David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz no longer At The Movies
AT THE MOVIES, the weekly movie critique show that was once on SBS and then shifted to the ABC in 2004, ended a 28-year run on Tuesday night.
Hosts David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz were the bickering aunt and uncle sitting in a corner of our lounge rooms telling us their constantly clashing opinions on the latest flicks, whether we liked it or not.
Drifting occasionally into "they must love the sound of their own voice" territory and sometimes a little too arty-farty, they were universally admired.
Their opinions were better than just that because they knew, and adored, their subject.
I loved their disagreements, and would often feel deflated if they hadn't had a dust-up over whether or not a director over-edited, underused a star or laid on cliche far too peanut-butter thick.
They introduced me to Tarantino, European and Middle Eastern cinema and took me to Cannes and Venice every year. They educated me on film techniques, showed me examples of the finest acting and shone a light on obscure, alternative film.
They made sure of a certain spice in film fans' diets; variety, sadly bland and McDonald's-ised now with their departure.
But mostly, they hammered home the power of a bloody good story well told.
Margaret was like a hyper-emotional little pixie-sheep, squawking an endearing laugh with Tourette's surprise.
David was prickly and slightly less accessible for me, but still more than worthy of respect with rock solid film smarts.
So, what does the ABC do now?
Replacement is not the term or the format given the habits of the modern film-watching world. No longer do audiences line up at cinemas on the day a new movie premieres.
But movie reviews are still necessary.
I think a hunt should be on right now for a new duo to front an online-only show that is presented as single-movie reviews.
So, if you want to hear about the latest Brad Pitt movie, search iView for its title, and watch a 10-minute package on it. Dip in and out, accessing the content you need whenever you want.
Link it to Hoyts or BCC websites for some commercial spin-off (which the ABC would never do, but it's an idea) and if a movie is not there, suggest it.
Of course, the key, as we know from Margaret and David experience, is the chemistry of the talent.
Thanks for the memories.