Friday, July 04, 2008

Play time, boys and girls.

An early start tonight, I think. This girl is tired from working 11 days straight of 12 to 14 hours each with an all-nighter thrown in just for fun on Sunday ... stupid job always gets in the way of my blogging fun. You know what to do.

1) Favourite World War II film and why.

2) Favourite film noir and why.

3) And, just to change things up, name 4 famous people (dead or alive) that you’d like to have a drink with.

Me first.

1) Hmmmmmm ... The Great Escape with Sir Richard Attenborough, Steve McQueen, James Garner and an absolutely outstanding supporting cast. Just a perfect film from start to finish — and Steve McQueen’s motorcycle chase is a piece of iconic brilliance.

2) The Maltese Falcon ... do I really need to say any more?

3) Oscar Wilde, Stephen King, Winston Churchill and Audrey Hepburn. Wilde because he was so delightfully witty, King because he’s so delightfully bent, Churchill because he was such a delightful prick and Hepburn because she was Hepburn.

Now your turn.


Father Shaggy said...

1. "The Man Who Never Was", because it's so damn clever. "Great Escape" is not far behind.

2. Haven't we done this already? "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid", because it's a whole bunch of films in one. "Payback" and "Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang" get honourable mentions as homages.

3. Salman Rushdie, because I'll be he has some kickass stories. Jennifer Connelly, for all the wrong reasons. Bob Marley, because it would have to be fun. George Romero, because I dig zombies. Malcolm X almost made the cut, but he wouldn't drink.

Romantic Heretic said...

1. Stalingrad. Being a history geek I loved that I didn't have a single 'wrong!' moment in it.

The battles scenes were accurate as well. Bloody and hideous. As they should be. War ain't pretty.

No happy ending either. Movie was about Germans in it. And of 200,000 caught there 5,000 made it home again.

2. Sin City. The heroes were murderers, hookers and madmen. The villains were worse.

3. Socrates. Love the nasty, old bastard. Thomas Jefferson, a true child of The Enlightenment. Heinz Guderian to hear his stories. John Ralston Saul for the same reasons as Socrates.

You're welcome.

DLF said...

1) 49th Parallel (Mostly for the completely CRAZY portrayal of Canadian geography.

2) The Big Sleep or Double Indemnity. Both have sentimental value.

3) Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Simone de Beauvoir, Martha Finnemore (who's probably only famous to me), and Michael Adams. To talk politics with people who made talking about politics their life's work.

Beijing York said...

(1) William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives because it gave a glimpse into how devastating war is on the lives of those who participate and then return home. Plus that shot of the grave yard of WWII fighter planes is iconic.

(2)Since you already claimed what I think is the best classic film noire (Maltese Falcon), I'll go with something more contemporary like Stephen Frears' The Grifters.

(3) And speaking of The Grifters, I think I would like to have drinks with both Angelica Huston and John Cusack. I think they are both interesting actors with lots more going on in their heads than the average Hollywood actor. As for the other two, hard to narrow down. I loved Lillian Hellman's work and know she was quite fond of bourbon so she would be my third pick. As for a fourth, I think I might like to meet up with Dr. Freud and challenge him on some of his concepts but still, he did certainly take psychology into a new direction.

Frank Frink said...

Ms. York, speaking of The Grifters, have you ever read the original novel by Jim Thompson? Thompson's writing is sharp, concise and quite visceral. I read the book at least a decade before the movie adaptation and found it a much more harrowing experience than the movie. I did like the movie. Thompson is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Now on to the answers.

1) & 2). I know this will seem unimaginative of me but I do have the same tastes as LuLu on those two. The Great Escape may not necessarily be the best WWII movie but it is the most memorable to me. For a piece of WWII fluff you can't beat Kelly's Heroes. Another one with a terrific cast.

The Maltese Falcon? Well, ummmmmm... I'm already on record as loving everything about it.

3) This was a tough one. So many ways it could go. I could give a completely different answer tomorrow and a third one the next day.

In the end I decided to go with four writers. I just know I would be the one stuck with the bill, and there would be a lot of bad craziness going on. Kurt Vonnegut would be the sane one, speaking both the funny and profound in the dryest manner possible. Then we get the weird, crazy and mad - Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac. 'Substances' likely involved. Weaponry, too. It wouldn't be dull.

Too many honourable mentions, but I would also dearly love to spend an evening listening to Pierre Trudeau, Yvon Deschamps, Leonard Cohen and Nick Auf der Maur talk about Montreal. Again I fear I would be stuck with the bill. I know Nick wouldn't be paying a cent.

Dave said...

