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Film Club Responses

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Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 11:29 UK time, Friday, 27 July 2012

In this post I pick out some of your responses to Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and reveal the title of the next Kermode Uncut Film Club choice.

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Film Club - Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

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  • Comment number 1.

    Nice selection on the next film Mark, one that's been on my watch pile for a long time.

  • Comment number 2.

    Slade in Flame is actually available on YouTube - no excuses then!

  • Comment number 3.

    I tend to not be so thrilled by "rock band movies". Like the recent Rock of Ages, which to me was desperately embarrassing on levels I wasn't even aware existed. But I'll certainly give this a shot, wasn't even aware it existed (which is why I like this whole film club idea!).

    Also, you certainly have a thing for fire and flames Dr. Kermode - anything you'd like to get off your chest, perhaps? *sly Anne Robinson-style wink*

  • Comment number 4.

    Mmm... weird I actually agree with all of those comments (positive and negative). Hahaha...
    Looking forward to the next title in the film club.
    Yes MrJimjam, it's on youtube, but I've just managed to track down a copy for £3.39. yuppie

  • Comment number 5.

    I've never even heard of Slade In Flame, so good shout. I have, however, seen the Queen musical We Will Rock You. I know that's irrelevant, but telling people eases the pain.

  • Comment number 6.

    Without reading the above, I quickly checked the major online streaming and rental service I subscribe to only to get this message about Slade - Flame (as they dubbed it): "We do not have rental rights for this product." Have to track it down on youtube as noted above and imagine that it is there legitimately.

  • Comment number 7.

    I have to give it to you, Mark. You're getting me to watch films I would never have watched otherwise.

  • Comment number 8.

    I rented Slade in Flame earlier this year, after you mentioned it in "It's only a movie" and it's a choppy affair, so i'd be interested to hear why you rate it so highly.

    A suggestion for a future film club, a film which many of us have seen but i think would benefit from an introduction to help us view in the right frame of mind.
    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    Recently you've been asking for our thoughts on numerous subjects but not responding, how about a general over view of the more intersting topics.

  • Comment number 9.

    Slade in Flame ~ good pick.
    Why not compare & contrast with Michael Apted's Stardust (with David Essex) from the year before?

  • Comment number 10.

    Sorry. A little too self-indulgent. Think I'll pass.

  • Comment number 11.

    I agree with Fisher_King above. I'll pass on this one, also.

  • Comment number 12.

    Good choice Dr Kermode, Will watch as I've only seen half an hour of it once on the telly and what I saw wasn't pretentious, it was a mixture of the hillarious and surprisingly dark and gritty.......wish we could watch the Madness film,Take it or leave it from 1981 too,loved it!

  • Comment number 13.

    Good result: Split between very positive and very negative. I made my excuses for FWWM already, but love the wide range between the first 3 films and the mysterious selection process involved, it adds a certain je ne sais quoi. :)

    Relieved to hear that I can watch the next Slade In Flame (some sort of iconic 70's film?) via youtube. Speaking of which:

    for film reviews is very good. I enjoyed the guest/stand-in's for when mayo was away to be honest as a different approach eg Al Murray as a comedian discussing a comedy Ted, was excellent and Zoe Ball was enjoying discussing films with the Dr. evidently, who wouldn't?! But - Family Guy humor? It's really crass, imo.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm not a fan of this one also. We have had two films that are clearly Dr K's favourites that are not loved by others. Do we need a third? If this club is just Dr K trying to convince us the films he like are great then this is going to boring very quick. Also can we have something that is easier to get hold of. I doubt the You Tube version is there legally so will not be using this.

  • Comment number 15.

  • Comment number 16.

    I must confess, Slade in Flame is a film that, on first impression, i would almost certainly ignore. I have no previous affinity for the protagonists or the genre, but in the spirit of Film Club i will track it down and spend an evening with it. Isn't that, in essence, the point? I hope others would think so too

  • Comment number 17.

    I haven't seen this film before and I do appreciate Slade (good when they're live), so count me in. At worst this looks like a guilty pleasure in the making.

    As to Mack's issue above, I do think he has a point. If this just becomes Mark Kermode's Films Club, then it'll over time get a bit stale and also, I feel, lose diversity of choice of films. This isn't to say that the films that Mark chooses won't be interesting choices, but interesting discussions can come about from unexpected places, places that Mark didn't consider. So, maybe the next film should be something Mark Kermode hates or dislikes. Maybe Pirates of the Caribbean III, Sex in the City II or even his worst choice of this year, John Carter. Not sure if I'm kidding or not with those choices. ;)

  • Comment number 18.

