Let’s agree to disagree

Margaret and David

Margaret and David

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
David: Venice

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)

Margaret and David at the 6th WA Film and Video Festival in 1991

Margaret and David at the 6th WA Film and Video Festival in 1991. Image courtesy of Margaret Pomeranz.

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…

Vintage Margaret and David

Vintage Margaret and David - image courtesy of Margaret Pomeranz

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2 Responses to “Let’s agree to disagree”

  1. Roger 12. Aug, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    Oh, I love the pair. Sometimes I’ll gush and adore like Margaret; other times, I’ll be stern like David.

  2. ACMI 18. Aug, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Haha. That’s great Roger. I think there’s a little bit of Margaret and David in all of us.

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