RUBY FILM QUIZ
Kevin Ashman, ‘Eggheads’ (BBC2) quizzer par excellence, authors the devilish Ruby Film Quiz.
Welcome to the Chichester Cinema fortieth anniversary quiz. (Fanfare.) Below are forty questions, one for each year of that period, 1979-2018 inclusive. Many of them relate directly to something from the year concerned, but by no means all of them. Sometimes the year is simply a hook, and the question goes off at a bit of a tangent. This is for the sake of variety (at least that’s my excuse).
The questions also tend to be quite lengthy, as I’ve often included what might be considered strictly as extraneous information, in a possibly vain attempt to make them more interesting. They’re frequently easier than they might appear at first sight (he said). My apologies if your favourite genre/country/actor/director/colour/pet/anything doesn’t get a look-in, but there were only forty!
There’s also an acrostic. The first letter of each question spells out an appropriate message.
So let’s begin (or is that end?) with an apocalypse...
1. 1979 'Apocalypse Now' suffered many problems during its making, chronicled in a 1991 documentary whose title plays on the original film’s source material. What is the documentary’s main title (its subtitle is 'A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse')?
2. 1980 Venice Film Festival has occasionally had ties for its Golden Lion award for best film. 1980 was one of those occasions. Tying with John Cassavetes’ 'Gloria', and also featuring low-level characters caught up in the world of organised crime, was which American-set Louis Malle film?
3. 1981 'Escape To Victory' – I didn’t say they’d all be questions about good films – was an unlikely tale of Allied POWs taking on the Germans in a football match as part of an elaborate escape attempt. Quite a few real footballers – more or less famous – lent their expertise to proceedings. The presence of one of the most famous of them in the story was passed off by making his character “Trinidadian”. Which footballer?
4. 1982 Rainer Werner Fassbinder, prolific enfant terrible of the New German Cinema, died at the age of 37 this year. The year before, one of his bigger budget productions told – very loosely – the story of Third Reich era singer Lale Andersen. Its title is that of the song perhaps most associated with her. What is the title?
5. 1983 'Yentl', released this year, had a long and troubled gestation. Barbara Streisand had been trying to get I. B. Singer’s story – of a girl dressing as a boy in order to study – made since the late 1960s. Over time it had been turned into a musical, and ten years added to the lead character’s age (making her 26), so that Streisand could star. To within a year either way – which seems only fair in the circumstances- how old was Streisand when the film was released?
6. 1984 Haing S Ngor had himself survived the terrible events portrayed in the film of this year for which he was to win a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. Which film?
7. 1985 A good year for future British actresses. Both born in this year were two current leading British actresses, one of whom made her screen debut in 2005 playing the younger sister of the other in an adaptation of a literary classic (although the actual gap between them is only about two months). Name either.
8. 1986 Pixar was founded as an independent company in this year. It was spun off from the graphics group of which filmmaker’s own eponymous corporation founded fifteen years before?
9. 1987 Palme d’Ors don’t grow on trees, and Danish director Bille August is one of only a handful of directors to have two films win the Cannes top prize. 'Pelle the Conqueror', released in 1987, won the following year. August won again in 1992 for 'The Best Intentions', based on semi-autobiographical writings by which fellow Scandinavian filmmaker?
10. 1988 'Young Guns', starring many members of the so-called Brat Pack – Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen et al – featured the story of which famous Wild West outlaw, a popular subject for movies over the years?
11. 1989 Released this year was the last James Bond film for six years, because of battles over rights issues. (How did people cope?) What was it called?
12. 1990 Under BAFTA rules for UK release dates, the Italian classic 'Cinema Paradiso' wound up winning five awards in 1990, even though it had originally been released at home some eighteen months before. And after all that... One of its awards was for its music, by which famous composer, co-credited with his son?
13. 1991 Belle is the heroine of the 30th Disney animated feature film, released this year. An oft-told tale, it became the first animated film nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Which film?
14. 1992 'Yurusarezaru Mono' is a 2013 Japanese samurai film which reverses the tradition of samurai movies being remade as westerns. It is itself a remake of which 1992 award-winning western?
15. 1993 Audrey Hepburn died in this year. Although British by nationality, she was born in which European capital city?
16. 1994 Named in 2007 by the International Documentary Association as its all-time greatest documentary for inclusion in the prestigious US National Film Registry, this 1994 release, premiered at the Sundance festival, concerned the lives and struggles of two young African-Americans aspiring to become NBA basketball players. What is it called?
17. 1995 'Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud' was the last film of the French director Claude Sautet. Both this and his penultimate film, 'Un Coeur En Hiver', had as their female lead which then rising actress, now also known as a social activist?
18. 1996 'Independence Day' was by some distance the highest-grossing movie worldwide of 1996. Which actor, soon to be seen on the London stage at the Old Vic in Arthur Miller’s 'All My Sons', plays the heroic action man American President (oh how times change)?
