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Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 10:19 UK time, Friday, 5 October 2012

This week I saw 9 films in two days. Some people might think that affects your judgement but I don't agree. What is the most number of films you've seen in a compact period of time and do you think it blurred your critical faculties?

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  • Comment number 1.

    I forced myself to watch 4 films in a day once. I didn't particularly enjoy it at the time but looking back on it I did feel like I was thinking about things I never used to. Maybe I'll do it again. Jobbies and peepees all over ma face.

  • Comment number 2.

    I once watched all 8 Harry Potter films in one day, then all 4 Pirates of the Caribbean films (sorry but i think they're really good except for the 4th) then American Pie 1 then Titanic. So I watched 14 films in 2 days. I found it very enjoying, just because they were all different in their own way, it sorta kept giving me a new fresh taste. They did not affect my judgement, they improved it. I thought about all those films as separate films and then compared them.

  • Comment number 3.

    4 years ago I had terrible 'flu...NOT MAN 'FLU but actual 'flu...from Boxing Day through to New Years' Eve . I watched all the Bond movies in sequence from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace one after the other only stopping for sleep in the evening. These are films I've seen over and over but watching them in sequence and with quick turnarounds I had an epiphany: I now consider them works of collective genius. The economy of the storytelling where dumb exposition and navel gazing is avoided. After 50 years and 22 movies they can still find layers to Bond's character. The shifting influences with each movie that charts a story of Western pop culture. Each new era with each new actor in the lead role was like a breath of fresh air (none more so than with Roger Moore to Timothy Dalton) and I renewed my love of the series as I coughed, sneezed and whined to my wife for more lemon and honey drinks. It was like taking in Picasso's Guernica in detail but with a man who shoots people, imbibes decadent drinks and kisses loads of beautiful women.

  • Comment number 4.

    thats a fine, well presented piece Mark - but who's driving the car?

  • Comment number 5.

    The most films I've watched in a short period of time was at a Halloween All-Nighter at my local cinema. Five films back-to-back and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the experience (except Saw 3D. I fell asleep during that yawn-fest). I don't think it affected my judgement at all. Psycho was as brilliant as ever and it was a real treat seeing it on the big screen and Saw 3D was as rubbish as I knew it was going to be.

  • Comment number 6.

    I've probably watched more, but a few months ago I watched six Hitchcock films, all for the first time, in two days. That was a good weekend.

  • Comment number 7.

    I can watching 5 films in a day quite easily, I think I may have watched 7 in a day a couple times. In August I watched over 50 films in that month alone, all films I haven't seen before. It doesn't blur or lessen the effect of the films but I also have a amazing memory

  • Comment number 8.

    I used to do this at university all the time. Lord of the Rings marathon (the extended editions) in one day, Star Wars Marathon (all 6 films), action movie marathons, and various others. I always enjoyed because you could compare one to the other and look for thematic links across a franchise, or compare styles from one movie to the other.

  • Comment number 9.

    The most I've ever seen at the cinema in one day is 6.

    I did it last November for my 29th birthday (November 27th). I was in Dublin filming a short documentary and had a free day (which happened to be my birthday) and I spent it at the cinema. The first screening was at 10am and I left the cinema that night just after midnight.

    The films I watched were:

    Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1
    My Week With Marlyin
    Take Shelter

    I watched all these films on my own, it was an extremely wet day in Dublin so I was glad to be indoors, and spend the day doing something that I truly love, best birthday ever!

  • Comment number 10.

    As part of the Film Society at Bangor University we held a 12 hour marathon to raise money for charity. We watched from 7pm Wednesday night to 7am Thursday morning. Films were Hugo, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Midnight On Paris, Black Dynamite and Horrible Bosses. Can't say there was a bad film all night and to add on from that, I saw Avengers Assemble at about 8pm on the Thursday night, definitely didn't cloud my judgement.

  • Comment number 11.

    On National Cinema Day in, I guess, 1998 or so, I watched 4 films - The Wedding Singer, The Big Lebowski, Mimic and City of Angels. I remember thinking I could have fitted another couple of films in easily.

    A few years ago I watched the full Lord of the Rings trilogy, all extended editions. I wish I had the time to do it again.

  • Comment number 12.

    I too did a non-stop Bond marathon, watching so many films in one sitting (with toilet and nap breaks of course) does make you see how different each Bond was and what they brought to the role. It also makes you see that you shouldn't take your holiday when your friends and wife are working.....

  • Comment number 13.

    I watched all three Lord of the Rings Extended Editions in one day. Minus credits, it's still over the 11 hour mark but well worth doing as it feels like one complete movie.

    I also watched all SEVEN Police Academy movies in one day. Not recommended.

  • Comment number 14.

    Did it just once and will never do it again. I barely watch now a movie a week. So, a few years ago I got myself The Lord of the Rings all 3 movies director's cuts and watched them in one take. I have to say it was a pretty tiresome experience. :( and l love those movies to death.

  • Comment number 15.

    I've done a few of the midnight marathons at the BFI IMAX which I'm sure will be a regular mention in this comment section.

    The first one I did was Batman (before TDKR) it went Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

    Admittedly, I took a nap in Batman Returns (highly overrated) but when The Dark Knight came round at 9AM it felt so mind blowingly operatic and grandiose that it was by far the best screening of it I've ever seen (and I've seen it a fair few times). It was as if the previous films had just educated me in the mythos of Batman and then The Dark Knight said, "Right, now we can have some fun with it!"

    I have also done The Lord of the Rings marathon both at the IMAX (theatrical) and at home (extended) and they were probably the only times I didn't have a problem with the 97 ending in Return of the King - I just wanted it to carry on. I felt liked I'd done the journey with all the characters. Very rewarding!

  • Comment number 16.

    I watched all 10 Halloween movies over a 31st October a few years back but I had already seen 7 of them so I had already made my mind up about most of the films from a critical standpoint. 2 of the 3 movies I hadn't seen were the newer Rob Zombie versions and I can honestly say that I don't think my critical faculties were blurred as I've seen them again since and still think they're a load of rubbish.

  • Comment number 17.

