Big thanks to Berto for nominating MMC! for its second Liebster Award! Berto’s 24 Masterpieces Per Second: A Blog About Film Appreciation is an insightful blog providing interpretations and analyses about a wide variety of filmic subjects, engaging in the sort of passionate and invested discussions that do justice to the term “critic” and make film reviewing a meritorious effort.
(Note: Berto has recently stopped writing reviews, and while I don’t necessarily agree with the reasons for doing so, I definitely admire the thought, accountability, and self-criticism that went into that choice. If Berto has a change of heart on this point, I’ll be happy to read those reviews!)
Liebster rules, once again, are:
- Thank the blogger(s) that nominated you;
- Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you;
- Nominate up to 11 bloggers of your own choosing (
blogs should have fewer than 200 followers);
- Let the nominees know (in a comment) of their nomination;
- Give them 11 questions of their own.
So, on to Berto’s questions:
- What is your favorite post on your own blog, and why? I’m most proud of the Top Ten list I wrote for last year’s Criterion Blogathon. Despite the fact that I only tangentially touch upon Criterion Collection titles with MMC!, I’m a big fan of the label and do consider this blog to be a “Criterion blog.” Writing that Top Ten let me interact directly with the Collection and I agonized over what titles I chose. It also let me approach these films on a somewhat more personal level, and I appreciated the opportunity to do that as well.
- What is your favorite film franchise, and what about it makes you drawn to it? As I sat with my brow furrowed over this question, my wife asked me about the movies with “the friendly idiot.” She was referring to the Tora-san series which I love for its melancholy sense of unrequited love, its goofy main character, and its unmatched, 25-year, 48-film run with virtually the same cast throughout.
- What do you look at when reviewing a film? and if you don’t, why not? I look at whatever I can get my hands on. I don’t care about spoilers and I’m open to any insight that can be brought to a movie. To me, a film should stand up whether you know nothing or everything about it, and the medium is so dynamic that you should never really know everything about any film.
- Have you ever read a book or played a game which you wanted to watch on film, and what was it? I’ll pick one of each. I really enjoyed Jim Munroe’s book Angry Young Spaceman which takes the experience of traveling abroad to teach English and transports it into a sci-fi context by having its main character travel to an underwater planet to do the same. It’s a story that could be told in many different ways and has the opportunity of having touching and insightful social commentary regardless of its form or style. With regard to a game, I’m hopeful that Disney acquired the rights to LucasArts’ Grim Fandango and that this story of Aztec noir in the Land of the Dead might return once again.
- Not many films should be remade, but which one do you think undoubtedly should? I’d like to see Wes Anderson reimagine Federico Fellini’s 8½ (1963). I miss the emotional rawness of Anderson’s early work and think a movie about making a movie would let him maintain his world of hyper-artifice but engage it from a different perspective. Said differently, I’d like to see Anderson adapt his American Express commercial into a feature-length film.
- Name one of the films which you think is highly overrated, and why. I think Bob Rafaelson’s Five Easy Pieces (1970) and films like it may have tapped into a general sentiment of alienation and frustration at their time, but I don’t think that perspective is easily relatable for those who didn’t live through it. Today, for me, these films look anachronistic at best and misguided at worst.
- Name one film you feel is highly underrated. I’ll say it again – while Gus Van Sant periodically makes some stinkers, I think his Psycho (1998) is too audacious and he is too intelligent of a filmmaker to simply be written off. I think the same could be said of Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain (2006), a film whose treatment of cause-and-effect and whose narrative structure get assessed in the least inspiring ways.
- Who’s your favorite director, and what makes their work special to you? I’m on the record as being a gigantic Kihachi Okamoto fan. I love Japanese cinema and adore the way Okamoto can alight between thrills, sadness, and laugh out loud humour. If the Criterion Collection could give more of any one director, it would have to be Okamoto.
- What’s your favorite thing about blogging? Searching for new films and learning new things.
- When you finish this, what are you going to watch next? I’m working my way though the Penny Dreadul television series, so that seems like a likely candidate. That, or Pardon the Interruption.
- If you were a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude, which dude would you be? I suppose I would end up being Jack Black playing Mexican deacon Ignacio disguised as the masked luchador Nacho in Nacho Libre (Jared Hess, 2006).
My nominees are bloggers I’ve regularly read for a while now and bloggers I’ve just discovered. Probably all have followings too wide for a Liebster, but I’m in charge here. The nominees are:
- Silver Screenings – Blogathon titan and classic cinema dynamo!
- Christina Wehner – Classic movie devotee, music maven, and literary lion-tamer!
- B Noir Detour – Film noir aficionado and Gilda admirer!
- Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies – Blog titling at its best!
- Criterion Blues – Power podcaster returned to blogging by René Laloux’s Fantastic Planet (1973)!
- Goosepimply All Over – Quivering with classic Hollywood excitement!
Last but not least, are the questions:
- What do you pick up at the theatre’s concession stand before going in to see your movie?
- What upcoming release are you most excited about? Why?
- What older film would you most like the opportunity to see on the big screen? Why?
- What’s your favourite movie trailer?
- What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
- What era of cinema would you most like to have witnessed firsthand?
- Who’s your favourite film critic?
- What was your most recent film disappointment?
- What was your most recent film surprise?
- Which bear is best?
- And once again, if your life had narration, who would you want to provide it?
As I said last time, I hope the nominees don’t mind being nominated and the questions being provided. Cheers!