Mark Kermode' It's Only a Movie Tour at the Phoenix Cinema

Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Sunday, February 07, 2010

What happens when you spend most of your childhood in a cinema? Is excessive consumption of films bad for you?

By the look of things you write a book called It's Only a Movie and then you go on a tour of the UK promoting it.

What happens when you spend most of your childhood in a cinema? Is excessive consumption of films bad for you?

Britain's leading film critic Mark Kermode considers these questions (plus more from the audience), drawing on scenes from real life: getting shot at while interviewing Werner Herzog in the Hollywood Hills, being handbagged by Helen Mirren at the BAFTAs, and being thrown out of the Cannes Film Festival for heckling in very bad French.
If you grew up believing that Planet of the Apes told you all you needed to know about politics, that Slade in Flame was a savage exposé of the pop world, and that The Exorcist revealed the meaning of life, then you probably spent far too many of your formative years at the cinema. Just as likely, you soon would have realised that there was only one career open to you - you'd have to become a film critic.

UPDATE: You can follow twitter updates on the It's Only a Movie Tour here @KermodeMovie (

Below is an except from Kermode's book about the Werner Herzog shooting followed by a video clip of the shocking event.

We were somewhere near Lookout Mountain, on the outskirts of LA, when Werner Herzog's trousers exploded. It was a small explosion, admittedly, as if a firecracker had gone off in his pocket. But it was an explosion none the less and in an area where unexpected bangs are to be treated with suspicion, if not outright alarm. Herzog had been shot – that much was clear – and was even now bleeding quietly into his boxer shorts as a tiny plume of smoke drifted photogenically from his pelvic region and into the evening air of LA. We stood there, the bold Bavarian with a bullet in his groin and the befuddled British film critic with ridiculous hair from Barnet, in a silence broken only by Herzog's morosely German observation: "Someone is shooting at us. We should leave…"

Mark Kermode' It's Only a Movie Tour at the Phoenix Cinema

Phoenix Cinema
52 High Road, East Finchley, London, N2 9PJ

7.45pm, Fri 12t Feb, 2010

More info at The Phoenix Cinema or head over to Mark's It's only a movie site!


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