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More Points of You: Part One

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Mark Kermode | 13:00 UK time, Friday, 16 January 2009

At your request I give you my top four films of all time, news on space nazis and more hair advice...

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  • Comment number 1.

    Fifty quid says the sound award is going to Oriol Tarragó. Not that that's a bad choice, The Orphanage was wonderful, [REC] less so, but great use of sound.

    And I must demand an answer to my There Will Be Blood question. Despite obviously being one of many people asking.

    Just what does saying it "redefines the language of modern cinema" mean?

  • Comment number 2.

    If there was one Kermode thats guarranted then it Oriol Tarrago. Quite rightly so as well

  • Comment number 3.

    Hay Mark, I know it might sound slightly obvious because it is a oscar hopeful but i think this actor is going to get over looked - it's Micheal Sheen in Frost/Nixon, i just got to see it and i think his performance by far out shines langela's, Sam Rockwell is deadly in in too and for best movie I would definetly consider Gone Baby Gone and We Own the Night but i think they might be last year. Jesus, when i go back over the movies of 2008, man, you had a hard job if you had to stick it out through all of them. 2008 - the year of the chick flick. I also thought for best supporting actor, you might of missed him in this movie, his part was so small, but he is the best thing in it and i was great believer in the Judy Dench oscar and i'm gonna go for best supporting actor - JK Simmons in Burn After Reading. You could, with his friend in the two scenes that they are in, new award - Best On Screen Duo. Love the Blog - Jack from Ireland

  • Comment number 4.

    Tut tut. I counted at least 1 'apsolutely' today Mark. Shame on you. It was a sad relapse after last week's highlight, when you mentioned my message on-air (and made my day incidentally).
    Please know that there are many, many people here to support you through this difficult time and aid you on the rocky road to recovery and back to 'absolutely'.
    It does feel wrong to single you out, however, as I have heard Derren Brown, Steven Patrick Morrissey and Ricky Gervais all say it multiple times this week.


    City of God isn't as good as Slumdog Millionaire, have you completely lost your marbles, sir? That's like saying Trainspotting isn't as good as The Full Monty.

  • Comment number 5.

    Mark are you a fan of Alejandro Jodorowsky? and have you heard any news of whats going on with his latest work in progress 'king shot'?

  • Comment number 6.

    Hey mark

    Love the reviews, more often then not your usually right about a film. However, sometimes your just plain wrong.

    I saw Death Proof for the first time last night and I actually kiled it. It was'nt Tarantino's best but you cant deny that the four angle crash scene wasn't one of the most cinematic things youve ever seen. Even Kurt Russells performance is up there with the Carpender classics.

    Not only that, compared with the hundreds of slasher - horror remakes floating around at least it had some originalty. y

    You didn't like The Happening, but you said at least it was trying to do something new. Was'nt that Death proofs intention?
    Lets hear a critique on the film this time, Instead of a whole review bashing tarantino.

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm curious has Mark expanded his television viewing since his September 2007 article in the Guardian and is there anything on the box he has particularly enjoyed since.
    Did you make it through the whole run of The Sopranos for instance - and see the controversial ending?

    And also - if you have any influence over this at al, do tell whoever is holding back Twin Peaks Season Two (and the Complete Gold Set) for release in the UK and Ireland to get a move on. The rest of Europe got these ages ago. (A die-hard Lynch fan like me has since imported but it's a shame the masses are deprived a complete experience of one of TV's greatest productions).

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Mark,

    According to the BFI Sight and Sound Top Ten Poll 2002 your ten favourite films of all time are:

    1. The Exorcist (Friedkin)
    2. Brazil (Gilliam)
    3. Citizen Kane (Welles)
    4. The Devils (K. Russell)
    5. Don't Look Now (Roeg)
    6. Eyes without a Face (Franju)
    7. It's a Wonderful Life (Capra)
    8. Love and Death (Allen)
    9. Mary Poppins (Stevenson)
    10. The Seventh Seal (Bergman)

    In the last video blog you said that your second favourite film of all time was a three way tie between It's A Wonderful Life, Silent Running and Local Hero. I see It's A Wonderful Life behind The Exorcist and Silent Running wasn't a choice for the poll (since you had to choose from a massive list) but Local Hero WAS on the list. Have you changed your mind about the film in the past six years or was it just a major oversight? Would that list change much these days? I'm going to guess that Crash and Pan's Labyrinth would also make the cut.

