Will You Be Next to Take On the Movie Love Questionnaire?

In this week’s installment of the Movie Love Questionnaire, we discover that enthusiasm for cinema runs in my family and that my sister has a much better memory than I do.

Learn more about RogerEbert.com’s Movie Love Questionnaire here.

Enjoy Fawn Kemble’s clever responses to the survey below.

Movie Love Questionnaire:

Fawn Kemble is the fourth of five children (Lavender is her only sister) raised by parents who were artists and teachers. An unabashed nerd, she lives in LA as a high school English teacher. Fawn reads a lot, drinks too much coffee, binge-watches Netflix & Hulu, and travels as much as she can. 

Where did you grow up, and what was it like?

Born in Verdugo Hills, I was a Southern Californian kid (minus a couple yrs. in Texas). We moved around a lot, finally settling in the Antelope Valley, where I never fully felt comfortable. My childhood was magical, spent immersed in books and outdoors in worlds of imagination with my sister and little brother.

Was anyone else in your family into movies? If so, what effect did they have on your moviegoing tastes?

We didn’t have a TV for much of my childhood, but I knew my parents appreciated movies. As image3we got older they introduced us to classics from Hitchcock and Doris Day, to Peter Sellers and Cary Grant. My grandmother made sure we got an education in musicals, Fred and Ginger were her favorites, as well as “Singing In The Rain” and “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.” Disney was also a staple, with “Mary Poppins” and “The Happiest Millionaire” high on the list. Our oldest brother introduced us to “Star Wars” at a young age, and there was no turning back. I still love these old classics and defy anyone who disses black & white movies or musicals!

What’s the first movie you remember seeing, and what impression did it make on you?

We used to go see free movies at the library when I was little. I have a horrible memory so this is nowhere near the first movie I saw, but I recall seeing “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at a young age and being completely freaked out by the Child Catcher part. Shudder.

What’s the first movie that made you think, “Hey, some people made this. It didn’t just exist. There’s a human personality behind it?

I think being obsessed with “Singing in the Rain” helped with that since it dealt with the making of movies. The microphone scene where Lena Lamont kept swinging her head back and forth stays in my mind to this day, as I watch my high school students struggle with sound on their student films or live performances.

What’s the first movie you ever walked out of?

I have the great joy and satisfaction of having walked out of the movies right behind my sister, Lavender, both times she left. The first when we were frightened by Maleficent in “Sleeping Beauty” and the second when we were disgusted and not at all entertained by “The Sweetest Thing.” I haven’t walked out of any others.

What’s the funniest film you’ve ever seen?

There’s no way I can pick just one! “Bringing up Baby,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” or “This Is Spinal Tap” top a long list.

What’s the saddest film you’ve ever seen?

“Up” gets me every time. “Life Is Beautiful” tugged every heart string. And “Moulin Rouge” made me weep.

What’s the scariest film you’ve ever seen?

I avoid scary movies and truly think I’ve blocked the ones that most scared me from my mind. The scary movie I liked being frightened by because it was so eerily beautiful was “Pan’s Labyrinth”

What’s the most romantic film you’ve ever seen?

“Roman Holiday”

What’s the first television show you ever saw that made you think television could be more than entertainment?

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “My So-Called Life” made me realize how much insightful social commentary could be hidden in television and how much it could affect me.

What book do you think about or revisit the most?

Like my sister, I reread Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine” every couple of years. I also reread Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre,” Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Nick Hornby’s “About A Boy,” and Neil Gaiman’s “Death” comics frequently.

What album or recording artist have you listened to the most, and why?

I keep coming back to Damien Rice and The Smiths. My sister says I like suicidal music. What can I say, the depth of sadness and beauty there just speaks to me.

Is there a movie that you think is great, or powerful, or perfect, but that you never especially want to see again, and why?

“Schindler’s List,” for obvious reasons. And “Big Fish” which I saw with me mum in the theatre shortly after my dad died, and it I thought it was beautiful and true, but I will never see it again.

What movie have you seen more times than any other?

Movies I actually WATCH? I’ll quote my sister here. “It’s gotta be “Star Wars” or the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.” Movies I put on in the background while I’m grading? The forever long Colin Firth “Pride and Prejudice,” or “You’ve Got Mail.” I’ve also watched the first two “Anne of Green Gables” tons of times.

What was your first R-rated movie, and did you like it?

