My Dinner with Andre


The other day I was looking over my finances which is never my favorite thing. I thought about when my next pay check was coming in, the bills I had to pay, the groceries I had to get, then the extra money I was saving for a trip, along with some other odds and ends in my life. At one point during this day, I realized I was thinking too much about money, and I didn’t like it. This reminded me of the opening moments of “My Dinner with Andre”, a film that means very much to me, where we see writer/actor Wallace Shawn in voice over talking about when he was young and how all he would think about was music and art, and now he is 36 and all he thinks about now is money. When that sentiment popped into my head, I thought it was time to revisit “My Dinner with Andre” , a film that can take you out of those basic worries life gives you, and lets you forget them by offering up a stimulating conversation between two old friends during dinner.

“My Dinner with Andre” opens with Shawn’s character walking the streets of New York and musing about his current status as a working artist, doing the errands of his trade as a playwright, making copies of his plays, and sending them to theatre companies with the hope they will get produced. He talks about how he had to become an actor in order to support his work as a writer. He seems depressed as he mentions how he would want nothing more than to go home and enjoy a nice meal with his girlfriend, but she had to take up a second job as a waitress in order to pay the bills. So instead he has agreed to see his friend Andre Gregory, a theatre director  he has lost touch with over the years, and who, rumor has it seems to have been going through some sort of a breakdown. At the beginning we see Shawn’s anxiety with meeting Andre not sure of what to expect, but then soon the two meet at a restaurant, and the rest of the film is spent in conversation.

At the beginning, Shawn is the passive listener as Gregory speaks about his many travels and experiences in places like Tibet, and the Sahara, meeting strange groups of people, and even being part of a bizarre ritual where he is put into a coffin buried alive for half an hour one Halloween night. Shawn who seems to be the more meek of the two holds back playing very much the keen observer wanting to learn more usually just piping up with a “then what happened” now and then, or sometimes seguing the conversation into another topic by bringing up a piece of theatre Andre might’ve seen. Soon enough, the conversation turns into more of  a back and forth as the two men move into their views on life, and their own personal philosophies on love, death, and humanities basic existence in the world.

This may all sound too cerebral, or too heady, but the magic of “My Dinner with Andre” is how accessible it is. The film is stimulating because the conversation itself keeps you invested, it’s a wonderful little experiment thanks mostly to Shawn and Gregory who created the script based on multiple conversations they had together which they recorded into a cohesive piece.

The conversation itself is organic as most conversations seem to be, the talking goes in and out from one subject to another, then going back again, it’s engaging because the actors themselves are engaged, sometimes as the viewer it’s difficult to not want to climb into the screen and join in.

In a lot of ways “My Dinner with Andre” is a miracle it should work as a film at all, in that it betrays the one element of what film really is meant to do which is showing not saying. The film is really all saying, other filmmakers might have been more keen on conveying the stories of Andre’s adventures in other countries in a more cinematic way, maybe using re-creations or flashbacks as a narrative device, instead it stays on basic close-ups and two shots of the two men. This is not saying the film isn’t cinematic, in fact it kinda goes with the philosophy that all you need for a film is a face.

The film was directed by Louis Malle, who was one of the principle filmmakers or the French New Wave, along with Truffaut, Godard, Agnes Varda, and Alain Resnais. Malle made a lot of great and interesting films, from documentaries to autobiographical films, but unlike his contemporaries, I wouldn’t say he was ever pigeonholed into a distinct style. He approaches “My Dinner with Andre” with a visual flare that doesn’t undercut the basic conversation. Look at the moment where Andre is talking about his haunting and terrifying experience being buried alive, it’s the only time I notice a push in from the camera to the face, and the only moment Shawn seems to disappear from the film entirely, as the memory is very personal and vivid for Gregory to remember. The camera is mostly just punctuating his horrifying story, it’s small but very effective.

“My Dinner with Andre”  never feels static, it’s a very alive and vibrant film, it sort of has that youthful energy of those later Richard Linklater films particularly his experimentally animated “Waking Life” which is a series of conversations with different philosophers and the “Before” trilogy which also borrows the idea of a conversation carrying an entire movie, but in that instance shows how two people who are so connected in a conversation were meant to be together.

