Sunday, March 25, 2007

Friends of the Experience #8

The unexpected gift of this fundraiser month (for me at least) has been getting to know the readers. I hope you're also enjoying the favorite movie / actor reveals. There'll be one more "friends of the experience" wrap up post after this so if you want to be featured and you've been meaning to donate --now's the time. This, you see, is like those annoying fundraisers on PBS: it will eventually end ...on Friday to be exact. I'm almost done with my meedy street urchin Oliver moment.

Please sir, I want some more

In April you can expect to see several new reviews that were requested during this drive. Now, let's get to round of thank-yous!


David, a devotee of Kate Winslet (aren't we all?), runs the blog Victim of the Time. He writes
Mulholland Drive is probably my favourite film (although how to choose?) and definitely the film that opened up the doors to my obsession. I just find it all so intoxicating- Naomi Watts' masterful, alarming performance; 'Club Silencio' (which ALWAYS makes me cry); Ann Miller's last appearance... just everything about it is fascinating and haunting. I particularly love the opening- it's so beautifully photographed, yet so creepy, as the limo goes down the road with Badalamenti's music over the top... just effortlessly sets the tone, I think. It's a stunning experience every time.

I'm so excited for INLAND EMPIRE this week that I literally bounced around the room when I found out my cinema was showing it.
Since sending me this e-mail David has seen Lynch's latest and he's still bouncing. Good show.


Scott of the popculture-centric Australian blog Scott 2 B Certain raved to me about two sun-related titles from 2004 (Eternal Sunshine and Before Sunset) both of which are clearly favorites of the readership at large. (And both were Best Picture nominees at my annual Film Bitch Awards) He can't quite choose a new film as the "all time" favorite, though.
In 'all-time' terms, I can't go past Hitchcock, and in particular Psycho. There is so much that is stunning and memorable about this film: its promotion (latecomers forbidden to enter by film ushers); its iconic Hermann score; its fragmented, symbolic opening credits; its early disposal of a lead character; Janet Leigh's detailed, layered performance, with so much hinging on her eyes; and the final, mindblowing reveal. It's as close to perfection, in my opinion, as he ever came.
When people ask me what my favorite Hitchcock is I usually respond with a Rear Window or a Notorious .... but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I think of Psycho most often. So perhaps I've been unintentionally lying all these years. I've written about that masterpiece a few times, if indirectly, but it'll be placing quite high in my personal canon project (which will resume this coming week. Promise)


Chris over the pond in England has been reading The Film Experience for years and he's also devoted to Hitchcock
I have deep feelings of love for Amelie and Lost in Translation, but worship at the alter of Rear Window. The perfect film: flawless cast, amazing script, brilliant cinematography, stunning set, fabulous costumes and great music. Grace Kelly is breathtaking, the perfect Hitchcock blonde. She has my eternal devotion along with Patricia Clarkson, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet (give her an Oscar now you mean Academy members) and of course Meryl Streep.
Clearly Chris has good taste in both auteurs and blonde goddesses, give or take Grace Kelly The Thief of Judy Garland's Oscar!

I kid with Chris. The more readers I hear from the more I am reminded that my feelings for Grace Kelly are not shared by the populace at large...nor even rational. Damn those Oscars! They poison me.


Krista in Missouri is a girl after my own heart. She can't make up her mind! She triples her answer for favorite movie ever...
For drama: The Deerhunter. It is one of those movies that had me captivated from the first moment. De Niro, Streep, and Walken are brilliant. For comedy: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I often wish that a comedy of this caliber could be made today. Each time I watch it, I pick up something new. And last, my sentimental favorite: The Wizard of Oz. Trite, I know, but it is one of those movies just etched in my memory. I played the role of the Mayor of Munchkin City when I was 10, and I know every song, every line, every time Judy Garland's hair changes in length.