19. 1997 Visual effects are a major part of modern cinema – which 1997 blockbuster was the winner of the Academy Award for these at the next ceremony (ie held in 1998)? (It won plenty of others too.)
20. 1998 Elizabeth I has very recently been played on screen by an Australian actress, Margot Robbie, but she was beaten to it in this year by countrywoman Cate Blanchett, in 'Elizabeth'. Elizabeth’s sparring partner Mary Queen of Scots had top billing in the recent film, played by an Irish actress. But which English actress (from Nottingham) played her in 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age', the 2007 sequel to the 1998 film?
21. 1999 'Ratcatcher', set in Glasgow, was the debut feature of which future arthouse favourite Scottish female film director?
22. 2000 'Shadow of the Vampire' is a 2000 film, starring John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe, described as metafiction, in that it covers events (heavily fictionalised, thankfully) during the making of which silent German film classic of 1922?
23. 2001 A big year for franchises, with both Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings beginning their runs. What was the subtitle of the first LOTR film?
24. 2002 'Russian Ark' by director Alexander Sokurov featured an unbroken 96-minute shot filmed at the Winter Palace of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Which institution is the location of his most recently released film, 'Francofonia'?
25. 2003 Yates and Simpson were the names of the two men at the heart of a gripping documentary concerning survival and friendship in the Andes in 1985. What was the film called?
26. 2004 'The Motorcycle Diaries', released this year, took its title from the book of the same name detailing the 1950s Latin American road trip of which famous individual?
27. 2005 Ossie Davis, distinguished African-American actor and civil rights activist, died this year. He delivered a funeral eulogy in the 1960s for which assassinated leader, a eulogy he recreated in part in a film of the 1990s?
28. 2006 Nominated for thirteen of Spain’s major film awards but only winning one, 'Pan’s Labyrinth' garnered seven out of eleven in its director Guillermo del Toro’s native Mexico. Can you give the popular names of either the Spanish or Mexican equivalents of the Oscars?
29. 2007 Emma Stone, current favourite, made her film debut in this year’s teen comedy 'Superbad'. In which 2011 romantic comedy did she team for the first time (of three so far) with Ryan Gosling? It also featured her 'Battle of the Sexes' co-star Steve Carell.
30. 2008 Which China-born, Hong Kong-raised, director, a major influence on the development of modern action movies, returned to China after a fifteen year stay in the USA and directed 'Red Cliff', a historical epic that was the most successful Chinese film of 2008?
31. 2009 'Precious: Based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire', to give it its full title, was the harrowing tale of a young New York woman’s travails. It features a striking supporting role as a social worker from which de-glammed major singing star?
32. 2010 'A Screaming Man', released this year, is one of a number of award-winning films by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, considered one of Africa’s leading filmmakers. French-based, he comes from which north-central African country?
33. 2011 Receiving numerous international awards, 'A Separation' was the first film from its country to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. Which country?
34. 2012 Kristen Stewart made her final appearance as Bella Swan in this year, in 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II', but without missing a beat she moved into more arthouse fare with the lead female role in the film adaptation of which seminal work of 1950s literature?
35. 2013 Cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki received the first of his three consecutive Academy Awards, the first cinematographer to achieve this feat, for which 2013 film directed by a fellow Mexican?
36. 2014 'Into The Woods' from this year is the latest work to date by Stephen Sondheim to be turned into a cinema film. His first film credit was as a lyricist for which classic musical of 1961?
37. 2015 Nick Park’s Aardman Animation released the first feature-length adventure of its popular TV spin-off series from Wallace and Gromit’s 'A Close Shave'. Who is the title character?
38. 2016 'Everybody Wants Some' by American director Richard Linklater was released. It is a very loose sort of sequel to his well-regarded high school comedy 'Dazed and Confused' of 1993. Both films are set, as is what many would consider his masterpiece, 2014’s 'Boyhood', in his own home state. Which state?
39. 2017 Martin McDonagh’s very well-received 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' was released in November. But what is the name of his brother, screenwriter and director of 'The Guard' and 'Calvary', dark “comedies” starring Brendan Gleeson? (Obviously just McDonagh will not suffice!)
And to finish where we began, ie with at least a bit of an apocalypse (possibly reflecting superhero/comic book movies’ effect on cinema):
40. 2018 'Avengers: Infinity War' climaxes – SPOILER ALERT – with the villain Thanos wiping out half of life in the universe, the cad. Still, the survivors will be back at him in the next (final? Hmm…) instalment scheduled for release in April 2019. What is its appropriate – an instruction for us here – subtitle?
Kevin, a frequent visitor to Chichester Cinema at New Park, is currently writing a non-fiction book.