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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

‘Film criticism is rarely as much fun as Kermode, whether on the radio or in this hugely entertaining book.’ ( Empire.)
‘Kermode is interesting on the topic of how we remember (and misremember) key cinematic scenes, and how the grammar of cinema reflects the way our thoughts flow…Fans of Kermode’s television and radio work will love all of his complaining about Pirates of the Caribbean, and his repeated references to the magazine Fangoria and celluloid curious such as Slade in Flame’ ( Telegraph)
'His boundless affection for everything that cinema has to offer, from the people behind the scenes to everything from the good, the bad and the ugly that he has had to sit through over the decades is voiced brilliantly in his new autobiography, It’s Only A Movie’ Full page interview in the Leeds Guide.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very funny stories about the love of movies

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I just love Mark.

What did you like best about this story?

The best part of the book is definitely the story of Werner Herzog getting shot, which a brief google search will give you footage of.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Pure Witter-tainment - only deeper, & richer

If one can get past the laughs (not easy, because there are so many), this not only an amusing autobiographical piece of storytelling, but a deep love story: a love story about a man an his muse - movies.

Kermode reads his own writing the same way he speaks on the BBC: with wit, self-deprecating humor, but also with his passion for all things cinema.

I will have to listen to it more than once, because, frankly, I was often laughing too hard to get all the details of this audio "movie" "inspired by true events", directed, produced, written, scored and read by the Professor.

Highest recommendation - and check out his podcasts, both with & w/o Simon Mayo. Yes, you'll be addicted, but it's worth the monkey(s) on your back & every minute of your time, and every megabyte of storage & bandwidth.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • PP Merge
  • 02-23-10

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.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Melissa
  • 03-13-11

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • H J Mac
  • 04-13-13

It's wittertaining.

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-13-13

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • 04-25-10

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.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Maxi-D
  • 07-01-18

Movie Macarbre

A wonderful insight into the man behind the quiff "It's only a movie" snapshots the life of Kermode in such a way that's engaging, entertaining and rather insightful. in particular his chapter relating to his travels in Russia left me both laughing out loud and feeling deeply sympathetic.

It's definitely Inspired me to read more of Kermodes work and as a film maker and critic myself it was a really inspiring read that I can highly recommend.

A tiny bit rambly but all the more human for it :)

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  • Don
  • 07-10-17

Oddly engaging

I was slightly apprehensive about listening to the story of Mark Kermodes life. However, the book is firmly about his life as a film lover/critic so we never really see outside this element of his perosna, which is good as a narrative of his life from beginning to present might have had the air of him trying to be part of the celebrity culture he dislikes. If you like Kermodes film reviews you will lile this book.

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  • 1496 swale
  • 02-23-17

great listen (read)

Dr K at his controversial best. great facts and opinions as you would always expect from the good Doctor.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • TheApples
  • 11-10-16

A lot of Special K

I really like listening to Mark Kermode on the radio and watching him on TV but I found his writing and delivery a little hectoring at times. Very much focused on his career and not a lot on family etc. Still enjoyable and interesting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karl Knight
  • 12-23-15

Lovely Stuff

Mark Kermode is a top class film critic and he also has a great sense of humour, the bottom line is if you want to know whether a film is worth watching or not, Mark is the guy to rely on!

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  • Peter Davis
  • 05-20-15

How a film critic is made.

If you are reading this review, you are probably aware of Mark Kermode who, along with Simon Mayo, hosts the BBC's "Flagship" movie review show.

In this book Mark charts his journey from be-coiffed lovable radical feminist Bolshevik student agitator, to be-coiffed ranty radio review royalty. And what a journey it is, culminating in a disastrous trip to the set of "Dark Waters", a low budget horror film shot in the former soviet union.

Along the way we get enough anecdotes about actors, film-makers and musicians to keep the book rollicking along, and the fact that the material is read by the author himself in his most dulcet radio presenter tones is a bonus.

So is it any good? Well, it's way better than "Sex and the City 2", but still not quite as good as "The Exorcist" (which Mark believes is the greatest film of all time).