August 9, 2004 by

Geraldine Peroni

3 comments

Categories: Hollywood

Geraldine Peroni, a film editor who was once nominated for an Academy Award, died on Aug. 3 at the age of 51.
The New York City native studied film at Hunter College. She broke into show business in 1983 as an apprentice film editor on the movie “Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.”
Beginning in 1990, Peroni worked with director Robert Altman on eight films, including “The Player,” for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Film Editing. She also edited or co-edited “Michael,” “Cradle Will Rock,” “The Safety of Objects,” “Jesus’ Son,” “Thank God I’m a Lesbian” and episodes of the HBO TV show “The Wire.”
Peroni died in her Manhattan home. The New York City medical examiner ruled the death a suicide, but her family disputes the finding.

3 Responses to Geraldine Peroni

  1. Erik Lewis

    I was shocked and saddened today to learn, so belatedly, of the death of Geri Peroni. She was always in a special place in my heart. I met Geri when we were both driving taxi cabs for the Ann Service Company in NYC, and like many cab drivers, we were doing it for the freedom it afforded us to do something else. I was going to Hunter College film school, a cheap but excellent school which I told her about and she went too and we often met after work and shared stories of film projects and ideas. She had a famous poker game every week and I always wanted to go to it but never did. When I got started doing videos Geri helped me out as a gaffer and pa, then she started getting good work as an editor. We stayed in touch over the years and she read and critiqued my screenplay and writing ideas. She was always so comfortable and easy to be with. Once for lunch I visited her at her Greenwich Village apt on 11th street I think and rather than go out, she reached for a cookbook and sort of, as you might open a bible and put your finger on a passage, opened it and at random and said let’s make this recipe. So easy to be with, so mellow, so lovely. Later I visited her for lunch again when she was in the midst of editing “The Cradle Will Rock” and we chatted about the biz and story ideas. I loved that movie and loved that it was being made and that she was making it and was so impressed by her command of all the interwoven story lines on that complicated plot. When it came out I was especially tickled to see her quote at the end that said something like “this film was edited on old-fashioned machines”, and of course it was, a steenbeck or a moviola flatbed. Geri didn’t want to learn AVID, preferred to touch the film, to feel it, to think and edit with the real-time narrative always present as it is on an “old-fashioned” machine; she fought the seduction of “cut and paste” where you can loose yourself in the ease of story manipulation. Later I called her up again, it must have been a few months before she died, and asked her if she’d like to lecture or teach a one-time class on editing where I run a public access tv station. She declined, too busy, and besides, she didn’t like teaching or the idea of it. On my part it was an idea but an excuse also to just say hello – I was sorry she was so busy, I wanted to see her. Then nothing. Called, her number disconnected. Figured she’d gone unlisted. Then an acquaintance tells me today she has died. I’m so sorry. I feel diminished now. I want to say goodbye to her.

  2. Gabe Renzo

    I first met Geri back in the mid-’70’s when we we were both working for the post office in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.She was a lovely and intelligent young woman who possessed great possibilities. Turns out they were realized.
    We would occassinallly stop for a cold beer together after work and talk about what we wanted to do with our lives.She told me about her past incarnations, driving a cab and working in a girl’s home and said that she had planned on going back to school after the summer.She was about twenty-three at the time; I was thirty. I wanted to be a writer. And she was such a great listener.Very compassionate,too.
    Darn, she was a sweetheart.
    Anyhow, that had to be at least thirty-three years ago.
    When I read of her passing in a NY Times obit, my first thought was, no, that cant be the same Geri Peroni, but every thing I read seemed to fall into place. I would like to hear from somone who worked with her just before her passing.
    It has been many years, but yes I, too, feel deminished . She was such an influence on me.
    She had the most beautiful, big brwn eyes…!
    And they were always smiling!!
    She’s in my prayers. Please drop a line, someone.

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