The Sun Rises Again!

A big thank you to Tony Nash for nominating MMC! for a Sunshine Blogger Award! We’re coming to this honour lamentably late, having been in the throes of Fantasia International Film Festival screenings when Mr. Nash bestowed this lovely award on MMC! Tony’s blog, Movie Fan Man: Cinema Connoisseur, is always a good read (particularly if you love European genre cinema) and it is currently celebrating “Spagvemberfest!” – a 30-day celebration of the Spaghetti Western! MMC! is sincerely grateful for Tony’s support. Let’s hope we do some justice to his questions!

  1. Who was the first film director you became aware of? And what film did you first recognize that director’s style? It would be easy to act like a film snob and give another answer, but I must admit that I was a kid who loved Star Wars and so it was the series’ creator, George Lucas, who first came to my attention as a filmmaker. Ironically, it was seeing the early sequences of Return of the Jedi on the CBC, when the film kept its letterbox format before defaulting to a pan-and-scan justification, that I noted his hallmarks cribbed from Akira Kurosawa: the widescreen landscape, the wiped transitions, the contrast between good and evil. The awareness was doubly ironic as Richard Marquand directed Jedi, not Lucas, but Lucas’ design (with Marquand preserving that original style) was nevertheless noticed.
  2. HomerWho do you prefer: Homer Simpson or Sheldon Cooper? No question here: Homer Simpson. I usually find Sheldon insufferable – why aren’t there more episodes like “The Financial Permeability,” exploiting Sheldon’s personality tics as something admirable but misunderstood instead of insensitive and hurtful? More importantly, Sheldon has never said anything as memorable as “I thought the cop was a prostitute.”
  3. A director has asked you to do the casting for their adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None; who would you cast in what role and why? This is a great question and it makes me wish that I knew the roles. (Insert sad trombone music here.) Can I pick a bunch of dogs, dressed up like people and with those fake dog legs and feet holding things? My wife thinks that’s comedy gold.
  4. ElviraWho was the first actor or actress you had a crush on and why? I’m already on the record with my infatuation with Greer Garson, but she was far from my first movie crush. It might have been Carrie Fisher as Slave Leia, Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman in The Cannonball Run, or any number of the blonde actresses on our television flipping their feathered hair in prime-time – Heather Thomas, Markie Post, Cathy Lee Crosby, Farrah Fawcett. It’s hard to say, but I think the likeliest candidate might still be Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark.
  5. Which character would you like to be the sidekick of in a film or TV show: a Ronin Samurai, a Western Anti-Hero, a Cop who doesn’t play by the rules, or a Knight? I’m not a big fan of horses, Internal Affairs officers, or Medieval squalor, but I am a big fan of rice, blowing fields of tall grass, and tabi socks. No surprise for MMC! followers – I’m going with Japan and the Ronin!
  6. You’ve traveled back to Ancient Greece, the playwright Sophocles has asked you to replace an actor/actress in his production of Antigone who’s become ill/injured; depending on the major parts, do you accept or decline, and why? I feel like this is somehow a trick question, like I’m going to be sacrificed if I don’t perform well, that I might actually be blinded in the process, or that some unparalleled bounty might await me following a successful portrayal. I’m already feeling too much pressure. Maybe I’ll just snack on some figs in the audience.
  7. Name as many celebrities/famous historical people as you like that you wish you were related to. Maybe I’m overthinking this one too but aside from the prospect of inheriting bountiful wealth, I don’t really see the appeal of simply being related to someone. I think I’m good.
  8. Which film studio in Europe would you prefer to visit: Shepperton Studios in England or Cinecitta Studios in Rome? With all respect to Shepperton, I don’t think there is any match for the scale, the craftsmanship, and history of Cinecitta. Plus, it now has a theme park – Cinecitta World!
  9. Which literary figure would you like to see have a comeback in popularity: Robin Hood, Zorro, or the Scarlet Pimpernel? Having recently cited my love of Mexican content, I have to pick Zorro, although my tastes don’t tend to lean into these roguish, swashbuckler-style heroes.
  10. If you could open your own Film Museum or Drive-In, what kind of films would you like to show? With my varied tastes, I’d probably end up devoting different days to different tastes but if I had to pick one lane it would naturally be weird, cultish stuff: fantastic, laser-iffic wuxia; Turkish mockbusters, Quebecois kids films, Japanese oddities, low-budget creature features, Hungarian animation, found footage assemblages, Mexican rumberas and luchador films, Red Westerns and Easterns, and the scores of Italian genre categories.
  11. What do you like to pick at while watching a film: Popcorn or sweets? While it’s not like I never eat popcorn, it does get stuck in my teeth and so I often avoid it. Hence, you’ll usually find me picking at something chocolatey (or maybe some red licorice).

Big thanks once again to Tony Nash! Check out his own Sunshine Blogger post for some more kind words on MMC! and a truly great list of potential dinner companions picked from cinema history!

MMC! is still working on its final post inspired by this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. That post will be a Criterion Collection imagining and it’ll be a bit bigger in scope than our usual imagined editions (hence the lamentable delay in it arriving). Hopefully good things are to come and MMC! will try to bring a few posts of interest in the meantime.

2 thoughts on “The Sun Rises Again!

  1. moviefanman November 19, 2021 / 10:05 am

    Very nice MMC!, love it. Apologies if some of the questions were a little tricky, I was racking my brain with what hasn’t been asked before.

    • spinenumbered November 19, 2021 / 10:42 am

      Absolutely no apologies needed. I was just a bit outside my element on some questions but that’s due to my own lack of worldliness in those cases. Thanks again!

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