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Friday 9 March 2012, 15:12

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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I recently posted about the new William Friedkin film, Killer Joe and confessed that I didn't know immediately whether I liked it or not.

Am I the only one who sometimes feels I need time for the film to settle before I decide?

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    Comment number 1.

    I completely agree that sometimes you simply can't figure out how you feel. The full creeping horror of Martha Marcy May Marlene only hit me a few days after I saw it.

    Your experience with Blue Velvet is almost identical to my reaction to Black Swan. On first viewing, I thought it was terrible. Over the top, hysterical and totally ridiculous. On second viewing a few months later, I realsed that this was the point. I now think it's a brilliant film.

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    Comment number 2.

    you are certainly not the only one Mark! There are many films that creep up on you, and sometimes it is only on a second or repeat viewings that you really 'get it' next time round. For me, the most memorable was Casablanca. For a seventies child, getting 'Casablanca' the first time round was difficult under the weight of peer pressure and expectation. It wasn't until the 1990s that I first saw it, and by this time it was the kind of film that you thought you MUST surely be EXPECTED to like because if you didn't you were a) an amoeba and b) had taken leave of your senses. Imagine my disappointment when I sat through it without being particularly moved by it. But then just a few years ago, I happened to catch it on a remote satellite channel when I wasn't really looking for it, and it astounded me with it's brilliance. I suddenly got it. The power of the story, the restraint of Bogart, the emotional quality of the whole piece. It isn't the first film to have done that to me and I'm sure it won't be the last

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    Comment number 3.

    And just as an aside, a few years ago I was discussing classic film with my Uncle, who was born in the forties. I happened to mention that I recently seen Rebel Without A Cause for the first time, and wasn't particularly mesmerised by it. He looked at me for an incredibly, awkwardly long pause without speaking. His eyes bore through me and it was as if I had just deliberately run over his cat or something. I quickly moved on...

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    Comment number 4.

    Sometimes I do take a while to decide upon my opinion on a film. Recently I saw The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The ending moved me and I left the movie not sure whether it was profound, pretentious, good, bad, boring, well paced... It was only about a day later that I decided it should have been much better, as a movie should be there for entertainment, and I was looking at my watch a little too often for my liking. I agree that the Cinematography was beautiful, but then why not go to an art gallery? I agree that the ideas flag-poled were interesting, but if I wanted ideas that made me think but didn't move me, I would go to university. Films should move and entertain you, and that means that ideas, emotions, technical skill, and story should be blended seamlessly... not be laid out separately and incoherently so as to leave you with a tasteless meal.

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    Comment number 5.

    Hi Mark, first-time poster - I think part of the enduring appeal of movie-going in general is to be left with an unerring sense of 'did I like that?' With music too, it's something I imagine a lot of people would embrace; the time to mull, criticise, analyse, evaluate - if this was a simple 'Like it? Yes/No' cinema as an experience would be far-less complex and poorer for it.

    Months on, I still cannot decide if I liked 'The Skin I Live In'; it disturbed and delighted me in equal measure. If to 'like' equates to 'would probably watch it again' then maybe that is a more truthful sense of evaluation...


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

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