Mark Kermode has to be one of my greatest influences when it comes to film.
Recently he released a Cinema Code of Conduct, which, even if you don't want to read the rest of this blog entry, you should read. Don't hold me against him.
The Code of Conduct is a Geneva Convention of how we should act at movie theaters. It's a line in the sand and, as I think about it, it's long over due, isn't it?
My love of Dr. Mark Kermode isn't a particularly proud declaration, it's just fact. I like the man. I think he's a fairly smart individual and I think when he isn't right, he's making a good argument for why he belives what he believes. In my mind that's what makes a good critic, not a person who always agrees with your all of the time (which is impossible and an insane thing to wish for), but someone that can make a compelling argument as to why they believe what they do. I've run into an innumerate amount of people who disagree with me on this and that and the other, but it's a rare few who can actually make a compelling argument regarding what they believe.
I know a lot of weinies and I know a lot of morons who put up an argument about as strong as Sudetenland's. It's sad and it's frustrating. I want a fight. I want to have a discourse with someone, even if I disagree with them. I mean, speaking, talking about ideas is the entire point of being human, right? So, yeah, I guess in this analogy, I am Hitler, but don't hold that against me. I just get perturbed when people fold like second-hand lawn furniture when encountering a philosophy different than their own. I mean, it isn't as though I'm that abrasive. I'm not so hostile that those who disagree with me melt before me. I am friends with and respect plenty of people who disagree with me on far more important issues than movies, so I don't think it could possibly be all on me.
Mostly on me, probably. I do love a good argument. If I was built any better, I'd feel the same way about a good fight.
Anyways, I love Mark Kermode. Kermode kept my head above water when all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were coming out. I didn't much care for the first one and I cared even less for the second one, but, at the time, I was alone among my friends and comrades. I was the one nail sticking out.
I guess that sounds like I was a martyr or something, but I just hated those movies. And I've always been critical of the crappier bilge that's been forced on us through the cinema. I don't know how I ever stumbled upon Mark Kermode, but I'm glad that I did. I like him. I like his style. I think he's funny and, unlike a lot of critics, I think he balances between acrimony and celebration in a rare way. He loves movies like Twilight, but he rails against QT's (because that's how he deserves to be referred to as) because of their ugliness. I like that. I like that a person can make an argument for things like that and not sad like a mad man.
And what I really appreciate is that even if you disagree with him (as I often have), you don't feel like a moron for doing so, because it's all fun. It's all art. There are very few things that are worth serious derision in Mark Kermode's world, but it's never the listener. I like that. That's what critics should be. There's a lot of things that Mark Kermode has in his lock box-- words like synethesia and phrases like mis en scene and comparisons like Bunuelian and songs like "Das Capital"-- but before he brings up all of those wonderful and difficult ideas, he's your friend.
He's your rather snooty British friend that has a sense of humor and he wants to watch good movies with you. And he's got Simon Mayo-- the friendliest man in all of England-- with him, which doesn't help.
Hello to Jason Isaacs.