Thank you kindly, guys!!
What’s a Liebster award? It’s an Internet tradition, a fun way for bloggers to welcome each other into the online community as well as help other people discover interesting blogs. When you receive a Liebster, you:
(a) Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you;
(b) Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself; and
(c) Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the award, and give them 11 questions to answer on their blogs when they post their nominations.
So I’ll start with Steve’s questions:
1. “All-time favorite movie” is too tough. What is your favorite genre, and what is your all-time favorite movie in that genre? Gee, I wonder! *wink* “Silent,” even though the era itself is composed of a lot of genres. My favorite genre within the silent era? Comedy (now that’s easy!). My favorite silent overall is probably True Heart Susie (1919), starring Lillian Gish and Bobby Harron.
2. “Theatrical” is too easy. What’s your all-time favorite TV-movie? A Muppet Family Christmas. My mom taped it for me when I was a toddler, and I grew up with that same exact VHS tape, all those old commercials intact!
3. The Great Movie Genie is allowing you to permanently change the ending of one movie. Which one do you choose, and why? Chaplin’s The Circus (1928). The ending has always struck me as being abrupt and unsatisfying. Not that we needed a happier ending–that scene with the departing circus wagons is lovely–but more build up or something would be great.
4. You’re the latest heinie-kissing Hollywood exec, slavishly following trends. Which movie, good or bad, would you like to sequelize or remake? Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. The best part of the whole stupid (stupid) thing was the flashback in the beginning with the adorable young Alice and all the familiar Wonderland creatures. The whole film should’ve been like that scene–just quirky Lewis Carroll randomness mixed with Tim Burton’s unique visuals. And no ridiculous “battle for Underland” plot and no Alice in a freaking suit of armor, please.
5. Name the movie whose screening you’d like to co-host on TCM with Ben Mankiewicz. Probably Way Down East (1920). I want to able to explain why the film was supposed to be deliberately old-fashioned, like an homage. Most people take the whole thing at face value, thinking it’s an example of those supposedly silly “Victorian” silent films. Not so.
6. Describe your most memorable movie occasion — not necessarily your favorite film, but a movie you enjoyed with friends, one that evoked a particular memory, etc. No contest, that would be the first time I saw Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). My dad and I saw it together. We’d been familiar with Tolkien’s world before seeing it, but not overly familiar, so in a sense we saw it “cold.” The epic story, with its contrast of ultimate peace and beauty and ultimate ugliness and violence, and that stunning Howard Shore soundtrack, completely carried us away. I left the theater in a daze. The next two films were equally moving. To this day, I’ve never seen a movie that has affected me quite like those did. And you see, since my dad died a few years ago, those movies are now even more special to me. Me and my dad will always have Lord of the Rings.
7. What is your favorite line of movie dialogue? “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Because, darn it, it’s true!
8. Why are movies special to you? Sometimes it’s because of their time and place, sometimes it’s because they carry me away, and often it’s because they were with me when I was growing up and are pretty much part of the fiber of my being.
9. What do you enjoy most about blogging? Several things: sharing thoughts on a genre that continually fascinates me, figuring out entertaining ways to cover difficult or dull topics, and getting that wonderful rush that comes from someone who appreciates the info!
10. What is your favorite book about movies? Roger Ebert’s Great Movies. He introduced me to so many amazing films, and his writing showed me that film could–and should–be appreciated for the art form it is. I miss Roger.
11. You have your favorite movie actor or actress to yourself for 24 hours to do with what you will. Name, please. Oh good heavens. Okay, most likely Buster Keaton. Hear me out, now: Buster was an outdoorsman, and I’ve heard tell that he enjoyed a wild duck dinner. I, too, am descended from outdoorsmen and grew up eating wild duck, pheasant, etc. I have an amazing recipe concocted by my dad. With it, I wish to make Buster Keaton THE BEST WILD DUCK DINNER OF HIS LIFE. He would never want to leave!!
And now for Caftan Woman’s questions!
1. What is your favourite book? Probably Steinbeck’s magnificent The Grapes of Wrath. That’s a tough one, though!
2. Who is your desert island director? Why? Buster, since it would be mighty hard to get tired of perfect films. 😉
3. If you had a choice, would you live in the past or the future? The past. The late 19th century, or perhaps the early 20th century in particular, has always seemed like a nice fit for me. The thought of living in the future is too depressing–you’d see how all your familiar places have changed or disappeared, for instance.
