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« can you sing with all the voices of the mountains? | Main | First & Last. 'I don't feel pretty right now' »
Monday
Mar252013

Reader Spotlight: Ferdi

This is Ferdi!

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.

Campion, Cronenberg, and Frears

(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.

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Reader Comments (17)

Good Q&A. Both of you.

This may be the toughest question ever, btw: "Take one Oscar away from someone, give it to someone else."

Immediately I thought Scorsese should get it ... but for "Raging Bull" (Sorry, Bob) or "Goodfellas" (Sorry, Kevin)?

Then I thought BROKEBACK. Oh yeah.

Then I thought, "Wait, we can give CITIZEN KANE best picture?" Or THE THIN RED LINE? Or THE INSIDER? (And I like AMERICAN BEAUTY.)

I mean, there's no end.

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErik

erik-- there is no end which is why it's such a fun game. Of course FERDI went with an absolute classic.

and how cute is it that his photo matches the banner :)

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternathanielr

I would take away Sandy B's Oscar and give it to Abbie Cornish for Bright Star!

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDamian

I want to take Cher's Oscar away out of pure meanness on my part.

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I was coming here to say perfect Oscar answer, but then Erik mentioned Brokeback. I would probably need a top 10 list.

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Take Sandra Bullock's , Oscar, give it to Meryl Streep, and that way Viola Davis has an Oscar now. Think about it people :)

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRami

I had to laugh because Ferdi's answer to that Oscar question is EXACTLY what i would've said.

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck

@Rami, yeah that would make more sense. Or take away Meryl's and give it to Viola.

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

@nathaniel
I hadn't notice that thing about my photo :-)! That's really funny. I knew that i would like to be Jessica Chastain. Or Monty Clift.

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterferdi

Melissa I still want Meryl to have a third Oscar :)

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRami

So glad these are back! Always love reading how other TFE followers were introduced to the site.

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

The banner photos, with you mimicking, are always such a great touch, Nathaniel.

The time I wanted Meryl to win best actress? ONE TRUE THING. '98. So much went wrong that year.

But yes to Rami's suggestion. I believe in baseball they call that a double switch.

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErik

Ferdi -- with either one, you win!

March 25, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

... don't make me blush! :-)

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterferdi

The Marisa Tomei win I would like to change, yes I do love me some Marisa, but she was up to so many great actresses like Richardson (in a career defining year according to me), Redgrave and of course Judy Davis. Then also Michelle Pfeiffer should have got nom'ed here for Batman Returns resulting in a win :'(

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJesper

Frears is really underrated. Granted he has made pretty standard stuff the last decade and a half but the man could do gangster movies transfixed in atmosphere, queer movies with a socio-economic conscience, reboot Dimestore Dostoevsky Jim Thompson novel to the contemporary period, and do a period piece.

And I am glad somebody admitted to their first cinematic memory being a Disney animated movie. At some certain age this happened with all of us and anybody who says otherwise is either lying or that first cinematic memory was instead The Wizard of Oz or a movie musical.

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

CMG -- totally (on Frears). He is definitely one of those artists that burned bright in a very specific time frame though.

March 26, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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