Lavender tells it wrong, it wasn’t a Pauly Shore movie we were supposed to be seeing, it was “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” but instead we snuck into “Blink” because we thought Aidan Quinn was hot. And it was such a bad movie with horribly awkward scenes. We never did that again.

What’s the most visually beautiful film you’ve ever seen?

There are too many. I cried, literally tears running down my face, when the screen panned up to reveal the brontosaurus Rex scene in “Jurassic Park.” I had never seen anything like it. “Hugo, “Midnight in Paris,” and “Moonrise Kingdom” spoke to my soul. And my latest visual obsession is Ben Stiller’s version of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

Who are your favorite leading men, past and present?

Cary Grant, Harrison Ford (the earlier days), Nathan Fillion, Bill Murray, Jack Lemmon, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Rickman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Robert Downey Jr.

Who are your favorite leading ladies, past and present?

Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Maggie Smith, Amy Adams, Emma Stone, Marion Cotillard, Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, Jennifer Lawrence

Who’s your favorite modern filmmaker?

I like all things Joss Whedon, Christopher Guest, Baz Luhrman, Wes Anderson, Alfred Hitchcock, Sophia Coppola, and have a soft spot for Spielberg and Lucas.

Who’s your least favorite modern filmmaker?

Michael Bay.

What film do you love that most people seem to hate?

I love “The Spice Girls Movie” for real.

What film do you hate that most people love?

I too hate “Titanic” and any movie version of a Nicholas Sparks book. Blech.

Tell me about a moviegoing experience you will never forget — not just because of the movie, but because of the circumstances in which you saw it.

Once, years ago, my mum, sister, and I walked into a theatre to see an unheard Australian film we knew nothing about, “Strictly Ballroom.” Within the first few minutes, we could hear nervously whispered conversations from others in the audience, mostly older art theatre patrons, who were confused about what exactly this movie was. Was it supposed to be funny? The three of us were dying laughing and it quickly became a family favorite film, long before Baz was heard of in the US.

What aspect of modern theatrical moviegoing do you like least?

The rude behavior of fellow moviegoers.

What aspect of moviegoing during your childhood do you miss the most?

Seeing the same movie over and over and over again at the dollar theater, just for the air conditioning, inside jokes with friends, and freedom from adults. One summer, we must’ve seen “Mannequin 2” five times. So much fun.

Have you ever damaged a friendship, or thought twice about a relationship, because you disagreed about whether a movie was good or bad?

I don’t think I can date someone who isn’t a Star Wars and LOTR fan.

What movies have you dreamed about?

I don’t often remember my dreams.

What concession stand item can you not live without?

I don’t often get stuff at the movies, but when I do it’s Diet Coke and Sour Patch Kids or Jr. Mints. 

If you’d like to take a crack at the questionnaire, I’ve included the list of questions to cut and paste below. Respond in the comments section here or on the Facebook link, or email your responses to lavendervroman@gmail.com. If I find your answers interesting and insightful, I might post them on the blog.

Movie Love Questionnaire:

Where did you grow up, and what was it like?

Was anyone else in your family into movies? If so, what effect did they have on your moviegoing tastes?

What’s the first movie you remember seeing, and what impression did it make on you?

What’s the first movie that made you think, “Hey, some people made this. It didn’t just exist. There’s a human personality behind it.”

What’s the first movie you ever walked out of?

What’s the funniest film you’ve ever seen?

What’s the saddest film you’ve ever seen?

What’s the scariest film you’ve ever seen?

What’s the most romantic film you’ve ever seen?

What’s the first television show you ever saw that made you think television could be more than entertainment?

What book do you think about or revisit the most?

What album or recording artist have you listened to the most, and why?

Is there a movie that you think is great, or powerful, or perfect, but that you never especially want to see again, and why?

What movie have you seen more times than any other?

What was your first R-rated movie, and did you like it?

What’s the most visually beautiful film you’ve ever seen?

Who are your favorite leading men, past and present?

Who are your favorite leading ladies, past and present?

Who’s your favorite modern filmmaker?

Who’s your least favorite modern filmmaker?

What film do you love that most people seem to hate?

What film do you hate that most people love?

Tell me about a moviegoing experience you will never forget — not just because of the movie, but because of the circumstances in which you saw it.

What aspect of modern theatrical moviegoing do you like least?

What aspect of moviegoing during your childhood do you miss the most?

Have you ever damaged a friendship, or thought twice about a relationship, because you disagreed about whether a movie was good or bad?

What movies have you dreamed about?

What concession stand item can you not live without?

Photo: Fawn Kemble

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