Live Review: Mark Kermode

Mark Kermode is as close to a personal hero as any film critic in the world. Sure, he’s no Roger Ebert when it comes to the written word, he’s more comfortable on film than on paper and his hair is, quite frankly, terrible; but he is about as close as I have to a role model. This mainly stems from the fact that he doesn’t ‘dislike’ films, he ‘HATES’ them. I like to think that I do the same.

In this live event from his book tour (it’s basically an audiobook version of some of the best anecdotes from his autobiography) he brings that same acerbic wit, this time to the stage. For a film critic (who are, famously, like moles) he is extremely confident and genuinely funny. Sure, we’ve heard him tell these stories before, but who doesn’t enjoy a re-enactment of Werner Herzog getting shot on one of the hills overlooking LA. The stories come thick and fast with a sufficient amount of name dropping and a less sufficient amount of self-deprecation. But it’s all in good humour.

Make no mistake, however. Neither the book nor the live events will give you any insight into, either, how films are made or how reviews are written. A better way of describing it would be as movie related stand-up comedy, where the best jokes will only be got by people who’ve seen every B-Movie horror ever made (myself not included). It’s genuinely funny and his Danny Dyer impression is something to be cherished, but for aspiring critics, writers, directors or actors this is not a lesson. Kermode is amusing and inspiring in equal measure and, as The Jam would say, that’s entertainment.

Worth seeing if you can catch it before it ends. If you’re unfamiliar with Mark then look on YouTube for his famous Herzog interview and Google his blog, Kermode Uncut. It’s a suitably funny and revealing experience.

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