Skip to main content

Well played, clerks

The title of this post and my previous post come from episodes of this show. As a fan of Kevin's work since college, I still find myself quoting lines from his movies, commentary tracks, Q&A's, etc. The deal is, while I still think highly of his writing and his wit, I don't keep up with his latest projects as much as I used to. Maybe because of the fact that I'm into other things other than just what he's doing. Maybe because of watching his collection of Q&A's on An Evening With Kevin Smith I grew tired of his dry delivery and the annoying spotlight of certain fans that I don't identify with. Maybe because I can't indentify with all the comic book fans that want to tar-and-feather him for not completing comic book story arcs. Maybe because of him saying he's done with Jay and Silent Bob and the View Askewniverse and then brings them back for DeGrassi Jr. High and now with Clerks 2. I just can't pinpoint to one reason.

I know that things change and you can't predict these changes, but I can't help speaking up on this topic. Seeing Jay and Silent Bob coming back again and again makes me feel like Kevin is catering to the crowd that goes to his Q&A's, not the people that appreciate his right-on commentary on life with lots of humor. I can't identify with people that enjoy talking about weed, diss Kevin's "lack of visual style" with his films, want him to tell the same stories over and over again, etc. These kind of things make the experience of being a Kevin Smith fan feel incredibly impersonal.

I get incredibly annoyed by people that say he's not a real director because he doesn't have a "visual style." Well, do people realize that Kevin is not the only director that sits the camera down and lets the actors talk? Acclaimed directors like Woody Allen and Jim Jarmusch (whom Kevin got his initial inspiration from) use something very similar. Using long, one-take shots, the characters talk, giving the writing and the performance the spolight, not the fast editing, the lighting, etc. Are we that visually challenged that we can't watch two people talking?

Yes, we are visually challenged because we are impatient with the visual arts. We expect a movie to be between 90 minutes and 120 minutes. Anything more than 120 minutes is interminable and anything less than 80 minutes is not enough.

I should say this, hearing Kevin's commentary track with Richard Kelly on the Donnie Darko: the Director's Cut DVD restores a lot of my faith in Kevin. He's funny, right-on and passes along a lot of great wisdom to Kelly. Since Kevin knows quite a few things about what it's like to have a widely-acclaimed first movie that still reasonates years after its release, he hasn't forgotten his roots.

Oh yeah, I'll definitely see Clerks 2 in the theater.


Popular posts from this blog

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Catherine Wheel

Originally posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 Despite managing to release five proper albums, Catherine Wheel was one of those bands that always seemed to slip past the mainstream rock crowd. Yes, they got some nice airplay in their day, but people seem to have forgotten about them. You may hear “Black Metallic” or “Waydown” on a “classic alternative” show on Sirius or XM or maybe even on terrestrial radio, but that’s about it. For me, they were one of most consistent rock bands of the ’90s, meandering through shoegazer, hard rock, space rock and pop rock, all while eluding mainstream pigeonholing. Led by the smooth, warm pipes of vocalist/guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson), Catherine Wheel featured Brian Futter on lead guitar, Dave Hawes on bass and Neil Sims on drums. They weren’t a pretty-boy guitar band, but they weren’t a scuzzy bunch of ragamuffins either. Though the band hailed from England, Catherine Wheel found itself more welcome on American air

Hello, Control

I'm still a big fan of iTunes . I haven't tried Napster , Urge or eMusic as I've been perfectly happy with Apple's program ever since I downloaded it two years ago. However, an annoying new feature has come up with its latest version, 7.0. Whenever you pull up your music library, a sidebar taking up 3/4ths of the screen appears plugging the iTunes Music Store. Why is this an annoyance? Well, first and foremost, since you can't close the sidebar, you can't escape it. I believe a music library is a private collection, a spot away from the music store. So what's the need for constant advertisements and plugs? To provide a better visual, let me describe what I see whenever I pull up a song in my iTunes library. When I listen to "This is a Fire Door Never Leave Open" by the Weakerthans, I see a graphic for Left and Leaving , the album that it comes from (and available in the iTunes Music Store), along with a list of the Weakerthans' other albums,

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J