Over the past week, the voice in my head has been that of esteemed British film critic Mark Kermode.
As any regular listener to the program he and Simon Mayo co-present on BBC’s Radio 5 knows, Mark is a man of very marked opinions. For those you who are not familiar with The Good Doctor, I refer you to his BBC Blog and his and Simon Mayo’s Radio Show website, where you can subscribe to and download their weekly podcasts.
In his most recent book, The Good, the Bad and the Multiplex: What’s Wrong with Modern Movies?, he has the opportunity to go on a series of no-holds-barred rants about what he feels is wrong in behind the scenes of today’s Hollywood films. In his book he waxes poetic about:
- The advent of digital projection and the disappearing projectionist;
- Why 3D is NOT here to stay;
- The daftness of modern blockbusters, and most crucially,
- Exactly what are film critics for?
Although I have heard many of these arguments, in the full expanse of the written word, Kermode’s stories take on another dimension. He backs up many of his arguments with a combination of hilarious, unbelievable personal anecdotes and some well-researched data. And you may not totally agree with his positions, but he gets props in my book for calling out some of the unspoken things many of us are probably are wondering. The one that sticks out in my head is: If blockbusters make money no matter what (including poor critical response), why make crappy ones? It is the classic Transformers vs. Inception argument.
This is Dr. K.’s second book; his first book It’s Only a Movie is also on my bookshelf and yet to be read. I promise to get to it … eventually.
For my readers in the UK, stay tuned for Kermode’s announcement of the annual Kermode Awards; for the uninitiated, these are posited as an “alternative Academy Award.” Previous winners of the award include Andy Serkis, Andrew Garfield, Christopher Nolan, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Cronenberg and this guy.