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Hatchet Job: Love Movies, Hate Critics
by Mark Kermode
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Starting with the celebrated TV fight between Ken Russell and Alexander Walker (the former hit the latter with a rolled up copy of his Evening Standard review!) and ending with his own admission to Steven Spielberg of a major error of judgement, Mark Kermode takes us on a journey across the modern cinematic landscape. We are all critics now and, as the professional role diminishes, the democratic opportunities of the internet have created a new monster. Relying on speed of response, rather than considered reaction, these new critics have stolen the thunder of their paid up counterparts. But there is a dark side, the shocking deceptions hidden behind the facade of our digital world's new and supposedly democratic alternative, "the honest, unmediated audience response". Mark questions the future of any and all genuinely impartial criticism when reviews are systemically corrupted by bribery, vote-rigging, cyber-stalking, and sock-puppetry. And he asks that crucial question, what kind of films would we have if we listened to what the audience thinks it wants? Like its predecessor, The Good, The Bad & The Multiplex, Hatchet Job blends historical analysis with trenchant opinion, bitter personal prejudices, autobiographical diversions and anecdotes, and laugh-out-loud cynical humour. It's the perfect book for anyone who's ever expressed an opinion about a movie.
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