    A few years ago, I was on the programming team for a film festival, and I did once have to get through 40 feature submissions in five days. It was one of the most horrible experiences I've ever had.

    That said, aside from a few gems scattered amongst them, they mostly ranged from mildly bad to shockingly awful. Perhaps it might have been enjoyable if there had been a better consistency in their quality, but frankly I've no intention of ever finding out.

  • Comment number 18.

    I watched 10 films in a day once, one after the other. I had to limit myself to 90 minute films though, so i had to plan what i was watching. It was a struggle by film 7, but i powered through. By film 10 i was exhausted.

    I think 9 films in 2 days is more than doable. 4 films a day at the weekend is a regular thing for me.

  • Comment number 19.

    This is a tale of two directors for me:
    I first saw Annie Hall on DVD as part of a Woody Allen collection, and I loved it so much that I proceeded to watch all the others in the collection (Love & Death, Manhattan, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Bananas and Sleeper) in one day. So that's 6 Allen films ending up at about 9 hours, and I absolutely loved it. It might just have been tiredness, but they seemed to get funnier as they went on.
    Practically the same thing happened to me with David Lynch after I first saw Eraserhead. Only, it wasn't such a pleasant experience. Watching Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive, The Elephant Man, Lost Highway and Inland Empire all in one day was a terrible decision. Put simply, it was just too much, and I hated the experience so much that I nearly stupidly deprived myself of, to my mind, one of the greatest directors of all time.
    Funnily enough, Allen and Lynch are two of my favourite directors now.

  • Comment number 20.

    Over the course of 3 saturdays (and sunday early mornings) myself and some friends did the Star Wars saga in episode order (1-6), Lord of the Rings extended editions the next saturday and then for the final weekend Star Wars again but this time in Machete Order (4,5,2,3,6).
    Though I don't mind Phantom Menace as much as most Star Wars fans I gotta say that Machete Order works better than either chronological release (4-6, 1-3) or episodic order and any parents debating what order to show their kids the Star Wars films should give it a go.

  • Comment number 21.

    Not so much film, but recently I watched all 13 episodes of Firefly, followed by the movie Serenity, in the space of a day, for a total of around 12 hours. By the end, it was a completely immersive experience - I really felt I was a part of this world, and it was a wrench to go back to the 'real' world.

    Also, I think this may be the nerdiest thing that anyone has ever done.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi Mark nice stubble,

    I am not going to give you an incredulous figure or story, but just wanted to state that my Movie Junkiedom is a 3 headed Monster I have a world of Cine unlimited card, I record movies from the TV on my sky plus box plus I have a LoveFilm subscription which allows me to stream movies and select DVD's at will. So over a month I watch anything from 20-40 movies I'd guess.

    Other than getting to see everything for free (even worse - for a living) what other means do you use Mark to see films? Recently on the 5live show you expressed ignorance toward Netflix which is similar to Lovefilm and Curzon ETC.

  • Comment number 23.

    I watched 3 movies in one day and half of keith lemon film whilst waiting for the next to start. Keith lemon was awful glad I could leave.

  • Comment number 24.

    In June 2000, I won a local radio competition when a new Village cinema (now Vue) opened in Carlisle. To get a years free film pass, you had to sit through 24 hours worth of films from 11am on a Saturday to 11am the next morning. That's 12 films, which consisted off (in order) Toy Story 2, Galaxy Quest, Lake Placid, Fantasia 2000, Three To Tango, Mission To Mars, Down To You, Kevin and Perry Go Large, Erin Brockovich, Three Kings, The Tigger Movie and Sleepy Hollow. I completed it, and after being awake for 36 hours, I started to hallucinate and it took me forever to get my normal sleep pattern back. I don't think I could do it again, but I got a years free film viewing out of it, and the experience gave me a red hot hatred of Down to You and Mission to Mars.

  • Comment number 25.

    I was off work recovering from an operation a few years ago and I decided to watch all 3 Lord of the Rings extended films in a row. 12 hour's worth and I must say that although I love the films to bits watching them like that made my brain melt a little, I actually felt drained after watching them all. Granted I could get up (slowly) and stop for a bit, but that didn't really help.

    I didn't learn though because the next day I watched all of the Documentaries on the extended dvds. Not sure how long they were as well but I'm sure it's up there with the film lengths, but I didn't feel like I did after watching the films. Not sure why, might have something to do with the fact I had only seen one of the documentaries before due to time constraints so in effect I was watching new material to me instead of re-treading stuff I had already seen.

  • Comment number 26.

    I had a work colleague, recently deceased, following having MS, who had a passion for cinema, when she was mobile ( with a lethal electric scooter). One fateful day, we went to world of cine and got cineworld passes, and on one particular bank holiday, notched up six films together, with trips to M&S, Thorntons and eating interspersed. Started at 10 ish finishing at 2.30 a.m.
    This demanded careful calculations, almost military style, and when we went to seperate showings (no chick-flicks for me!), I had fit in what I wanted to see, to tie in with drop off and pick up at Irene's screenings! It was a huge adventure, and we did reviews of all of our films whilst munching provender. Code of Conduct faithfully observed. No talk once film started till the end, apart from once when I was given a hefty nudge to depart during one film we couldn't get into. Can't say the number of films diminished enjoyment of individual films. It was great, overall, and we saw some interesting movies, which neither of us would have gone to individually. Irene never got into Lord of the Rings, despite my encouragement, but hey, I didn't particularly like Hugh Grant! We both loved Cinemania, however. It rather mirrored our lives! Since her passing, I still do loads in a day, the most recent seven films, Angel Share, the Raid, Prometheus, the Source, Men in Black 3, the Dictator - ouch! and Even the Rain.
    with judicious moving from the GFT to Cineworld, finishing with fanboys midnight premiere of Prometheus. Good day. Have I a Life! Yes.


  • Comment number 27.

    In 2007 my brother and I saw a lunchtime showing of In The Valley of Elah, followed by a pint or two and an afternoon showing of No Country For Old Men. Both films were tense and brooding, and both took their time, and perhaps it was the beer or more likely the fact that the films had three actors in common (leads Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and also Barry Corbin), but afterwards I couldn't, for the life of me, separate one film from the other.

