Friday, August 3, 2012

Liebster Award: Part 1

Filmmaker, blogger and movie reviewer Alex Withrow at And So It Begins awarded us the Liebster Blog Award.

Since this blog has several authors, this will probably get long, so we'll post it it two parts.

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post.
5. Go to their page and tell them.
6. No tag backs.
QuirkyBibliophile (Steph)
11 Random Facts About Me
  1. I have been married to the same man for 22 years. 
  2. We married when we were young and stupid and have been gradually building a mature relationship ever since. I'll let you know when we get there.
  3. I have a master's degree in counseling. I haven't used it since 2001.
  4. I am a wanna-be writer -- I am currently working on a murder mystery.
  5. I am a reluctant convert to e-readers. Like many bibliophiles, I love holding a book in my hands. But I'm reaching an age where print material is hard on the eyes.
  6. I'm one of those "spiritual but not religious" kind of people.
  7. I was raised in a liberal atheist family in the Bible belt. Needless to say, I experienced a bit of confusion growing up. 
  8. Today, I am a politically liberal agnostic. My socialist-leaning, atheist father, who had such a strong influence on my formative years, is now a Libertarian church-goer. Ah, the irony. :)
  9. I love Indian food. Even the smell of an Indian restaurant makes me a little bit ecstatic.
  10. My husband and I have a slightly pathological weakness for adopting stray dogs.
  11. I am insanely in love with my 3 children. We are giving them a sufficiently dysfunctional childhood to make them complex and interesting, and to give my older daughter plenty of creative fodder for her screenplays and novels. :-P (Flannery O'Connor famously said:
    “Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.) Someday, when they're working through our family dysfunction in therapy, I hope they'll occasionally say kind things about me.

11 Questions Posed by Alex:

1. What is your favorite film of all time? Just one. Go.
Can't narrow it down to one, but O.K. ... I'll play. :) Memento. I love the theme of memory, and the ways memory can be deceptive, as well as the unique style and structure of the film. (Speaking of the theme of memory -- which has always fascinated me -- it was a tough call between Memento and The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

2. What is your favorite song of all time? Just one. Go.
Even harder. I'm still thinking about this one ...

3. Who is your favorite film director of all time?
Again, I can't pick one, but I'll play ... Joel and Ethan Coen. They've written and directed a number of movies I've loved, especially Fargo.

4. What is the best television show you have ever seen?
Firefly! Best show in the 'verse.Closely followed by Dr. Who.

 Forget the briefcase, bring out The Gimp!

5. Which place would you feel more at ease: the woods of Deliverance, or Maynard’s basement in Pulp Fiction?
Huh. Now that's a poser. But I'm definitely going to have to go with the woods of Deliverance. Instead of that claustrophobic sense of confinement in a tight space, at least I get open woods. I can breathe, and if I manage to escape, there's somewhere to run. Plus at least I'd feel at home in my native South. :-P Not to mention that if I'm going to be assaulted and sodomized, at least I don't want the indignity of being encased in leather. But -- wait -- there is that "squeal like a pig" thing ... Oh, hell. Next question?

6. What is the best portrayal of addiction you’ve ever seen on film?
That's a tough one. In my opinion, most cinematic portrayals of addiction are cliched. I think different movies capture different aspects of addiction very effectively. I can't point to just one film that really nails it.  
Rachel Getting Married touched on the continuing battle of recovery and the debilitating agony of lingering grief, guilt and regret. I thought it did that quite well. Claudia in Magnolia personified the frantic battle to battle off your demons with drugs. Shame did an inimitable job of showing the deepening isolation and raw emptiness of addiction. By the way, Alex Withrow's newly released short film Earrings skillfully captures a bit of all these things.

This movie was definitely enough to put me off the idea of using heroin. Or public toilets. 

Trainspotting highlights the sheer brutality of addiction and how far it can take you -- the scene with the loss of the baby is forever burned in my brain. As is the Worst Toilet in Scotland scene. At points, I thought it went over the top. (Really? An animatronic baby on the ceiling?) But some parts were quite powerful.
Sorry -- was I supposed to narrow it down to one? Did I mention I don't follow directions well?

7. Do you respond to comments left on your blog? If not, why?

8. Were you born a movie fan, or was there an event (or specific film) that turned you on to films?
I've always liked movies, but I was never a serious movie buff -- I'm evolving into one now. I was always more of a bookworm. When my older daughter was about 11 or 12 -- I was pushing 40 -- she started watching movies really seriously. In an effort to better appreciate and be able to intelligently discuss her interests, I started learning. She started introducing me to more indie and art house stuff, to broaden my horizons. It's incredibly addictive!

 Days of Heaven
9. What’s the best looking film you’ve ever seen? Specifically is it relates to cinematography.
Days of Heaven by Terrence Malick. With virtually every frame, I felt like I was looking at a work of art.

10. Do you own any Criterion DVDs or Blu-Rays? If so, how many?
I don't. My daughter owns a few, though.


  1. Excellent post! Loved the bits about your marriage and kids - it was good to get to know you better.

    I loooove the look of Days of Heaven as well. Every frame is just immaculate. You're too kind to give me a shout out in the addiction question.

    PS, I wanna read for murder mystery!

    1. Thanks, Alex! :) And your movie definitely fit with the addiction question.

    2. Ah thanks! And YOUR murder mystery. I wanna read YOUR* murder mystery. When it's finished, of course.

  2. Glad to see the mention of Trainspotting, loved the movie and I tihnk it's actually much stronger than Requiem for a Dream, which I think goes for easy shocks a bit too often. Have you read the novel Trainspotting? It's even stronger than the movie. Lovely to read you adopt stray dogs, I'd love to do that if I left alone and in a big house.

    1. I haven't read the novel Trainspotting, but I agree that it was a better movie than Requiem for a Dream, which I thought went too far over the top.

  3. Days of Heaven is just beautiful, and I mean SO beautiful. One of my favourite films, and have no qualms about it being picked for that question.

    Love the blog, really nice idea with the mother/daughter combo you've got going - you're getting a follow from me!

    1. Thanks! :-) I'll follow you back.

  4. Wonderful reading the facts about you and your husband and children. I too am spiritual but not religious. Trainspotting is indeed a great movie of addiction portrayal

  5. Congrats with the award!

    I'm not an e-reader of books(I sometimes read a short story as a pdf)but I can understand the benefits of reading on screen, being able to make the type larger, and other features. I do prefer being able to underline a sentence, can you do that on your e-reader?

    Adopting stray dogs. many do you own?

    If you love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I would suggest the new movie Safety Not Guaranteed , I haven't seen it yet, the reviews have been positive, and the trailer reminds me of Spotless Mind.

    Days of Heaven is a great choice!

    1. You can actually highlight things and make notes in an e-book.

      We have 3 dogs (at one time, we had 4) -- with 3 kids and 3 dogs, it sometimes gets a bit chaotic.

      Thanks for the movie recommendation. I have been curious about Safety Not Guaranteed, but I haven't seen the trailer. I'll need to check it out.

  6. I prefer buying history books in paper form as it is easier to underline, or note important parts, with a kindle that is harder to do, but with novels I use my kindle. Much easier.

    Sadly, I am allergic to dogs (and all furry animals), so I've never had a pet bigger than a hamster, which is a shame really.

    Good luck on the book – hope it goes well.


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