May 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Poll Position: Ten Movie Questions

By Casey St. Charnez

Media Rare

Casey St. Charnez has been video editor for Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide since 1986 and buyer for Lisa Harris' Video Library since 1981. He likes Lisa, cats, crosswords, and the Metropolitan Opera, probably in that order.

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Reader comments vis a vis the following are welcome, but not mandatory. This time.

Ten Questions:

1. Which of these movies from the 1970s is still the most shocking (alphabetical and unedited)? Deep Throat, Last Tango in Paris, 1900, Salo, Taxi Driver.  

2. Who is America's greatest living director? Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg.

3. Why haven't you seen The Artist yet? 

4. Do you like 3-D?

5. Do you think there ever will  be a Railyard movie theater? If so, would you go?

6. Do you read movie reviews? Are they helpful?

7. Yes or no: Should movie theaters sell beer and wine?

8. What movie have you seen the most times?

9. Where would movies today be if the Production Code had not come into existence in 1934? 

10. If you could remove one movie from all of film history--so that it could never be seen again--which one would you erase?

My Answers:

1. Deep Throat and Last Tango in Paris were mind-blowers, so to speak, in their day, but not so much in the 21st century. Taxi Driver looks more and more like a documentary as years pass. 1900, in its original 5-hour form, is quite bold and graphic, often horrifying. But Salo remains what it has always been, and what that is, I shall not say here.

2. Eastwood. rocks. He also looks like a rock. 

3. Hey, it's still playing at the DeVargas 6, and it won't be on DVD until the last week in June. It is definitely Best Picture... funny, touching, clever. What keeps you away? Is it the notion it's truly silent (which it isn't) or that it's in black and white (dreamier than color)? This is the most enjoyable movie of 2011, and from what I've seen so far, probably of 2012.

4. Yes yes yes (one yes for each dimension). Add another yes if it's IMAX 3-D. They're building one in Albuquerque on the site of the old Winrock Inn. Please, daddy, can we get one too? Pleeeeeease?

5. No, And yes.

6. I read only Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin. And I won't even read them if I haven't yet seen the movie they're discussing. Other, far lesser, writers can take too much delight in their own wordplay and pride in their lofty moral positions, and they seem to adore spoilers. Regrettably, I speak from guilty personal experience.

7. Another yes yes yes. But it would have to be regulated on-site, and that's tough with minors around. So how about a firstrun theater where you have to be ID-21 to get in? 

8. Most people would say The Wizard of Oz, especially those who first saw it in their  1950s living rooms on black-and-white TVs, as it was the very first Hollywood film licensed for network broadcast. Of course, there are obsessives who have seen The Sound of Music, Titanic, or Rocky Horror hundreds of times. For me, it's probably Niagara (1952), and if you can't understand why, then you've never seen a Marilyn Monroe movie.

9. OMG.

10. I get all First Amendment on this issue, which occasionally arises in film group conversations. All right, yes, I mean chat rooms. Seems to be that every movie has a right to be made and to be seen, but that you yourself retain the right to choose whether or not to see it. Upon reflection, however, I must confess to thinking Earth might be better off without The Smurfs. 

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