    Therefore the two are forever merged in my mind as In The Valley of Old Men (which, for me, has the edge over No Country for Old Elah).

  • Comment number 28.

    Back when I was younger and more resistant to sleep, I indulged (two years running) in a 24hr Marathon horror film festival "Shock around the Clock" at the Scala in King's Cross, which essentially meant that I did between 12 and 15 films between Midday Saturday and Midday Sunday. Saw some utter crud, but there were a few hidden gems that made everything worthwhile.

  • Comment number 29.

    Typically as a more-than-average viewer at the cinema, Ive probably watched 3 films in one day and enjoyed it thoroughly. I had planned what I was seeing and therefore looked forward to each showing. Of course Ive done movie marathons at home but all the films I had picked, I had seen (i.e. 6 Star Wars in a row and 6 Rockys in a row).

    The closest thing to affecting my judgement would be if I came out of a film that was so good that I was watching the following one off of the buzz of the previous one. Its like not wanting to go on stage after a really good stand up comedian. Sink or swim?

  • Comment number 30.

    So about a month back I stuck on Ridley Scott's Legend and marvelled at Tim Curry's prosthetics, then I watched Possession which Dr. K brought to my attention in 2010, next I watched The Descent, not the 2006 British horror, but the 2007 gritty rape and revenge drama with Rosario Dawson, and finished off the marathon with Ken Russell's The Devils. I think I'd agree that each films unique points get thrown into sharper relief, though it was pretty blitzing at the time. Also managed to sneak in an episode of Dark Place somewhere.

  • Comment number 31.

    I've seen six feature films and 18 short films in one day, at an independent film festival called the "Hardacre Film Festival". It was an exhausting experience, but I loved it. I saw three documentaries that I absolutely loved called “My Heart Is An Idiot“, "Breaking and Entering" and "The City Dark". And three animated short films called "The Quiet Life", “Red Rider’s Lament” and “The Renter”. None of these movies blurred together, in fact, they complimented each other. Mark, if you haven't seen Renter, and you're able to get a hold of it, it's definitely worth seeing.

  • Comment number 32.

  • Comment number 33.

    Last summer I had the house to myself for a couple of days I forget exactly how many films I watched but it was between 6 and 8 in each of those days so perhaps 14 in total. It wasn't all easy going either, amongst them were Cronenberg's Crash, Pasolini's Salo and the long banned Japanese film In the Realm of the Senses but I think the secret to watching so many films in a short period is to vary the type of films your watching. I also watched films like The Ox-Bow Incident, Woody Allen's Love and Death, Buster Keaton's The General and the recent 'dentata' film Teeth amongst others. I even watched Al Pacino's documentary Looking for Richard. I think the experience enlivens the senses and you can take different things away from each film and it's surprising how much 'in the zone' you become. I've watched several films in a day many times since and I've never really found that it dulled my faculties.

    You can compare and contrast films that might have similar thematic elements, Crash, Salo and In the Realm of the Senses for example. Or to measure the 1970's comedy of Love and Death against that of the Silent Era (The General).

    Long haul flights are great too, not that I've done too many recently, but a few years I watched something like 11 films there and back...Heathrow to Tokyo.

  • Comment number 34.

    The old Shock Around The Clock and Black Sunday events were ten or eleven films in 24 hours; these days FrightFest gives you the opportunity to see 26 films in five days. I managed 24 this year (sacrificing one for the quiz which I didn't win, and one - the obligatory Senseless Midnight Japanese Gore Movie - for a bit of socialising and an early night). Still managed to be more or less coherent and sentient at the end of it all.

    Last Sunday, in prep for the new Resident Evil, I rewatched the previous four back-to-back on DVD. A few years ago, I rewatched the first six Saws back-to-back over two evenings, again to get up to speed on the who and why in the hope that Saw 7 would make a scratch more sense at the cinema the following day.

  • Comment number 35.

    More importantly is how long does the said films last for, if for only 90 mins then 9 films in two days is probably not that bad. When i watched Love Exposure at 4 hours long and then watched another film at 3 hours long then it was quite epic and hard work.

  • Comment number 36.

    I usually go to see 4 films maximum in a day in the cinema. It helps to break up the genre. Wake up with a light film, then a heavy one, perhaps a cartoon film and then a documentary.

    Of course I tend to fall asleep by the last one. Last week the last film I saw was "Savages", of course I don't blame the order of films for the reason I fell asleep during it.

  • Comment number 37.

    I think three to four movies on one day was maximum for me - unless of course you are either sick and have to stay in bed the whole day or you plan to watch movies the whole night through with some friends ... but those are exceptions.

    I think it really does influence the experience if you watch films back to back. It's like with an arrangement of different colors. They influence each others perception that would be different when standing alone. I think it really emphasizes the differences between the films and if you watch a real stinker followed by a good film, the latter will certainly get an additional boost in admiration.

  • Comment number 38.

    Well The Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh offer an 'All Night Horror Movie Madness' experience, which a friend has duped me into (I'm not even that good with horror at the best of times). It's 5 films, back to back and starting at midnight...will let you know how that feels when I wander back in the early hours of the morning....

  • Comment number 39.

    As a film festival enthusiast, every year I visit Wrocław for the "New Horizons" Film Festiwal [right now the biggest one in Poland], and watch approx. 50 non-mainstream films in 11 days. However my record for seeing the most films in a row is 6.

    I personally think that seeing that much films can be difficult to mentally digest, however I see posotive aspects:
    It gives me the opportunity to be "lost" in the world of film - that alone is beautiful.
    Secondlly I can quickly compare separate films to each other, and see more clearly the directors efforts.
    On the side it's funny how time goes different - the day slips quite fast, but when You're waiting for the last picture, and thinking about the first one [of that day], It feels like almost days have passed - because each movie is a seperate and original expierence of your life.
    Watching that many NON-MAINSTREAM movies can really open up and expand your horizons. That's why every year I'm in Wrocław :)

  • Comment number 40.

    When i was about 12 or 13, i had a James Bond weekend where for 2 days i watched nothing but Bond. I managed to watch about 4 films a day but towards the end of the day i did enjoy it less.

