The host of the BBC 5 Live movie review program “Kermode and Mayo’s Film Reviews” canceled his interview with the stars of the new film “Blade Runner 2049,” after he was denied the opportunity to view the entire movie before the interview.
“We were hoping to have Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling on the show,” said Simon Mayo, who with The Observer’s chief movie critic Mark Kermode has been presenting the program since 2001. In April, the podcast version of the program won the Listeners Choice trophy at the British Podcast Awards.
Mayo told Kermode that he was offered a 30-minute version of the movie.
“It is quite possible to do an interview on some shows for this movie based on half-an-hour, but it was the opinion of all of us on the show that I can’t really do an interview having just seen a cutdown, a 30-minute cutdown–and so that’s why we had to had to say goodbye to Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling,” he said.
Kermode, whose doctorate was awarded by the University of Manchester for his thesis on horror movies, backed up his partner. “It just has always been a policy that you don’t ever interview somebody unless you have seen the film.”
“It just has always been a policy that you don’t ever interview somebody unless you have seen the film,” he said. “It is absolute policy.”
Mayo’s interview with Naomi Watts about her role as Princess Diana made headlines in 2013 after the actress cut the conversation short following Mayo’s questions about the princess’ death.
Later in the program, Kermode gave “Blade Runner 2049” a strong review, complimenting it on its intelligent pacing and the deft way it handled the question of whether replicant-droid hunting police officer Rick Deckard is or is not himself a replicant–left unresolved in the original “Blade Runner.”
Kermode said the new film pursues all of the big questions and the identity crisis addressed in the first movie. “What does it mean to be alive? What does it mean to have memories? How much do memories inform our past and our future? What does the slogan ‘More Human Than Human,” which appears in the first film actually, really mean?”
The critic, who produced and hosted the 1999 documentary “On the Edge of Blade Runner” about the 1982 film, said he was relieved when he was watching the new film and recognized it had been done properly.
“The editing pace of ‘Blade Runner 2049 is so completely at odds with modern blockbusters it is almost a film from the 1970s–the way it has that beautiful pacing,” he said.
“It is very much its own movie and it has the confidence to be its own movie,” he said. “But, the greatest achievement of it–despite all the things that are visually ravishing, like the beautiful details like the candy colors that you get from the artificial light is in such stark contrast to the natural color of this world that eco-collapsed–the real achievement
“The greatest achievement of it–despite all the things that are visually ravishing, like the beautiful details like the candy colors that you get from the artificial light is in such stark contrast to the natural color of this world that eco-collapsed,” Kermode said. “What they have done is, they have managed to absolutely make ‘Blade Runner 2049’ about all the things that ‘Blade Runner’ was really about.”
Watch the “Blade Runner 2049” trailer here: