I know...I know..."Clerks II"? But for me, Kevin Smith (much like Tarantino) still embodies that sensbilty and spirit and blind ignorance that we all had in film school, but for the most part have long lost as we became more experienced and knowledgeable and yes, talented.
It's about making choices that don't necessarily add up or conform or even make sense, but you did it because you didn't know any better. And most times it sucked, but sometimes just sometimes it worked...and something was created that lived just outside the box - a place a lot of us wish we could still go, but don't, or can't, because now we know too much.
Not to say Kevin Smith isn't talented or hasn't become more experienced and knowledgeable, but it's like part of him never left film school. And that's why I really enjoy his films. For my money, I'll check out a Smith movie a lot sooner than most other 'auteurs' that almost threaten us to worship the celluloid they expose (see M. Night).
'Clerks' amused me. Sure it had its problems...all Smith's films do, but there were enough moments of unbridled enthusiasm combined with real-life lunacy to more than make up for the shortcomings. 'Chasing Amy', 'Mallrats', and 'Dogma' all fall into the same boat. 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back' remains to this day one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Even with its blatant 'Pee Wee's Big Adventure' plot borrowing, it still makes me laugh out loud after far too many viewings. 'Jersey' Girl was a step sideways, but 'Clerks II' shows a return to form.
Film school form.
It could have used a little more Jay and Silent Bob and a little less 'drama', perhaps another dance number and more heinie troll talk and definitely some more interspecies erotica-like moments (don't ask, go see!), but it still more than held together and entertained and stepped outside the box just enough times to make me laugh and shake my head and mutter..."I can't believe they filmed that..."
And even though it looked like every cent of its reported 5 million dollar budget, that was okay, because it smelled like film school - right down to the circling steadicam sequence when the two best friends have a down and dirty argument out in the alley. Vintage film school...
Fuck art, let's shoot.
I remember those words being stenciled on the back of a simple black t-shirt worn by the first real dolly grip I ever worked with as a director (a hot shit we brought in from Vancouver - and he was good...real good) --- and since then, whenever bogged down waiting for an elaborate lighting setup to finish or hair and makeup to go back in for final touches 'again' or a special effect or stunt needing another rehearsal, I'd hear those words echoing around my brain - and have to exercise great self control to keep from shouting them out.
Fuck art, let's shoot.
Kevin Smith seems to still have those words echoing around his brain, and doesn't seem to be afraid to shout it out.
SONG & ARTIST? - "Frustrated, incorporated
Well I know just what you need
I might just have the thing
I know what you'd pay to feel"