I feel like I saw “My Dinner with Andre” at the right time in my life, it was a few years ago when criterion released their DVD copy of it. It was at the time in my life I was still experiencing different and experimental films, and as myself was still trying to figure out my place in the world.  “My Dinner with Andre” doesn’t really have much of a story, it’s about what is said, the stories these two men share, and the time they have spent together. At the end of the film, Shawn is leaving the restaurant in a taxi reflecting on his dinner with Andre passing by the different buildings and shops, each one he says carries a different story about his youth. Shawn seems more engaged with life than he was at the beginning, more content, and I think that is what you get when you walk out of this film. We’ve all had those moments where we are with friends, having dinner, having coffee, having a glass of wine talking about life whatever that is to us. “My Dinner with Andre” is a reminder that those moments are good for us, they are like a cleansing of the pallet, you are refreshed afterwards, and more engaged with the world than maybe you were before.




Happy 50th Anniversary to Pet Sounds


The Beach Boys were my band growing up, hell they are still my band. By that I mean I lived and breathed The Beach Boys in my childhood, they were a part of my youth as much as crazy Christian summer camps, my first dog Scruffy, and my old house in Cochrane.

I was not prepared for “Pet Sounds” which still sounds like the first legitimate album I ever listened to. The Beach Boys, more specifically their leader Brian Wilson was always about how his music sounded, he kept the lyrics usually written by someone else simple. I never had trouble understanding what a Beach Boys song was all about, as opposed to my other musical hero Bob Dylan who could be as cryptic as anyone could get. The lyrics to a Beach Boys song always sounded secondary, it was the music itself that stood out, that was what made it so great to listen to.

My first impression of “Pet Sounds” was “this is weird” but also “I kinda dig it”. It didn’t sound like The Beach Boys, but at the same time, it did sound like them. It also didn’t sound like any other artist. “Wouldn’t it be Nice” sometimes feels like the greatest pop song ever made, it’s hopeful, optimistic, but also kinda bittersweet. My opinion of “God Only Knows” has never changed, which is basically my favorite opening and closing of any song ever. Then there is “Don’t Talk (Put your head on my Shoulder), “You Still Believe in me”, “I know there’s an Answer” and “I just Wasn’t made for these times”, each one feeling like a swan song to the teenage life. Later I purchased the “Pet Sounds” box set, with separate tracks showing just the harmonies that went into the songs, and then just the instrumentals. You get to hear Brian Wilson working in the studio putting it all together. The Box Set has become a classic of its kind and was even used as inspiration for the Brian Wilson film “Love and Mercy” which is a wonderful look at his creative state of mind as he was making this album.

I feel like I’ve been ranting all about “Pet Sounds” through all of this entry without having much of a point. Suffice it to say it is my favorite album, it’s the only album I think I ever became obsessed with, I loved hearing how it was put together, I love how original and unique it still sounds today compared to all other pop albums. But mostly I guess I love how it makes me feel when I put it on. It hits that emotional sweet spot reserved for only the best in pop music. Brian Wilson kinda imploded afterwards although he and the Beach Boys went on to make some pretty great music and albums, but “Pet Sounds” felt like they were reaching for something really special and got it, not many artists could say that. I would recommend “Pet Sounds” to anyone, I find it’s best consumed on a nice summer night, no one else around, and it’s just you and the music. Take 36 minutes out of your day and listen to this masterpiece, it’s really what pop music should always sound like.



So then came “Jaws” and suddenly everything changed. I’m not sure if that’s an actual quote by someone, but I figure it was said before, and probably said a lot after that first someone said it. If it has never been said, then let me be the first one to say it. The fact is, it’s true, picture 1975, the absolute middle of the decade that redefined Hollywood film making as an artfilm. Young filmmakers raised on French New wavers and early John Cassavetes, were rising up in the world churning out tough, challenging, and intimate movies that were successful and getting greenlit. This was the decade Scorsese made “Taxi Driver”, Coppola made “The Conversation”,  and Altman made “Nashville”, three films that would not, could not get made today. It was a time of risk taking, by the directors, the producers, and the studios.

Yet amongst all these talented original voices, lied a different kind of artist who took his inspiration elsewhere like  the old Universal horror flicks “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”, along with Roger Corman’s B-movie drive-in thrills, with a nice helping of classic Hitchcockian suspense, and Howard Hawks male camaraderie, this young up and coming filmmaker called Spielberg created the unparalleled recipe for the summer block buster.

