A trip through the history of film I stare at my notepad, pondering: what that actor's name again? I can see him in front of me... No, neither Dylan McDermott nor Dermot Mulroney who I'm always confusing anyway. "The guy with the thick eyebrows. Peter...?", I mutter. "Peter Gallagher?" asks one of my teammates. Yeah, that's right. Peter Gallagher was in a coma in "While You Were Sleeping". Okay, we've answered that question, now it's time for another. Oh God, what was the name of the director whose film... Every other month we sit there just like that at the beer tables in SO36 eagerly taking part in the "First Official Berlin Film Table Quiz", covering everything from actor, film titles, quotes and just about anything else remotely related to the topic of film. Film freaks, cinema nerds and even a few professional film critics assemble here to put the knowledge accumulated from endless hours of watching films to the test – a test often failed when faced with questions like the name of the bird from "Up". In teams no larger than six persons, we wait for moderator Rex Kramer to pose his questions. (And, yes, of course, the name is from a film.) With short video clips, photos and quotes, Rex has us hunting for clues across film history from Buñuel to Bay, from Steve Martin to Philip Seymour Hoffman, from the "Avengers" to "¡Átame!".
A Quiz Night in SO36
The first round focuses on current films, although sometimes the questions ask about current actors' previous roles which might be a bit more obscure. Even if we've seen Mark Wahlberg in his latest flick, that doesn't mean we have any idea about the film in which ends up floating in the water ("The Storm" – I should have known that!). Then a collage of short film sequences is shown, this time dedicated to shower scenes. Our job is to identify the right film. This is followed by quotations from films and from reviews. And not "Here's looking at you, kid" or "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse". That would be too easy. The hardest is the last round, because then we only hear sound sequences. I hear snippets of dialogue and sounds, but what is it? A shot? A car? The harder the question, the greater the sense of relief when one of my teammates whispers: "I know it, I know it!" And then Rex asks about the director, all the actors, the year, etc.... Happy are they who can come up with Terrence Howard in Crash. Before counting up the points, there's a short film with the answers – and, yes, it was Peter Gallagher! Groans and loud cheers mix at the individual tables. At the end, there are a couple of prizes for the top three teams and even a trophy for the winning team. But ultimately, it's about having fun together and the magic moment when we all came up with Peter Gallagher together.
Information about the First Berlin Film Table Quiz
Anyone who would like can just drop in, join a group, help with answers and maybe even take the trophy home. The Film Table Quiz takes place every other months on a Wednesday at O36 (but not during the Berlinale, because we're all in the cinema then).