4. Who is your favourite performer to lip-sync to? Björk! I love her avant-garde insanity and powerful, delicate voice–it’s so Björk.
5. Cats, dogs or lizards? Fuzzy kitty-wittys, although I love dogs too and even have a liking for lizards!
6. Where do you get the majority of your news? Print? Television? Online? Online, thanks to a variety of different sites, perused at breakfast time. It’s nice to get a newspaper now and then, though.
7. Which juror are you in 12 Angry Men? Hmmm, maybe the 6th juror because I, too, would be happy to be off work for awhile!
8. Your favourite holiday? Why? Christmas! The decorations, the gift shopping, the holiday decor in the malls, the lovely Christmas Eve Mass, the cinnamon, the pine-scented candles…all of it is just the best. And isn’t it cool that the dead of winter is when we have this beautiful, family-centered holiday?
9. Do you play a musical instrument? Sing? I took about 12 years of piano lessons–am probably best at playing classical music. And I love to sing, usually in the car! Broadway and film musical songs are my favorite to try to sing, and bluesy-type songs too although I don’t know very many and tend to make them up. 😀
10. What are the first three films you would induct into your personal Film Registry? Tol’able David, True Heart Susie, and The General.
11. Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi? Bela! Who can resist this: “Listen to them, cheeldren uff te night. What myooosic they make!”
And here’s 11 random facts about me:
1. I’m a native Minnesotan and have met way too many people who think Minnesota has snow all year round. *Laughs hysterically, then cries* Our lush green summers are often in the 80s and humid, and we crack 100F now and then!
2. I am Irish, English, German, French, Belgian, Swedish, and Polish.
3. “I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer–and what trees and seasons smelled like–how people looked and walked and smelled even The memory of odors is very rich.” John Steinbeck said this in East of Eden, in describing Salinas, CA, but it fits how I think of MN.
4. People who have influenced me include: Laura Ingalls Wilder, C.S.Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, John Steinbeck, Buster Keaton, and Roger Ebert.
5. I love winter. The low light, how clean the air is, how it smells…and nothing feels more refreshing than a nice long walk while breathing in clean cold air.
6. My favorite bands/musicians include: Fleet Foxes, Midlake, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Mumford and Sons, Björk, the Decemberists, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Enya.
7. I know several young women who have become nuns (I’m Roman Catholic). They are the happiest gals I know, always with a smile on their faces, always hopeful. Seeing those “frigid” caricatures of nuns in the media always saddens me.
8. Travelling is one of my passions; aside from roadtrippin’ through the U.S., so far I’ve been to much of Europe (including Liechtenstein!). Europe is one of my favorite things. The most exotic place I’ve managed to get to is Egypt–it was incredible, every detail was completely different from home. How have I done this? By living modestly (which suits me anyways) and saving, saving, saving! You can do it, too!!
9. One of my biggest pet peeves it when people complain about the weather. Not only can we not change it, but nowadays we live in snug houses that don’t have to heated with coal or allowed to swelter in the summertime–why complain?
10. I’ve had pet parakeets since I was about 10. My latest, Pepe, is blue and white with a yellow face and often likes to imitate sparrow calls. I keep his cage door open 24/7 so he can fly around the room whenever he likes, but he spends roughly 98% of his time in the comfy cage. Weirdo.
11. Silent film history has been invaluable to me–it’s not only helped me further appreciate film as an art form, but it’s made me appreciate history itself as something real, populated by real people. It’s given me perspective. I believe old films are the greatest history teaching tool mankind has ever had.
1. You are given the opportunity to make a movie. Money is no object. What’s it gonna be?
2. You have the choice between two superpowers: learning any language in seconds, or being able to fix any car problem instantly. You must choose!
3. Which three places/countries must you visit before you die?
4. You can go back in time to witness one historic event. Just one. What is it?
5. What is one very obscure or off-the-wall film you would recommend?
6. Which decade of film do you appreciate the most?
7. If someone handed you a million dollars, what frivolous thing would you buy first?
8. Which book do you wish you had written?
9. What are your three guilty pleasure movies?
10. What is the one tip you would give to a beginning blogger?
11. Okay, Keaton or Chaplin?
Have fun, guys!