DIRECTOR RETROSPECTIVE: KEVIN SMITH

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Kevin Smith has been one of my favourite figures in pop culture ever since I was a young boy and I rented Clerks from my local video shop. The film was ugly; it was black and white, it had odd transitional editing and poor acting. However the whole idea of making a low budget film in one location based on two slackers that are just doing a menial job to pay the bills and spend all day chatting about Star Wars, annoying customers and musing about the girls that got away when they were younger really appealed to me. Especially at the time I was working at McDonald’s in a similar situation. Doing a job I hated but spending all day talking about movies with my co-workers. Kevin Smith gave hope to those young dreamers to take a chance and go out and make a film yourself. His writing style is spectacular especially in his early New Jersey Chronicles/Jay and Silent Bob era. His dialogue and comedic plots were amazing. Mallrats didn’t hit as well as Clerks but he returned with the brilliant independent films Chasing Amy and Dogma. He turned to television and animation with the hilarious Clerks: The Animated Series in 2000. Inspired by his love of sitcoms and comic books. However the show was swiftly cancelled but grew a cult audience on DVD. He then directed the hilarious Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back which was intended to be the end of the Jay and Silent Bob era. He tried to create a dramatic comedy with Jersey Girl but after that failed with audiences and critics he returned to his roots with Clerks II a worthy sequel to his original independent film. The film was enjoyable to see the continuation of Dante and Randal and how they hadn’t moved on to better things since the original. After that he began to do tours around the globe chatting about his film career which lead to his famous podcast career. He continued to direct comedies including Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Cop Out. He then turned away from comedies and leant into different genres and explored the medium of film further with films like Red State and Tusk. He also collaborated with his daughter Harley Quinn Smith in the teen comedy Yoga Hosers. He directed a segment of the anthology film Holidays called Halloween.

I love following his podcasts on SModcast.com, he has great insight on the history of cinema and comic books. I feel a kinship to him as I love film-making, films and Batman! His ‘Fatman on Batman’ podcast is a must listen for all Batman fans especially his hilarious commentaries on the original 90’s Batman films. These days he directs TV Shows in the DC TV Universe on the CW specifically The Flash and Supergirl. He has stated that he wants to return to film-making and perhaps another Jay and Silent Bob film. Let’s hope so. Over the next few months I’ll be reviewing all of his films including some of his specials and TV Shows.

*I’ll also be interweaving retrospectives on Batman and Star Wars as Kevin Smith is a huge fan of both properties (and so am I).