Ross and I went to an event at Glasgow Film Theater tonight billed simply as “Mark Kermode – It’s Only A Movie Tour”. Mark Kermode, in case you aren’t familiar with his work, is a film critic who writes for Sight and Sound magazine and The Observer and reviews films on BBC Radio Five Live with Simon Mayo (subscribe to the podcast) oh, and also presents the Culture Show on BBC2.
OK, so that’s who Mark Kermode is, “It’s Only a Movie” is the title of his book and so tonight was some kind of book tour. We weren’t entirely sure what would take place, whether this would be a book reading, an interview, a series of film clips, etc. It started with this pithy and succinct review of Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, a review which I truly agree with on every level!
What followed was a series of opinions and anecdotes from Mark followed by a question and answers session and a book signing. That rather brief simplified explanation however doesn’t sound very exciting or entertaining and I must say it really was a very fun evening. One of the things I enjoy most about Mark Kermode’s style of movie review is his passion for film and how he is clear and strong with what is his opinion but always leaving room for people to disagree. In other words it is clear what is factual knowledge about a film and what is his opinion.
In a live environment like this his relaxed, authoritative and natural speaking style was very entertaining! A non-stop series of stories about his career, interviews he has carried out, opinions on various films and an extremely vociferous justification for his dislike of 3D technology with the use of visual aids including flying-smurfs and an action-man.
Following the short Q&A was the disorderly forming of an orderly queue for the book signing part. This did seem to take some time because Mark did seem to have a brief conversation with everyone in the line.
As we waited there was a Varwell-moment: as we were waiting I mentioned that I’d only been to one book signing before (Adam Ant a year or so ago) and next month there was going to be a similar event in Biblocafe for Simon Varwell’s book “Up the Creek Without a Mullet” [reading and book signing, Wednesday 17 March 6.30pm!!] On the mention of his name the guy in front of us in the queue turned around and said “Did you say Simon Varwell?” and on confirming it and admitting that we know him he said “I’m a reporter for the Daily Record and have just interviewed him about his book.” We chatted a little about the book and how much we had both enjoyed it and found it amazing how Simon seems to have this knack of meeting people and starting up conversations. I think that since Simon seems to meet so many people from all over the world there must be an increasing probability that people who know him will bump into each other, when such meetings happen to me I will call them a “Varwell moment.”