    As chance would have it Vue cinemas are showing all 4 Twilight movies back to back in a run up to the midnight premier of Breaking Dawn (or is it broken dawn) Mark, you know you want to.

    Mark, i'm always surprised you can pick up on the subtleties and nuances in a film after one viewing and having seen 4 other films prior when you're hoping it'll be 80 minutes and over quickly. You should do blog detailing an average day for a film critic, since the Bill Forsyth blog you've set the bar high for Kermode Uncut.

  • Comment number 41.

    If I have a movie marathon then they have to be all in the same genre. Late at night I like to do Horror marathons one after another as it doesn't have the same feel during the day, it doesn't seem right in the middle of that I watched a comedy as the mood I was in would fade away.

  • Comment number 42.

    As much as i love films, if i watch too many films in one day then i tend to get a bit bored and my attention span seems to drop somewhat. I've generally been watching 1 film per day for the last few months,obviously with a full time job time is limited but some of these are repeat viewings of films i own, but some are new film rentals of stuff i've missed theatrically. I find that 1 or 2 films per day is enough for me. The question to you though Mark is - Could you sit through a 3 movie Transformers marathon?

  • Comment number 43.

    One day, I watched all three Bourne movies back-to-back, and it did not blur my movie-viewing experience. After the first film, I was just really excited to watch the next two films to find out what happens next. I had this same experience when watching both Alien and Aliens together (both extended "Director's Cuts") and I was just as gripped watching both as I was with the Bourne trilogy, and with that, I didn't feel the need to watch the heavily-flawed Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection.

    So overall, watching movies in a compact time-space doesn't make me feel negative towards watching movies. The only thing that would make me feel negative would be watching Michael Bay's Transformers movies back-to-back, and that frankly, is a line that we all would never cross. Nuff' Said.

  • Comment number 44.

    not a big fan of watching films back to back but always curious how many films i must have watched in a lifetime.. i quite enjoy randomly opening Maltins film guide and finding if there's a film on the page that i've seen.. 90% of the time there is!

  • Comment number 45.

    I think doing this with sequels can be fun. I once watched all 5 rocky movies (at the time there was only 5) in one night. They did blur together, but in a good way; It felt like I was watching one long life story. Ive had marathons with other film series aswell and have had no problems watching several 2 hour films in a row. HOWEVER! Try watching 2 four hour films in a row. I tried this with Once upon a time in America and Love Exposure. Now that was draining!

  • Comment number 46.

    I dont think I've ever watched more than two films in a day, I usually like to mull a film over after it ends, especially if it was particularly good or thought provoking.

    Perhaps if I was doing a Sandlerthon I could watch more...

  • Comment number 47.

    On a long plan journey I managed 5 (unable to sleep plus screaming child prompted this) these we're Prometheus, Lockout, How I Spent my summer vacation, the Lady and Men in Black 3.

    It was quite an enjoyable marathon, they blurred together but also set a baseline for the good vs bad - i.e. the severe let down of Prometheus made me enjoy The Lady more than I believe I would on a lone viewing.

  • Comment number 48.

    Good timing for this blog, Mark. For various reasons, I've got a window from this Sunday morning through to Wednesday evening when I'm going to be alone and have no deliberately made no arrangements in order to have a movie marathon, and watch as many films (old and new) as humanly possible.

    I'm hoping to get through:

    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011 version)
    The Woman in Black
    The Pact
    War Horse

    ... all on Sunday. Then had out on Monday to buy the newly released Prometheus and follow it up with all 4 Alien films.

    That's Monday taken care of. Wonder what I should watch Tuesday/Wednesday?

  • Comment number 49.

    I'm a regular double-biller, but a couple of months back I did a treble-bill of Nostlagia For The Light, The Hunter and The Dark Knight Rises. This ties in with an earlier blog about how the weather affects cinema going as it was one of the few hot and sunny days of the summer. I think if you're a real cinema lover then the weather certainly doesn't matter and, if you choose the films sensibly, neither should the number of screenings. In this instance I had a very interesting and enjoyable afternoon alone with the screen. However, comfort is of course an issue and I have to declare this marathon was at my local HMV Curzon, the most comfortable movie theatre I've ever patronised. I would had have second, third and possibly fourth thoughts spending that same 6+ hours in my local multiplex.

  • Comment number 50.

    When Avengers Assemble came out I really wanted to see it, because I'm a huge Joss Whedon fan, even though I hadn't seen any of the preceding Marvel movies. My solution? To buy all the DVDs and watch them back to back over two days, culminating in a trip to the cinema to watch the Avengers. The effect was to show just how special Avengers was. All of the others followed an almost identical blueprint - hero gets transformed in some way, comes up against a villain who is also transformed in an almost identical way, then they have a big smackdown. Apart from the excellent drunken Nordic scene in Thor there really was nothing to distinguish them. But in the case of the Avengers - brilliant banter, well rounded characters and a final conflict with a real difference and peril.
    I believe that a movie marathon only goes to make the real diamonds shine out more brightly as you realise that your sleeping brain has just sat up and taken notice (if you'll excuse the horribly mixed metaphors!).

  • Comment number 51.

    Me and some friends recently went on an marvel marathon before the release of the avengers, we watched every film in the order it came out (starting with Iron Man, ending with Captain America). I actually found the films more enjoyable when we watched them all at once as I could lose myself in the universe and notice all the little crossover details which were designed to hype the finale, which would turn out to be the excellent Avengers movie.

  • Comment number 52.

    I went to a back-to-back screening of all 4 Alien movies once, which I'm pretty sure was the most number of films I've watched in one day. It certainly helped me appreciate how excellent the original is, what an underrated, flawed gem, Alien 3 is, and how much I now really dislike Aliens. I don't think I need to comment further on the awful mess that is Alien: Resurrection. (What is it about 4th films in movie franchises?)

    I have also done the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films back to back, but over weekends, not one day. Again, with LOTR, I think I appreciate the flaws in those films more now (too many soft focus close ups, dewy eyes, etc). With Harry Potter, I appreciate now how the films grow darker in tone, "grow up" as the cast and characters grow up, and perhaps appreciate how well they handled that process. And just how bad the first two films are.

