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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Groovy Guy of the Month: Rob Christopher

Each month I feature an interesting Groovy Guy or Gal - and the winner of this prestigious title for December is Chicago author Rob Christopher, whose new book, Queue Tips: Discovering Your Next Great Movie, is my first Groovy Giveaway of 2013 (click here to enter). Rob's other creative projects have included the 2003 book, 100 Spinning Plates; the 1999 documentary, Kosher Messiah (as the co-editor); articles for such publications as the Chicago Reader and American Libraries; and the website, Chicagoist, where he has written about film, cocktails and other Chicago topics since 2006. And I've been a fan of his groovy blog, RandomCha, for many years.

Now I've asked Rob to get Deeper with us here on the Dish by answering a few questions about his life and, of course, pop culture.

What inspired you to write Queue Tips?
I wanted to write a book that would quickly introduce readers to some movies they probably hadn’t heard of before - either movies that kind of flew under the radar when they first came out or ones that have faded into semi-obscurity over the years. Above all the point of the book is to encourage people to watch movies a little more consciously. I just think movies give you greater enjoyment when you take some time to think about what you’re going to see.

Can you recall the very first film you ever saw?
My mom likes to tell this story about taking me to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs when I was really little, and she was so exhausted that she slept through the whole movie. The first movie I can remember really flipping out over was probably Flash Gordon. I was way more into Flash Gordon than I ever was into Star Wars.

You're also working on an interesting project called 3 Things about 500 Movies, which you've been featuring on your blog. How did you come up with this idea? And how do you choose what films and what three things to write about each of them?
When you see so many movies, frankly they start to get scrambled in your brain. It occurred to me that although writing an out-and-out review of every movie I watched just wasn’t feasible, at least I could jot down a few things to sort of act like memory triggers. So now I take the time to write down three things about pretty much every movie I watch. Things that stuck in my mind - a moment onscreen or a line of dialog, things like that. And I often find myself going back to my "3 things" entry about a movie to refresh my memory - it actually works!

Keeping in the "3" spirit, what were your three favorite films of 2012?
The Master, Skyfall and Cosmopolis.

What are three of your favorite films that you've watched many times?
True Stories, Belle de Jour and It’s a Wonderful Life.

What three films would you like to see released on DVD?
Diary of a Mad Housewife, The Movie Orgy and Las Hurdes (Land Without Bread).

If I were asked to choose the Sexiest Man Alive, it would be:
Totally uncreative here, but James Franco.

If I could have anyone in the world - living or dead - be a guest at my dinner party, I would invite the following three people:
Luis Buñuel, Dawn Powell and David Byrne.

What's next for Rob Christopher? Any New Year's resolutions for 2013?
Good question! I just want to keep writing and watching movies. The rest will take care of itself. As Janet Leigh says in Psycho: “Headaches are like resolutions. You forget them as soon as they stop hurting."

Thank you, Rob, for being such a groovy guy! Click here to follow him on Twitter.

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