Since yesterday's Reader o' the Day was someone I'd met, let's make it a double feature. But afterwards we go back to people I haven't met which is 99.99% of you. Today we're talking to Murtada who lives here in NYC. I've only been recognized in public (at least to my knowledge) like 6 times so I've never gotten used to it. It is... strange. Murtada was one of those (unlucky) sharp eyed people. We were at a gay bingo event of all things.
Nathaniel: I'm still so embarrassed about our meeting. My friends were so mad at me... they were all "Why were you so rude to that nice guy?" I was just shocked/disoriented. I have no idea what I even said. Can you ever forgive me?
MURTADA: Of course I forgive you……as long as you promise to come back to gay bingo. I haven’t been back since that day, have you?
Haven't been back, no. LOL. Do you remember your first moviegoing experience?
I grew up in Sudan and there were not a lot of movie theatres there. I consumed movies on VHS. But there was an outdoor summer theatre that played mostly Bollywood movies. I remember seeing a Jaws revival on a very hot summer night sometime in the 80s and hiding under the seat for most of the movie because I was so scared.
Your 3 favorite actresses. Go!
The two C/Kates, Blanchett and Winslet. I can’t get enough of either. Blanchett was love at first sight when I saw her in Elizabeth but I love her most in The Talented Mr. Ripley, so casually snobbish.. delicious. And her big grand gestures in The Good German are even better than her Hepburn. Winslet was more of a love built over time and accumulated because she just kept getting better and making better movies. My fave of hers is probably Revolutionary Road, she was combusting with emotion in that. And recently Michelle Williams took my breath away in Blue Valentine.
I know you're an Oscar obsessive. Take away one person's Oscar and give it to someone else.
I could play this game all day: Angelina Jolie’s (Girl, Interrupted) to Toni Colette (The Sixth Sense); Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s (Capote) to Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain); Rachel Weiz (Constant Gardener) to Maria Bello (A History of Violence); And don't even get me started on Hooper/Fincher, the wound is still raw.
But if I was given one chance I will have to take Kevin Costner best director Oscar (Dances With Wolves) and give it to Martin Scorsese. I know, obvious. But that doesn't make it wrong. In fact it will right maybe one of the biggest wrongs in Oscar history. GoodFellas is a fantastic movie that has endured and is now a big part of movie and pop culture history. In my opinion it's Scorcese's peak as a storyteller.
Who are you really rooting for over the next few years of cinema?
I am so glad that Darren Aronofsky is not doing Wolverine and whatever his next movie becomes I hope it's an original story of his. He is the most exciting American filmmaker out there.