I begin with the lamest of blog clichés, an apology about my tardiness with the Q&A column. Somehow I completely forgot to do my "A"s last Monday despite asking you for the "Q"s. I've been lost in some sort of daze on which I blame the weather (why not) insomnia (for sure) and Lars von Trier (hear me out). Melancholia keeps creeping back into my peripheral vision at inopportune times and I feel I really need to talk about it. But, see, I'm the sort of guy who likes a good conversation and film culture continues to torment me with its deathly shuffle. It takes FOREVER for movies to open after people first start talking about them. By the time many of you get a chance to see Melancholia, Lars von Trier will probably be editing his next picture instead of trying to cast it... thus killing all beneficial opportunities for conversation between moviegoers and the media.
Now on to the movie questions you totally forgot you asked since we're one week late!
Brian Z: A large number of filmmakers (Crowe, Payne) seem to be back after a bit of a hiatus. What director who have been away for awhile would you most like to see again?
Nathaniel: Obviously Paul Thomas Anderson needs to come back (and stay). I'm ready for Jonathan Demme post Rachel Getting Married. I don't understand why Christopher Guest needed to go away (though I did find For Your Consideration disappointing). I want to say Peyton Reed but only if he would get funding for something he really wanted to do (he started off in such a high spirited / original way with Bring it On and Down With Love but then...). And if you want to go much further back it's disappointing to me that Leos Carax who so startled with Lovers on the Bridge (1991) and Pola X (1999) hasn't followed those difficult memorable dreams up with another visionary feature.
Michael: If all of Viggo Mortensen's characters got into a fight, who would win?
Nathaniel: Immediately I'm picturing Nikolai (Eastern Promises) in a naked steam room brawl with all the other Viggos for which I thank you (and David Cronenberg). Viggo has played several dangerous men over the years but I think the final rounds include brutal military officer (G.I. Jane) vs. Tom Stall (A History of Violence) but since Demi Moore can kick his the Chief's ass than he doesn't survive Tom Stall's crazy speed and death blow efficiency aim. Nikolai puts up a long fight and makes it through several rounds but in the end when Aragorn arrives with all his superpowered friends and ghost armies in tow, his massive sword swinging low, then it's really no contest whatsoever. Aragorn for the win.
Middle-P: Do you think that Marti Noxon and the new writing staff will actually be able to redirect/save Glee from the uneven mess of a sophomore slump it took during season 2?
Nathaniel: I think Glee may have been doomed from Season 1 when it made the same mistake that all high school shows make (you'd think someone would learn) when it didn't think to vary up the ages of the key characters so that nobody would kill the show when they graduated (and I'm sorry but without Kurt & Rachel, they just don't have a show) and decided that Sue Sylvester would have to be the Big Bad for all time. Jane Lynch is funny but it just doesn't work as a constant war of ridiculous proportions. But I think you mean tonally. Good writers can definitely mend its weird personality switcheroos. I hold out hope that Season 3 is an improvement but I think the show will be a short-lived wonder and maybe they'd be totally smart to call this their final season and go out on a high note, no pun intended.
Bryan: What are your top five Kate Winslet performances?