Margaret Pomeranz and Davis Stratton entertained generations of film lovers on SBS’s The Movie Show with their witty banter, heated disagreements and their passion for movies.
Proving that you should fix what ain’t broke, the pair jumped ship to the ABC when SBS wanted to change the format of the show, and continued their success with At the Movies, where David continued to lament ‘shaky camerawork’ and Margaret kept championing good Aussie films.
The much-loved duo retired at the end of 2014 but haven’t given up their enthusiasm for cinema, and are due to recreate The Movie Show format on board a special cruise in the Mediterranean, with fellow travellers invited to join Stratton and Pomeranz for screenings of their favourite films and commentary, as the boat takes a movie-themed journey through Rome, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Siena and more.
Starts at 60 about all things cinema, as well as her approach to life after 60.
You’ve got a very active, working lifestyle. What is your secret to living a full and healthy life?
“Being engaged in life is the key to a lot. Working at my age is pretty fantastic. Nothing gets you up in the morning like knowing you have a deadline to meet.”
When did your love of cinema begin? Was it one movie that did it for you?
“It developed because when I was young it was the only thing around. There was not much else to do. It was a regular weekly treat, going to the cinema. When I married I started looking at not just the stars but the directors as well.”
How do you normally spend your days, apart from watching films of course?
“At the moment I am very involved in presenting the introductions for world movies through Foxtel Movies Masterpiece. I am loving what I am doing now. This is coming to my heart. Watching these films is like entering into another world. Many of these films I haven’t seen which is exciting.”
Do you think we’ll see another Aussie film renaissance like in the 1970s with the release of films like Wake in Fright, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Mad Max?
“It’s a gradual wave. The important thing for us is to tell our own stories. The inequity of women is something so prominent today that I think we need to tell stories about it. I think women are very different from men. They have very different experiences and they need to be told.”
What’s the one film you and David always disagree on?
“Romper Stomper. I won’t move and David won’t move. I think it is more important to talk about the films we both agree on, like Australian film Sampson and Delilah.”
We have seen a lot of change in the entertainment industry at the moment with the #Metoo and #Timesup movement. What do you think about it all?
“I think people are going to be very careful in the future with their work colleagues. It’s a very public shaming and very career destructive.”
“I do think it needed to happen but I detest the element of witch-hunt. I hate the naming and shaming. You can’t make wild accusations without, to quote Margaret Atwood, ‘due process’ and evidence in court. On the other hand in the Weinstein case, so many women have a back-up of evidence and need to be taken seriously. [Their] issues should be addressed.”
The Med cruise sounds fantastic! Are you looking forward to reuniting with David?
“I always like reuniting with David. We do still maintain a relationship. We normally see each other for lunch these days.”
Margaret and David will reunite on the 12-day Film Festival at Sea cruise from July 6-25. In an official statement, Stratton said he couldn’t wait to reunite with his old sparring partner. “I’m sure we’ll be bringing back some of our good-natured disagreement,” he said.
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