Sunday, August 12, 2012

One Small Step for Movie Blogs, One Giant Liebster for Cinematic Catharsis!

I’d like to start out by apologizing to NASA and Neil Armstrong for that terrible pun, and give a much-deserved shout out to Michaël Parent from Le Mot du Cinephiliaque for selecting me for my second Liebster Award!  This new incarnation of the Liebster Award has been making the rounds, and I’m thrilled to be a recipient.  It’s always fun to write about movies, but it’s also great to be recognized by one’s peers.

So, here are the rules (in slightly modified form):

1.  Each person must post 11 facts about themselves.

2.  Answer the 11 questions the person who has given the award has set for you.

3.  Create 11 questions for the people you are giving the award to.

4.  Choose 11 people and send them a link to your post (Participation is strictly optional).

5.  Go to their page and tell them.

11 Facts About Me

I still have my old laserdisc collection, and occasionally start up the old player to play a title or two.

I hold a master’s degree in Counseling, and bachelor’s degrees in English and Psychology.

I worked in a mom and pop video store during my initial college years in suburban Los Angeles, back in the days when VHS was king.

I’m an avid fan of rollercoasters, and love to ride them whenever I get the chance.

I’ve been married 19 ½ years to my wonderful wife Nancy, whom I met while working at the above referenced video store.

I didn’t become a coffee drinker until I was 35, but it’s become an indispensable component of juggling my daily regimen: raising a family, working full time, and blogging (in that order).

My favorite author is Joe Lansdale – Hopefully, a suitably intrepid and talented filmmaker will someday bring his superlative novels The Bottoms or A Fine Dark Line to the big screen.

I prefer rainy days to sunny days.

I hope to get to Tokyo one day, so I can visit the Studio Ghibli Museum.

I worked on a TV show as a transcriber for two days before quitting due to tedium.

11 Questions Asked

1. What is your real name?

Barry Polin – and no, I don’t resemble a bald Peter Lorre from Mad Love.

2. How many movies do you watch every week?

Roughly 6 to 10 per week.

3. Black and white or color films?

I love them both.  Yeah, I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but I think they both have their relative merits.  Having worked with black and white film in my high school photography courses, I came to appreciate the subtle gradations of light and dark and the timeless nature of the medium.  Color has the definite advantage when it comes to animation (with Persepolis being a notable exception), and food just appears more appetizing.

4. What is the best film you watched recently?

Martin Scorsese’s gorgeous love letter to pioneering filmmaker Georges Méliès, Hugo

5. Your best movie watching experience (movie, context)?

One of my most surreal experiences was attending a screening of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure on the Warner Bros./Burbank Studios lot in the mid-80s – the same place, coincidentally, where the climactic chase scene in the movie occurs.

6. Do you watch movies alone or with friends, life partner, your pet?

All of the above.  If I watch a film with commentary, it’s usually alone, but during the first pass, depending on the subject matter, I’ll usually watch it with my wife and/or kids.  And for late-night movie watching, it’s usually my trusty dog Copper who’s by my side.

7. Which film opened the door to be a serious movie watcher?

Hmmm… That’s a tough one.  I believe that many of the movies I watched as a kid had a cumulative effect.  I think it would have to be 2001: A Space Odyssey, because it wasn’t as immediately likable or accessible as Star Wars (Episode IV to you young ‘uns out there).  It was so visually and thematically dense that it couldn’t possibly be absorbed in one pass, and opened itself to re-interpretation over the years.

8. What is the film you could watch every day for the rest of your life?

Wow.  It’s hard to single out just one, but it’s tough to beat Forbidden Planet for pure enjoyment.

9. Who’s your favorite director?

Stanley Kubrick has to be at the top of my list.  Although each of his movies carries his signature style, he could never be accused of making the same movie twice.  His films will be analyzed, discussed, and puzzled over for centuries to come.

10. Take a guess, what will be the next Best Picture Oscar Winner?

I’m usually a year behind with my movie watching, so that’s a roundabout way of saying that I’m not sure.

11. You have to save one film because we have to delete the entire History of Cinema. What will you save?

Oh, the pressure!  While there were dozens of other worthy choices, I’d have to go with 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Admittedly, it’s a little thin in the dialogue department, but its stunning visuals and lofty themes never fail to impress.  Although the titular date has already passed, the film still stands as a meditation on humankind’s potential (if we manage not to do ourselves in first).

11 Blogs That I’m Passing This On To (Should they wish to accept):

Questions for 11 of my fellow bloggers:

Why did you decide to become a movie blogger?

What do you consider to be one of the most underrated films?

Do you have a favorite author? 

When you’re not watching movies, what do you like to do?

3D: Is it just an expensive fad, or is it here to stay?

What’s your favorite movie venue?

What movie (if any) deserves a sequel?

Favorite movie line?

Have “found footage” movies run their course?

Are there any movies that you really enjoy that you’ve failed to convince others to see?

Have there been any films that you considered unwatchable?


  1. I enjoyed reading this post. We have several things in common. We seem to be about the same age, and I also have a master's in counseling.

    I really enjoyed Hugo, too. It was so beautiful, and it really captured that sense of child-like wonder that early cinema must have inspired.

    1. Thanks for stopping by to read my blog, Stephanie! I had a lot of fun writing this post. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Thanks so much for the award. I appreciate it. Will try to have my responses done later this week

  3. Hey! Awesome! Thanks! Good questions. I'll try and get to them.

    1. My pleasure! Looking forward to reading your answers.

  4. Thanks again Barry, really appreciate that! I put your blog to my Brilliant Blogs sidebar :)