Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Dinner With...

I was tagged with a meme from The Film Experience! Here goes...

1. Pick a single person past or present who works in the film industry who you'd like to have dinner with and tell us why you chose this person.

My first thought was Jake, of course. But this question is about having dinner, not... other things... and as much as I could skew it to those purposes, let's keep it on point. I decided to narrow the candidates down to my preferred genre then, that being Horror of course. There are plenty of classic choices I thought of here - Hitch, John Carpenter, George Romero, Stephen King. Tod Browning seemed a real possibility, but I wouldn't be able to talk to him about anything that's happened since he died in 1962 or else risk shattering the time-space continuum or something. I thought of Quentin Tarantino (Death Proof's horror, y'all), but I think, as much as I adore the man's films, QT would annoy me in person after a half an hour or so or his motor-mouthing. And then the obvious struck me - a Tarantino-esque filmmaker whose stuck to the horror genre? Somebody I post about at every given opportunity? My man, Eli Roth, of course. After seeing him speak in person in the Fall and having the metaphorical - if not literal, unfortunately - pants charmed off me by him, I don't know why I didn't think of him sooner. Here's a man who's passionate about a lot of the same things as me, only with a more encyclopedic knowledge thereof, and a great storyteller to boot. Plus, adorable. Yes, please.

2. Set the table for your dinner. What would you eat? Would it be in a home or at a restaurant? And what would you wear? Feel free to elaborate on the details.

I don't cook, but a restaurant would be too formal a setting. I thought about saying I'd force the boyfriend to be our personal chef and perhaps masseuse for the evening, but a pretend scenario isn't worth sleeping on the couch tonight. So pizza it is. Eli seems like the kinda guy who wouldn't mind pizza and beer and perhaps a 24 hour movie-marathon of his choosing. Has this surpassed the rules? Does 24 hours of movie-watching step outside the boundaries of "dinner"? Well I'm sorry; my imagination is just too big to be reined in by your rules, man. And what would we wear? Gosh, that seems personal. I'm picturing pajamas, though. A pajama party! Somebody's gonna wake up with their hand in a bowl of warm water and their underpants in the freezer.

3. List five thoughtful questions you would ask this person during dinner.

So Eli and I are sitting on the floor in our jammies, a slice of pizza in one hand, a beer in the other, and on the TV screen somebody's being eviscerated. What do I ask him...

1. I'd want to know what he thinks of horror today - since he's usually decried alongside his fellow "Splat-packers" as being the downfall of civilization (unto every generation one is born), I'd want to know who out there working today, or what current/recent films, has he found scary. Which would lead to the next question...

2. Is he still even capable of getting scared by a movie? I don't really mean the argument that one becomes desensitized to things if one sees too much of them, because frankly I think that's bullshit: I've seen more than my fair share of horrible shit and the right movie can still make that midnight trip for a glass of water a terrifying experience. I mean by being behind the scenes, knowing how everything gets put together, does that ruin some of the experience of a genre that relies so heavily on a visceral, primal, gut reaction.

One thing that is fortunate in this respect with Horror is that low-to-no budget movies are sort of the driving force in the genre (as opposed to the bigger budgeted studio films that are PG-13 or remakes or both) - there's always one coming out that nobody knows anything about beforehand, and that makes knowing too much about a film early on easier to side-step when one's not intimately involved with the making of such films (like me). But if you're out there making horror movies yourself, dealing with the day-to-day experience of effects and lighting and editing, I wonder if it even remains possible to turn that part of your brain off and just watch the person's head explode without thinking about the soupy froth of gunk it took to make such a realistic portrayal of splattering brain matter.

Yes, I would use the phrase "soupy froth of gunk" over dinner. And Eli Roth would appreciate it, dammit!

3. Speaking of remakes, I'd wanna know his stance on them is of course, but I think it'd be fun to ask him what Eli Roth versions of classics would look like. What would he do with Rosemary's Baby? Suspiria? If there is a movie out there that he would remake, what would it be, and why isn't he answering Battle Royale, because I stand convinced that's a perfect meeting of director and subject. And then, for good measure after an ugly bit of conversation, I'd kiss his feet for - so far - doing only original material.

4. So... Heather Matarazzo, huh?

I'd ask him what he thought went wrong with Hostel Part II. And I'd steer him around his kinda whiny answers I've seen so far that the only problem was bad press and DVD pirates. I had less of a problem with the film than most but it's still flawed - now that he's hopefully able to step away from it some, what does he think went wrong?

5. What next, of course. He's a filmmaker only three films in with the admirable ability to get himself heard and to make volatile films that, for good and for bad, incite discussions. I imagine he's not going to stick to horror forever - Trailer Trash, his purported next project that's based off of his Thanksgiving trailer experience on Grindhouse, is already a step away from the genre. Does he think he'll still be so actively - and appreciatively - offending people ten years from now?

4. When all is said and done, select six bloggers to pass this Meme along to. Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre, so that people know the mastermind behind this Meme.

It's taken me nearly a week to do this meme, so I'm not wasting time - all five minutes it'd take! - to check and see if the people I'm tagging have already been tagged/done this meme before. If you've done it already, just ignore me (that's the easiest suggestion I could ever make). I be tagging Joe R. at Low Resolution, Glenn at Stale Popcorn, Stacie at Final Girl, Aaron at Electronic Cerebrectomy, JD at Joe's Movie Corner, and Sean T. Collins.

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