Good day to you all, my fine collection of film enthusiasts. This week I am focusing on a writer/director that primarily makes movies that either touch your soul or disgust you to no end with its foul language, crude vulgarities and sexual metaphors to the like that would put Andy Warhol into a tizzy. No, no I don't mean Eli Roth. The writer/director I am referring to has entertained more people, stirred controversy to the Westboro Baptist Church and even somehow managed to be a husband and father. Right? He fulfilled two of the primary Nietzscheian philosophies via Adromeda. Also a producer of Reel Paradise, Small Town Gay Bar and Reaper. I am speaking of Kevin Smith. And while you are still reeling from all that info, let's check out his labor of love. This is Clerks.
|These are not the salad days, my friend.|
Now while this is quite loosely based on Dante Alighieri's play The Divine Comedy or Dante's Inferno, our protagonists Dante (Brian O' Halloran of Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Groupies, Dogma, Vulgar, Clerks: The Animated Series, The Flying Car, Clerks: The Lost Scene, Clerks II,The Happening and Mr. Hush) and his wisecracking wiseass, quick with the quips sidekick Randal (Jeff Anderson of Clerks, Dogma, Love 101, Vulgar, Clerks: The Animated Series, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Flying Car, Clerks: The Lost Scene, Clerks II, Zach and Miri Make a Porno and Randal's Monday) who are twenty somethings in and out of college, barely tolerating the endless salvo of stupid questions, lack of common sense and in general, the annoyance of customers. Hence the nine breaks in the film representing the nine levels. Yeah it's meta, move on.
|Ah, the wall of my youth behind Randal.|
Dante is called in to work on his day off and feels an moral obligation to do such. Apparently the store would ebb out of existence otherwise. With no direction, drive and ambition our terrible twosome deal with life as clerks at a convenience store and video store (A primitive format of electronic transfer to magnetic tape in analog not digital. Also known as VHS the video home system...I have young readers as well.) interact with customers, talk about girls, sci-fi and hockey.
Dante's girlfriend Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti of Clerks, Get a Job, A Packing Suburbia, Dead and Gone, Alien Armageddon, Starship: Rising, Lake Eerie and #RIP) is sweet, capable, driven in her studies and cannot fathom why Dante doesn't seem to want to move forward in life but takes her chosen love with a grain of salt. Alas for Veronica, Dante takes her for granted while pining for his ex that screwed everything that asked if she was interested. A hat drop and boom. Distrupting his plans for the day for hockey, he finds out the boss left to go to Vermont and left his underling holding the bag or in this case a almost 12 hour shift. Dude you can document that for the Better Business Bureau. He and Randal say "Screw it." close up the store and play street hockey on the roof of the Quik Stop.
Pondering the imponderables and asking the deep questions of what next brings our boys to dealing with all of life's truth and consequences as they deal with death, life, love and loss on in the span of a day.
Director Kevin Smith shot said movie at Quik Stop and RST video where he worked at late hours and was printing out from his word processor the script he was constantly working on. Maxing out all his credit cards for film stock, boom mic and expenses, Smith had to sell a generous portion of his comic book collection to pick up for re-shoots. 21 days to pull off this and delivered. I hear he still got a few issues that are rare to find out there so help a manchild out, huh? FYI, the reason for black and white is not for artistic purposes but black and white is cheaper on 16mm.
|Director's taking a Kent break.|