There is nothing trite about loving The Wizard of Oz, Krista. It's perfect. Flaws? Begone! They have no power here. I'll readily admit, though, that I don't know every line in that grand entertainment. I'm often jealous of the average movie buffs ability to memorize lines. I am terrible at this for some reason. Maybe I see too many movies? Maybe my head is too clogged with Oscar facts to find room for huge swaths of dialogue, too?

Questions For Comments
What's your favorite Hitchcock?
How good are you at reciting movies line for line? (hint: you're better than me)

23 comments:

adam k. said...

I hope I can remember lines from movies. Since I try to be an actor and all. I usually don't realize how well I know all the lines from a given film until I'm watching it again and I just find myself saying every line of dialogue along with the actors.

I actually have learned a LOT of Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story this week. I leave it on way too much.

I also don't understand my own or anyone else's deep love for The Wizard of Oz. It's one of my favorites, but I can't really place why I love it so. I know people who HATE it. It does seem to have flaws... I think it's just everyone's sentimental favorite...

NATHANIEL R said...

no flaws!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I often go back and forth on my favorite Hitchcock. I, personally, think North by Northwest really epitomizes what Hitchcock was about, and if I were introducing a movie goer to him I would certainly reccomend that for it's thrilling setpieces, charm, humor, and Cary Grant. However, his best film in terms of artistic quality is, without a doubt, Vertigo. It's one of a kind. I'd be interested to know which post-Birds Hitchcock movie is everyone's favorite. They're all a little cheesy but I have to say Marnie is wonderfully melodramatic and fun.

Agustin said...

I played the Munchkin's City Coroner!! ¨As coroner, i must aver, i've thoroughly examined her, and she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead!!!¨
The Wizard of Oz is probably one of my prefered sentimental movies, I don't get tired EVER, and those who hate just don't get it.. they probably enjoy Mario and Luigis Movie more than this one.

adam k. said...

Whoa, Nat.

Yikes.

JA said...

I just caught a few minutes of To Catch a Thief on TV and it just reminded me that I think Grace Kelly was the most beautiful woman ever filmed. She takes my breath away. Rear Window might be my favorite movie ever, so it's def. my fave Hitch. But I have such deep love for Vertigo, Pyscho, Notorious... I could list 20 more.

Beau said...

Rear Window. Though I definetely have a soft spot for Vertigo, Psycho and yes, The Birds.

And, as a direct result of its profound ability to assist one's struggle through the arduous years of puberty, I can recite 'The Breakfast Club' line by line.

Sickening, I know. But I adore it.

Aaron said...

The one movie I find I can quote is All About Eve, but there aren't many more. Eve just has so many quotable lines.

Anonymous said...

Favorite Hitchcock = Shadow of a Doubt

Scott said...

I know I'm not alone in being able to recite the film "Clue" line for line. Has there ever been a more gloriously camp, quotable film?

"Men should be like Kleenex - soft, strong and disposable"

"Yes - I killed Yvette. I hated her sooo much - it was - it - flames, fla- flames, flames, on the side of my face..."

"'ow do we do zis? Ze knife will go furzer into 'er back"

Kamikaze Camel said...

"They're all a little cheesy but I have to say Marnie is wonderfully melodramatic and fun."

I didn't like Marnie as much as his earlier films, but I covet the scene where on one half Marnie is trying to steal the money from the safe while on the other half (but no split screen) the cleaning woman is getting closer and closer.

In terms of all time Hitchcock, my mind always goes to four specific titles. In order of worship, Psycho, Rear Window, The 39 Steps and The Birds. And then, of course, there are titles like North by Northwest, Rebecca, The Lady Vanishes, Vertigo, Notorious... it never ends with Hitchcock.

In terms of quotables. I'm not that great quoting obscure stuff. I wish I was. But I always screw it up and then I hate myself.

crazycris said...