    Quick heads up. Slade in flame is available completely legally at

  • Comment number 19.

    Hmm, I like the diversity of views, this is the best thing. "But with all due respect," I think if I am choosing anyone to choose the films I watch in a film club, I'd choose Dr. Kermode to do the choosing, & nooone else! I also think a black box to those following the film club is the best method, that way it keeps everyone guessing. So to draw a trend from just three movies, the sheer impudence!! /relax sit back and enjoy the ride.

  • Comment number 20.

    Given the amount of nods it received when the Doc first revealed Film Club, I'm surprised Alien 3 hasn't made the grade yet; a flick - coincidentally, of course - the Doc isn't crazy about.

  • Comment number 21.


    Loved watching your reactions to the Film Clubber's comments on TPFWWM. I didn't leave a comment on the original blog because by the time I came to it, it seemed everything had been said, more eloquently than I could have put it. For the record though, I'm with you, it's a horror masterpiece and one of my favourite Lynch films. Although, I understand why some people don't like it (they're wrong).

    Interested to see your next choice, I will track down a copy (apparently it's on YouTube) as I've heard you talk about it a lot and never seen it.

    Really like the idea of your Film Club and what you're doing with this blog, but obviously, only if the first rule of Film Club is: YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FILM CLUB and the second rule is: YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FILM CLUB.

    Maybe that suggests a candidate for a future film for us to discuss?

    All the best.

  • Comment number 22.

    @#20 I would love to get stuck into Alien 3; it would be interesting to ask folks to watch the theatrical cut as well as the "Directors Cut" which appeared in the DVD box set, and then tear into them both as having a huge flaw undermining the film within a minute of it starting...

  • Comment number 23.

    Not seen Slade in Flame so will give it a go.
    I like the suggestion above that film club does John Carter of Cornwall. In spite of all Mark's reservations ive recently been reading The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics and a few mentions of JC have sparked a very slight interest that previously wasnt there. I'm curious to see if it really is that bad, cos you do see the odd comment from people who really liked it.
    Plus, its probably down to about 50p in price already.

  • Comment number 24.

    #22 - Please elaborate.

  • Comment number 25.

    @ #19 information1st

    No issue with Mark Kermode choosing the films in his Film Club (his club, his rules), just that I think it'd be beneficial if he also chose films that aren't to his tastes. You know, broaden horizons, look beyond one's own interests, face one's inner demons, etc. Don't worry, I'm as interested in Film Club as yourself and relaxed about it, despite my apparent impudence. Still, the thought of Mark Kermode having to deal with any appreciative comments about Sex and the City II on his film blog would be fun to watch... from a distance. ;)

    PS - Not that I liked Sex and the City II. I'm not that mad... I hope.

  • Comment number 26.

    I agree with Graham's post above. All the films so far seem to occupy a kind of niche, which suggests they are very personal favourites of Mark's to some degree. This was fine for the first two but I think the latest choice is a stretch. I don't think I'm alone in saying that rock films generally make me cringe (Control exluded).

    I've enjoyed following the posts and I now see Fire Walk With Me in a fresh, new light, which to me should be one of the main aims of this. Also the films are well chosen in that they have divided opinion, which is great for debate.

    However they have a shared "trashy" element in them. I'm not using that term derogatorily but maybe something a bit more "hi-brow" could be chosen at some stage. Or even a more recent film, something more aesthetically varied.

  • Comment number 27.

    Good afternoon, Dr Kay. It was only today that I saw this latest videoblog and boy was I marvelled to be amongst the commentators whom you read aloud! Your tone whilst reading it was just right. Thanks for that moment.

    Since I know you like to pronounciate names correctly, Fanha isn't pronounced Fah-nah, BUT Fa-ña (in which the nh = spanish ñ sound). But nice try all the same! ;)

    About the film club, may we suggest titles for future sessions?
    If so, there is a small indie like film I really like, that not many people have seen I believe, called "Steel Dawn" with Patrick Swayze in the lead role. I'd love to know your take on it.

    Had never heard of this new film club treasure, "Slade in Flame", but that's precisely the fun of the Mark Kermode Film Club. I'll let you know what I think about it soon, but I'll only see it after your introduction videoblog!

    Cheers and keep up the fine work!


  • Comment number 28.

    So when are we doing Hudson Hawk?

