The Multiplex Interview series has been missing in action for four weeks. But today it returns with a bang for a very special episode with Rich of FourFour fame. For Rich-deprived readers (please do something about this so we don't have to pity you any longer!), he rose to fame with a fresh combo of unexpected humor and near-psychic insight (he can crystallize thoughts you didn't even know you had. You're screaming "exactly" while you're laughing your ass off at a surprise element). Oh and those recaps for America's Next Top Model and Project Runway helped, too.
10 questions with Rich of FourFour
Nathaniel: How often do you go the movies?
Rich: I try to go every week, which basically makes me a failure. I haven't been since the week of July 4 (Superman Returns). I plan to change all that this weekend. Swear!
Nathaniel: What's the biggest draw for you --what or who will always get your ass in that seat?
Rich: Haha, sadly, the answer is awfulness. If I think something is going to be a large-scale disaster, I'm THERE. Alternately, Jay Hernandez's juicy butt is something I'd pay to see (even clothed) without question.
Nathaniel: Unfortunately both the ass and the Jay are underused. In what other areas do you feel Hollywood is utterly failing?
Rich: That's a hard question to answer because I don't really see things that way -- big-budget garbage is always going to be big-budget garbage. It's always going to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and it needs to be evaluated on that level (so, basically, I can use the term "garbage" affectionately). It's more the over-precious indie shit that gets under my skin because it at least has the capacity to turn out something other than treacly blubbering that tries waaaaay too hard to be quirky.
Oh, but one thing that I really, really do hate about Hollywood is PG-13 horror. If a horror movie is PG-13, you know that the gore is going to be lame and that it'll probably take itself way more seriously than it should. There's this whole holier-than-slasher mentality that's just detrimental to the horror industry, this farce of the thinking-person's horror, when most of it (like The Ring) is far stupider than any b-movie hack-'em-up. PG-13 is a horrible institution in general. I guess it at least lets you know that what you'll be experiencing is a watered-down version of what you COULD be experiencing.
Nathaniel: Don't get me started on the MPAA.
It warms the cockles of my heart whenever you post about Winston and Rudy. The love is palpable. I think cats get a bad rap in movies, always cast as villains. Not that they aren't diabolical creatures --anyway, do you have any favorite feline characters or moments from the movies?
Rich: Hm, even though my mother is completely shameless about her love for talking-animal movies, I'm proud to say that I didn't inherit that interest. I like the song "We Are Siamese" from Lady and the Tramp, though.
Nathaniel: On to another mutual obsession: Project Runway. Or, for our multiplex purposes here, "Project Runway: The Movie". Plot? Casting? What do you see...
Rich: I see a stark, sparse and mostly science experimental film about Heidi's psyche. It'd mostly be images of her posing and running through fields, but I could see various contestants swooping in from time to time. I wish Kubrick were alive to really make this the way it needs to be made.
I wouldn't alter casting one bit -- the established personalities are essential to the Project Runway concept.
Nathaniel: Kubrick would make it work. Ba-da-dum. I'll be here all week. So this interview is going to be posted during Scarlett Johansson Week. What do you make of her or Hollywood's fascination with her? --she's in everything.
Rich: I have nothing but love for Scarlett. I love Ghost World like I love a person, and I pretty much love everyone involved unconditionally (much like the way I hate pretty much everyone that was involved in Good Will Hunting unconditionally). She seems like a cool girl, and it's nice to see someone with a seemingly understated personality get attention, since, you know, it's almost always the tramp who screams the loudest.
Also, she has a great rack.
Nathaniel: I know. Who can blame Isaac Mizrahi for getting the grabsies? Scarlett aside, who are your favorite actors and actresses?
Rich: God, I feel stoned when answering these questions. I never think about these things. Well, rarely. Samantha Morton is probably my favorite working actress. I'd watch her sleep. Sharon Stone seems to adore chewing up cheap and nasty scenery, so props to her. Basically anyone in the whole Christopher Guest pool of talent is great -- I hasten to isolate any, as they're more powerful together as a machine. Comedic Voltron, they are (though as trite as it is for a gay man to say, Parker Posey really, really is worth watching no matter what). After Hustle & Flow, Terrence Howard will always have a place in my heart. Oh, and any of the Jacksons. They're always fun to watch play pretend, though it's usually not in movies.
Nathaniel: Good choices. But Rich, if you rarely think about these things in relation to movies, what do you find yourself thinking about (cinematically speaking)
Rich: I guess I do think about these things, but generally only in relation to the film at hand (i.e., do I believe/am I moved by the actor right now?). And then, I'm also just as concerned with theme and aesthetic. I guess I'm often thinking of the bigger picture, but not the bigger bigger picture in terms of how a given film applies to cinema overall. This means, for example, that I never come up with year-end Top 10 lists. There are exceptions to my inability to apply what I watch, of course (I think Mysterious Skin is a better asset to queer cinema than Brokeback Mountain), but I'm maybe less intellectual than I'd like to be.
Another thing that I look for is singularity -- is the movie saying something original and/or is the movie presenting what it has to say in an original way? There's so much noise in the world. I don't have much respect for those who readily join the chorus.
Nathaniel: Multiple Choice: Who would you most love to see hosting the Oscars? Tyra Banks, Bobby & Whitney, or Janice Dickinson?
Rich: This may be the toughest question I've ever been asked in my life. Not Janice -- I love her and all, but 30 minutes is too much of her, let alone a 3+ hour ceremony. I think I have to go with Tyra here -- while I'd love nothing more than to see Bobby and Whitney together onstage, you never know how huge of a trainwreck they're going to turn into. Their display could just end up being sad, more than anything. Tyra is just reliably stupid and goofy. She's a clown for our times and god damn it, I love her for that.
Nathaniel: They make a movie of your life. What's the title? Who plays you? What's the title? What's the rating?
Rich: I'd want a movie of my life to be a porno parody of a Miyazaki movie -- something equally sweet and nasty. Spirited A-Gay or Rich's Moving Penis. Since there'd be wall-to-wall sex, I think I'd have to elect to play myself -- if I've gotten to the point where someone wants to make a movie of my life, I think I've earned the right my own on-camera sex.
Nathaniel: Spirited A-Gay I love it. Thank you Rich.
Once again readers, check out Rich's deservedly popular blog "fourfour" You'll be addicted within a post or two.
Also in this interview series:
The Gilded Moose * Jay Lassiter * Dylan Meconis * Martha @ Cinematical * ultranow * fourfour * six things * Gallery of the Absurd * How to Learn Swedish in 1000 Difficult Lessons * Ron L'Infirmier * Thomas & Co.
Film Experience Greatest Hits (for newbies):
Far From Heaven vs. Brokeback Mountain * She's a Bitch (@ the Movies) * A History of... Sharon Stone
Tags: movies, cinema, fourfour, Janice Dickinson, film, Project Runway, Jay Hernandez, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Samantha Morton, Ghost World, Hayao Miyazaki, Mysterious Skin, Parker Posey, horror, Sharon Stone, Scarlett Johansson