  • Comment number 53.

    On a Friday the 13th a few years ago a friend and I watched Friday the 13th one through eight back to back. Those film did blur together 1) because they're all pretty much the same and 2) because we'd been drinking White Russians all day. That was an experience!

  • Comment number 54.

    I've watched The Lord of the Rings extended editions back to back and the Harry Potters over two days and found both 'marathons' very enjoyable. I always used to rent and watch DVDs in two or threes. I think watching good movies evokes an equivalent feeling in me to the well known "not wanting a book to end" feeling, and therefore I just want to immerse myself in more. Bad films on the other hand... Oh and this blogs video is, extremely irritatingly, unavailable in Ireland whereas usually they work fine.

  • Comment number 55.

    Dear Mark,
    The highest number of films i've ever watched in a day, is 6. I think that watching a sequence of films in one day can have positive and negative impacts on the overall viewing experience. For example I watched a series of Coen Brother's movies all at once. I watched True Grit, The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men, Burn After Reading, Raising Arzona and Fargo. I found that it heightened the experience because as a Coen's fan (excluding Ladykillers) it helped me find things that made each of them unique and made me appreciate their work more. However if your watching a marathon of random movies that you may or may not be interested in it can blur out memories of the good ones. For example watching Perks of Being a Wallflower then Paranormal Activity 4, and then Hit and Run.

  • Comment number 56.

    A couple of years ago I either set myself the task, or accepted the challenge of watching 365 films, that I'd never seen before, in a year. I think the most I did in a day was 3 or 4. But considering I was hitting a lot of straight to DVD Dolph/Seagal, no, my enjoyment was not heightened; quite the opposite. And they did start to blur into one another.

  • Comment number 57.

    I feel distinctly queasy: There's no way I'd watch so many movies of variable genre/quality and random selection! If I like a movie, I'm usually completely sucked into the story for the duration, then I seriously need to take my time drifting slowly back up to the surface (& reality), afterwards. I've seen movies afterwards and usually regretted it as wiping away the emotions of the previous film.

    The exceptions, when a lot of film-watching makes for memorable experience, is a strong TV Series (eg Modern Family, Game Of Thrones etc) or a whole Anime Series in one bout. But these are excellent to watch in this way as the story esp. anime is very gratifying with the artistic visuals etc and mini-stories (plenty of light & frothy tropes) with longer arc plots as well. I think Harry Potter, I must have watched a couple in a row, but again similar deal and the strangely fascinating aspect of the main characters going through so much change actually as people and obviously as characters atst makes these 7 or so films more like a longer version tv series.

    Additionally, while house-sitting for friends and subsequently taking full advantage of their film collection: I think even then, I could only manage 3 films in a row, but knowing there's a time pressure to blast through this golden opportunity, definitely makes the film (half-)marathon much more enjoyable total experience even if one film is disappointing, it's acceptable to eject it and start the next movie in the pile.

    I think the longest series would have been when I spotted a ton of David Attenborough's Life Series at a Friend's place = instant Nirvana: Trials Of Life, Life In The Freezer, The Life Of Birds, Mammals, The Living Planet... not films, but WONDERFUL series to watch back to back because they are so life-affirming what an amazing planet we live on and ticking them all off, before the home-owners return from their sojourn. ;)

    As a side-note I found it really worth watching with a friend and that way being able to plan seriously and cook a real meal such as a from-scratch Thai green curry with plenty of fresh herbs to mark the event, and knocking back a few caipirinha*good times*.

  • Comment number 58.

    It was back in the days when I was a teenager - and cinemas when showed double bills - but I once managed to watch 13 films at various cinemas over the course of one weekend (Friday evening though to Sunday night.); I'd recently won a fistful of cinema vouchers from a local radio station which took care of the admissions.
    The one film that wasn't shown as part of a double feature (No 13) was Man For All Seasons.

    I don't remember seeing much daylight, but enjoyed all of them. I don't think it numbs critical facilities or the enjoyment; it's rather like seeing a lot of bands at a weekend festival.

  • Comment number 59.

    I have watched 9 films in 1 day, more than a few times. I am training to be a film critic, but as I am only 21, I have a lot of films to catch up on. One day included Anthropophagous : The Beast, Ben Hur, The Hudsucker Proxy and Vincent. 6 am to 4:30 am. However, usually I only watch 2/3 films a day.

  • Comment number 60.

    ... 49 Movies in 9 days. Fantasyfilmfest Berlin. This is a nice experience, every year. In August. Strangely the experience gets better the less you sleep... and you remember the good ones... List of movies on my blog,, August 22.-30,... titles in English, otherwise in German only, sorry... Years ago, I had the Chance to see Star Trek - the movies - en bloc, 10 pm to about 3 pm the next day... that was great, too... and all old Planet of the Apes movies, in a real Movie Theatre, too...

  • Comment number 61.

    Many moons ago - I spent a Saturday with a friend when we went to see Hugh Hudson's Revolution followed by Kurosawa's Ran before then sprinting off to see a midnight showing of Bambi.

    Normally if I have to spend so much time inside in a darkened room I'd go gently stir crazy, but I didn't notice where the time went.

    In fact because all three films were so different - it heightened the effect of each one. I remember that Revolution seemed overlong and was pretty overwrought, but underwritten. Ran was beautiful and I was swept along following the machinations of the main characters, but it didn't pack the full on punch of Bambi's mother's death.

    I remember fidgeting a fair bit during Revolution, sitting still and entranced during Ran, but noisily crying my eyes out during Bambi. It was a strange experience - but has remained a vivid memory.

  • Comment number 62.

    I went to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang twice every day for a whole week in 1968 when I was 6. It didn't have any lasting damage, but seeing Anna Quayle in her vast Edwardian underclothes led to a bout of transvestitism in the mid-80s.

  • Comment number 63.

    About 5 years ago I did a Bond marathon with two other guys. We watched 21 films: Dr No (1962) to Casino Royale (2006) consecutively over 2 days without sleep. So that’s at least 10 films a day.

    Even though I’m an Ian Fleming purist, I love the Bond films because I grew up watching them. But when you’re essentially watching the same 2 hour film 21 times it makes them appear really awful and I felt like the living dead by the end of it.

