And the Liebster goes to…

A few days ago I was honored to receive the Liebster Award from Iba at I Luv Cinema and from Ruth at Flix Chatter and I couldn’t be more surprised and grateful. It’s a really cool idea for a blog event.

The rules:

  1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
  3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
  4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post.
  5. Go to their page and tell them. I think letting people know on Twitter is cool.
  6. NO TAG BACKS. Although I will answer my own questions.


First, 11 things about me:

  • My favorite writers of all-time are Jane Austen and Raymond Chandler. F. Scott Fitzgerald is up there too. I’ve read all of their work a few times. I really like Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.
  • I loathe sushi. I know most people love it, but unless it’s a California veggie roll…seriously, you forgot to cook that.
  • I wish I had time to write a music blog. I like all kinds except heavy metal. Bet you didn’t know I listen to some country (Johnny Cash and The Dixie Chicks). I would be lost without Emusic, the Hype Machine, and SiriusXM channel 35.
  • A movie is a couple hours, but a TV show is a much lengthier commitment. I only watch two shows, Mad Men and The Vampire Diaries. Don’t knock TVD unless and until you’ve actually watched a couple episodes of it 🙂
  • I love anything French, and any book/film about or taking place in France. The 2011 Three Musketeers? Yep, I saw it, it was actually pretty good.
  • Related to that, I want to write about French film and film noir more often.
  • My dad and my husband’s dad went to the same high school.
  • I have three tattoos and am working on a fourth.
  • One of the people I most admire is the inventor James Dyson for his creativity and resilience. Plus, if you have furry pets, the Dyson vacuum cleaner will change your life.
  • I believe in that astrology stuff (I’m a Taurus). It isn’t just your sun sign, it’s where all the planets are in your whole chart. I’ve been a lot happier since I started to rely more on astrology and my intuition.
  • Over the past few years, I’ve lost around 100 lbs. and am still dropping.


Now, my answers to Iba’s questions:

1. Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter?
What a question! Wow. While I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings first, Harry Potter has the slightest edge. Don’t tell my husband.


I waited 2 or 3 hours for Christian Bale in BATMAN BEGINS back in 2005

2. What’s the longest you have waited in line for a movie?
Two or three hours. Not long, compared to other people.


No disrespect meant, but ALEXANDER (2004) just wasn’t my thing

3. Have you ever fallen asleep in a film? If so, which one?
Never, though I got pretty drowsy during Alexander(2004).


Pretty weird, huh?

4. What was your first concert experience?
Andy Williams. I was eight or nine, I think. So hip!


Paris 2010. Tim in front of the café Da Stuzzi, aka Café Debussy in INCEPTION

5. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Back to Paris, and I wouldn’t ever leave.

6. Any hidden talent(s)?
Black belt designer/art director and Adobe Creative Suite ninja. I have other talents, but they will remain hidden.

7. Subtitles: Yea or Nay?
That’s a definite yea! Dubbing is horrible to watch, the voices never match the actors, and you can pick up and/or practice another language by watching subtitled movies.


With Michael Fassbender and Tom Hiddleston on board, THE ENGLISHMAN’S DAUGHTER is sure to be awesome.

8. What book would you like to be seen made into a movie?
The Englishman’s Daughter by Ben McIntyre. It’s one of those non-fiction novels, about English soldiers who get caught in a French village behind the enemy lines during World War I. That’s all I’m going to say, you should read it! But it’s short and McIntyre’s style is fairly cinematic; it would make an excellent film. I think Joe Wright, François Ozon, or Guillaume Canet (Ne le dis à personne) should direct it, Michael Fassbender and Tom Hiddleston should be two of the soldiers, and all my favorite French actors should be in it — Marion Cotillard, Mèlanie Laurent, Audrey Tautou, Catherine Deneuve, Alain Delon, Jean Rochefort, Daniel Auteuil, Gilles Lelouche, and Gaspard Ulliel.

9. What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
After I took care of all my entire family’s financial obligations, I’d buy a movie theater.

10. Have you ever snuck into a film without paying for it?
Yes, I have. I did actually pay, but I saw another film after the one I paid for. I guess that’s half price.

11. What is your favorite silent film?
I haven’t seen that many, although I’ve seen more in the last six months than I have my whole life. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for The Artist, the “silent film gateway drug,” but I also love Sunrise (1927) and Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1919).

And, my answers to Ruth’s questions:

1. Who’s your favorite movie actor who’s currently starring in a TV show?
I guess Jon Hamm or Ian Somerhalder. They have both been in a couple movies. Or maybe Kristen Wiig, although she’s not on TV anymore.

2. Could you date someone who does not love movies?

3. What makes you want to have a movie blog?
I write a column for Examiner about classic movies in Detroit and I wanted to branch out and write about current movies and other classics. Also, it gives me somewhere to put all my movie babble instead of driving everyone around me crazy with it. I have to say, this blog wouldn’t exist without the encouragement of Ruth (Flix Chatter).

Science fiction film, Emma Thompson plays the lead. Call me, QT!

4. Which director/actor collaboration you’d like to see [it has to be people who have never worked together before]?
Quentin Tarantino and Emma Thompson.

5. What dish are you good at making?
Any kind of Italian or Mexican food. I also make a mean potato salad and the best pancakes.

I met Martin Sheen considerably after this picture was taken

6. Any encounter with a celebrity you care to share?
I met Martin Sheen once. He’s about my height and seemed like one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet.


TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY is set mostly in London

7. Since the Olympics is still going on, what’s your favorite movie set in London?
There’s so many…I’ll stick to the most recent one I really liked, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

8. Which is your favorite movie writer [could be a journalist, novelist, etc.]?
Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) in His Girl Friday (1940-above) or Jo March (Winona Ryder) in Little Women (1994).

9. Which do you prefer: sweltering heat vs. cool, rainy days?
You need some of both, and I really like sweltering heat, but I like cool rainy days just that little bit more.


I broke the rules on this one…MAD MEN is not a movie. [Image from Down The Retro Rabbit Hole]
10. Favorite outfit/costume from a movie?
The costumes in Marie Antoinette (2006). Myrna Loy’s dresses in Libeled Lady. Peppy Miller’s outfits in The Artist, especially the shoes. And Joan Holloway Harris’ entire wardrobe on Mad Men. I know it’s not a movie, but it’s not often that a fictional character has my body type 🙂

11. Which actor/actress you initially detest but then slowly warming up to? [Feel free to reverse the question, that is an actor you initially love but now can’t stand.]
I never detested Channing Tatum, I just didn’t understand why he kept getting movies…he works a lot. But he was pretty good in The Eagle and hilarious in 21 Jump Street, which is getting its own sequel.

Now…the nominations:

Kellee @ Outspoken & Freckled
Aurora @ Once Upon A Screen
Will @ Cinematically Insane
Joel @ Joel’s Classic Film Passion
Kristen @ Journeys In Classic Film
Terry @ A Shroud Of Thoughts
Steve @ Classic Movie Man
T @ The Focused Filmographer
Ivan @ Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear
Michael @ It Rains… You Get Wet
Tim @ T. K. Guthat

And my eleven questions:

  1. What is your guilty movie pleasure?
  2. What mediocre classic-era film would you like to see remade?
  3. Are there are any modern actors you think could have held their own in the classic era?
  4. What movie(s) do you always, without fail, stop to watch if you happen upon it/them while flipping channels?
  5. Which actor’s or director’s work do you like in spite of yourself?
  6. Who would play you in the movie of your life story (classic or modern)?
  7. Mac or PC?
  8. What’s your (astrological, not traffic!) sign?
  9. What five people (living or dead) connected with film (modern or classic) would you invite to dinner?
  10. Favorite movie snack.
  11. Craziest G/PG-rated thing that ever happened to you at a movie theater.

UPDATE: These hearty souls actually answered my questions:

T @ The Focused Filmographer
Michael @ It Rains… You Get Wet

Reckless Review: The Hunger Games

Because there’s been so many reviews of The Hunger Games, I know there isn’t much I can say that hasn’t been said already, but I do have a few thoughts. NB: I haven’t read the books. POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

I really enjoyed this movie. While some of the suspense is negated by knowing that there’s 2 more books after this and the heroine will survive no matter how harrowing the circumstances, I was literally on the edge of my seat almost the entire time. I have to agree with my friends Ruth at Flix Chatter and T at Focused Filmographer that it deserves 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
  • The actual Games themselves are horrifying and yet very familiar. The way they are presented in the film is pretty standard for reality TV. Just like American Idol, HG has a smarmy host, Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), a live audience, and ubiquitous promotion (does Panem TV show anything but HG?) The swooping shots of the riled-up crowd and the banter between the host and contestants are too much like AI and America’s Got Talent et al to be a coincidence. Once the Games begin, alliances are made and broken, like on Survivor. And like all reality shows, the Games’ storylines are set and the contest is manipulated for ratings — “They just want a good show” is the motto of Katniss’ mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson). I believe we are closer than I realized to a society where a TV show like this is possible. I’ve often thought that it will be only a matter of time until somebody gets killed on a reality show, and from there, it seems like it’s not much of a leap for contestants killing each other to become a show’s main goal. I hope I’m wrong.
  • Another similarity is that of Panem and contemporary US society. Like those in the Capitol, some people in the US are doing extremely well, and proportionately more people are much worse off, like those in District 12. (Much like the denizens of the Firefly universe were caught in the 1800s, only with more technology, D12 seems to have rewound to the Great Depression and gotten stuck there.) In the US in 2012, the gap between rich and poor is widening and coal mining accidents, like the one that killed Katniss’ father, are still happening. So it seems to me that Panem’s situation isn’t really all that different from ours.
  • Squirrel tastes like chicken. In case you were wondering.
  • Sometimes supporting players really put a film over the top. There’s no way I’d have given this picture as high of a rating without the fabulous work done by Tucci, Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz.
  • Can anyone do an action or fight scene these days without dizzying close-ups and jittery handheld-style camerawork? That’s kind of a dumb question….the answer is obviously not! But I think it’s an appropriate choice for The Hunger Games, most of the time. It accurately conveys the disorientation of a teenager fighting for his or her life. The one exception where I thought it was completely bewildering was the fight scene atop the Cornucopia near the end. That was so fragmented that it was difficult to tell what was really going on for too long.
  • I see a similarity between Katniss Everdeen, Lisbeth Salander, and Peppy Miller, and I hope that it’s a trend brewing. Not just that I enjoyed all of these characters’ films, although that is true. All of them are independent and resourceful women, and all of them save others’ lives. What people see in films and TV and read in books has an effect on their real-life expectations, and so I believe a variety of female characters—not just the passive/reactive ones— is a good thing.


Leave me your thoughts about The Hunger Games below.

EDIT: I want to make it clear…I WATCH REALITY TV. Seriously, I do. If there’s any judgement, it’s on myself as well.