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John Boorman: an exorcism

Tuesday 4 August 2009, 12:00

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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Perusing your comments I came across a request to explain my antipathy toward John Boorman, the director behind such brilliant movies as Hell in the Pacific, Point Blank and Deliverance. Yeah. And Exorcist II: The Heretic, the Worst-Film-Ever-Made. Starting to make sense? Anyway, it occurred to me that Kermode Uncut is as good a place as any to get this thing out of my system.

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    Comment number 1.

    I fear your reconciliation with John Boorman may have to wait a while, not least because according to the imdb he is currently directing a remake of The Wizard of Oz.

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    Comment number 2.

    Do you ever think there will be a time when you can let bygones be bygones and look back over the early works of Michael Bay and say, 'Actually Michael, you made some great films but kind of lost your way?' I personally think that this comment can never be mentioned, not even in private, lest ye be judged for it in the afterworld.

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    Comment number 3.

    Good post. Believing your own hype is what has killed many an artist

    It's what has ruined Quentin Tarantino for me. 90s Tarantino was wonderful, edgy, fresh and cool.....Then magazines started to talk about him as an auteur, and then the Weinsteins started treating him like King Midas, promising to back any idea he had, with no budgetary limitations, and in any form he wanted it.

    This cult of 'Quentin' has led to:

    * The horrendously cynical 'Two Volumes' of 'Kill Bill' as QT and the Weinsteins couldn't stand the thought of cutting all that 'genius' footage, and so thought 'hey lets charge people to see it twice'

    * QT's memorable pontificating about what's wrong with the British Cinema industry at Cannes in 2004

    * QT completely misjudging Grindhouse, confusing the audience in the process (many didn't know it was a double bill). Then when it flopped he claimed it wasn't his fault, and it was the audiences because they didn't 'get' grindhouse culture.

    * Self indulgence of the highest form. Kill Bill was half a movie and half a 'watch QT' shoe-horn as many obscure 70s references that only he and the fanboys know'.

    He has gone from 'Enfant Terrible' to 'terrible middle-aged man' who believes his own hype. I hope 'Inglorious Basterds' is good, but the fact that QT decided to put an 'e' in the titles profanity as an 'artistic flourish' suggests that this is a man too far gone....up his own backside!

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    Comment number 4.

    Don't knock Michael Bay, he's a legend. Michael Bay doesn't use toilet paper, he uses reviews....

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    Comment number 5.

    Hi Mark,
    just wondering what your take on the rebranding of 'Inglorious Basterds' to simply 'Inglorious' is? In my mind its a shocking PR flop that clearly wasn't thought through when the original name was dreamt up. (Although the new name is about 100 times better than the first iteration)

    Advertising a presumably violent film pre-watershed with a toned down name is just pure Tarantino- it makes me dislike his new efforts more and more before I can even sit down to watch them. I'm most certainly of the ilk that believe his only truly interesting work is Jackie Brown, and more and more his movies are simply star vehicles for whomever it may be that's leading. With luck I won't find myself having to watch the Brad Pitt ego show that is Inglorious... or is that Inglorious Basterds... ugh.


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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

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