Welcome to the latest edition of 24 Frames. Sahara Shrestha and Andrew Jamieson will be guiding you through the exciting, confusing and often brilliant world of 'film'. Expect news, trailers and plenty of opinion.

The latest edition is brought to you by Andrew Jamieson, who can be found on twitter over at @theghostwriterc.



The 'Movie Critic' Edition

This week sees the release of the new book by the British movie critic Mark Kermode entitled Hatchet Job which offers his own impressions on movie criticism and writing within the modern age. Having purchased his previous two books I wanted to pay tribute to an individual who for me defines what modern day movie criticism is about.

Not many people cause me to lose the ability to offer coherent sentences and send me into a level of star struck adulation and envy as much as Doctor Kermode does. Having seen him speak four times on his book tours, and having watched him sign many of my own copies of his work, it's fair to say he's an icon within the British movie industry and a charismatic figure for would-be movie writers up and down the British Isles.

As somebody who has enjoyed movies all of my life, I always found that I had an esoterically existential link to the cinema and the a love of the enjoyment that a night, afternoon or morning at the cinema can bring. For years I believed that I was somehow incredibly different to most of those around me, who would constantly claim that I should 'calm down' or remember that movies are 'just entertainment' and have no humanistic value whatsoever. Then I read Kermode's book It's Only a Movie in which he describes the first time he saw William Friedkin's The Excorcist (1973) - here Kermode describes the experience as an almost spiritual reaction to what he was viewing on screen, a moment that seemingly would forever cement him to a love of what cinema can bring to the existence of an individual. To this date he is still the only movie critic I personally have ever heard speak publicly about this emotionally subjective attachment to cinema. It is this established emotional closeness that he has to celluloid that is inspirational.

While I regularly disagree with Kermode's protestations on certain movies, what he is able to do with almost all of his movie reviews is to offer a contextual basis for that movie for all audiences, while also providing a nuanced argument as to how and why a movie is flawed or brilliant. His humour offers a funny and passionate aside to the pomposity that can sometimes be present with professional journalists. Ss a seasoned resident of the British Isles, my favourite movie critics are Catherine Shoard, and Peter Bradshaw (pictured below) of The Guardian newspaper along with Phillip French and the sadly deceased Roger Ebert from the United States.

All of these critics have a distinct level of passion and love for their subject which rubs off on an audience. It is my belief that good movie criticism should enhance the cinema-goers overall experience and should not be counter dependant on the said critic and their subjective bias. While this sounds like a selective paradigm, what I am attempting to say is that even if a critic detests a movie, it is prudent to offer an analysis of the themes and narrative structure of in order to enhance the experience - however different your experience of that picture may be from theirs.

On the BBC radio show which he co-hosts with the wonderfully erudite and sincere Simon May, Kermode regularly does this, while he also offers each movie a subtext that is not defined by today's rampant celebrity-based culture. Of course in Kermode's repertoire is a very opinionated and charismatic take on certain movies in which he provides amusing impressions of directors, actors and non-existent Hollywood executives. However, he is also a critic who is ready to be educated by his audience as to why his own perspective deserves some enhancement.

In the modern world critical consensus from journalists to bloggers seems to form organically overnight. However, Doctor Kermode seems to exist outside of the orgiastic frenzy that some movies tend to attract. He will espouse the virtues of multiplex fodder like the Twilight movies to a recent art house picture that has a limited release. Take this year's The Host (2013) which was slated by most critics as perhaps the worst movie of the year - Kermode credited the movie with the praise it deserved. This approach is rare and should be lauded, it's also indignant of the fact that whatever the movie is, an audience should make up their own minds and be allowed the respect to formulate their own ideas about any piece of art. So for all of the aforementioned factors, I would like to pay homage to one of the best critics in the world, a man who knows that it is never just a movie. It is always so much more than that.

Hatchet Job: Love Movies, Hate Critics is published on 10th October 2013

See Also: 24 Frames: The 'Cinematographer' Edition