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The Guardian's The Observer Names Mark Kermode New Film Critic as Philip French Retires

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 17, 2013 at 2:55PM

Writer and broadcaster Mark Kermode will become The Observer's new resident film critic next month. Kermode, 50, will replace critic Philip French, who is retiring at the beginning of September shortly after his 80th birthday, having written for London daily The Guardian's sister weekly Sunday newspaper for 50 years.
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Mark Kermode
Mark Kermode

Writer and broadcaster Mark Kermode will become The Observer's new resident film critic next month. Kermode, 50, will replace critic Philip French, who is retiring at the beginning of September shortly after his 80th birthday, having written for London daily The Guardian's sister weekly Sunday newspaper for 50 years.

Kermode said that he was inspired by French: "No-one can match his breadth of knowledge or elegance of expression, but I hope I can bring to the role the passion for cinema which Observer readers expect." Kermode started writing reviews for The Observer in 2002. Lately he has delivered a weekly DVD review column. He is currently a contributing editor to Sight & Sound.

He also presents the "Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review" on BBC Radio 5Live, and "The Film Review" on the BBC News Channel. He is also a presenter for BBC2’s "The Culture Show" and writes and presents the bi-weekly BBC video-blog "Kermode Uncut." He has written several books on cinema including The Good, the Bad and The Multiplex: What's Wrong with Modern Movies, and Picador will publish his latest book "Hatchet Job – Love Movies, Hate Critics" in October.

This article is related to: Critics, Reviews, Reviews


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.