Sunday, May 05, 2013

It's Only A Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive by Mark Kermode

It's Only A Movie is Mark Kermode's hilarious autobiographical reflections, which as he points out in the best traditions of cinema is "based upon real events"! The book isn't just about movie he has seen and loved or hated, but also about how his infatuation with the genre was born, grew and how he broke into the media world as a reviewer and then presenter. 

Kermode is a massive fan of the kinds of movies which I most especially dislike, notably horror of the 'evil' or 'bloodbath' type, which I find neither entertaining nor acceptable. Nevertheless, his writing is tremendously witty, amusing, and loaded with beautiful observations, ironies and self-deprecating asides. 

He writes, the sooner I face up to the fact that my entire adolescent world view was informed by the fairground thrills of exploitation cinema the better. In my formative years, everything I knew about politics I had learned from "Planet of the Apes". Everything I knew about pop music I'd learned from "Slade in Flame". Everything I knew about heartbreak I'd learned from "Jeremy". Everything I knew about religion I'd learned from "The Exorcist". And, apparently everything I knew about 'adult matters' Id learned from "Krakatoa: East of Java".........  And you thought *you* were messed up. (p50)

This is a faced-paced, lively and most amusing romp through films, lefty Manchester student politics, love, friendship, broadcasting and Kermode's vociferously held opinions on issues from censorship to Simon Mayo, and everything else in between. Wry, funny and thought-provoking, I don't think Kermode would lexpect the reader to agree with all or any of his wonderful rants, but this is a most entertaining light read.

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