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Mark Kermode

November 2010

The tour ties in with the reissue of your book It’s Only A Movie but what exactly will you be doing on stage?
A song, a dance and amazing stunts with a combine harvester. It’s me telling stories from the book, although it’s not me reading out loud because I don’t do that very well. I do that for an hour, then half an hour with questions from the audience. Inbetween there are various set pieces involving props and musical instruments, including the bagpipes.

Are you surprised that people want to come and see you on stage?
Shocked and stunned. No-one is more surprised than me. I did a tour in February and we sold everywhere out. I love allowing people to have their say because an awful lot of the 5Live show (with Simon Mayo), I say something and someone will email will say “no, that’s rubbish.” In this case it’s in the theatre.

Do you find it easy to accept that you might be wrong?
Well, I’m not wrong. But as I’ve always said, other opinions are available. It just happens that my opinion’s right.

 Do your friends and family know not to call you up to recommend a film?
The chances of anyone who knows me, ringing me up and asking my opinion, are less than zero. Last year I called Bride Wars one of the worst films I’d ever seen. I was on a plane with my daughter, who is 11, and she watched it, three or four times in a row, laughing her head off. And at the end of it, she took her headphones off, looked at me and said “You know nothing!”

Robin Hood was a big film for Nottingham, even though it wasn’t filmed here...
Sadly it was neither filmed nor indeed spoken in Nottingham. I don’t think any of us knew that Robin Hood was part Irish, part Australian until we saw that movie. Hearing Russell Crowe get the hump with Mark Lawson, when Mark didn’t mean it as a criticism when he said: “What accent were you doing?” What he meant was, so much of the film is about Robin Hood’s heritage being unknown, so he was asking in all good faith. So whe he said he could hear Irish, Russell Crowe was incandescent, in a way that only someone who has done a really bad accent can be.

Another recent film with a Notts connection is Made In Dagenham, written by local screenwriter Billy Ivory.
I really liked Made In Dagenham. I’ve seen it three times now. I saw it at the premiere, which I don’t normally do because I don’t enjoy red carpet stuff, and he introduced himself to me. Quite genuinely, I shook him by hand and said “you did a great job.” It is one of my favourite films of the year and a terrific piece of writing.

Are you pleased that the quiff seems to be making a comeback in youth fashion?
In my mind it never went away. But it is true that I do clock every quiff that I see in the street. We are the International Confederation of Rockabillies.

An Evening With Mark Kermode is on Monday at Nottingham Arts Theatre in George Street, from 7:30pm. Tickets are £12, call 0115 947 6096.

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