to prolong the pleasure, then bought each boxed DVD the day it came out. The books were really good, and the movies were good too: artistically refined, ethically complex, emotionally moving. I was really sad when there were no more to release.
6. Invite five living movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why would you invite them? What do you feed them?
Do I have to? I don't know that I want to cook food for movie people. I'd rather just enjoy their work while I eat my dinner myself.
Well, if I must.... The first person I'd invite is Andrew Davies, the guy who writes the fabulous adaptations of all those British novels. I'd ask for tips on how he does it, and I'm sure his general conversation would be pretty damn enjoyable.
Next is a toss-up between Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. I find Johnny Depp really attractive but I'm not sure he'd be good dinner company. I'd be willing to feed Angelina, though, and talk to her for an hour or two. I'd like to know about her humanitarian efforts, and find out if she's as beautiful in person as she is on screen. She could bring Brad, or she could not.
Next would be.... Ang Lee, I guess. I'd ask him about the beginning of Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, where the Chinese woman is listening to what sounds to me like The Mormon Tabernacle Choir on headphones. Plus he's a cool guy from Taiwan, who directed an adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, and made a luminously gorgeous movie set in the American West. Kind of combines a bunch of my interests there.
Speaking of Jane Austen novels.... I'd love to meet Emma Thompson. I'd ask her about adapting Jane Austen (she wrote the screenplay for Sense and Sensibility, which Ang Lee directed) and about appearing in the "University Challenge" episode of The Young Ones.
Rounding out the guest list would be... Sandra Bernhard! Of course! Why didn't I think of her sooner? My reasons for inviting her are explained here.
As for the menu-- inviting Sandra means that I'd have to serve ham and a hot canned fruit cocktail compote, and the drinks list would have to include Remy Martin with a water back. I'd make Mexican food, probably, and a chocolate cheesecake for dessert. (I'll have to post the recipe for that one soon.)
7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cellphones in the movie theater?
Watch this clip and find out.
8. Choose a male and a female bodyguard from a film.
Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones's Diary and Hedwig from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I mean, Mark Darcy made a pretty good show out of trying to beat the crap out of Daniel Cleaver (plus he offered to pay for all the damage afterwards!) and Hedwig was willing to use a broken beer bottle to gouge out the eyes of any female fan who got to close to Tommy Gnosis. But even more valuable than their skills at fighting dirty would be all the fun I'm pretty sure I'd have when physical violence to my person was not an imminent threat.
9. What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a movie?
I recently watched Hearts and Minds, a 1972 documentary about US involvement in Vietnam. There's actual film--not a still, but rolling film--of that Viet Cong officer being executed with a bullet to the brain, so that you see him stand there one second, then crumple and fall while blood runs out of his head. That really freaked me out, as did the stock footage of the little naked girl, all her skin burned off by napalm, running down the road, or footage of a woman carrying a baby, another napalm victim, its skin hanging in tatters from its arms and legs. I had to stop the movie and become hysterical at those points....
That's the scariest thing I've seen recently, maybe ever, because it's all a real depiction of real suffering inflicted by my government. But as a distant second, terrifying images that live on in my memory despite my best efforts to forget, I would have to name all two hours of Shakespeare in Love. To start with, the movie stars the loathsome Gwyneth! The characterization is inconsistent, while the jokes are absolutely moronic (could they have milked that inane line about "Romeo and Bertha the Pirate's Daughter" or whatever it was for one more tired, lame laugh?) and the plot is full of holes so gaping and substantial you could have marched Elizabeth Tudor's entire entourage through any one of them. Yet people liked this shit! It actually won awards!
10. Your favorite genre (excluding "comedy" and "drama") is
11. You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power?
By writing several screenplays, hiring smart people to produce and direct them, and watching my new Hollywood career succeed beyond my wildest dreams.
12. If Jesus were to submit a synopsis of a documentary about life in America since 9/11, what would his p.o.v. be?
The frustrated, irate guy who says, "I'm outta here, but before I go, I want all you assholes to quit invoking my name when you go off and shoot people. And for christ's sake, quit asking for my help when all your war-mongering comes back and bites you in the ass."
13. Down in front, all you troublemakers.
I've already complained about adults who bring little kids to grown-up movies.
I tag anyone who's seen a movie in the past month, as well as anyone who hasn't blogged in a month.