My first thoughts on what to do were exclusively restraining order-inviting, but then I realized this was Lucas’s place of work, and I shouldn’t really behave like a common fanboy. So, I just looked at him, and made one very slow, respectful nod. After a second, he did the same. It was pretty legendary. People are still talking about it.
What film is your guiltiest pleasure?
Two-dimensional worlds are easy to love. I can not only watch Rocky IV on repeat, but there is no way for me to get through the ‘No Easy Way Out’ montage without rewinding it a few times.
I mean, hypothetically.
Christopher Livingston wrote recently about the films he’d always watch if he coincided with them on TV. What would make your list?
I suppose all of those movies I don’t remember watching the first time. Or second. The movies that were just always there. Both parts of Die Hard, which Polish TV was fond of playing every Christmas. Some of the Police Academies — cheap and horrible, but my Dad loved them. Tango & Cash (I rounded up different Polish translations once and in typical case of Internet serendipity, someone actually made a master’s thesis out of it later). The Blues Brothers, forever responsible for the Pavlovian humming of the Peter Gunn theme whenever I’m driving in Chicago. And Ghostbusters II, on a grand-grand-grand-copy of a close-captioned VHS tape, which I learned a lot of English from, and I will argue to my death is far superior to the original.
Spielberg or Scorsese?
Meh. Fincher! It was actually through Letterboxd that I realized he must be my favorite director, since I watched all, and liked most of his movies. The making ofs and interviews, the attention to detail, the certain relentlessness toward movie-making he exhibits is very inspiring.
I also have a soft spot for mainstream action directors. Michael Bay, Michael Mann, the late Tony Scott—I don’t actually like very many of their movies, but I admire their body of work and where they’re trying to go with it. On my business card while at Google, my title said “the Michael Bay of doodles”, which was half-hopeful, half-cautionary.
Do you have a favorite Letterboxd review you wish you’d written?
I’m going to pick Morgan Nichol’s review of Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol because it’s unpretentious, clever, funny, incisive, and meandering in all the right proportions.
Come to think of it, kind of how I like my movies.