Margaret is Margaret and David is David and never the twain shall meet. Or will they?
In a special pre-launch interview, curator Ulanda Blair chats to Australian icons Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton about their 25 most memorable and forgettable film experiences. Margaret and David: 25 Years Talking Movies is a treasure chest of an exhibition celebrating the quarrelling pair, using their most impassioned and insightful reviews and interviews as stimuli for a broader discussion around film criticism, censorship, the Australian film industry, world cinema and more.
1. Favourite Australian film
Margaret: I don’t know that I can go past Samson & Delilah (2009) now.
David: Newsfront (1978)
2. Favourite international film
Margaret: It has to be Nashville (1975), it has always been Nashville…..
David: Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
3. Favourite director
Margaret: For sheer consistency in contemporary terms I would have to nominate Sean Penn. Not prolific but when he makes them he makes them so well
David: Clint Eastwood/Peter Weir (tie)
4. Favourite actor
Margaret: Sean Penn. You can see I have a fetish here.
David: Cary Grant /James Stewart (tie)
5. Favourite actress
Margaret: Meryl Streep
David: Ingrid Bergman
6. Favourite film script
Margaret: The Indian Runner (1991)
David: All About Eve (1950)
7. Favourite score
Margaret: Talk to Her (2002)
David: Providence (1977)
8. Favourite cinematography
Margaret: The Conformist (1970)
David: Days of Heaven (1978)
9. Favourite film festival
Margaret: San Sebastian
10. Favourite cinema
Margaret: The Cremorne Orpheum
David: Lumiere (at Cannes)
11. A film that changed my outlook on the world
Margaret: Bill Forsythe’s Housekeeping (1987)
David: Black Peter (1964)
12. A film that brought me to tears
Margaret: Beaches (1988)
David: The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
13. A film that made me laugh uncontrollably
Margaret: A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
David: Duck Soup (1933)
14. A film I couldn’t finish
Margaret: The remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
David: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
15. A film I think is underrated
Margaret: Dancer in the Dark (2000)
David: Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977)
16. A film I think is overrated
Margaret: The Departed (2006)
David: Gone with the Wind (1939)
17. A film I’d like to see remade
Margaret: I’m looking forward to Todd Haynes’ remake of Mildred Pierce (1945), but it isn’t a feature, it has been made for television.
David: None (I loathe remakes).
18. A film that sent me to sleep
Margaret: Cars 2 (2011)
David: Whatever it was, I’ve forgotten it.
19. A film that inspired me as a child
Margaret: I Want To Live (1958)
David: The Dam Busters (1955)
20. A film I despise
Margaret: Extremities (1986), an exploitation of something the stage play dealt with seriously.
David: Antichrist (2009)
21. A film I think has improved with age
Margaret: The Apartment (1960) although I thought it was pretty good to start with.
David: Everything by Buster Keaton
22. Most memorable interview
Margaret: Robert Altman for The Player (1992)
David: Dustin Hoffman
23. Most difficult review
Margaret: Romper Stomper (1992)
David: Salvation (2008)
24. Most polarising film (one that you agree to disagree on with David)
Margaret: Anything by Lars von Trier, most notably Dancer in the Dark (2000).
David: Antichrist (2009), Dancer in the Dark (2000)….
25. Preferred lead in your future biopic
Margaret: Katherine Hepburn
David: Richard Roxburgh
Margaret and David: 25 Years Talking Movies is a free exhibition at ACMI open daily from Wednesday 17 August – Sunday 4 December.
Just for fun: are you a Margaret or a David? Tell us which one you are and why…