  • Comment number 9.

    I apologise, It's A Wonderful Life is not behind The Exorcist, it's in seventh place!

  • Comment number 10.

    Dr. Kermode maybe you can help to solve a drunken pub / poker game argument. Who are the following :-
    Greatest Working Director
    Greatest Working Actor
    Greatest Working Actress.

    After many drinks etc there were numerous suggestions for actor and director but we could only find actresses who we enjoyed watching but none we actually admire as a great actress. Personally I went for Del Toro (The geek in me allowed nobody else) for director, Viggo Mortenson though I think Daniel Day Lewis is a better actor he doesnt work enough and best actress Cate Blanchett purely because I cant think of anyone else

  • Comment number 11.

    Dear doctor

    What are your views on "The possession of Joel Delaney" the film that Pre dates the exorcist dealing with the same issues.

    I watched it and rather enjoyed it. While not in the same league as The Exorcist i felt it had it's tense moments.

    Did Friedkin see this film before making his

    ps : talking about Friedkin his best film in my eyes is Cruising. I have heard you talk about this before and it is refreshing to hear a critic speak highly of it.

    For years i thought i was a misfit and perhaps homosexual because i enjoyed it so much. As it has been panned by every critic that has ever reviewed it. It was also nice to see a cameo by Joe "Maniac" Spinell.

    This film also ruined wearing bandanas for me

  • Comment number 12.

    Am i the only person who thinks that Slumdog Millionaire is getting a little too much praise? I saw the movie and really enjoyed it - its massively entertaining and completely absorbing, but all this talk about it being a 'masterpiece' is irritating me slightly.

    I was also shocked to hear you saying that Silent Running was one of your favourite films of all time. Its fine - and has an excellent ending, but it is also a film with massive problems - the worst being the terrible over-acting. Just why exactly do you rate it so highly? Is it a guilty pleasure (we all have them)?

    Incidentally, does anyone else have a guilty pleasure, a film they can't admit to liking? For me its the 1966 Batman movie. I think its one of the funniest movies ever made and massively influential when you look at many modern clever/stupid comedies.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hay Mark, this is completely unrealated to your Bloga but i feel i have no one else to seek advice off. I know a couple of years ago you worked for another channel (Channel 4) and I was wondering, whilst under employment at this channel, do you remember a piece of genius in the form of a three part documentry entitled 'Pump Up The Volume: The History Of House Music'.
    If so, i was wondering if you knew of someone i could get in contact with where i might be able to swing a copy of it. I've gone onto their web site and it is a mess, trying to get anywhere on that thing is about as confusing as that 'Revolver' movie. If you have any advice, i would be very much abliged if could guide me in the right direction My email is [Personal details removed by Moderator] - Cheers - Jack

  • Comment number 14.

    Dear Mark,

    I recently saw Spanish Horror Movie The Orphanage. Why is everyone praising this movie so much? While I do not deny that it is a well effective horror movie with a few jumoy moments, I found it to be incredibly cliched and incredibly standard.

    If this film was english language (not a remake) and this version didn't exist, shot exactly shot for shot with the exact same scares and identical script and was not spanish this film would have been dismissed on release as just another bland horror movie. Just another excuse for the critics to bash the Hollywood machine.

  • Comment number 15.

    righteousGerryC I have a number of guilty pleasures but the worst of them is Adam Sandler films. I really love them because they are not very funny and somehow in my mind this becomes hillarious. I know the doctor likes punch drunk love which is easily the best thing he's been in but are there any other Adam Sandler films that he thinks were anything other than awful?

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm glad someone else asked you precisely what you meant by the idea that There Will Be Blood somehow reinvented the grammar of the cinema, 'cause I've been dying to ask you that myself. I know that the movie was rather dramatically vague due to scenes and plotlines not being structured with the usual payoffs, so that the one genuinely emotional story in the film was dithered off at the end quickly between Lewis and his "son" in favor of a specious "doubles" game willfully enacted bewteen Lewis and the Sunday characters, despite there never being any actual moral equivalence between them whatsoever. The last scene of them in the bowling alley is crudely inartistic, both technically and thematically. Showing up the Sunday character as a total fake and phoney, which had been telegraghed to the audience long before by his children Of The Corn style performance was simply childish.

    Also, an earlier commentator said that for a long time he thought he must be gay for liking the movie Cruising, as if there were something wrong being a homosexual, though in fact the gays notoriously loathed the film. Aesthetically it's a giant mess of a movie, though the violence does have a certain panache. Most offensively of all, aside from the bad hairdos that totally justify the killings, is that Karen Allen was relegated to nothing more than a device to proove something about the Pacino character, which his own vague acting couldn't make clear on its own. I watched this movie, and rewatched The Excorist, based on your monumental and constant praise of them. I found the Excorist for the first half or so very good; Ellen Burstyn brings a nice independent sharp edged prickliness to the character of the mother that gives the movie's unworked out fevered gothic swirls a center. The scene where the possessed Reagan violates herself with the crucifix and shoves Burstyn's face in her bleeding groin is elecrically lurid and satisfying, as is the priest's brooding guilt. Curiously, I found the excorcism itself and the conclusion hurried and bombastic; possessed Reagan wasn't nearly as funny and nasty as she should have been--her obscenities didn't really connect to anything about the characters much either: the priest clearly wasn't a perv and he wasn't really at fault for his mother's sad end, so where was the horror? Tell me!

    And you're wrong about Shawshank, it's glossy, vomitous, perrenial emotional schlock, the kind of movie that makes a great stocking stuffer. But then I didn't care for the Stephen King novella much either. What makes me laugh about the movie is the way the makers PC-d up the pulp pop paranoia about homosexual violation as well.

  • Comment number 17.

    Thank you Dr Kermode, you have no idea how much cred I will get off certain friends now that you have mentioned me on your blog. I must apologise for not writing in about Sex and the City sooner though. I was outraged at the time when I listened to the podcast and you were accused of being sexist for not liking the film. I did mean to contact the show then, but of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that business!

  • Comment number 18.

    I just saw The Wrestler after your review on Friday. Obviously it is an excellent film, and an example of perfect casting with the 'big hunk of meat' Mickey Rourke. I do have a couple of questions/comments tho. Firstly, I think in your review neglected to mention the humour in The Wrestler. Aronofsky is famous for films like 'Pi' and 'Requiem for a Dream' which have no humour to them at all, and if anything they are fairly relentlessly grim. Scenes such as that of Randy walking around a hardware store looking for things to hit his opponent with are laugh out loud funny, and appear to show a new development in Aronofsky's style. Secondly, I was a little disappointed with the ending of the film. Very early on the fight with 'The Ayatollah' is set up.. and there is a sense of inevitability about the final scene. However, to me it seemed very stagey, and I'm not sure whether this was a deliberate comment upon wrestling itself or a failing in the script. Somehow it just didn't tug my heartstrings like I was expecting.

  • Comment number 19.

    Dr Doctor,

    I have just seen "Slumdog Millionaire" today and i can't agree more with your review of it; what an extraordinary, vibrant and original film!

    On a diffrenet point, I was wondering whether you had seen the pictures in this month's Empire magazine of just how much Guy Ritchie is destroying Sherlock Holmes forever!!
    He has to be stopped!!

    Yours faithfully,

    a very annoyed 16 year old Sherlock Holmes fan.

  • Comment number 20.

    Dr. K,
    Based on your recommendation, I watched "The Long Good Friday" this weekend. I wanted to thank you for letting me know about such a satisfyingly entertaining movie (I even loved the 80s-tastic theme tune). Actually, it helped me get over a breakup! Nothing helps you get past awkward feelings like watching Hoskins and company stab, shoot and interrogate. Thanks, Mark, for making my weekend a little more bearable.

  • Comment number 21.

    Does that mean your hair smells 'lemon-fresh'?

  • Comment number 22.

    Thanks for the response Mark, glad to hear that there will indeed be a best sound category!

