Editors' Note: It's Reader Appreciation Month -- which we'll extend into April since I've been slow to get going. We haven't interviewed readers in two years but here were the previously awesome boys and girls (I shouldn't say "previously"... I'm sure they're all still awesome. Reading TFE makes you a smarter, funnier, hotter person - Scientific Fact!). New Reader Spotlights coming at you daily for two weeks before the series goes weekly! Hope you enjoy - Nathaniel
Hi, Ferdi! what's your first movie memory?
FERDI: My first movie memory is in the very early 80's, a re-edition of 101 Dalmatians during the Easter Holidays. I went to the theatre with my parents. I don't think I understood very much of the plot, I was three or four, but I was absolutely thrilled and blown away by Cruella De Vil.
Who chould have known that was the beginning of my fascination with villains, dark ladies, stardom and powerful female characters?
When did you start reading The Film Experience?
FERDI: Back in 2002, I was eager to find everything I could on the web about Far From Heaven, The Hours and my increasing obsession with Julianne Moore and unending love for La Pfeiffer. And I found the best place where I could feed them, I suppose. I just stopped and said: "Oh my God, there's someone else on earth who loves them as much as (or even more than) me!". I'm a faithful reader since then.
Three Favorite Directors? Go!
FERDI: Very tough question. Ask me tomorrow and I will give you different names. But for now I must say: Jane Campion, for her unique feminine eye, the psychological depth of her characters and the mastery in combining form and content like only the greatest director can do; David Cronenberg for his poetics about bodily mutations and his spellbinding variations on horror and melodrama; And Stephen Frears, as my guilty pleasure. I just LOVE how he manages to bring out of his actresses their absolute best -- Glenn Close in Dangerous Liasons and Anjelica Huston in The Grifters are two of my personal heroines.
(Ok you just ask me three names, but if they were five I would have added Martin Scorsese and Todd Haynes.)
I love those answers but since you're Italian, aren't you obligated to say Federico Fellini?
FERDI: Of course I love the classics of Fellini and most of all Visconti, but I didn't grow up watching their movies. When I was a child I used to watch Alfred Hitchcock movies with my father. Then I began to go back to Italian cinema at University but even there I preferred to study Orson Welles and Billy Wilder more than De Sica or Antonioni. I don't think it's a kind of refusal of my inner roots... It's all about personal taste and building cultural references and dreaming and finding your own way to escape. And I found it in the American cinema.
Speaking of Hollywood then, final question. Take one Oscar away from someone, give it to someone else.
FERDI: I know I will sound unoriginal but it's the Halle Berry win for Monster's Ball. That year I would give it to Nicole Kidman for Moulin Rouge so that Julianne Moore can win the following year.