The UK’s best known and most authorative film critic, Mark Kermode, is to celebrate his 50th birthday with a top UK orchestra as they perform music from the films that have inspired him. From The Exorcist to Mary Poppins expect a riot of music, plus stories from his life and career, in concerts across the UK.
This summer, Mark, the co-host of BBC Radio 5 Live’s Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review, is teaming up with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Cheltenham Festival (3 July); Barbican, London (6 July) The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (8 July) and Symphony Hall, Birmingham (9 July) to celebrate a life spent in the movie theatre and how particular films have affected him so deeply.
The concerts will reflect Mark’s unique and eclectic tastes: after all, how often will you hear music from Twin Peaksand Mary Poppins in the same evening. Taking us through the films that mean most to him, Mark Kermode will bring us a tender theme from Silent Running, a violent hunt from Planet of the Apes (a film Kermode credits with teaching him everything he knows about politics), Jonny Greenwood’s hugely influential music from There Will Be Blood, the infernal strains of Peter Maxwell Davies’s hell-raising score from The Devils, the fandango of North By Northwest, the sleazy cityscape of Taxi Driver, Angelo Badalamenti’s dreamy score for David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me and the joyous overture to the Disney classic, Mary Poppins (one of Kermode’s all-time favourites). And a Kermode concert would not be complete without The Exorcist, which famously lifted a spine-tingling theme from the opening of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. Be afraid.
All the music will be conducted by maestro Robert Ziegler, who has a worldwide reputation as a conductor of film music and has worked regularly in the studio with film composers such as Howard Shore (Hugo, The Hobbit) Patrick Doyle (Hamlet, Sense and Sensibility) and Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood, Norwegian Wood).
Also joining Kermode will be a surprise guest who will talk about their own career in the movies, and discuss the film music which has inspired them – a selection of which will be played live by the orchestra.
Mark Kermode said: “As every film fan knows, music is the real third dimension of movies, the magical element which draws you into the drama, immerses you in the action and changes the experience from watching a movie to living it.
“These concerts are not an attempt to round up the ‘greatest’ screen music by the most celebrated composers. Rather, they are an enthusiastic romp through some very personal choices, blending the well-known with the more esoteric, the acclaimed with the ‘cult.’ We’ve attempted to have fun with the selections – we’re sure the audience will have fun hearing them.”
Concert producer Tommy Pearson says: “Mark’s brilliant reviews and interviews on BBC radio and TV display the knowledge of a true movie connoisseur and enthusiastic geek, which is a gift for audiences young and old. Bringing that infectious enthusiasm and deep appreciation to the concert stage, alongside the amazing CBSO, has long been on our wish-list and it’s going to be a really fantastic series of concerts. There’s something for everyone in the line-up and Mark will guide us through with his own brand of anecdote, reminiscence and all-out rant.“
Stephen Maddock, CBSO chief executive, commented: “We love performing the greatest soundtracks in the successful film concerts that we do each year. These concerts, which celebrate a significant milestone year for Mark, will offer a very personal, insightful and entertaining journey through his life spent with films and we are delighted to be celebrating with him. Film lovers, music lovers, and film music lovers won’t want to miss this series!”
For further information go to www.Kermodefilmmusic.co.uk or join in the conversation #CBSOFilm.