Choric role

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Simon Mayo feels that part of his job on Wittertainment is to be a proxy for the listener - asking Mark Kermode to:

  1. Justify his strident opinions on controversial topics, whether that Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl is rubbish or that the Comsat Angels were better than Joy Division
  2. Explain an obscure reference he just made, such as the meaning of Lacanian or what Rashomon-like means (this went on for weeks)
  3. Cut through phrases used by critics but that aren't readily used amongst the wider listening public, such as mise-en-scene or "the film doesn't work"
  4. Make it clear for the listener when Mark tries to avoid spoilers by using phrases like "the dentata myth" or "necrotising tendrils."

Sometimes Mark accuses Simon of going straight to the heart of the periphery with his questions, but on occasion he is impressed; for example when Simon asked how scary the scene in The Golden Compass was when the children are forcibly separated from their daemons - the fact that this scene wasn't actually terrifying at all encapsulated the problem with the movie overall. Even more impressively, when Simon said that his problem with Doubt was that there wasn't enough doubt, he summed up in one line everything problematic with the film.