MOVIE MONDAYS: Mark Kramer talks about a few of his favorite films from 2014

Photo by Chris Higdon

You probably know Mark Kramer as the dude behind slowcore one-man-band Tender Mercy. He’s currently putting the finishing touches on a five-song cassette called Sacred Sphinx to be released this January via Carpathian Cassettes. This will serve as the follow-up to his superb 5-song CD As Someone Else You Embrace The Moment In Us which was released last February. Check it out:

Describing Mark isn’t terribly hard. He’s taller than me, nicer than me, and probably more interesting than me. While we talk music often, we haven’t talked about movies very much, so I figured he’d be an easy candidate to participate in our weekly Movie Mondays series. After all, it is Monday!

Never Nervous: What was your favorite movie of the last year? What was so good about it?

Mark Kramer: My favorite movie from 2014 was Under The Skin. What I like about it was it was a sci-film that actually lets you use your imagination. Not everything is explained so your left in a state of bewilderment while still being entertained. The cinematography also helped….beautifully shot and minimal special effects. I’m quite the Scarlett Johansson fan, too. So that helps. Which also brings us to my least favorite film of the year: Lucy. Ugh. Starts out good and then really blows it. I expected a lot more from Luc Besson.

NN: Tell us about the best horror movie you’ve seen this year. Surely you watched a few last month, right?

MK: I haven’t seen any horror movies this year. It’s a genre I stay away from…..too scary!

NN: Care to talk about a sci-fi movie we may not have seen? Something a bit obscure, maybe?

MK: One of my favorite more obscure sci-fi movies I’ve seen recently was Upstream Color. Again, beautifully shot and leaves a lot to the imagination. This one perhaps too much. I’ll admit I did something I rarely do before seeing a movie……I read the synopsis. A friend saw it and said I should see it immediately….that I would love it. But she also knows me well and told me to read up on it cause it’s nearly impossible to follow without it. I’m glad I did. It made it much more enjoyable to watch. Plus, I’m a big Cassevettes fan and I like that Shane Carruth basically did everything on this film.

Another obscure favorite from some time ago is Outland with Sean Connery. I must have seen that a hundred times as a kid. It’s even better now that I have finally seen High Noon which it’s partly inspired by.

NN: Talk about your last experience watching a movie in the theater. What did you see? Was it good? Was the audience well-behaved?

MK: My most recent experience watching a movie in the theatre was Fury. I’m a history nerd, especially military/WW2 history and I’m a Brad Pitt fan, so this was right up my alley. Aside from a few “not of that time period” words and maybe a little bit too much Hollywood it was a good movie. The audience was well behaved. They generally are. But I see movies alone, sit in the back and always pick a time when the least amount of people will be there. The fewer distractions the better. I’ve found that’s the best way around the misbehaved crowd ridiculousness. I don’t have to see things they day they come out either. Just wait for the hype/crowds to die down.