    Still, at least I did what Alan Partridge never could.

  • Comment number 64.

    Three is the most I saw in a day, January 2004, I caught Return of the King at an earley screening, then E.T. mid day and Breakfast Club in the evening. Just brilliant, they were all great in their own way. This was during my Uni days so I won't be able to do that again, plus I got in a couple of hours of coursework, rock n' roll.

  • Comment number 65.

    I can't say I've ever watched more than 3 films in a day that I can remember but I have had immense TV boxset marathon.

    Several years ago I came down with some illness that meant I was bedridden most of the week and I couldn't sleep at all during that time. To keep myself sane (particularly during the long hours of night) I watched the whole of The West Wing seasons 1 through 4 and was halfway through season 5 when I finally passed out through sheer exhaustion. I couldn't watch another minute of the West Wing for about 3 years after that because I associated it with nearly dying (well it felt like I was anyway).

  • Comment number 66.

    The max amount of films I've watch in a Day is probably five where my course would do a day of films devoted to one linking theme e.g. we had a day of watching Stanley Kubrick films or a anti-war theme films etc...

    Going to the cinema though, As I now used to have a bafta (well batfa cymru) card I got to watch films at the cinema for free so we would watch a film at 1 and be there to the cinema shuts. We got about 4 usually in one day.

  • Comment number 67.

    As an avid film lover I have made it my mission to see as many films as I can. I've seen a fair few already, probably not as many as you Dr. K. but I'm getting there. The most films I've seen in a day would have to be 6. I had had a very busy week and decided to have to devote my Sunday to watching a array of diverse films that I had not seen before.

    First up I watched John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China, which I found myself enjoying a lot more than I thought I would.

    Second was Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines

    Followed by Ken Loach's The Navigators

    Followed by The Spy Who Came in From the Cold starring Richard Burton.

    Followed that up with Season of the Witch starring Nicolas Cage,

    concluding the day with Colombiana which turned out to be a smart move because it was quite late and that movie sent me to sleep.

    I found that none of the movies blurred into one another, in fact watching a diverse range of movies made me appreciate the better ones even more.

    I love having marathons, especially when it's a movie marathon of movies that I have not seen before.

  • Comment number 68.

    Hi Mark,

    Me and my friends often watch a lot of films in one night. Funnily enough we are having a 'Movie Night' tomorrow night. Generally we'll see about 4-5 films and we do this maybe 3 or 4 times a year. To be honest some of the best films I have seen is thanks to these nights where me and friends bring along a huge collection of films and decide what to watch. I think is does enhance to experience and helps to find links between directors or how the acting of certain people has development over time. The last night i can remember consisted of:

    Sunset Boulevard

    A diverse selection but a great experience!

  • Comment number 69.

    Antarctica? Exotica? Erotica? Simon Mayotica?

    What's your shirt say?!

  • Comment number 70.

    The most films I've packed in was thirty feature films plus seven short films over nine days about twelve years ago. There were some memorable films that have stayed with me and I'm delighted to view again. There are a number I have no memory of but they don't seem to have made it to the mainstream anyway, so hopefully my critical faculties are still working ok.
    Can no longer do heavy stints like that nowadays. Arthritic knees need to move from cinema seats more frequently. I also like to eat a reasonable meal at a reasonable time nowadays and I'll make no comment about loo breaks.
    Go for it, Dr. K. See all you can!!

  • Comment number 71.

    I watched 14 films in three days this summer as I was writing my dissertation for my masters in film studies at UCL. I was researching a project which was looking at presentations of women in 21st Century American horror remakes. In order to do this I watched the original horror film followed by its respective remake back to back. I viewed 4 in the first day (Halloween and Halloween II), 4 in the second day (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Prom Night) and 6 on the third day (My Bloody Valentine, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th). It was a pretty grueling experience but I found the more I watched the more I noticed patterns in the ways in which women are portrayed in contemporary horror movies.

  • Comment number 72.

    When I was reading Film Studies in college and reviewing films on the side, I found myself regularly going to Dublin's World of Cine and seeing up to 5 films on my day off. The first one of these comprised of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Anvil, Doubt, Bronson and Gran Torino. While this approach worked quite well on many occasions, in one instance the third of four films I was set to watch was Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" which, for whatever reason, unsettled me so much that I found myself having to skip the final film; Up.

    In my own experience, I find seeing many films in a row to be an easy job provided that you are mentally prepared for it. It also helps if you try and see a mix of different genres with the most demanding left until the end if possible.

  • Comment number 73.

    Earlier this Summer, with some time to kill, I marathoned all 8 Christopher Nolan movies, encompassing five DVDs, two Blu-Rays and a trip to the cinema. A day well spent...

  • Comment number 74.

    Probably 7 or 8 in one day at home, probably about 6 or 7 in a 2 day period at the theater.

  • Comment number 75.

    Six films in eight or nine hours

    Back in the 80s I went to a Friday the 13th marathon (at Whiteladies Rd cinema in Bristol, now shamefully closed) with my mate Dave. It was the first six of the franchise (all there was at the time) and it started at around 11pm and went on until about 8am. All was well for the first three films, but by the time the forth and fifth films kicked in, most of the audience were either asleep or showing such blatant disregard for the Code of Conduct, that any pleasure and enthusiasm we had in taking part in the event and watching the films, had been ripped from our bodies and thrown to the floor, like so many of Jason's victims.

    I'm proud to say I sat there through all six films, but never, never again.

  • Comment number 76.

    I see a few movies in day fairly regularly as I review movies for a local magazine and my blog (shameless plug! -

    As for the most I've seen one day, I'm not really sure but my flat like to do movie marathons, from memory we've watch all of The Lord of the Rings in a day, all the Saws in a day, all the Avengers-related movies in a day and a few more.

    I love doing it, whether it's a series of films or unrelated ones at the cinema I enjoy myself and they never really blend into one for me. I saw Brave, Looper and Holy Motors at my local cinema (Dundee's DCA) today, so imagine what would happen if they all melded into one!

  • Comment number 77.