It may sound like I’m demeaning “Jaws” a little bit, I’m not, it’s a great film, it also happens to be very popular, but that has nothing to do with why it’s great. But you can’t talk about “Jaws” without mentioning the tonal shift it instigated in Hollywood, and boy was it a shift.

But let’s get to why this movie is so great. “Jaws” is like the classic story of the monster under the bed, we don’t see the monster, but we can imagine that it exists. We see the attacks it unleashes on its victims like the ill-fated skinny dipper Chrissy Watkins who is pulled around like a rag doll by something underneath her, until she is mercilessly dragged under the ocean. Later in a coroner’s office, we see Chrissy’s remains which are small enough to fit into a tiny examination pan, with only her severed arm shown quickly as a reference point to the mutilation that must have taken place.

Later we see another victim, a small boy Alex Kintner playing in the water on a floating device, when suddenly we see him from a distance flailing his arms around as blood is gushing from him, what did we see right before that? Was that a fin? A tail?, I’m not quite sure, suddenly everyone rushes out of the water, and we see Alex’s mother calling his name.  We then cut to the now deflated floating device Alex was on, chewed up washed  on the shore.

This is the brilliance of “Jaws” and something that is basically forgotten in our modern blockbusters, we are never shown the whole picture, what we are being shown are fragments of film, enough to tell a story, but able to keep it a mystery to the audience. What makes “Jaw” so scary, at least in the first hour and twenty minutes is we make up in our minds what we are seeing, our imagination is picturing the worst monster imaginable, and when we finally get a glimpse of the 25 inch great white shark revealing  itself to an oblivious Roy Scheider as he’s dishing out fish guts over the side of a boat, we realize it’s as bad as we thought, and our heroes really do need to get a bigger boat.

There is a lot happening in “Jaws” but it is at its core a very basic monster movie. Steven Spielberg who, proving his talent in his iconic tv movie “Duel” which was about a common man being chased down the highway by a killer semi-truck, can really milk the suspense by showing us only what we need to see. He also benefits by having a really compelling trio of leading men.

As Chief Brody, a man really out of his element, hating the water, and used to dealing with New York street crime, Roy Scheider gives a terrific performance, he really speaks for the audience, like him we feel worried for everyone’s safety, and overwhelmed by the shear awsomeness of the shark.

Richard Dreyfuss plays Matt Hooper, a young keen scientist and shark expert. Hooper is basically the scientist who, if this were a 50s sci-fi monster movie would be there to explain all the science jargon for the audience to explain, yet “Jaws” is all too smart for that and plucks Hooper from a 1970s counterculture giving him a shaggy beard and a hyper confidence and youthful spirit.

The last third of the film takes place all in the ocean as Brody and Hooper join Quint, an expert shark hunter and fisherman brought to life by Robert Shaw, in full Ahab mode.  We later learn Quint’s vendetta with sharks stems from his time in the USS Indianapolis which was a boat torpedoed after delivering the Hiroshima bomb, with most of its crew left adrift in the ocean and succumbing to shark attacks. Quint’s eerie monologue of the event is a centerpiece of the film and serves as another example of picturing the horror rather than showing it. Shaw, obviously given the most colorful character never goes overboard and adds a real unsentimental flavor to the monologue, it’s a great moment.

As you probably know by now, the rest of the story goes that “Jaws” opened in as many theatres as possible all at once, which back then was unheard of. Everyone went, and it quickly became a phenomenon; then people went back again, pretty soon it became the first movie to make over 100 million dollars, which may sound like chicken feed today if you don’t count inflation. Money of course has become the story of films like “Jaws”, and pretty soon box office grosses became more important than whether or not the film was good, and with that you could say “Jaws” is sort of a double edged sword, it’s a film with immeasurable craft, but it diluted the film industry immensely. Hollywood no longer needed the “Taxi Drivers”, “Conversations” or “Nashvilles” anymore, they found something that could make money, and our choices over what we could see in the multiplex seems to have narrowed over the years because of it

Today it seems as worse as ever, with words and phrases like “franchises” and “cinematic universe” becoming part of our lexicon, and there seems to be a complacency on both sides to keep it that way, maybe until something implodes, like movie theatres themselves.

Still there is “Jaws”, a great movie, maybe a perfect movie in what it sets out to accomplish, it’s a blockbuster that is smart, it doesn’t talk down to its audience, it remains memorable because it reminds us that what is truly frightening isn’t what we see, but what we don’t see.

