Sunday, 18 April 2010

Dix! Diez! Zehn! Ten!: Movie Facts....

...other wise called "Getting to Know You".
Well I've caught it folks, so beware. No, not the plage...Univarn has tagged me so I have to oblige him by listing ten movie facts about myself. I'm a little stumped to be honest, so if this gets boring blame him. I tried to rank them, most boring first and so on and then I realised it's all rather boring. Yikes!
10. I'm the only movie centred person in my family. We can all agree on books but they're not cinematically inclined. Even weirder, I've never watched a movie with my father. Granted, I don't live with him anymore but it still strikes me as freakishly odd.
9. Even though I'm doing English at University I always try to incoporate film as much as I could. For the end of the last semester I wrote a 4000 word essay assessing three film versions of Hamlet (Olivier, Zeffirelli, Branagh). I wouldn't say I love either. Olivier is still the best Hamlet, but I hate Jean Simmons in it (Kate Winslet and Helena Bonham Carter are so better).
8. I may have mentioned this before, but I was once a huge fan of Bollywood cinema. There was a period when we were living next door to these very Indian people (actually Indians are almost half the population in Guyana, but these people were particularly ethnic) and I got pulled into the hubbub. It lasted for almost two years. In all honesty, Bollywood films aren't very good - to me at least. They're all musicals, which isn't exactly a bad thing but the songs have nothing to do with the story sometimes. One of the running gags back in the day was watching a movie where they'd be in a desert or someplace similar and they'd break into song and a tree would suddenly appear for the girl to dance on. Good times.
7. Hitchcock and Spielberg are often considered to be two of the greatest directors, but I'm  not overly fond of either. My favourite Hitchock film is Rebecca and though I know Anahita is a fervent fan of his I've never been a lover. I like Spielberg even less. The man is talented, but I've never been very fond of his films. If I had to choose I'd say Minority Report is my favourite film of his. Yes, I prefer it to Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. The thing is I don't like even like sci-fi films like Minority Report...
6. Katharine Hepburn remains as my favourite performance concerning film (actor, director, producer). I've still not see all of her films, though I'm getting there. I do have three biographies of her though (and counting). There's her autobiography "Me: Stories of My Life" which is a hoot. It comes with many photos of the lovely lady; then there's "Tracy & Hepburn" written by her former friend Garson Kanin. I say former because Kate allegedly stop speaking to him after he wrote the bio of her and Spencer with authorisation and I have "Kate: The Life of Katharine Hepburn" which was actually authorised, so I need not feel guilty while reading. They're all excellent.
5. I'm not a crier in real life, but my eyes always tend to well when I watch a particularly moving (happy or sad film). When I saw The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in theatres I sat down while Annie Lennox sang over the credits and bawled. Okay, I didn't actually bawl - but it was not pretty. On the topic of The Lord of the Rings I once watched the three films consecutively one day. That was quite good, actually.
4. I don't why, but even though my mother is moderately strict in  regards to every thing else she's never cared to have any input on my movie choices, so I've never been one of those children banned from watching R rated films on TV. I suppose that can account for my wharped mind. I think the first R movie I saw was The Grifters or Dangerous Liaisons (incidentally, both are films from Stephen Frears) and yes - I probably wasn't ready at age ten...but I'm always been a man before time. Ha.
3. Even though I've become moderately disillusioned as to their purpose, I have a great desire to win an Oscar. I would gladly trade body parts, friends or family for one. You think with all this wanton desire I'd have at least imagined a proper speech, but no - I have not.Whatever it is I want it to be a memorable. one Perhaps I'll pull a Hitchock and just say "Thank you", but there's so much opportunity that comes with moment, I'm not sure I'd want to squander it...they would probably have to drag me off stage.
2. I don't like Citizen Kane. My first introduction to Orson Welles was his production of Macbeth, which I loathed. After hearing the vociferous praise for his Citizen Kane I ventured to watch and was no fan. There are times when I hate it, though I'll admit it's not a bad movie...I still don't like it though. I know this is supposed to blasphemous statement and all because it's the greatest film ever made blah, blah, blah. But I really couldn't be bothered. How Green Was My Valley gets so much crap today because of its "stolen" Oscar. The weird thing is, most of the people hating it haven't even seen it. Sigh.
1. I like to think that someday I'll grow up to become a screenwriter of some sort in the not so distance future and I have a tendency to imagine every thing I read as a potential screenplay. I actually wrote about 25 pages of adaptation on Anybody Can Do Anything. Naturally, it was not very good and I just stopped working on it. One of these good days I'll probably get started on writing a real screenplay...hopefully.
Okay, so that was something pedestrian...I have to nominate five people so ummmm...who would I like to hear do some pointless writing...?
Jose of Movies Kick Ass; Luke of Journalistic Skepticism; Anahita of My Life In Film; Film Intel and Walter of The Silver Screening Room...
If I didn't tag you it doesn't mean I don't like to hear your nostalgic waxing too. Movie Memes are a renewable resource, so there's enough of it to pass around. Do your worst.


Simon said...

I'm not one for Citizen Kane doesn't age very well, I think.

Robert said...

I third the Citizen Kane disdain. Not as good as "Valley"! And I too really want to win an Oscar...or write a screenplay. Or both. Haha

Jose said...

I'm not good on memes but it's cool to learn more about you.
I think it's terrific that your parents never hid sex and violence from you.
My parents were just like that with me, my dad got me Fellini, Pasolini, Scorsese and all those guys from the time I was 9 and it's the one thing I will always thank him for.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

1 - Me too! I confess, I've stopped reading books that I consider to be unadaptable.
2 - I LOVE Citizen Kane, and I really like his Macbeth! But I do *not* talk shit about How Green Was My Valley, because I've not seen it. All I know is that there are Irishman and it was Frasier Crane's favorite movie.
3 - WHAT? I practice my speech once a week!
4 - If only I were so lucky...
5 - I effin' BAWL at movies. Constantly.
6 - I've only seen Bringing Up Baby. I feel like I've committed a cardinal sin.
7 - Love them both, though I really don't like Saving Private Ryan at all.
8 - Never seen a Bollywood film. One of my good friends is a huge Bollywood buff, so I should probs talk to them about expanding my knowledge.
9 - I do love Branagh and Zeffirelli, more than Olivier. I think Branagh's the best, though Glenn Close's Gertrude is pretty cool.
10 - See, I don't think I'd have an interest in movies if it wasn't for my family. My oldest sister owns Hollywood Babylon and several bios of Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe.

I take you up on the meme. Look for it soon!

Mike Lippert said...

I'm not a huge Hitchcock lover either insomuch as I don't really want to watch his filmsover and over again. I see them and that's enough. Rear Window and Psycho are exceptions. Good list. Very informative.

Alex in Movieland said...

I feel guilty of waking up the Citizen Kane hatred in you due to my How Green Was My Valley post. :)

I haven't seen Kane in yeeeeeears, but still remember it as a fiiiiiine movie.

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

My parents never much cared about "sheltering" me from R-rated movies; in fact, I saw a whole bunch of them WITH my mother. It became a bonding thing during my really awkward teen years, and so movie theaters are a happy place for me.

Movies are the only time I cry in public. In real life I rarely tear up, but movies can do that to me. The saddest one I've ever seen was "The Stoning of Soraya M.," which had be sobbing, truly sobbing, for the last 40 minutes.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

robert, simon citizen kane doubters unite.

jose so jealous. your father sounds VERY cool.

walter i definitely single out glenn as the best gertrude.

mike glad i'm not alone on that.

alex hee. don't be, even if you are guilty.

m. carter i figure the whole crying in movies thing is more than a little cathartic.