    Incidentally ignore the naysayers, Mark - I'm really enjoying these choices, they are personal and they are movies that you, rightly or wrongly, think deserve more attention, and they spark lively debates. The moment you start taking suggestions and trying to second-guess what people want the point is kind of lost.

  • Comment number 29.

    Delighted to find my local dvd shop has 'Slade in Flame' in stock, so no need to ask them to get it in like I did for 'Breathless'

  • Comment number 30.

    Forgot about this little gem,the 70's were 'my decade' for music.Looking forward to watching it again,may even hunt out some flares a cap sleeve tee shirt,a bottle of Liebfraumilch & a Vesta curry(on 2nd.thoughts i'll skip the Vesta curry) to set the mood.
    Great choice Dr.K.

  • Comment number 31.

    I was a huge fan of the Twin Peaks TV series, so naturally I watched Fire Walk With Me when it came out. I loved it, and still do (the only tiny flaw, in my mind, is that, due to scheduling conflict, Lara Flynn Boyle couldn't reprise her role from the series).

    However, I do disagree with the assertion, from both Mark, and Lynch himself, as well as others, that the film stands on it's own. I honestly feel that this film won't make a huge amount of sense to someone who hasn't already seen at least enough of the TV series to see Leland's simply awesome capture/confession/death. This film then stands as a prequel to those events. The reviewer who stated that he just didn't care about the characters is right: that care was built up over the series, and so by the time of the film, you really did care about them.

    The painting on the wall dream-sequence is reminiscent of M.R. James' "The Mezzotint", an all-time great ghost story, and just as creepy.

    The bar scene (when I saw this at the cinema, it had no subtitles: my DVD copy has subtitles) took my breath away: quite simply one of the most audacious and stunning pieces of direction in the last 30 years. It just blew me away, and I was almost in tears throughout it.

    As for "Slade in Flame", I'm old enough (51) to have been a teenager when it originally came out. Didn't see it then, because, quite honestly, we all thought Slade were a bit naff. Now, a combination of nostalgia, and years of hindsight, makes me appreciate them a bit more. (As well as Vic n' Bob's delightfully affectionate parodies of Noddy and Dave). So I'm looking forward to giving this a go.

    And finally, I also second a Film Club screening of "Alien 3". Yes, it's flawed (Newt and Hicks didn't have to die: they could easily have just stayed in hospital, or played minor roles). But I still think Fincher did a great job with what he had to work with.

  • Comment number 32.

    @ #24 What would you like me to elaborate about?

    If it's this, I thought the whole of Alien 3 was undermined by the way in which Hicks and Newt were killed off before the opening credits had even finished. It really put me offside as an audience member, that they couldn't have been more creative if they wanted to dispose of those two characters, in whom we had invested time and emotion, during the previous film. For the rest of the film I thought I had been let down by the film-makers and really couldn't get involved in it at all, because of that opening sequence. So, I couldn't care less when Ripley sacrifices herself at the end.

  • Comment number 33.

    I wish people wouldnt bang on about Alien3,its the worst one of all the Alien films..Love them or loathe them Dr K likes films with visual flair and/or an engaging human drama,Alien 3 has neither. You might as well suggest Shrek3 or Spiderman 3.I`d rather watch Prometheus again,at least its visually beautiful,even if some of the dialogue could be in `Crossroads`
    I`ve never seen Slade in Flames, I`m sure its interesting.For a music documentary I`d wish he had gone for `Oil City Confidential` which is brilliant if for no other reason than Dr Feelgood were a better band.

  • Comment number 34.

    My Goodness, Oil City Confidential is a great film. I knew nothing about Dr Feelgood before seeing that, after it I went out and devoured all their music...

  • Comment number 35.

    @ #25 Graham:

    That is a good case you make. I'm sure the hard-working doc is probably starting in the enthusiasm end of scale. Later selections are likely easier to derive from that place *shrugs*? #26 - 3 films is by no means a trend yet.

    Concerning Alien 3, taking away the fact they dropped a bridge the size of the golden gate on it at the beginning it's sorta we'll made movie even if the plot IMO trivialises the alien into a sort of hungry, rabid dog. Not to take away from anyone's opinions, but ain't necessarily easy, unless you choose The Shawshank Redemption! ;)

  • Comment number 36.

    #32 - I knew to what you were referring - man, does THAT record need changing!

    Conversely, disposing of two popular characters is actually rather daring. Daring is different. Different is interesting.

