Mark Kermode on...
Kermode on: the internet
The idea that somehow the internet has brought about the end of criticism was not only wrong but flying completely in the face of the evidence of the person held up as the last great bastion of film criticism.
Writing the book I became profoundly aware of the snobbery in print journalism which is to look down your nose at blogging. There’s a quote about blogging in that film Contagion: 'It’s just graffiti with punctuation' – I was in a screening when a load of people laughed at that line, but it was partly out of nervousness: ‘all our jobs are going and the internet’s to blame.’ The internet isn’t to blame, what will happen is the same rules of journalism will apply: people will want some kind of quality control.
That will come from editing and it will come from responsibility and accountability; the thing that will increase your readership is knowing that you’re reliable and accountable for what you say; that you have pride in the work and do the thing professionally. People still haven’t figured out the payment model, but it will be figured out because if it isn't, capitalism will collapse!
Very quickly the market will take control because that’s how capitalism works and whether you like it or not, things have to be paid for… The market is changing but it’s not disappearing. It’s not going to go anywhere – the internet is run by capitalism the same way newspapers are… It’s not the end of everything, just the changing of the medium.
Kermode on: being on the receiving end of criticism
One of the things that you’re always told as a critic is you have no idea of what it’s like being on the back end of a vile review; to which I would say, err yeah, just Google Mark Kermode and *anker and see how far you get. I have been on the receiving end of the most vitriolic abuse. I've had stupid actors threatening to beat me up. I've had reviews of my books that are absolutely bilious and poisonous. The idea I've never been on the end of a bad review is laughable. The idea critics don’t know what it’s like to be on the receiving end is hilarious!
I've written a few books now – they've had good and bad reviews. It’s one of the things I talk about – why is it the negative reviews stick? I could quote for you the bad reviews of my books but I can’t remember the good ones! When I wrote my autobiography It’s Only a Movie the review in the Telegraph said ‘the problem with this book is it's all about Mark Kermode’ – you have to take the rough with the smooth. It’s good to be on the wrong side of a bad review because it toughens you up… But remember, the worst piece of crap you ever reviewed, somebody worked hard to make!
This was first published as part of a feature in The Double Negative – read the rest of it here