Considering it’s my fourth go-round with the Liebster Award, you’d think it’s become old hat, but I’m still awed and humbled that anyone’s paying attention to this little ‘ol blog. Words can’t adequately express my sincere gratitude to Michaël Parent, proprietor of the eclectic movie site, LeMot du Cinephiliaque, and the multi-talented Vern (aka: Jason Hemming), of The Vern’s VideoVortex for nominating me.
I decided to do things a little differently this time with my nominations. I realize that some folks regard the Liebster and similar awards as the blogging equivalent of a chain letter, albeit, without the horrifying consequences. Therefore, there are no rules, no tasks, or questions to answer. To everyone listed below, feel free to bask in your moment of glory with no strings attached.
Here are my answers to Mr. Parent’s questions:
- What is your best film related memory?
In the mid-80s, I was lucky enough to attend a special screening of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure at Burbank Studios, the same location where Pee-Wee’s climactic bike chase scene was shot. It was a truly surreal moment when reality and fiction collided, and a genuine moment of cinematic serendipity.
- Citizen Kane or How Green Was My Valley? Why?
I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t seen How Green Was My Valley, yet, so I’ll have to abstain from judging.
- Frank Capra or Howard Hawks? Why?
Both filmmakers made movies that are among my favorites, so I’m calling it a tie. Capra wins points for capturing my heart in It’s a Wonderful Life and Lost Horizon, and Hawks scores for engaging my brain in The Big Sleep (watch for my review in November… maybe).
- What is your favorite movie genre?
I’ve never minced words about my undying love of science fiction and horror, but it’s important to note some of my all-time favorites fall into neither of these categories. Some of my best experiences have been with films that crossed over multiple genres.
- Do you give much importance to lists like AFI’s 100s, the Sight and Sound’s Top 10, etc…?
Not really. My problem with many of these lists is how the arbitrary opinions of “experts” obligate me to like a film, whether I actually enjoyed it or not. Because someone deemed certain films culturally and/or artistically significant, there’s the implication that there’s something wrong with my evaluation if I didn’t care for a particular title. I’m not opposed to referring to these lists as a rough guide, and they can be a terrific gateway to exploring new cinematic territories, but to adhere to these lists as canon seems constraining at best, and borderline obsessive-compulsive at worst.
- Is your daytime job related to films in any means?
Nope, and I’m thankful for that. Movies (and by extension, writing about movies) have always been an escape for me, and it’s great to come home after a particularly stressful day and immerse myself in my passion.
- How long have you been blogging about films and what keeps you going at it?
I’m not sure where the time went, but October will mark my fifth (!) year with Cinematic Catharsis, blogging about the sort of movies I enjoy the most. Everyone loves to get positive feedback, but the comments that resonate the most are when someone states they need to check out a movie, based on my write-up. That never gets old.
- What would be the movie that could define you? Why?
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension. The title character is a neurosurgeon, rock star, international crime fighter and fearless adventurer. I don’t think I’ve quite reached those lofty heights, but it’s a worthy goal.
- Name a celebrity that could be your doppelganger?
When I was about 19, and in the hospital, a nurse once remarked that I looked like Matthew Broderick. I can’t confirm or deny this, since I was under heavy anesthesia at the time, and only learned about this second-hand from my mother.
- What it the best film you’ve watched lately?
Ex Machina. Featuring fine performances, a thought-provoking story, and impressive visuals, it left me contemplating how our days as Earth’s dominant intelligence are numbered.
- Recommend a movie that almost no one has ever seen and that should be more recognized.
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. I reviewed this forgotten gem a few years ago, and I consider it a timeless classic. The whimsical designs, song lyrics and dialogue were credited to Dr. Seuss, and the film remains the best live action realization of his work. Inexplicably, it was shunned by its creator and the greater movie-going public. It’s a remarkable achievement, nonetheless.
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