30 DAY FILM CHALLENGE

DAY 1 – the first film you remember watching

My memory is tricky here, but it was definitely Disney. I remember being told the first film I saw in the theater (at age 3) was either “Fantasia” or “Pinocchio” (either in a re-release).

But my first movie going memory is also the first time I went alone to the movies, at age 6 or 7. That would have been either “Robin Hood” (which I saw 4X in the theaters) or a re-release of “Mary Poppins” (I was indignant the kids didn’t have equal star billing with Julie and Dick).

DAY 2 – a film that you like that starts with the first letter of your name

First name or last name? Ah, loophole!

Last name is easy: “Amadeus” is one of my favorite films

First name – plenty films I like, but no obvious front runner…

“Down with Love”, “District 9”, “Death at a Funeral” (the British version), “Dr. Strangelove”, “Dead Again”, “Dangerous Liaisons”, “Delicatessen” …

I choose “Dan in Real Life”, because I like it a lot and hey, it’s my name.

DAY 3 – a film that has more than 5 words

For Romance:

“Call Me By Your Name”

For Sci-Fi:

“The Day the Earth Stood Still”

For Suspense:

The Man Who Knew Too Much

For Horror:

“Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

For Comedy:

“The 40 Year Old Virgin”

And for shits and giggles:

PS: not to mention those two mid-90’s long-named drag queen road movies…

“The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”
“To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar”

OOPS! I just realize I did that wrong!

More than 5! Not 5 or more.

Well, then I will stick exclusively with just the drag queen road movies. And if it’s just one, Priscilla wins that tiara!

Day 4: a film with a number in its title

I’ll go “pure” and choose a film that has just one number and no words in its title.

And my choice there is Tom Tykwer’s brilliantly ambitious relationship dramedy

“3”

Day 5: A film where the character has a job you want

“All That Jazz”

Wouldn’t mind having his job/career.

Without the bad habits, relationship screw-ups and lethal health issues of course…

Day 6: your favorite animated film

I’ll go with the one that was my first videocassette purchase, before I even owned my own VCR.

“Fantasia”

Day 7: a film you will never get tired of

“Galaxy Quest” is one of the most easily, happily rewatchable films out there. Especially if I’m going to choose a film Ed and I can both agree on rewatching.

Day 8: a film where you liked the soundtrack more

Well … I purchased the soundtrack to “50 Shades of Grey” (that sizzling slowed down / moaned up redo of “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce made it worth it all by itself) … but I didn’t even bother watching the movie.

Day 9 – a film you hate everyone else liked

The laughing response to the gay murder in “Braveheart” surely made us feel alone in a hostile environment.

Day 10 – your favorite superhero film

Seen most & enjoyed most & big praise to quite a few, yet don’t really have an obvious favorite; but to answer the question, I personally gravitate towards the more comical and/or more conceptually out there.

So I’ll highlight these two:

“Ant-Man” and “Doctor Strange”

Day 11 – a film you like from your least favorite genre

I’ve seen many great war movies, but more and more I just don’t want to face any more, because I just end up traumatized.

Nonetheless, I was eager to see “1917”, and rewarded with art and feeling, but spared excessive nightmares.

Day 12 – a film you hate from your favorite genre

Hate is far too strong a word

But when I saw this movie

and no offense to all the immensely talented people involved in its making nor to the original stage version

but when I saw this on screen, all I could think was

“Nein”

Day 13 – a film that put you in deep thoughts

From a philosophical standpoint, “The Tree of Life”

From a personal standpoint, last year’s “Little Women”

Day 14 – a film that gave you depression

I already mentioned that war films often traumatize me.

“Saving Private Ryan” was one of the more … effective …

Day 15 – a film that makes you feel happy

Two musical joy injectors (with blog posts about them no less):

Mamma Mia

The Sound of Music

Day 16 – a film that is personal to you

Hmmm – is it wrong, or actually very right, that I would choose the first film I made?

Day 17 – favorite film sequel

Day 18 – a film that stars your favorite actor/actress

“Postcards from the Edge” (Meryl Streep)

Day 19 – a film from your favorite director

Recently rewatched “Rear Window” one of Hitchcock’s many masterpieces.

A perfect movie, from script to set to performances to execution.

Day 20: a film that changed your life

Brian: Ah, screw Maximilian!

Sally: I do.

Brian: … So do I.

(And that’s how I learned, as a young boy, about bisexuality.)

Day 21: a film you dozed off to

I was so offended by the hyper-addled movie adaptation of “The Lorax” that I willed myself to fall asleep during it to preserve myself from further harm.

(Could have walked out, I suppose, but I wasn’t alone, nor wanted to bother fellow patrons.)

Day 22: a film that made you angry

See Day 21

Day 23: a film made by a director who is dead

The lovely “Your Sister’s Sister” from the taken-too-soon Lynn Shelton

Day 24: a film you wish you saw in theaters

I’ve had the good fortune to see many classics revived on the big screen: “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Vertigo”, “Sound of Music”, “Gone with the Wind”, “Mary Poppins”, “Fantasia”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”… (and I’m old enough to have seen “Star Wars” and all the “Spielbergs” on the big screen).

It must have been something to see “King Kong” 1933 with its first audiences in the theater.

Day 25 – a film you like that is not set in the current era

“Amadeus” is one of my absolute favorites.

But since I’d already given it shout out as early as Day 2, I’ll include another 200+ year old musical genius movie, “Immortal Beloved”, too.

Day 26 – a movie you like that is adapted from somewhere

Already highlighted “Amadeus”, “Call Me By Your Name”, “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” (cheeky me), “Little Women”, “Sound of Music”, “Mamma Mia”, “Cabaret”, “Mary Poppins” … so…

“Jesus Christ Superstar”.

Brilliantly translated to the screen.

Day 27 – a film that is visually striking to you

A just recently re-purchased “2001 – A Space Odyssey” as a blu-ray for my movie collection, particularly to always have the most optimal access to its iconic visuals.

Day 28 – a film that made you feel uncomfortable

Loved it, until the ending.

Then I felt sick to my stomach.

Day 29 – a film that makes you want to fall in love

Already highlighted “Call Me By Your Name” in Day 3 and mentioned it again in Day 26 (one of the swooniest films ever about falling in love) …

But “Big Eden” is one of the most delightful films about romance, with a whole town helping to make it happen.

Friend on Facebook: Big Eden made me weep and sob for happiness.

Me: It still works today, even if it (happily) feels less like an improbable fairy tale of small town acceptance than it did when it first came out. Not that we’re there yet…

Friend: No, we’re not, but closer than ever.

Day 30 – a film with your favorite ending

“Nobody’s perfect.”

But this ending is.

About dannyashkenasi

I'm a composer with over 30 years experience creating music theater. I'm also an actor, writer, director, producer, teacher and general enthusiast for the arts.
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