1. The Cruel Sea - The best film ever made about life at sea in corvettes at war. In fact, it was so good that both the Royal Navy and the Canadian Navy today use a particular scene from the film in leadership training. It was also absolutely loyal to the book (Nicholas Monserrat). Although a fictional account, the book The Cruel Sea was based on the diary Three Corvettes.
I have to give a runner-up here: Das Boot... in the original German.

2. Chinatown. (You took The Maltese Falcon). I know it's contemporary but Jake leads a cast of characters who display both good and evil. Nobody is exempt.

3. Matt Damon, Thomas a Beckett, Jesus of Nazareth and Samuel Pepys. Matt Damon because anyone who can write an academy award winning script about a reluctant genius from south Boston with a social conscience before he turned 30 is somebody I can learn from; Thomas a Beckett because I want to ask him what he thought they were going to do to him; Jesus of Nazareth because I'd like to hold out the wingnut dominionist movement and see what he thinks; Samuel Pepys because he was a visionary in his time.

Cheryl said...

1. Das Boot – that movie makes me feel claustrophobic no matter where I am when watching it

2. Taxi Driver – don’t we all have a little Travis in us on occasion?

3. Jane Goodall (my childhood hero), Eleanor of Acquitane (one tough lady!), Mahatma Gandhi (what I wouldn’t give to have just a little bit of his serenity), Stephen Hawking (I want to have just 1% of his IQ)

Beijing York said...

Hey Dr. Frick, I will definitely take up your recommendation and read the novel. I like dark.

Frank Frink said...

If you do like it, BY, then move on to two more of Thompson's - The Killer Inside Me and A Hell of a Woman - harder, darker, uglier.

They've all been reissued by publisher Black Lizard books in their pulp series. If you can't find them locally they will be available through Amazon or Powell's.

Thompson is probably the hardest of all the hardboiled writers.

ThinkingManNeil said...

1) 1968's "Battle of Britain" - it's a reasonable representative if not wholly accurate account of perhaps the most critical battle of WW2 It also was instrumental in saving a number of Supermarine Spitfires, the few remaining Hawker Hurricanes, and Spanish license-built Messerschmidt Me-109's and Heinkel 111's (Hispano-Buchon HA.1112's and CASA 2111's) from the scrapyard and did much to give a boost to the then barely nascent Warbird movement. I was fortunate enough to actually speak to the man who gathered all those veteran aircraft for the film, Group Captain T.G. "Hamish" Mahhadie, who'd also located the now ultra-rare De Havilland Mosquitoes for earlier 1964 film "633 Squadron". Just seeing all of these old aircraft actually flying in realistically staged air battles on screen is worth the viewing. A very close second is "Saving Private Ryan" for it's unflinching view of WW2 infantry combat.

2) "The Sweet Smell of Success" - not exactly what most would strictly call Film Noir but I loved the gritty, cramped, edgy portrayal of 1950's New York; the great cinematography made the city itself a prominent character in the film.

3) First, Carl Sagan, because we both love science and astronomy in particular, and because he's my hero. Second, and I'm going to cheat a bit here, either Chuck Yeager or R.A. "Bob" Hoover. Both are legendary pilots - still living contemporaries - who are both pure ingots of solid platinum when it comes to flying experience and knowledge. We could probably spend a week talking about flying the P-51 Mustang alone. Third, Gregory Peck. From every role I've seen him play, every interview given, and every thing I've read of him he seemed like a truly good and decent man who was committed to human rights, social justice, and progressivism; but I always wanted to ask him about one role he played, that of the monstrous Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele in "The Boys from Brazil". I'd like to know if when he played such a despicable character who was so antithetical to Peck's own character, life, and world view if he felt dirty and in need of a shower after filming? Finally, I would love to spend an evening - or two or three! - chatting with Bill Moyers to get a sense of how he's seen things change for democracy over the years and if it has to take a different form now even to survive in the face of the numerous assaults on it by corporatism, religious extremism, and authoritarianism.

Chimera said...

1) The Dirty Dozen. Great cast, good fantasy.

2) Not big on film noir, but if I had to pick one, I guess it would probably be Gaslight. Or Strangers on a Train. Or Dial M for Murder. Hmmm...maybe I'm bigger on film noir than I thought...

3) Definitely Oscar Wilde. Because I love quoting him and I need some fresh material. Katherine Hepburn because she was such an independent spirit, afraid of nothing and no one. Patrick Swayze and Lisa Neime (I'm gonna count them as one), because I would seriously love to watch them dance together. And kd lang. Sing to me, girl!

I've had a drink (and dinner...but there were a lot of people at that convention, so I can't claim intimacy) with Stephen King. Nice guy. Very tall.