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Oscar Winner Marshall Curry Speaks to Uptown Radio



BRETT FORREST: This past Sunday, the film The Neighbors' Window won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. The film is set in New York. It's about an older couple who can see everything their neighbors across the street are doing.


I spoke with Brooklyn-based filmmaker, Marshall Curry, about where he got the inspiration and what it's like to finally win an Oscar after four nominations. For those who haven't heard him. I asked him what it's about.


CURRY: It's the story of a woman who is in her late 30s, early 40s maybe, has a few of young kids, she's a little frustrated with her life as a mom who's toting kids around and having to get groceries and that sort of stuff and is a little frustrated with her husband. And a young 20 something-year-old couple moves in across the street from her. And she can see into their windows and they're having sex, having dance parties, and living the lives that the 20 somethings live. And she develops this kind of Rear Window obsession with watching them and then some things happen. So I don't want to I don't want to spoil it for people.


FORREST: So being able to see into the lives of your New York City neighbors, I feel like that seems like a common thing people always think about or have seen themselves, but it's my understanding this film was actually inspired by a true story. Can you talk about that?


CURRY: Yeah, that's right. So the kernel of it came from a story that I heard on a podcast called "Love and Radio." It was later rebroadcast on on Radio Lab but a woman named Diane Weipert told a story on that show about having a young couple moving across the street from her and her becoming obsessed with watching them. The story is called the "Living Room." Years later, when I was trying to come up with an idea of something, it popped into my head. And it was really fun because the woman, Diane, ended up coming to the Oscars with us. We got an extra ticket. So she joined us at the Oscars. We had a lot of fun.


FORREST: And just out of curiosity, would you say any part of the film is inspired by anything you've personally experienced?


CURRY: I haven't. I didn't have that specific experience. But I've definitely, you know, lived in New York for years and years. So I, pretty much everybody, has a story about seeing into a neighbor's window. And, having, you know, imagining what, what their lives are like. One of the things that's been kind of interesting, is that it, you know, in some ways, it's a very New York story, because we live so close to each other and... but a lot of people who don't live in New York said that they've seen it as sort of an allegory for social media, where we get these glimpses into other people's lives that are intimate, that feel intimate, and yet are incomplete. I hope anyway, that the story transcends beyond just New York.


FORREST: Now let's just talk about the Oscars. You've been nominated four times before, including this one. And so was there anything different this time? I mean, what were you thinking right before they announced the name of the film?


CURRY: I was super nervous. You know, I had thought about what I was gonna say if I happen to have our film win, but I was, I was pretty nervous about being able to get up and say it. And it's fun, you know, the whole, the whole event is a little bit absurd. And it's all these people play dress-up in hopes of winning a little gold statue that has no value except, except for the light that it can shine on our film.


FORREST: Now, you have won your Oscar and a lot of people would consider that the pinnacle of a film career, but what's next for you?


CURRY: Hopefully I'll be able to, to just keep working. That's that's the thing that I love the most. I just like shooting and editing and making films. The best case scenario for me is that it helps me to be able to keep doing the thing I love.


FORREST: Marshall, thanks so much for joining us and again, congratulations on your Oscar.


CURRY: Thank you so much.


FORREST: If you want to watch the film, you can check it out on theneighborswindow.com.


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