    For me, adding two more characters to the roster of movie-in, movie-out survivors would've diluted the power of the xenomorph and threatened its status as the "...perfect organism" (Ash); 'If it's so perfect, how come so many escape it!?'

    Alien 3 went the whole hog and bumped off Ripley, too. Impressive...

  • Comment number 37.

    I don't think Alien 3 is a bad film, it just doesn't stand up with the first two, which are sci-fi horror and sci-fi action of the highest standard, much like the first two terminator films. Alien 3 clearly goes for the former but doesn't have the originality of Alien, or the suspense, memorable characters etc.

    If Alien 3 was just it's own film i.e. not part of the series, then it would probably have been forgotten about by now.

  • Comment number 38.

    A lot of people have been talking about the point of the film club. The point this, the point that, missing the point. Maybe the point is different for different people and cannot be so easily reduced. There's probably a great variation here between individuals' film knowledge and experience.

    Personally I think variety and controversy are the most important elements. I don't see what's wrong in offering suggestions for future film choices and actually find it absurd that some are so opposed to the idea. Why?!

    Thus! I vote for Dogville: In my humble opinion, the most unique film ever made and so unconventional that it's bound to provoke an interesting discussion.

  • Comment number 39.

    @#38 please no, Dogville is one of the worst abominations ever committed to film, I would rather poke my eyes out with a skewer than watch that again. I suppose this is your point though? To get some sort of reaction...

  • Comment number 40.

    Slade in Flame! Can't wait to see this again, if only from an anthropological view this time around.
    If we're all throwing suggestions in for future debatable selections, what about movies where nothing much happens, but (some) critics and audiences have raved about it? "Lost in Translation" springs to mind (hated it, although a fan of Bill Murray), or "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" (loved it - still not sure why!")

  • Comment number 41.

    @ Stu Bell.
    Not exactly. I personally love the film, but understand why some people could hate it. Maybe a lot of people do. I don't know. I'd like to know what people here think. That's mi punto.

  • Comment number 42.

    #33 - Why shouldn't people "...bang on" about Alien 3? Because you disagree with said people? We're just as entitled to air our opinions as you are.

  • Comment number 43.

    #38. OhJosephK wrote:

    "I don't see what's wrong in offering suggestions for future film choices and actually find it absurd that some are so opposed to the idea. Why?!"
    It's good if people suggest films, oc, but I just hope they don't get their expectations too high until such time as Dr. Kermode actually decides it's high time for polling of films once the film club becomes more settled, if ever? That's how I see it. I mean silence on the 'how' the films are chosen must tell people something, surely?

    @ #42 - I'm guessing "banging on" may just be a flippant expression, more than a total denouement of that choice? I think mentioning possible selections is a great idea for this film club but it seems it's not been indicated so should not be taken too seriously. The criteria to choose a film must be immense, so I think it's also a question of appreciation of other choices before we can add our own? As the saying goes, every dog has it's day, eventually. :)
  • Comment number 44.

    ...thanks Mark, Im watching 'Slade in Flames' right now...It brings back the fun, the vans, the taste of late-night pasties and not being paid for gigs... Thanks for the tip-off about the film [and thanks #2 for the fact that its available legally on youtube...

  • Comment number 45.

    @ 43

    Yeah, I like the silence about how the films are chosen and also the anticipation of what's going to be next, though that's not to say that Mark choosing someone's suggestion would detract from this. I'm not after some kind of weird democratic system or any change in how films are chosen necessarily.

    What I mean is that a: it can't hurt to give Mark an idea of the kind of films the club guys are into and b: There is the possibility that he'll stumble onto a suggestion that he'd like to use.

    I guess at the end of the day..."we gotta make the best of it, improvise, adapt to the environment, Darwin, sh*t happens, I Ching, whatever man, we gotta roll with it."

  • Comment number 46.

    I Remember my Dad taking me to see 'Herbie Rides Again' a the local flea pit when the trailer for 'Flame' came on.
    My Dad raised his eyes and I almost choked on my Kia-ora.
    Great choice, have just watched it and looking forward to the discussion.

  • Comment number 47.

