selenak: (Kate Hepburn by Misbegotten)
[personal profile] selenak
From [profile] vash11. Soon, the Munich Film Festival will be upon me, so I figured I'd better get this out first.


1.What’s the most depressing movie you’ve ever watched? Fassbinder's version of Effi Briest. I get what he was aiming at, but it lacks all the wit and vitality which Fontane's dialogues have, Hanna Schygulla is awful (and awfully static) in the title role, and you're not sad about Effi's ending, you're glad the bloody movie is finally over. Except I had to watch it several times, due to writing a paper about the various movie versions of Effi Briest.


2. What’s the most disturbing movie you’ve ever watched? Wellllll. Given I attended a seminar on propaganda movies, which included some of the vilest the Nazis have produced, the bar there is high, or rather, low. Mind you, some of those movies today would be hilariously ineffective, like Hitlerjunge Quex. (Except for one particular scene, in which Bad Communist Dad forces his Hitler Admiring Rebelling Teenage Son to sing the Internationale; he literally beats the kid into it, and since he's played by Heinrich George, until this point (1933) one of the most Weimar Republic famous actors of "proletarian" roles like Franz Biberkopf in Berlin Alexanderplatz, and one of the best German actors of his day, the casting is doubly effective. But other than that scene, the movie today would be laughed at even without knowledge as to who the Nazis were. Meanwhile, Jud Süß by Veit Harlan didn't get its infamous reputation for nothing. (Sinister trivia: young Michelangelo Antonioni wrote ecstatic praise of it after it was shown in Venice.) Harlan was a master of melodrama, the cast consisted of the top of the day (Heinrich George was in that one, too, playing the lecherous Duke), and it's every bit as evil in antisemitic propaganda as its reputation suggests. (Supposedly it was shown to concentration camp guards in preparation, but it's evil even if that's not true.) If it could be shown outside of teaching circumstances, no doubt it would still work on at least a part of the viewers.

However, it feels a bit cheating to name the most infamous German movie of all time, or maybe trivializing the Holocaust for a meme. So here are two alternate newer movie suggestions:

Hero, directed by Zhang Yimou. Breathtaking aesthetics. Vile central message: the suffering of the individual is no longer relevant when compared to the welfare of the community, which can only be achieved by a strong ruler, even if that ruler acts with incredible brutality to achieve his aims. No.

The Hateful Eight, directed by Quentin Tarantino. I am not easily squicked and have discovered I'm quite splatter tolerant if there is something in the tv show/movie which holds my attention otherwise; I mean, I've watched and enjoyed other Tarantino movies, and the entire series of Spartacus. But The Hateful Eight still disturbed me beyond my personal endurance level; for the reasons why, see here.

3. An actor/actress you’ve seen in more than 8 movies? Katharine Hepburn. (Watched, among others: Bringing Up Baby, Holiday, The Philadelphia Story, Woman of the Year, Adam's Rib, The African Queen, Summertime, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter.)

4. A film you could watch on repeat for the rest of your life? I suspect I'd get to hate whichever movie would be played endlessly for me - that's how they torture people, isn't it? No matter how much I liked the movie before. But here's one which I've watched countless times, which I suppose is what the question is getting at: The Kid, directed by Charlie Chaplin.

5. What’s the very first film you remember watching?: Leaving aside movies I must have watche on tv before that, it must have been Winnetou, because Karl May's novel was one of the earliest book's I've read, and I remember being quite upset about the changes as a child.

6. A film you wish you hadn’t watched? Eh, there are several that bored me, alienated me etc. But you know: I went to the above mentioned class on propaganda movies without any one forcing me into it, knowing full well that I'd have to watch a great many vile things, about which I wanted to learn.

Otoh, you know: The 1993 version of The Three Musketeers (the one with Tim Curry as Richelieu) was the first movie I ever walked out on and to this day have not finished. I loathed what I had watched far too much. So maybe that?

7. A film you wish had a sequel? None comes to mind. My reaction when I hear about sequels where none were intended to movies I loved generally is one of "must you? Please don't".

8. Which book would you like to see adapted into a film? Her Majesty's Will by David Blixt. It practically begs to be filmed.

9. The most aesthetically pleasing movie you’ve ever watched? Well, you know, David Lean didn't get his awards and reputation for nothing. I'm going with the movie that made the desert breathtakingly beautiful and gave us Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif in their youthful glory: Lawrence of Arabia.

10. What’s your favourite movie director? Billy Wilder.

11.Your favourite movie genre? Don't have one. Every time I say I like them all except Genre X, I know a movie or two in Genre X will come to sway me. It really depends on the movies.

12. A movie that holds a special place in your heart? The Lion in Winter, for oh so many reasons, and among others because it introduced me to the Plantagenets in general and Eleanor of Aquitaine in particular when I was one impressionable teenager interested in history.

13. Which is your favourite non-English language movie? Wir Wunderkinder, directed by Kurt Hoffmann.

14. Your favourite comedy film? Some Like It Hot by Billy Wilder

15. A music video you would love to see developed into a film? Say what now?

16. A film everyone loves but you hate? There is no "everyone", but I seem to recall that the 1993 Musketeers which I walked out on was fairly popular?

17. A film you love but (almost) everyone else hates? Again, there is no "everyone", but I do unironically love the three Star Wars prequels, so...

18. Which cinematic universe would you like to live in? Steven Spielberg's. There's almost always a happy end guaranteed, no matter how unlikely, the occasional wondrous alien visit tends to be benign (with an exception yes, but I haven't watched the exception), justice prevails and families are reconciled. And a certain individual would never, ever have become President of the US in a Spielbergian universe.

19. What’s your favourite biopic? Discounting Lawrence of Arabia, because, well, would it count? Anyway, it's Frida, directed by Julie Taymor, about Frida Kahlo. I love the way it makes Frida's art so integral to the film aesthetic and the storytelling, and the characters are all vividly brought ot life. Runner up: Ed Wood, directed by Tim Burton. Yes, I know, subsequent Burton and Depp collaborations as well as behavior probably soured a great many on what came before. But this movie is still fantastic, and a love declaration to all Hollywood losers. Also, Martin Landau so earned his Oscar as Bela Lugosi.

20. Mainstream movies or indie movies? Both. Indies were a later developed taste that came with being able to attend the Munich Film Festival, but I never saw that as mutually exclusive to loving blockbusters.

21. Old movies or contemporary movies? Both.

22. A film with an amazing soundtrack? Kill Bill; Tarantino is usually good with sound tracks, but that's probably my favourite of his.
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