Hehe! I probably know too many lines from too many movies for my own good! ;) A favourite which just popped in my mind is The Princess Bride "Inconceivable!" "My name is Iñigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!"
And once upon a time (while sleeping out under the stars and over the waves, so feeling goofy!) my sisters and I recited 2/3 of The Lion King to each other, particular voice intonations and songs included! :)

And I must sadly admit to not having seen too many Hitchcock movies... I'd have to say my favourite is The Birds. I don't remember exactly when I watched, 15 years ago or so? But it scared the hell out of me and made me wary about seeing other Hitchock films... (and large clouds of birds)

JS said...

"no flaws!!!!!!!!"

Nath is doing a Crawford. .-.

First Hitchcock Memory: Psycho & The Birds
Favorite Hitchcock: The Lady Vanishes
Most Memorable Hitchcock: Frenzy

Michael Parsons said...

My favourite Hitchcock has to be The Birds. That last scene as the car drives down the road and the birds are perched all around never fails to send a shudder. why, because unlike most modern day thrillers/horrors the reason for the birds sudden attack on man is never ever explained. Risky film making. Nothing is more unnerving and scary than the unexplained. Also the lack of soundtrack allows the imagery (that scene when she is sitting in the playground and the birds being to multiply around her) to speak volumes.

As for movies I can recite line for line, well there are many. Truth or Dare, The Color Purple, Steel Magnolias and one of my ole time favourites...Clue "Husbands should be like kleenex, soft, strong and disposable"

mistyh92104 said...

I love every Hitchcock mentioned above and will add Strangers on a Train to the list.

Adam P. said...

I second the love for Mulholland Drive. Everything about it is fascinating and haunting. I'd mention the Club Silencio scene as well as Naomi Watt's audition scene and the dinner party as some of the most oddly affecting scenes I've ever seen. I'm now a Lynch fanatic, and that was the film that introduced me. As he mentioned, never have I become obsessed with a film in that way, and I hope to do the very same thing with Inland Empire in a couple weeks when it finally opens. I find myself constantly having to explain my love of Lynch's work to people, but I think Mulholland Drive speaks for itself.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I'm pretty good at reciting Scream 1 and 2. I should be. I've seen them more times than... well, it's a lot.

I reckon I'd do pretty good at Mulholland Drive, too.

Ivan L said...

Geez...It's so hard to pick a favorite Hitchcock...I'd have to say Psycho is my favorite...but North by Northwest, Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Shadow of a Doubt, Vertigo, and Rebecca are also high up on my list.

A couple of more obscure Hitchcock films also amazed me. His first movie, The Lodger, which was a silent film is pretty amazing. Also, I was blown away by "Breakdown" which was one of the episodes he directed on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents". Its about this man who gets into a car accident and becomes completely paralyzed. People keep coming by and they think he's dead because he can't communicate. The man is played by Joseph Cotten who is brilliant in this.

As far as quoting movies...I find that I do quote tons of movies...especially Tarantino. I can quote pretty much any line from Pulp Fiction.

Damian said...

I don't know how I managed to miss the first few of these, but I'd love to participate. It sounds like fun. :)

My favorite Hitchcock film is Psycho. I never tire of watching that film. My all-time favorite film is Schindler's List. Oh, and I have been blessed with a remarkable memory. There are several films which I can recite word-for-word (including Back to the Future, the first movie I ever memorized).

Neel Mehta said...

Interesting tandem of questions.

Rebecca is the finest film ever made, but I can't quote it. My skills there veer toward Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

NATHANIEL R said...

crazycris --i saw Mandy Patinkin in concert and he did that line for the crowd (complete with mock sword holding poses)

ivan l --is your best actress ballot showing correct on my contestant page? I got two different ivan l's and one of them had a problem with the ballot but i hadn't heard back...

michael parsons --i CAN actually quote big chunks of Truth of Dare. it's one of the only films which I can. But this is probably because I lived with another madonna fanatic in college, dated another madonna fanatic at the same time, and most of my other friends also loved the movie so it might've been easier for me to memorize since everyone around me was helping out ;)

ivan L said...

Nat, my ballot looks fine. Unless of course I lose, then it looks terrible.

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