    I was 12 when 'Flame' came out, I saw it at the Lewisham Odeon, the cinema was pretty empty (But back then 3050 seater normally looked empty at least) since that day, when ever 'Slade in Flame' is mentioned, I instantly get a terrible feeling of melancholia. I loved Slade back then, and I really did think this was the true story of Slade, and that it was the end, and in reality it was as Slades records sales declined around the same time as the films release. Slade was not my favourite band after that fateful day back in Feb/March 1975, as I truely beleived in my 1975 mind set (no internet, magazines were few and far between and far to expensive for a working mans son) to have realized it was just a piece of fiction. It has the look and feel of the music film Ken Loach never made. Watching it this morning, the films gritty look and melancholia ending sent me back nearly 40 years to that day again. I also have a soft spot for 'Breaking Glass' as on watching 'Flame' reminded me of it so much and how similar they are in look and feel. Shame about the DVD cropping the Widescreen and how dark it is at times, perhaps Mr Kermode could rally up the troops at the BFI (of which I am a proud member) and get a true restoration of this British masterpiece.

  • Comment number 48.

    #43 - Should you be inclined to do so, look back to the post in which the Doc first mentioned Film Club. MANY suggested Alien 3. If it's not the next topic of Film Club discussion, then there's a monopoly at work, says I...

  • Comment number 49.

    Love Slade in Flame, and looking forward to hearing what the good Doctor thinks.

    As complete contrast, can I suggest Billy Wilder's excellent 'Midnight', with Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche? Film making didn't start in the 60's you know.

  • Comment number 50.

    @ #45 OhJosephK:

    Bang on. So we might suggest at some stage a blog post on "how a suitable film is to be selected?". That said, I actually like seeing what films people are adamant could make a great choice! I guess Mark's selection has a certain amount of pulling power however atm.

    @ #48 Matth Stil: rofl! Tbh, I feel somewhat sheepish having missed FWWM, but as long as the film finally chosen creates a lot of food for thought that's the key isn't it?

  • Comment number 51.

    @42 Matth Stil

    Sorry for not replying sooner,been on holiday.I apologize for any offence.I am opinionated and was annoyed that the best film people wanted to share with others is Alien 3. A pigmy of a film compared to its two giant predecessors.The ending of which really peed me off because I`d seen Karloff die like that, in Son of Frankenstein,a film fifty three years older . I assume people feel passion for quirky,strange, beautiful, creative ,challenging films. My suggestion would be Vigil ,a 1984 , little known New Zealand film,with stunning cinematography.I suggest this because I think it is unique,and that, for that strangeness I love it. I`m quite happy to have people grind my opinions into the dust if they feel like it.

  • Comment number 52.

    ALIEN 3 or McVicar In Space as it should have been known :) I really do like it though.
    Slade In Flame is a pretty good choice, saw it quite some time ago and enjoyed it.
    For a future Film Club maybe Donald Cammell's White Of The Eye or Bob Balaban's Parent's (if the good Doctor likes them that is)

  • Comment number 53.

    #51 - No offence taken. Interesting your choice is 'Vigil'; co-written & directed by almost Alien 3 director & writer Vincent Ward. What are the odds? :)

  • Comment number 54.

    I enjoyed the first film club offering to an extent (the pain problem being that I really struggled to like any of the characters), was incredibly bored by Fire Walk With Me (I much prefer some of Lynch's other works and found this, in the main, to be nonsensical), but will give the third a miss (rock-docs are not remotely my thing). In all honesty, I'd rather not waste more money on another film that I'll later regret.

    I'd like to think that I'm open minded and will watch most things, but when there are hundreds and hundreds of films that I would rather see (for instance I've still not got around to 'Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives'), I'll give this a miss. Despite not being thrilled by the club's films so far, I'll check back in about 4 weeks to see what the next one is. In the meantime, I hope everyone else enjoys it and I'll read the feedback with interest.

  • Comment number 55.

    @ #54 Mr Blonde:

    I loved the 1st choice of Breathless with Richard Gere. And similarly time/money/sourcing for the 2nd film were all a bridge too far for FWWM. But the 3rd one, is on youtube, so just waiting for the introduction from Mark before watching it.

    The other good side to this Film Club I think, is to watch the films, is not just to enjoy/be challenged by them (yadda-yadda) but also to participate further along. A feather in the cap for the internet for this possibility.

    As for suggestions, I recently just caught up on Tarkovsky's Solaris (Solyaris) and was mesmerized. Possibly one of the best sci-fi films I've seen, especially as it's a film with a "name" going into watching it.

    Without banging on too much, it might make an excellent choice, especially given there is a Solaris remake and that watching the film might make people feel compelled to also hunt down and read the orginal book by Stanisław Lem. The effect it had on me.

  • Comment number 56.

    Can we review piranha women next .


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