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for clearing up your top films. Interesting to see how they have changed from 2002 and the Sight and Sound poll:

    Citizen Kane
    It's a Wonderful Life
    The Seventh Seal
    Eyes Without a Face
    Mary Poppins
    The Devils
    Don't Look Now
    Love and Death
    The Exorcist

    Which have dropped out? I hope one isn't Brazil, it's my favorite film! Also looking forward to Eyes without a face, we (Birmingham filmsoc) are screening it on Tuesday.

    Also, will you be voting again in 2012?

  • Comment number 24.

    Hey Mark, I hear people sending you gifts - what address do they use for that?

  • Comment number 25.

    VANVEEN14 said

    "Also, an earlier commentator said that for a long time he thought he must be gay for liking the movie Cruising, as if there were something wrong being a homosexual, though in fact the gays notoriously loathed the film."

    Nothing wrong with being gay man.

    All I meant by the comment was that with such disastrous reviews as Cruising got off pretty much everyone.

    I questioned myself for enjoying it.

    If it was so bad why did i enjoy it so much.......


    .......I also doubted my sexuality when i got into The glam metal band Poison who would adorn their album covers looking like attractive women......BUT THAT'S ANOTHER STORY

  • Comment number 26.

    Dear Doc K,

    A good few years ago now you did an introduction for Alex Cox's Fabulous anarchistic, punk sci-fi movie, Repo Man. I believe I was about 13 or 14 at the time and your intro opened my eyes to a new way of interpreting movies. I'd love to see it again. Is there any way of getting hold of it?

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi Mark, I was browsing the IMDb boards, particularly for your page, when I came across a discussion about your best rants. All the classic Kermodean quotes were mentioned but a few people said that they hoped for a remake of The Exorcist just to hear what you had to say about it. Tweekum on the IMDb says, "Exorcist Movie Directed by Michael Bay from a screenplay by the Wayan Brothers, staring Julian Sands, Val Kilmer and with Gwyneth Paltrow as Regan (her head will be digitally added to a child's body à la Little Man, rated 12A... I just hope he doesn't read this or he might have a breakdown just thinking about it." What DO you think?

  • Comment number 28.

    Watched Slumdog yesterday. Have to say not only is it the best British film in a number of years its got to be up there with one of the best films in the past 5 years. Cant remember walking out of cinema and thinking I wanna go back in and watch it again. By all acounts it cost 15million to make yet looks like it cost 150 million. Danny Boyle is everything to cinema that people like Bay, Ritchie etc arent. ie original exciting and fresh.

  • Comment number 29.

    Dr K.

    As noted above by OWLCREEK and PIEZO-EUTOW you stated that your top ten favourite films in the BFI Sight and Sound Top Ten Poll 2002.

    Could we here at the good blog ask you to possibly come up with new list, or at least a list of your favourite films in no particular order?

  • Comment number 30.

    Apologies if you've done this before: Is there any chance of you telling us your favourite female directors or those we should look out for?

    I have a hard time coming up with names of female directors although every-so-often I am pleasantly surprised to discover that a film I like had a female director (whose name I then promptly forget...).

  • Comment number 31.

    With the announcement in today's film reviews about the forthcoming Sex And The City 2, is anyone else seriously worried about the prospects of Mark's remaining as the BBC's pre-eminent film critic?

    I mention this in the context of this threat that if there were 10 films this year worse than Bride Wars, he will quit.

    And a cursory glance through Empire reveals that this year will be bringing us:

    Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen (sequel + Michael Bay)

    Angels And Demons (prequel + Dan Brown)

    Inglorious Basterds (mis-spelt title + Quentin Tarantino)

    He's Just Not That Into You (stupid forgettable title + Scarlet Johansson + Jennifer Aniston + smug + produced by famous actress + more smug + one of those plots he really hates, you know, with unlikeable characters, like Closer and The Wedding Date and Margot And The Squid or whatever it was called.)

    I reckon that only leaves wiggle room for six movies worse than Bride Wars. I'm scared... Mark, can you make it 20?

  • Comment number 32.

    On the subject of The Wrestler, I'm actually surprised that it's been so well received over here. Seems better than the American response. Of course, that's the difference between British Wrestling and American Wrestling. Over here, we have much more respect for our veterans of the ring.

  • Comment number 33.

    Why is SILENT RUNNING 2nd or 3rd favorite film? I want to know!

    Ask Dern who wroter it, who really wrote it.


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