I am a big fan of Mark Kermode, the British film critic, not only do I admire his incredible knowledge of cinema (I love the movies), but also of his style (his ranty, semi-organised, rambling delivery and camaraderie with his co-host Simon Mayo. The style itself has been dubbed “Wittertainment”, a portmanteau of wittering and entertainment, a term that completely sums up their broadcasting style).

Anyway I digress.

Because I am such a fan of his work I have been reading his recently release autobiography “It’s Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive“.

In it, Mark describes his memory as a “TV movie of the week” and his memories as a movie with cuts, montages, changes of camera angle and perspective.

If you think about it (and focus of the structure of the thought or memory, rather than the content), you don’t store, sort or recall memories exactly how they happen, you see edited highlights, often from different perspective to where you actually were, sometimes you even see yourself in the memory (how can you do that when it is your perspective you remembering?!). Some memories are still images; some moving; some are a montage of different images and movies.

The idea that Mark puts forward of our memories being our own “TV movie of the week” (who would cast as yourself?!) is possibly the best analogy or metaphor I have heard to describe the process of memory recall (better and more accurate – and much, much easier to understand – than most of the current psychological theories out there). It also fits very neatly with the NLP concept of “submodalities” where each thought or memory we have has a different structure depending on what we are recalling (and what emotional state we are in at the time).

It may be too far to go to suggest the book is essential reading for NLPers, but if you are interested in NLP and movies (or ever caught Mark and Simons brilliant radio show – get the podcast here) then this would certainly be an interesting read (Marks other musings on radical thought, ideology and intelligence is also very, very interesting and eloquent).