Thursday, 13 September 2012

BLOG SPOT #4: Kermode Uncut

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Welcome to the latest edition of Blog Spot, in which I use my following (small but loyal though it is) to give more attention to the work of others.

When I started this monthly lot back in June, I said I would strike a balance between professional film sites like Best for Film and individual bloggers like Film Master Thomas and everyone I noted in my Liebster Award post. And today it's time for one of the biggies - the biggie, in fact, because without this man I probably won't love films anything like I do now, and therefore this blog wouldn't exist. I am of course referring to the mighty Mark Kermode, and his blog Kermode Uncut.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/markkermode/images/kermode_banner.jpg 
Let's get the greasy, sycophantic stuff out of the way first. Mark Kermode is my favourite film critic and the man who made me realise that film was something that could and should be deconstructed and analysed thematically. He's the reason I'm such a big horror fan; he introduced me to the works of Lindsay Anderson; his show with Simon Mayo on BBC Radio 5 inspired me to create The Movie Hour; and his vitriolic review of The Deer Hunter had a big influence on my written reviews.
I'm a big fan of Kermode's for any number of reasons. He's never afraid to speak his mind even when he's completely out of step with popular opinion: for instance, he considers Stanley Kubrick overrated (wrong), thinks Jaws is better than Schindler's List (right), and is a big fan of the Twilight series (no comment, since I haven't read the books or seen the films). His knowledge of cinema is as comprehensive as they come, and he embraces mainstream and exploitation cinema rather than just confining himself to the arthouse films that no-one ever gets to see. He's been a prominent campaigner for the British film industry, has written two brilliant books (It's Only A Movie and The Good, The Bad and the Multiplex), and play double bass in a skiffle band called The Dodge Brothers.
Kermode Uncut is Mark's bi-weekly blog, in which he offers his opinion on upcoming releases and answers viewers' questions about different film topics. He's recently started a film club slot, where he records a video intro for a different film each month, and then viewers go out, rent the film and write in with their responses. So far he's covered the Jim McBride remake of Breathless (starring Richard Gere), David Lynch's much-maligned Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and "the Citizen Kane of British pop movies", Slade in Flame. Whatever Mark's blogging about, you can always expect high quality, and the comments are host to some of the most erudite and civilised film debates you will ever find on the internet.

You can access Kermode Uncut here, as well as the homepage for his show with Simon Mayo, which they do every Friday 2-4pm on BBC Radio 5 Live. To give you a taster, here's one of his more famous Kermodian rants, as he takes Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End to the cleaners:

Daniel

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