Today on Reader Spotlight we're talking to the very talented Santy Calalay from The Philippines whose interview was lost in my inbox for months. Sorry Santy! Without further ado... here he is with "the only Oscar winner I know"
TFE: Do you remember your first movie?
Santy: It was either one of three Disney movies: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty or Bambi. That or it was a Filipino film from the 70's where my father played the bad guy. Haha. My most vivid childhood memory regarding movies though is with Ghost. My mother loved watching that when it came out but she would never watch it alone. My sister and I were only 6 and 8 at the time so when THAT SCENE as we called it (clay. hands. white shirt. need I type more?) came up, my mother would tell us to go to the other side of the room and bury our faces in pillows while she watched.
I only saw that scene for the first time when I participated in Stinkylulu's 1990 Supporting Actress Smackdown. (Go Diane!)
Why do you read TFE?
Because you write about the movies the way I think about them. Plus TFE must be the most open-minded community when it comes to discussing movies as a business, as an art and as an obsession. I've learned so much from the knowledge of your contributors and commentators.
You're a photographer. How do you think that coincides with your movie love?
Photography is in-between writing and filmmaking. It's Hit Me With Your Best Shot. It's me stopping the narrative and saying, "wow, this is what it's all about." For me, the most beautiful shot is still when Brigitte Lin takes her wig off in the alley in Chungking Express. My breath was taken away. Even the movie stood still for that moment. A photoshoot is just like making a movie, only you try to show your greatest frames and angles to tell the whole story. The brevity of a picture always appealed to me.
Have you ever broken up with someone over a movie?
Yes. After she said Orgazmo was a better movie than Casablanca. Have. Not. Spoken. Since.
Three favorite actresses
Deborah Kerr because I have always loved a lady. Glenn Close because I have always admired someone who goes big and broke every time. And lastly, Thelma Ritter for Pick-up on South Street and the sincerity she always gave in her roles. Sorry Maggie Cheung, Nathaniel said just three.
Robert Altman. Those casts! Enough said.
Take away an Oscar. regift it.
I'll do it but I'll hate myself in the morning: Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby to Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind since I only get ONE regift. [Editor's Note: He hated himself in the morning and sent a new response] Sally Field's Oscar for Norma Rae to Bette Midler for The Rose!
What's the last movie you saw before these questions?
Detective Story. Kirk Douglas growls. Eleanor Parker cries. Lee Grant is KOO-KY.
And in theaters?
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. I actually enjoyed the first movie because of Uma's delicious and highly-affected line readings as Medusa, reminiscent of her Poison Ivy. No such treasure in this one and it only reminded me that Shoreh Aghdashloo has no Oscar.
If you'd like to see Santy's photo work, check it out here. Such a good photographer and recently published in Vogue Italia. Congrats!