To avoid fainting, keep repeating it's only a move ..only a movie ..only a movie ..only a movie
If you grew up believing that Planet of the Apes told you all you needed to know about politics, that Slade in Flame was a savage exposé of the pop world, and that The Exorcist revealed the meaning of life, then you probably spent far too many of your formative years at the cinema. Just as likely, you soon would have realised that there was only one career open to you - you'd have to become a film critic.
In It’s only a Movie, the incomparable Mark Kermode takes us into the weird world of a life lived in widescreen. Join him as he embarks on a gut-wrenching journey through the former Soviet Union on the trail of the low budget horror flick Dark Waters, cringe as he's handbagged by Helen Mirren at the Bafta awards ceremony, cheer as he gets thrown out of the Cannes film festival for heckling in very bad French, and don't forget to gasp as he's shot at while interviewing Werner Herzog in the Hollywood hills.
Written with sardonic wit and wry good humour, this compelling cinematic memoir is genuinely ‘inspired by real events’.
©2010 Mark Kermode (P)2010 Random House Audio
I noticed this because of the cover, but the audio sample hooked me. I loved this book. Mark Kermode, who also does a BBC show that you can find in podcast about movies, writes and narrates this. I had no idea who he was before this, but after listening, I'm a big admirer.
He talks a lot about a variety of movies: The Exorcist, Mama Mia, Blue Velvet, The Queen, Breaking the Waves, Silent Running, Hellraiser, Local Hero, Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, The Evil Dead, and others with funny observations and personal notes.
The funniest parts are his first time on the radio, his ill-fated trip to newly capitalized Russia and his trip to the US to interview his favorite celebrities.
If you appreciate movies, especially cult or horror movies, you'll like this book.
Because of this book, I now subscribe to the Kermode and Mayo podcast, which updates every Friday with interviews and usually funny movie reviews.
"As slick as his hair"
Within the first 15 minutes of this title I knew I was going to love it and want to listen to it many times. Mark Kermode is a natural narrator (not always the case with celeb self-read autobiographies) and words, concepts, conceits, comedy all tumble out in an engaging and affable torrent. Listen to the sample and you will see what I mean, buy the book and you won?t regret it.
"Witertainment at its very best!"
I loved it! Mark Kermode is sharp and witty and does a great job of reading his own text. It has laugh out loud moments but also has serious points he wants to make about films and the media. I love dipping into it when I need a pick-me-up after a bad day.
"Some amusing stories, but not much else"
This is a pretty strange book, being neither an in depth study of film or a detailed autobiography of Kermode's life. Instead it flits about through Kermode's experiences with various film makers and minor celebrities. Some of the stories are interesting (such as Kermode's terrifying trip through Russia during the soviet years), while others are pretty pointless.
Kermode himself reads the book as you would expect, and sounds fine, just as he does on Radio 5.
Mildly entertaining then, but you'd probably do just as well downloading the Kermode/Mayo podcast from the BBC.
"Brilliant, even without the Mayo"
Smug, Blagging, Chancer
I don't read/listen to a lot of autobiographies, but I found this tale of bravado, chutzpah and sheer luck to be enjoyably fluffy, in comparison to Stephen Fry's more angsty and ernest (but brilliant) Moab is My Washpot.
Well I regularly hear him on Radio 5. The key difference here is the absence of Simon Mayo, which genuinely made me think twice about whether I could cope with 7 hours of just Mark. Obviously the vibe is different, but actually Mark is a very entertaining presence, even on his own.
Laugh, several times.
A fascinating chronicle of how one of the UK's leading film critics got to the top, mostly through blagging and chancing it!
Sorry for the cheesy title. I couldn't resist. This is just delightful, I adore Mark Kermode's writing style. Both his books are sort of autobiographical, in a charming way. It's really a series of stories about his life as a movie journalist. Some of the anecdotes are very funny, and it's never dull.
If you are a fan of his radio 5 show, I think you need to read his books as there are references that will enrich your listening experience!
"Very good, a real treat for movie buffs"
I enjoy listening to Marks movie review pod casts so thought I would try this audio book. I was not disappointed by it. It had all the quirky movie antidotes I expected and some personal stories from Mark. All in all very enjoyable for a movie buff like me.
"A Critique of Pure Unreasonableness"
Most of the time, Kermode writes as he broadcasts, which will amuse or infuriate you depending on your preferences. Read by anybody but the author this would be a waste of money and almost eight hours of your life. Read by the author it will make you laugh more than six times and understand why Google says "hello to Jason Isaacs" when you type his name in. Kermode is probably currently one of the top ten of Britain's ex marxist, vegetarian, former feminist, Christian film critics, and this book amply explains how he achieved this, unless you are Ukranian, when it will offend you.
"It's only a review but..."
Really enjoyed this - as others have reported its a strange mix of autobiography and general thoughts/anecdotes but all entertainly narrated by the man himself. He does it with a real sense of passion and enthusiasm that for me made this a far more engaging experience than I suspect the book counterpart would be. If you're a fan of the good Dr. then this is a really entertaining listen with some fascinating insights into the life and thoughts of the country's best film critic.
"Great for the fans"
I'm very fond of the Good Doctor. I would not say that I hang on his every word but, certainly my friends tease me with some reason that, I allow him to influence my movie-watching behaviour more than an intelligent man really should. Guilty.
To the book... yes, I enjoyed it. I expected to, and I did. I don't think anybody who isn't already a fan of Dr. Kermode is going to get anything out of it, for it is essentially a selected autobiography. Admittedly, it has a style and technique that attempts to stand apart from the biographical content - it is the story of a man who lives his life through movies - but still, if you don't care about the man already, you're unlikely to care about his life; no matter how he lives it.
If you're an avid Wittertainee, pick this up. If you don't know what the Hell that last sentence meant, you'll probably want to give it a miss.
"Uncut Wittertainment - Not much more"
As an avid listener to Wittertainment I am fully aware of the 'Kermodian rant' which, while very entertaining on a Friday afternoon, I did have concerns over his suitability in narrating his own story. Totally unfounded and with second thoughts who else could tell his story. I do agree with other reviewers that if you download the podcast and follow the Uncut blog then you probably know most of it. Definitely left wanting more.
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