You may or may not know of Mark Kermode. Those of you who don’t – he is a renowned British film critic who writes for The Observer, Sight & Sound as well as co-presenting Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review. He also hates Michael Bay movies and does a brilliant impression of Danny Dyer so he’s definitely alright with me.
Liam just so happens to be a big fan and so when he found out he was going to be doing a talk at the No 6 Cinema in Portsmouth, he just had to get tickets. Unfortunately, it had sold out so we ended up on a waiting list but we got lucky and a couple of seats freed up.
The purpose of the talk was for Mark to promote his new book Hatchet Job – Love movies, hate critics. Instead of just doing some readings and plugging the book, Mark instead shared some amazing and hilarious stories of his career and the film critics industry as a whole. He covered his experience meeting Lars Von Trier and telling him how much he hated one of his movies, as well as his friendship with the late Ken Russell.
The most interesting part of the talk for me though was when he was answering questions. He spent at least 5 minutes on each answer, and it was clear he thoroughly enjoys engaging with his fans. Throughout the whole talk he often went off on tangents so much that you weren’t sure he would come back to them, but he did always come back to the point eventually!
Afterwards, he did a book signing, allowing everyone the chance to meet him. It was a no brainer that we rushed out of the auditorium in order to get near the front of the line. I was really struck by how friendly he was and willing to talk to each person rather than just scribble and call ‘Next!’. I think the fact he is a film critic makes you assume he’s a bit miserable IRL, but he was great.
If you have any interest in film, particularly film journalism, then definitely look out for any guest lectures or talks that Mark Kermode is doing.