Hot and Bothered Blog-a-Thon

Hello all, some exciting news. I am participating in my very first blogathon put on by Cinemaven’s Essays from the Couch and Once Upon a Screen. The blogathon is centered on the films of 1932, a wonderful year in film and an important time of the Pre-code era! I’m super excited because the film I chose to focus on for this event is my favorite comedy of all time the masterpiece from The Marx Brothers “Horse Feathers”. So join me and a bunch of other movie fanatic bloggers for this once in a lifetime spectacular! 

When I posted the 4th anniversary celebratory post on this blog in November I made it a point to say I was swearing off blogathons in 2016. So, in keeping true to my word I’m announcing the third concurrent blogging event I’m co-hosting. You see, when writers and bloggers and fellow fans whose work and words […]

via HOT AND BOTHERED – The films of 1932 Blogathon — Once upon a screen…

Singin In the Rain


Few films come as lighthearted, and happy as “Singin in the Rain”. I forgot this, it had been so many years since I last saw the film, I took it for granted that it is just one of those movies that has the power to uplift your spirits, and let you rediscover the magic of movies as if it was the first time.

“Singin in the Rain” started off humble enough as an assignment for legendary writing team Betty Comden and Adolf Green, a relationship that lasted over 60 years. They were assigned to write a film that could revolve around a back catalogue of songs from MGM studio’s vaults, among them were the title song, along with “Good Morning”, “Make em Laugh”, “Fit as a Fiddle” and a few others. Finding that most of these songs were written around the 1920s, the decade movies themselves moved  from silent pictures to “talkies”, Comden and Green were inspired to turn the film into a loving satire of Hollywood during this time. The film would focus on a fictional silent movie star duo Don Lockwood and Lena Lamont facing the difficult transition of sound film, all the while having the song numbers in between. Simple enough, but great things have small beginnings.

Lockwood is played by Gene Kelly, who was a wonderful physical and acrobatic dancer, there was something very cavalier and daring about his style, unlike his contemporary Fred Astaire, who kept a more graceful and elegant approach to his dancing. Lockwood’s co-star is Lina Lamont, a beautiful actress but with a voice as grating as sandpaper, she is played by Jean Hagen in a perfect comic creation, (Hagen was the only star of the film to pick up an Oscar nomination).  Comden and Green used real life inspiration with Lina’s voice being a major problem with the switch to sound, this was the cause of many silent film stars going the way of the doe-doe once their real voice didn’t match their persona. When the audience hears Lina’s voice for the first time during a preview, it’s greeted with laughter, you’d almost feel sorry for her if she wasn’t so ruthless as the central villain. The solution comes with a beautiful young injenue Kathy Seldon (Debbie Reynolds) who is hired as the voice for Lina, and like clockwork, Don and her fall in love.

The plot of “Singin in the Rain” is just one reason to love it as Comden and Green sprinkle it with loving detail, it is a movie about making  movies, all done with cheeky fun, the satire isn’t too biting to be harmful really, it’s more like gentle jabbing at the industry that people love so much. The filmmakers also make clever references to the early musicals in a wonderfully rhythmic montage showing off homages to films like “Broadway Melody” and the keleidoscope style of Busby Berkley’s choreography. There’s also a great running joke with Lina being wired to a microphone and running into troubles every film set probably ran into at that time.

But really when we think of “Singin in the Rain”, it’s the musical numbers that really stand out. This might be the only musical that contains nothing but show stoppers, there are no fillers, it’s one spectacular song and dance after another. If only they had the one scene with Gene Kelly singing to title tune, where he is joyously in love, singing and dancing in the rain, that would’ve been enough to make this film a classic, but there is so much more. Equal to Kelly’s solo number, we get Donald O’Connor who plays Kelly’s sidekick/pal, and a great physical comedian doing his wonderful slapstick song “Make em Laugh” which leaves you wanting to stop the film in order to applaud. Kelly and O’Connor also duel it up with “Fit as a Fiddle” and then again in the unrelenting “Moses Supposes” which bulds and builds as the two dancers seem to try to catch up with the other, all the while having a great time doing it. Debbie Reynolds joins in with the three of them singing “Good Morning”, which is one of the most sunny choreographed moments in film history.

