- Casino Royale Review
- Carrie (1976)
- Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
- Trainspotting (1996)
- Rain Man (1988)
- Fatal Attraction (1987)
- Targets (1968)
- An Education (2009)
- Mirror, The (1974)
- Fargo (1996)
- Fight Club (1999)
- Do The Right Thing (1989)
- Report (1967)
- Is "The Sting" The Best Gambling Film Ever Made?
- Pink Flamingos (1972)
- Ox-Bow Incident, The (1943), Or 28 Angry Men
- Rome, Open City (1945)
- Spring in a Small Town (1948)
- Drive (2011)
- Vinyl (1965)
- Seconds (1966)
- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
- A Hollywood Invasion of Casino Halls
- Thin Man, The (1934)
- In The Heat of the Night (1967)
- All In: The Poker Movie, Player’s Best Tricks
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
- 1001 Club - Skyfall (2012)
- 1001 Club - When Harry Met Sally... (1988)
- 1001 Club - Rain Man (1988)
Person Behind The Post - Siochembio
Submitted by Squish on May 29, 2011 - 8:49pm.
Person Behind The Post
Why is the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die' list important to you?
When I was in high school, I started to develop a passion for film, but did so by seeing many current releases. When I discovered "The Book," as I call it, it provided the motivation I needed to delve back into older cinema and see all those classics I had missed. The list is important to me because I feel that if I can see as many of those films as possible, I can start to consider myself an educated film fan. I completely understand that The Book is in no way definitive, but it's an excellent starting point.
The Book became even more important to me because it was a source of joy and inspiration when I was going through an emotionally crippling career decision. I was terrifically unhappy in my career, I felt beaten down and joyless and it had spread to too many other parts of my life, but film was a means of escape. The Book focused me on a happy film journey, not the unhappiness I felt elsewhere. It sounds very sappy, but The Book got me through a really tough time. (btw, I love my new career - so much better, and I'm so much happier now.)
It continues to be important to me because it serves as constant inspiration to broaden my horizons. Thanks to The Book, I've discovered films I adore in genres I never would have guessed. I think my absolute favorite thing about this film journey is finding a film that I utterly adore which I never would have seen had it not been for The Book. Yes, I don't love every movie I see, and yes, it can get a little tedious every now and then, but whenever that happens, I'll inevitably watch a movie from The Book that makes me fall head over heels in love. And that's the best feeling in the world, that feeling of thrilling discovery and the passion that accompanies it (my most recent thrilling discovery is Kieslowski's Red - I'm mad about it).
Share with us an early film childhood memory. For example, it could be about the first film you saw in theaters or when you realized you had a passion for film.
My earliest film memory ever is being scared to death by the trash compactor scene in Star Wars. I was about six at the time, and I refused to watch Star Wars for years afterwards because I thought it would be too scary.
Was there a time in your life when movie watching changed for you? If so, how, and what was the catalyst?
I think almost all people who are serious about film have "That Movie" that changed them. Mine is Schindler's List. My father took me to see it in theaters when I was a freshman in high school. I give my father all the credit in the world for trusting to take his 14 year old daughter to an R-rated film - but not just *any* R-rated film, Schindler's List. (fun fact - my dad took me to see Pulp Fiction in theaters the next year. I admit, the oral sex scene was a little awkward). Before that night, movies were fun. They were a diversion for a rainy Saturday afternoon, and that was it. And then came Schindler's List. My jaw was on the ground for almost the entire film. I was shocked, I was scared, I was horrified, I was angered, and I was saddened. No film had ever done that to me before; no film had ever MEANT something before. Schindler's List showed me that films could be more, could achieve more. I could not stop thinking about it for a full week. I actually wanted to write a letter to Steven Spielberg, thanking him for making that movie, which is the only time in my life I've ever felt that way. I honestly divide my movie watching life into pre-Schindler's List and post-Schindler's List, because it made me completely change how I evaluated film. After seeing Schindler's List, I expected a helluva lot more from my films. It raised the bar for me, made me really think about movies and what I wanted to get out of them. That was when I started to dream about being a film critic.
What was your first ‘favourite movie’? What is it now?
When I was very young, it was Singin' in the Rain. I was raised on MGM musicals and I still adore them. (Singin' in the Rain is still in my Top 10, and I recently saw it for the first time on the big screen - that was truly a transcendental film experience for me!). In high school, I had my "film epiphany" and my favorite movie was Schindler's List. Now? Picking one is nearly impossible. My top three, which I can say with confidence, are The Lord of the Rings trilogy (shut up, it's just one long movie), A Clockwork Orange, and The Seventh Seal. You will notice I have a penchant for Kubrick and Bergman.
What was the last book you read?
I'm not an avid reader, instead choosing to devote my free time to film, but the last books I read were Jane Eyre (because I'm madly in love with Mr. Rochester), and before that was The Clicking of Cuthbert by P.G. Wodehouse, my favorite author. I have a 40+ volume collection of his works that easily puts most libraries to shame.
You have a film blog – what made you decide to create it?
The same reason that many of those in this club created a blog - I was bursting to talk about these amazing movies I was watching, but no one in Real Life had seen them. So I turned to the InterWebs to share my thoughts and feelings. To engage in some kind, any kind of discourse on film was vital for me, and I just wasn't getting it from my daily life.
Think of a time when you were asked to pick a film for the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die' club to review.
Why did you choose that film, and what were you expecting?
Why did you choose that film, and what were you expecting?