    I recently had a tribute to the daring and, in some journalistic circles, the affable Ken Russell. I watched "Altered States", "The Rainbow" (a movie i adore) The Devils (Finally) and, a guilty pleasure "Crimes Of Passion" in one sitting - this was just on the cuff from the fallout of your tribute to the maestro. My personal favorite "Gothic" was also included. It made up for a wonderful night of exploration, and the reassertion of the familiarity to his body of work. In the simplest terms: a perfect night in.

  • Comment number 78.

    A couple of friends and I at university had a 24 hour movie marathon. Our belief was films were about 2 hours long and with breaks for snacks and relief we could fit in 12 films into a 24 hour period. We took in delights such as Munich, Constantine, Sky Blue, Ghost in the Shell 2, The Closet and some films I can't remeber the name of due to the passing of time and sleep deprivation during the event. What I do remember is putting on the last film of the marathon, A Life Aquatic, at 8am, bleary eyed and collectively sharing a look saying, "no, enough is enough."

    I've since watched A life Aquatic. Even in my energy drink and confectionary addled mind I was lucid enough to recognise just how unmoving, unfunny and utterly pretentious A life Aquatic is.

  • Comment number 79.

    I have a bi annual movie marathon with my friends. It's not so much the length as the trajectory of our night that takes the toll.
    In this order we watched: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, A Town Called Panic, A home-movie epic in which our friend rides off into the sunset on top of an imaginary falcon, Big, The Seventh Seal, and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. If you'd like to know how that affected my psyche, halfway through the Seventh Seal when I had one foot in the other realm, I hallucinated that Max Von Sydow was cursing and swearing at Bibi Andersson like a drunken sailor. Naturally, I decided to share this, I slurred, "That's some course language, BRIAN!!" Brian didn't understand.

  • Comment number 80.

    Perhaps if you've missed this documentary you should check it out...

  • Comment number 81.

    Last year I attended the Night Visions film festival ("the biggest, the oldest and the most prestigious film festival in Finland focusing on horror, fantasy, science fiction, action and cult cinema"). The main attraction is the last night's marathon, 7 films in a row, from 21:00 to 12:00. The clever thing was that the films got progressively worse - from Frank Henenlotter's B-masterpiece Brain Damage with the director himself introducing to an awful copy of the awful King Frat in the morning - and I got progressively both more numb and more cheerful. A weird and likable experience that left me with an audiovisual hangover.

  • Comment number 82.

    I think mine was when I watched all 11 Star Trek films in 2 days. The 6 Original Series cast on the first day, and the 4 Next Generation and the J.J. Abrahm's reboot on the next. I feel especially with movie series in general that watching them all in a compact time period often shows links between the films you wouldn't notice otherwise. It can also show glaring continuity flaws between the sequels (a good example of this being the Evil Dead series).

  • Comment number 83.

    just watched Once upon a time in Anatolia....dont think i could watch even one more film after that.

  • Comment number 84.

    I can only watch a maximum of 2 films in a row, after 2 films I feel I am wasting my life and need to go and do something else!

  • Comment number 85.

    I watched 7 movies in one day, on a 7 hour and 9 hour spit flight from the UK to Manila.

    Incidentally, I am an ex-pat in Manila and would like to request that you stop making blogs which I can't view because if region issues. Or at least, wold it be possible for your editor to make an international version as well as a UK version?

  • Comment number 86.

    Oops I forgot...Not only did it blur my critical faculties but I couldn't even remember half the movies I saw! More down to the plane journey experience than anything else though.

  • Comment number 87.

    Not counting some all night genre movie marathons at the much missed Philly rep Theater of the Living Arts back in the '80's, I've done 4 to 6 on a semi regular basis until about a year ago. Due to various time constraints, every month, or every other, I'd take a day to binge cinema, descending on a multiplex, and cramming in as many as possible. I'd plan this with military precision stacking films in an order based on optimal timing to have as little gap between screenings as possible, and even fitting in films lower down my list of wanted films if it meant plugging a hole between my must sees. It's so pathetic I use a spreadsheet (OK, then, tell me if you know any better uses for spreadsheets?).

    I don't think you can deny that the purely physical task of sitting through film after film in the variable comfort of cinemas. An occupational hazard for critics, can be a bit of a chore for the rest of us. Fatigue can set in, and a film you might enjoy at the beginning of the day may view irksome by the end. With improvements in home viewing technology and delivery, many would opt to curate their own marathons without the palaver and expense of going out. The trade off, comforts and distractions of home in equal measure.

    While you should be able to view as many as your attention span can handle, I don't believe that you can always completely compartmentalise each experience. If you see one film that blows you away, whatever you see next may suffer by comparison. I've memorialized my binges on my blog under a thread called "Surfin' Multiplex". At times I've commented on the confluence, for instance I noted next to two somewhat positive reviews "either Sahara or Valiant could be just complete rubbish, but they looked great next to The Interpreter." And even though Devil was undoubtedly a stinker, seeing back to back with similarly claustrophobic Buried, perhaps was unfair.

    My longer binges have included:

    Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll
    The Road
    Avatar 2D
    44 Inch Chest

    The Reader
    The Wrestler

    Green Zone
    Alice in Wonderland
    Shutter Island
    Crazy Heart

    Whenever we see any film we bring in the baggage of our current state of mind, regardless of whether we've just seen loads of other flicks, which is why it's sometimes more generous, when you can manage it, to give some a second chance. We're always lucky when a film catches us in the right mood to enjoy it.

    I miss a well programmed all night marathon and the atmosphere they had. I'm very jealous of a friend in Philly who gets to go to the annual Exhumed Films 24 hr Horrorfest ( although, I'm not sure I could hack it myself anymore. Let's all wish Chuck good luck in maintaining his hard won reputation for being the only one to stay awake for the whole thing year after year.

  • Comment number 88.

    I find if you see two movies back to back your feelings about the first movie can cloud your judgement on the second...

    I once went to see the Brazilian prison movie Carendiru which I found interesting, dramatic, in parts quite funny and rather charming, in as much as a prison movie can be charming... I really liked it and came out with the pleasant glow of having seen a good film.... then I went and saw Kill Bill which to me seemed trite and silly in comparison... having heard it was good I couldn't get excited about it at all, and worse, it extinguished my warm glow from Carendiru.

  • Comment number 89.

    On DVD, I honestly can't remember the most films I've watched back to back.
    I know I've done all three extended Lord of the Rings films and all the classic Star Wars films.
    I've also done marathon days of watching through an entire season of a TV show (an American length one, not a standard 6-episode British series that's too easy).
    For the first time ever I saw two films in the cinema back to back the other week; Brave and Paranorman.
    I'd like to do another day trip to the cinema, partly because I'm pretty busy at the moment and only get a couple of days where I can go and see films, partly because I'm a cheap student and don't want to pay the bus fair multiple times and partly because seeing those two or more films back-to-back somehow made it feel even more fun and special.

  • Comment number 90.

    This is entirely off-topic, but, Mark, it's been a year since you blogged about the to be DVD release of the X-rated cut of Ken Russell's The Devils and I'm very curious as to why it hasn't happened, especially after Ken's passing. I'm gonna be honest, I've actually yet to see The Devils in even its American R-rated cut. I know what you're thinking: "Why?!" I've seen the rest of Ken Russell's work, all of which I greatly admire, and I'm afraid of seeing the original cut of the film before seeing the proper cut. For example, I wasn't even alive to see Blade Runner when it first came out in theaters; yet, I saw the original theatrical cut first on VHS. I really like the 1992 Director's Cut of that film, but it didn't really have quite the impression on me that it could've had if it were the first cut of the film that I'd seen. In that case, I really wish they'd release the uncut version of The Devils already.

    I realize that you have a lot on your plate, but, as a follower of your reviews and a fan of Ken Russell, can you please respond to my comment?

  • Comment number 91.

    @ #85. Paul Mayer wrote:

    Incidentally, I am an ex-pat in Manila and would like to request that you stop making blogs which I can't view because if region issues. Or at least, wold it be possible for your editor to make an international version as well as a UK version?
    Watch them on youtube: kermodeandmayo it's less buggy than this site. Also They put their reviews up there too. :) But comment here for doc kermode to read ppl's responses. Someone should make a comedy based off youtube commentators...
  • Comment number 92.

    Around 1991 ?? I went to one of the fabulous all night screenings at the Scala. Ah the Scala how seedy it was. Unsavory films for the unsavory. I went to see all of the Star Trek movies 1 to 6 (Shatner and his Crew ! YO ). As the night wore on it got incredibly cold which focused the mind somewhat. I caved in at the Final Frontier and never reached the Undiscovered Country; hungry for sleep and a warm duvet. A very cherished memory

  • Comment number 93.

    Most movies watched in one day? 8 Star Trek movies in sequence from 1-8 in Clydebank, Glasgow. Half hour break in between. Trek'd out and no mistake, but would def do it again ... and, clearly now, more :)

  • Comment number 94.

    My wife and I went to a movie marathon at the Robins cinema in Bath. 24 hours of it with 12 films. There was a beautiful print of Alien, with its X certificate, The Craft, a Roddie Doyle film (The Van?), Footloose, Sleepers and... seven other films. It was 16 or so years ago, give me a break. It was to raise money for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust. There were quizzes all the way through in the breaks between films with cinema-type stuff as prizes (we still have a First Wives club mug) and the staff kept us going with sweets and snacks through the night too. I didn't drop off at all, although at some points the snores were louder than the film soundtracks. :) Good times. We regularly go to see multiple films in a row at the flicks and like others have said, the contrasts just sharpen the differences in the films for me.

  • Comment number 95.

    During my undergraduacy, Biology, I would spend time leading upto exams watching an average of 3 films a day. So seeing three films a day in a 31 day month would mean 93 films in a month. This also occurred during my brief infatuation with counter-culture and grindhouse movies (staring with Vanishing Point as a high and ending with Don't Go Into The Woods as a low). I would say this definitely altered my perception of these films. For the most part grindhouse slasher horrors can be pretty unremarkable but seen back to back in one day where the only other activities you participated in were those for continuing living and reading about the limited complexities of horse behaviour they become (pardon the pun) tortuous.

  • Comment number 96.

    With all due respect, doing a marathon in a popular franchise or a bunch of fast-paced mainstream flicks is barely a challenge even worth mentioning.

    My viewing habits are based entirely of obscure foreign films, meaning I have to read subtitles for each film, which requires a lot more attention than something such as Taken 2 requires.

  • Comment number 97.

    @ #91 information1st

    Many thanks for the tip.

  • Comment number 98.

    I used to do a lot of all night cinema marathons in my youth - the 2 best ones were Bradford Film Festival Cult night in 1997 or 8. The movies were Repo Man, Zombie Flesh Eaters (in Italian), The Beyond, Boy Meets Girl and Bad Boy Bibby. The night was most memorable for meeting Alex Cox for a chat about spaghetti westerns and having a beer with David Warbeck (nicest bloke you'll ever meet) in the bar. The other was an Italian horror movie festival at the old ABC cinema in Bradford (now sadly demolished). The films were The Blood Spattered Bride, Mario Bava's Shock and the Lucio Fulci trilogy of City of the Living Dead, The Beyond and House by the Cemetery - phew!

  • Comment number 99.

    Not available in my area apparently. Anyone know why this is?

    I am living in South Korea now, but I've been here two months and have had no problems so far, and I can still view the previous videos.

  • Comment number 100.

    I once saw 6 films in 12hrs at a horror all-nighter. Started with Repo Man at 7pm (is that a horror film??) and finished with the end credits of Bad Boy Bubby at 7am, with no more than 30mins rest in-between. Have to say, I never fell asleep, always went outside for fresh air before the next film, but by Zombie Flesh Eaters at 3am, I was wasted and was struggling to take it all in. Luckily, they were only horror films - so no brain function needed!

    Great night, though. Alex Cox introduced his film, then buggered off, while David Warbeck introduced The Beyond at 1am, keeping us awake with his funny anecdotes about Fulci - not to mention the famous bullets-down-the-barrel moment, then sat down and watched it with us. Top guy! Sadly missed.


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