There is a centerpiece of the film where Kelly does an extended ballet suite entitled “Gotta Dance” where he shares the screen with ballet great Cyd Charisse a tall, sexy, and leggy dancer, and someone Kelly wanted to dance with. These sort of suites were relatively common  for MGM films at the time, I could see it as a follow-up to the tour de force ballet seen in Kelly’s prior film “An American in Paris”,  and a year later Fred Astaire had a Mickey Spillane inspired piece in the climax of his classic “The Bandwagon”. The “Gotta Dance” number feels like unnecessary icing on a cake that is overflowing with icing, but how are you going to argue with so much goodness in one film?

“Singin in the Rain” feels like the culmination of a lot of things, although its reputation started off to a slow start, it is now considered the standard to which all other movie musicals are judged. The film was put together by a dream team of movie makers who made their home at the MGM back lot back when it was the norm for big Hollywood studios to do so. It was the brainchild of producer Arthur Freed who over saw all the great original musicals MGM churned out from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Freed was to Hollywood musicals what Rogers and Hammerstein were to Broadway, he re-invented it, made them big, splashy productions usually in grand Technicolor with great stars of the time like Kelly, Astaire, Judy Garland, and Esther Williams. Freed had a knack of bringing together great artists who gelled well in this studio system but could also put their own unique stamp on it.

The directors were Kelly who oversaw the wonderful energized choreography, and Stanley Donen, who was a wonderful experimentalist to the musical. Donen brought his own snappy pace to his films, and was very impressionistic with his editing techniques. Take the montage in “Singin in the Rain” which comprises of a melody of three different songs as it basically tells the story of early musicals. The musical montage then climaxes seamlessly into a full on musical number “Beautiful Girls”, it was very rare to see such inventive editing done with music back then. Donen, who is still alive today doesn’t get much credit for being  an innovator, even though his films have a snappy pace, and wit that set them apart from his contemporaries. His later musical “Funny Face” with Astaire and Audrey Hepburn played even more with color, montage, and different dancing styles than “Singin in the Rain” did, while his non-musical “Charade” with Hepburn and Cary Grant was probably the first film to satirize Hitchcock.

I’ll now end on a rant. A couple of years ago an acclaimed 15 part documentary entitled “The Story of Film” came out, it was written, directed, and narrated by Mark Cousins, a filmmaker and film historian who does know his stuff. He covered pretty much every film movement from all over the world in his epic documentary, however in the film, Cousins seemed to have a bit of distaste for Hollywood productions. In a rather heavy-handed metaphor, he compared classic Hollywood movies to a Christmas bauble, meaning they look pretty nice, but there wasn’t really a lot of substance to them. Cousins was called out on this criticism, although I could see what he meant. Hollywood has been always a business first, they create a product that is expected to make money, if a work of art happens to turn out from it, then it would be purely coincidental. Hollywood was a machine, but the beauty of it, at least back when it could be truly called the Golden Age was it recognized talented people who were also artists, and they at least had the sense to hire these people who could make grand entertainments.

I would imagine Mark Cousins might categorize “Singin in the Rain” in his Christmas bauble imagery of Hollywood, and if that’s his opinion, he would be wrong. “Singin in the Rain” is an entertainment for sure, it’s meant to bring joy, and laughter to a wide audience, but there is substance here, in the way it was constructed by witty screenwriters, innovative directors, talented actors, and a star who just happens to be one of the greatest dancers to have ever lived. What a wonderful feeling indeed.


Movie Quiz courtesy of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule Blog

1) Your favorite movie genre, and a prime example of it
When all is said and done of all the genres I don’t think I could live without, it would be comedy. A prime example of this would be the films of Buster Keaton who created the greatest comedies of all time, and always put me in a good mood. Of course the same could be said about The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin, Preston Sturges, Ernst Lubitsch, screwball comedies, Steve Martin, and others, but you just asked for one prime example.

2) Your least favorite movie genre, and a prime example of it
Ummm this is a cop out but I would put lazy comedies that just leave me depressed not being able to laugh at it nor stomach it. Prime example would be “Meet the Fockers”

3) Donald Duck or Daffy Duck?                                                                                                                  Daffy

4) Your favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie                                                                                                  Rear Window

5) The longest you ever waited in line to see a movie (and, of course, the name of the movie that inspired such preparation and dedication) That would be Star Wars Episode 1, where I actually did camp out with a friend in the city. I admit it was fun, out there with a tent, while many people were dressed in Star Wars garb, never had a more fun time waiting in line.

