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Kevin Smith Emerges
Kevin Smith emerging on stage at the Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver, B.C., March 27, 2009.
I wasn't going to post this one because of the lousy quality, but what the hell. It's more about the story and the emotion than the quality of the image--a sentiment I think Kevin Smith and his fans can relate to.
I only just recently re-discovered Smith's work thanks to the urging of a friend of mine, and have caught up with the movies. I'm glad I did it and had the presence of mind to go see Smith speak. It was a great show.
I was an early but short-lived fan of Smith's. I remember back when I first saw Clerks on videotape in 1994 and how excited I was that my generation finally had a real auteur in film, not just a director or a writer or a comedian--but a filmmaker, someone like David Lynch or George Lucas. Not just someone taking on the singular task of directing or writing or editing someone else's material, but someone who creates an entire world and a cast of characters out of whole cloth and sees the entire project through, making not just a film, but a very personal piece of art. (That's why I still say even the worst Kevin Smith movie is still a better bet than half of the movies out there.)
I remember the first time I watched Clerks. My wife and I had friends over and we were all laughing our asses off. At one point, I had to hit the pause button on the VCR, right after Dante shouts, "And try not to suck any dicks on your way through the parking lot." The group of people we were watching with could not stop laughing (including me) and we couldn't hear the film so I paused it until we got ourselves under control.
I was an instant Kevin Smith fan after that, and remained that way for a very shot time. The end came when I saw the poster for Mallrats. It was so slick and commercial... and so fucking dreadful, looking like something shat out of Hollywood's ass. I remember feeling a sense of disappointment and thinking how much the film looked like your run-of-the-mill Hollywood crapfests a la Porkies. It gave off the vibe that Smith had sold out and gone Hollywood.
I decided I'd rather not see this new film and have it spoil my image of the guy who made that perfect little gem of a film called Clerks. And so I didn't see Mallrats. Nor did I see Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. I just lost interest.
And then there came news of Clerks II. I remember hearing about that and thinking, "Oh god, please don't. Don't ruin it. Clerks was so perfect and self-contained and needed no further expansion." I had no intention to see this film and felt a little disappointed by the news.
Until a colleague of mine talked me into watching it (not coincidentally, the same friend who went with me last night to the show.) He loaned me the DVD and it sat on my desk at home for quite a while before I finally watched it.
I was unexpectedly blown away by it. My expectations were very low, I admit, but the film changed my entire view of Smith, made me realize how utterly wrong I was to have assumed he had gone all Hollywood.
Since then, I've gone back and devoured everything I could get my hands on. All his films, his "Evening With" DVDs and, most importantly, Zack and Miri Make a Porno which I view as his best film to date.
At the show, he touched on that briefly, talked about how all the industry buzz about the film wasn't enough to save it from a disjointed and confusing marketing campaign. I felt sympathetic for him while he was explaining it, but really not that bad. He's spent a good deal of his career slightly off the public's radar. Zack and Miri is no different really. The fact that he manages to create excellent movies, even in semi-obscurity, is remarkable. For me, being one of the few to see and appreciate the film, it feels a little like 1994, when I was one of the few to be in on this great flick called Clerks.
Smith alluded to the fact that he's working on a new project and no longer with his old company, Miramax (partly due to the mishandling of Zack and Miri.) That means, I think, he's probably going to go a little Hollywood, and this time, for real. I don't say that to imply that he's selling out either. I think it more likely that Hollywood is finally catching up to him.
And unlike last time, I will be along for the ride.
MAYA PATTERN (rorschach version)
Hello to all fans of the Dark Knight of Parasomatic Brain Shrinking on Flickr!
His unholy and unroyal psychotic entity Dr. debilis causa mett wurst Onkel Wart sends you this low--fi Rorschach test straight from the Yucatan peninsula. He discovered this weird pattern on the back of a fire bug that spews instant dementia.
(The lack of quality and image resolution is due to some old gas powered scanner he used for transmitting)
Right now he's recovering from this shock in Brasil by applying a special diet based entirely on a steady flow of caiprihinia and an occasional pina colada.
Watch out for more news on his highness on this stream of unconciousness!
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