I’ve interviewed John Wilson, founder and Head Berry of the Golden Raspberry Awards Foundation, every year since 1997. The award, the Razzie, given in a variety of categories to single out the worst of the worst from the previous year’s cinematic flops, is an antidote to the hoopla surrounding those other awards shows. In particular, the one that takes place the day after the Razzie Award ceremony and involves a little gold man. An industry insider, Wilson’s observations about the worst films of the previous year are sharp, deadly, and always fair. In fact, it can be argued that the Razzie Award is the only one handed out during awards season that is given strictly on merit (or lack thereof). The annual conversation is still a formal interview in format, but has become like a great chat with an old friend, particularly when Wilson expertly skewers what has personally made my movie-going experience from the previous year especially painful. This year, in addition to recapping Sandra Bullock’s appearance at last year’s Razzies, the talk was of LITTLE FOCKERS, SEX AND THE CITY 2, Liza Minnelli’s unique entertainment achievement, and the mania for 3-D. Wilson also took time to speak to what he considers the most positive trends in cinema, and that is as it should be. First and foremost, Wilson is a lover of all things film.
Now in it’s 31st incarnation, Wilson’s valuable public service has tracked the ups and downs, mostly downs, of cinema and its purveyors since before the social network, before cell phones, even before The Simpsons. In that simpler time Wilson, a studio publicist and lover of cinema, stumbled into, and out of, of a bargain matinee of XANADU and CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC. The result of living through a double-feature of such schlockiness was the first Razzie awards ceremony, held in his living room, as a tonic to the Academy Awards. Since then, the Razzie Award has made Hollywood sit up, or turn tail, as the case may be, but in either case, take notice, whether it wants to or not.