6) Your favorite nature documentary
If I can count Grizzly Man for this, I would do that.

7) Steve Martin or Jim Carrey?
Steve Martin

8) Your favorite concert movie

9) Your favorite movie about or incorporating religion or religious themes
Life of Brian

10) Your best story (long or short) about attending a drive-in movie
The first time going to a drive-in, and just watching a movie from a car was I thought the coolest thing, and being able to stay up late. I remember having sleeping bags and blankets and being very cold.

11) Your favorite Brian De Palma movie
Blow Out

12) Name one movie you initially loved, saw again and ended up thinking significantly less of
The Caine Mutiny, I remember really liking it when I first saw it, but watching it again, despite Humprhey Bogart’s performance, it’s very stagey and awkward and the lead guy just annoys me.

13) Name one movie you initially hated, saw again, and ending up liking or loving
I couldn’t even get through “2001” the first time I saw it, but I’ve seen it so many times since and I love so many things about it.

14) Vivien Leigh or Olivia De Havilland?
Vivien Leigh, although she has been in less films, she breaks my heart in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and she is magnificent in “Waterloo Bridge”. And of course she owns Scarlett O’Hara.

15) Favorite blaxploitation movie theme song
Not really an expert so I’ll go with “Shaft” since that’s the one most people know.

16) The first movie you remember seeing in a theater
An American Tale

17) The movie you remember most fondly from childhood
Who Framed Roger Rabbit

18) Your favorite Clint Eastwood movie

19) Best use of 3-D in a movie (not Best 3-D movie)
Recently I was very impressed with the new “Jungle Book”, but I think “Up” is still the best use of 3-D I’ve seen.

20) Least-deserving Oscar Winner for Best Picture

21) Least-deserving Oscar Winner for Best Actor                                                                            It’s very recent but Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant”.

22) Least-deserving Oscar Winner for Best Actress
Luise Rainer for The Great Ziegfeld which was not a lead performance at all, but one great scene

23) Michael Bay— yes or no, and why?
Don’t really care either way, but I liked “The Rock” so yes

24) Your favorite movie about food
Silence of the Lambs

25) Your favorite disaster movie
This might not qualify but disaster movies aren’t really my forte. However I will go with “War of the Worlds(1953)” since that is my favorite alien invasion movie with a lot of disaster.

26) Steve McQueen or Lee Marvin?
Tough pick, I enjoy Steve McQueen in so many but Lee Marvin had so many good lead roles as well as supporting parts like in “The Big Heat”, “Liberty Valance” and “The Wild One”, so I’ll say Lee Marvin

27) Best adaptation of a book or other source material into a movie
The Big Sleep

28) Worst adaptation of a book or other source material into a movie
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey version)

29) Tippi Hedren or Kim Novak?
Tippi Hedren is wonderful in the two films she did for Hitchcock, but I have to go with Kim Novak

30) Your favorite Marx brother

31) The most frightening movie you’ve seen that is not strictly a horror movie
Aguire: The Wrath of God

32) Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi?
It’s practically a tie, but “Bride of Frankenstein” will be used as a tie breaker so it will have to go to Karloff

33) Your favorite movie about high school                                                                                          Dazed and Confused

34) The movie you’d most like to be subjected to a DVD commentary, and the person or persons (living or dead) who you’d like to hear talking on it                                                        I would like to watch any Marx Brothers with commentary by them

35) Your favorite animated movie

36) Most overly familiar dialogue phrase used in screenwriting, usually to connote coolness of a character or, more often, the screenwriter (Example: “Do the math!”)
“How do you like them apples”

37) Your favorite Howard Hawks movie
“Rio Bravo”

38) Carrie Fisher or Natalie Portman?
Carrie Fisher

39) Your favorite kung fu movie
Enter the Dragon

40) In the spirit of Freddy vs. Jason, devise a fantasy smackdown
matchup between two movie characters, fictional or drawn from life
Yojimbo from “Yojimbo” vs his remake The man with no name from “A Fistful of Dollars”

41) Your ultimate fantasy drive-in double feature
The Searchers and Once Upon a Time in the West

42) Funniest… movie… ever!                                                                                                                    Horse Feathers