I've been asked twice now, and the first time, I picked The Usual Suspects because I hoped it would be a crowd pleaser, I figured most of the people in the club had seen it, and it's an absolute favorite of mine. The second time, I picked a movie in the hopes of getting more people to watch it. Again, a favorite, but a much lesser known film. I think that will be the approach I'll take in the future - picking something a little more obscure in the hopes of encouraging more viewers for it.
Where do you live now? Has either of these places affected / influenced your enjoyment of film?
I live in a small city in upstate New York. I mention this because yes, it has absolutely influenced my enjoyment of film because of this kickass theater in town. The Dryden shows a different movie every night of the week, and they show everything. I mean everything. Classic films (I saw The Philadelphia Story, Singin' in the Rain, and The Wizard of Oz on the big screen there, to name a few), cult films (I actually watched Salo or The 120 Days of Sodom there on the big screen - that was frightening), horror films (Halloween, The Exorcist), classic foreign films (The Rules of the Game, The Seventh Seal), and everything in between (Slap Shot on the big screen was one of the funniest experiences of my life, and Total Recall was a hoot and a half). If a film from The Book is unavailable, I don't doubt that at some point, The Dryden will provide the way. The Dryden opens every film with a brief introduction, so it also helps fuel my passion for film discussion. It's awesome and I love it and I'm so happy I live in a place where I can partake of awesome film on the big screen. I personally feel that films *should* be experienced on the big screen; no matter how large your home television is, it cannot compete with the theater experience. The Dryden is how I get to have that experience with my favorite older/more obscure films.
After film and blogging, what are your other favourite pastimes?
I love opera and classical music, and I play clarinet in community groups. Every summer, I spend three weeks glued to my television as I watch the entire Tour de France, and I've recently taken up running.
Name an actor/actress who you enjoy seeing so much that you will watch them, no matter what they're in?
Anything William Powell ever made. Easy. No matter how silly or stupid, if he's in it, I'll watch. Ditto for Dana Andrews.
Who is your favourite director and what is your least favourite of their films?
I vacillate between Stanley Kubrick and Ingmar Bergman on any given day of the week. Gun to my head, I'd probably go with Kubrick. I love everything about his films. No one - NO ONE - uses classical music better than Kubrick. I love his lighting, his colors, his composition. I love his camerawork. I love the coldness of his films. I love how he trusted his audiences to make up their own mind about what was going on with the stories in his films. Basically, I'm a massive, squealing Kubrick fangirl. Least favorite of his films, though, is probably Lolita. It just didn't feel like his, which was very disappointing to me. Frankly, when I watch a Kubrick movie, I have certain expectations, and Lolita didn't meet them. (For modern day directors, I have a soft spot for Alexander Payne, fueled in no small part by the fact that I got to go to a live Q&A with him following a screening of Election. That was a frickin' awesome night.)
Share with us a traumatic film event. For example, it could be about a first date gone wrong or a brutally torturous movie you had to suffer through.
On our first date, my husband and I saw The Bone Collector. While it wasn't tortuous, it was a damn awful film. We winded up bonding over how bad it was. Truly traumatic, however, was the one and only time I ever saw Umberto D. I like to say that movie broke me. I had always been sensitive about animals in films, and realizing that Umberto D's major relationship in the film was with his dog, I was trying to emotionally distance myself from the film in order to get through it in one piece. About halfway through the film, though, when little Flicka ran away, I lost my shit. I started bawling. Loudly bawling. Nonstop, hysterical sobs for the rest of the movie, which was about another 50 minutes. I couldn't get a grip on myself. I can never, ever watch that movie again; far too emotionally taxing. And Umberto D also made it impossible for me to watch ANY movie that has ANYTHING to do with animals. I peeked a bit in The Book (something I honest to God don't normally do) at the write up for Amores Perros, and there's no fucking way I could make it through that film. I'd have a nervous breakdown about 10 minutes in. Yes, even with the disclaimer. It would be like torture for me. I guess I'll just have to accept that I'll never 100% complete The Book.
What famous location from a movie has inspired you to visit it, or made you plan to do so?
I had a little giggle fit when I was able to take an in-depth tour of the tall ship HMS Bounty a few years ago because it was the set of Brando's Mutiny on the Bounty. Seriously, I was beside myself as I kept repeating, "I'm standing where Marlon Brando stood!" My husband was rather amused. Although it's not a film, my husband and I would love to take a trip to Miami to visit the locations from "Burn Notice", one of our favorite TV shows.
When people go to your home, do they see a shrine to all that is film? Do you have memorabilia you're particularly proud of?
Not really. I don't collect stuff about film other than DVDs. I suppose most people marvel at our DVD collection, but I imagine that's par for the course for film fans. I have met a few people from films, and that's been cool. I ran into Richard Taylor (the head of WETA workshop, responsible for, well, all the sets and costumes and special effects in Lord of the Rings) at the Tower of London, right after the BAFTA awards in 2003. Because of the special features on the LotR DVDs, I recognized him and went up and spoke to him about Lord of the Rings. Got his autograph. That was pretty damn cool.
What people WILL see is my husband's collection of Transformers proudly on display. That tends to be what they comment on.
What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Plenty of Greek yogurt, Snapple's new Half and Half, Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Pepsi, shredded Parmesan cheese, leftovers from this week's pasta primavera, barbecue pulled pork, various sized tortillas, and green peppers (after Saturday, it will be stocked with all the veggies I pick up at our kickass Public Market). Oh, and some white wine and Asti Spumante in the back. I'm waiting for the summer to crack the Asti open.
Siochembio is one of the many contributors of the
Clear Up The Nonsense: