OK, so Dan the Man tagged me a few days ago in another of these answer some questions about yourself things. I’ve been putting this off for way too long because this isn’t really the kind of thing I enjoy doing, but in an effort to give those reading a bit of background on where I’m coming from, here’s seven wonderful facts about yours truly.
1. Like lots of others, I am obsessed with music in its varying forms. The band I listen to the most by far is Phish. I’ve been a fan for about 6-7 years, but I didn’t get really hardcore about them until a couple of years ago. It’s hard for me to nail them down as my favorite but I definitely get the most enjoyment out of their music. They can pick me out of any poor mood I’m experiencing like no other band. No one can touch them improvisationally, but they never get enough credit in the mainstream for the amount of badass they are. Oh well, more for me. I also enjoy The Who, Neil Young, Iron Maiden, Fela Kuti and a multitude of others.
2. When I was a kid I was obsessed with PC adventure games. Specifically the Space Quest series, but also Police Quest, King’s Quest and a few of the LucasArts games like Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and the Monkey Island games. I still play them from time to time and enjoy every minute of it.
3. I collect 45s of old funk and soul music. I also greatly enjoy the Daptone Record label of new groups such as Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (whose version of This Land is Your Land opens “Up in the Air”), the Budos Band and others who strive to keep the sounds of funk and soul alive.
4. My favorite directors are Stanley Kubrick & Akira Kurosawa. The Coen Bros are top-notch when they’re on their game too. Samuel Fuller is a new favorite over the last couple of years. I’m a big Woody Allen fan too.
5. I love James Bond. I’ve seen all the movies and enjoyed a good portion of them. I see them as big budget B-pictures. I’m also reading the Fleming novels and enjoying them quite a bit as well. They might make you like the films less though, as the stories are better, but I am willing to let Bond exist as separate entities in print and film.
6. I credit Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey with opening my eyes fully to the power of filmmaking and specifically to the power of the director to control the viewer’s experience through his choices. It remains one of my most favorite films and I love it more every time I see it. A couple of years back I had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen in 70mm and that was truly something to behold. Until you see something of this caliber in a theatre, you really have no idea how great film can be.
I had a similar experience when I got to see another of my favorites, Once Upon a Time in the West on the big screen. The tension was so thick I could have swam through the air like Scrooge McDuck swims through gold. It was so much more brilliant in the large form that I’m afraid to watch it on DVD because I don’t want to tarnish the experience I had.
7. I’m a huge sci-fi nerd but I am endlessly frustrated by the general lack of quality and imagination in sci-fi films these days. One of the best books I’ve read in the last few years was Spin by Robert Charles Wilson. If they made that into a good movie I would be in heaven.
I’m the kind of person that stops chain letters, but I’ll resist the urge and link a few peoples. If you’ve already done it, I apologize.
You’re on in one, Mr. Bo-Djangos! Don’t forget! A Fistful of Djangos, our look at eight classic spaghetti westerns starts tomorrow, Monday July 5th! Be there!