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6Qs with Director Amin Matalqa //

bySeif Al-Din

AminMatalqa_SundanceCaptain Abu Raed Director Amin Matalqa took his first plunge into film at the age of 14 when he shot a short film with a friend in Amman, Jordan. It was entitled Kharabt Beity Ya Bent El Kalb. (You Wrecked My House, You Bitch) – obviously a comedy. The VHS has since disappeared, in the hands of “someone out there” who Amin doesn’t know. Amin claims “it was awful” but fret not, we’re currently assigning a task force to find and resurrect it for your viewing pleasure.


favorite film?
Lawrence Of Arabia,
Cinema Paradiso
, The Iron Giant
best time to shoot?
Magic Hour (Sunset)
5am – start or finish?

1. If you could recreate any cartoon character in a real film character who would it be and why?
The Iron Giant
– because it’s a fantasy that I would love to use. Although ‘I wouldn’t redo it because its perfect as it is. But if you told me I get to adapt one, that’d be the one.

2. What inspires you?
My dogs (Cello and Oboe), the little things in life human behavior. I really love the quirkiness of human behavior, and I love to just observe people while they’re not watching. So in other words I’m a psychopath. [best place to people watch: the airport. and the bathroom - public toilets]

3. Do you prefer writing or directing?
Directing first, writing second. I mean both, but yeah – when I’m writing I prefer directing. When I’m directing, I’m rewriting.

4. What are the challenges that come with directing a movie you wrote?
Keeping a balance of objectivity to something you’ve already seen in your head. And keeping the balance between executing that vision and allowing for opportunities for new things to happen.

5. When will Cello and Oboe hit the big screen?

They have already in my short film. No features, though, they like to keep a low profile. And they’re too expensive – their price has risen so high they’re out of my budget!

6. If you could have any other talent, what would it be and why?

I’d have two. One: I would be a painter, because that’s what I always thought I would become as a kid. I still draw and dabble with it but I’d like to pursue that more seriously one day. Two:  I’d be a film composer, because film music is my obsession. And it would give me an excuse to fire my composer.

If you missed Captain Abu Raed when it made its initial theatre run – make sure you catch it on DVD when it comes out in February 23, 2010. In the meantime, check out the trailer…

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