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In addition to attracting considerable interest and controversy, The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot” series has also made it patently clear that the public wants to know more about how Academy members think, act and approach their most sacred duty: filling out their Oscar ballots. To that end, I am pleased to announce the creation of a new monthly podcast — entitled “The Geezer and The Kid” — that will feature frank discussions between me and one of the Academy members who I like and respect most, the pioneering film executive Marcia Nasatir, who has also been a member of the Academy’s executive branch for 40 years.
Marcia, a literary agent who became the first woman ever to serve as a vice president of production in Hollywood — she helped to develop Rocky, Carrie, Coming Home and numerous other great films — has given me permission to share that she is 88 years old. She came up with the title for our podcast as an homage to “Reel Geezers,” the wonderful YouTube series that she used to do with Lorenzo Semple Jr., who died last year. I can never be half the sparring partner for Marcia that Lorenzo was — Marcia has been going to the movies for nearly three times as long as I’ve been alive — but I share her passion for films old and new and will do my best to keep things fun and interesting.
In our first episode, which lasted 50 minutes and can be heard below, Marcia and I talked about a wide variety of topics. Among them: where she falls on the Birdman vs. Boyhood question; the controversies surrounding Selma and American Sniper (and whether or not the Academy has racial and/or political biases); the nominee that she would most like to win (“I think that picture not getting nominated [for best picture] was a disgrace”); her prediction for Oscar night (“I believe we’re all gonna be surprised: I think American Sniper is gonna win”); her bitterness about past Oscar nights (how she knew Ordinary People would win even though she voted for Raging Bull); the fact that Academy members are predominately old white men (“We have a row of wheelchairs and walkers”) and what steps might be taken to produce “better” Oscar winners; why she feels fellow female exec Amy Pascal deserved to lose the top job at Sony (“I would have fired her, too”); why she went to see and what she thought of 50 Shades of Grey (“It seems to be fashioned in the way that movies were in the ’30s”); and how Marcia wound up at a party in the 1970s at which a pornographic video was shown, after which a strange man put his toes on her leg while they sat together in a Jacuzzi.
If none of those items appeal to your curiosity, then check your pulse. This is episode one of “The Geezer and The Kid.” Enjoy.
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Santa Barbara International Film Festival