Nathaniel: How often do you go to the movies and what's the biggest draw for you?
Arjan: I go to the movies once a month on average, but I travel quite a bit and often end up watching in-flight movies. Biggest draws are certain actors and subtitles. I love subtitles!
Nathaniel: Subtitles do rule --I prefer mine in yellow under the widescreen image. But you're already teasing. "Certain" actors Arjan? We want names. Do share.
Arjan: Mmmm. I love Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett. And Jake, of course. I remember not being so fond of Nicole until I met her backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2001. We literally ran into each other. Boom! She was so beautiful. I was completely mesmerized. It is her fairy dust.
Nathaniel: I am bright green with envy. I have not met her but I have witnessed the fairy dust live (Dogville premiere Lincoln Center) and it is something. She's nearly alien what with all the glowing. Tell me how much you love Moulin Rouge! (fake it if you don't, I'm obsessed)
Arjan: She's supernatural. I am telling you. The way she commanded her entourage was spellbinding. I chatted with her about her duet with Kylie Minogue, which was a hot topic at the time. Moulin Rouge! is one of my favorite music movies of all time. Visual eye candy.
Nathaniel: You mentioned subtitles a minute ago. What are you favorite foreign films? Are you a Francophile, an Asian cinema nut? Or do you just like them all?
Arjan: My favorite foreign films have to be Dutch. I was born and raised in Amsterdam so I'm a bit biased. Dutch filmmakers have been winning some Oscars in the last ten years. And may I remind you of Rutger Hauer?
Nathaniel: You may and please do. I think if you're of a certain age (30something) the Rutger thing is hard to miss. I mean, Michelle Pfeiffer was cursed with him, Harrison Ford played cat and mouse with him ("time to die"), Anne Rice wanted him.
Who should we all be obsessed with now from Dutch cinema?
Arjan: You should be obsessed with Famke Janssen, the leading lady of Dutch film. Also, Paul Verhoeven's new Dutch-language film Black Book is getting raving reviews. The movie features an amazing performance by Carice Van Housten. The movie is now playing in select cities in the U.S. NPR loved it, too.
Nathaniel: I've been meaning to see that. Since you write about music, I'm curious to hear your reactions on musicians turned actors. Or vice versa. Any thoughts on the medium hopping of Beyonce, Rufus Wainwright, etc... Do you like Juliette Lewis and the Licks? Will you listen to Scarlett Johansson's record when it comes out?
Arjan: Singers are creative beings. Actors are creative beings. So I think it is only natural for them to try to mix it up a little. It doesn't make less or more of an effort. I saw Scarlett perform with the Jesus & Mary Chain at Coachella this year. I wasn't impressed, but I think she's a wonderful actress. I think Juliette Lewis shows off a lot passion in her performance, both on stage and on screen. I totally love that. Don't count out Mandy Moore. I loved her in Saved! and her new album will suprise you.
Nathaniel: I'm sure you've heard of the Kirsten Dunst/Debbie Harry project. Though I'm not particularly fond of the biopic genre, I think Debbie Harry is a great choice for a feature. I'm also really excited to see the Todd Haynes Bob Dylan film I'm Not There. Since you have so much contact with the music world, I'm wondering which musician or band, famous or otherwise, you'd love to see a film about? Or put another way...who is entertaining enough backstage to warrant their own Truth or Dare?
Arjan: Really tough one to answer. I'd love to see a good movie about Fleetwood Mac. A great band with a lot of drama. I would also be interested in seeing a movie about Fischerspooner with the lead character played by Casey Spooner himself. Very compelling group rooted in the avant-garde NYC art scene that would hopefully make for a very enlightening movie experience.
Nathaniel: What's your favorite movie of all time?
Nathaniel: That was so intense. I remember being surprised when it won the Oscar in that it's less sentimental than what they usually go for.
OK what's one thing we haven't discussed that might surprise your readers about your movie tastes?
Arjan: I am sucker for sci-fi movies. I love to dream about galaxies far, far away. I caught the original Planet Of The Apes a few weeks ago and loved it. Music movies don't always hit the right note with me, but classics for me are The Who's Tommy, Flashdance (gritty and empowering) and the bio pic What's Love Got To Do With It with that powerful performance by Angela Bassett.
Nathaniel: They make a movie of your life. Tell us the title, director, tagline --who composes the score and who plays you?
Arjan: Impossible to answer this one! But if you ask me right here, right now... I'd have to go with Ben Affleck or Tom Cruise playing Arjan in a movie directed by Paul Verhoeven or Pedro Almovodar that is called Green Fields which is about a young man who had a dream and made it happen. With two small bags in hand jumping on a plane to start living his childhood dream in a far away county with nothing but the passion to make something of his life. Soundtrack by Darren Hayes and Mylo.
Nathaniel: I can't imagine a world where Verhoeven and Almodovar are an either/or. So let's have both: an Arjan double feature.
Thanks to Arjan for answering all these questions. I hope that gave you a movie taste of a music man. Once again readers: I probably don't have to ask but you're already reading what Arjan Writes... right?