Kevin Smith.

14 Jun

Someone should ask Kevin Smith to do a TED Talk.

The admittedly robust filmmaker has always been the little guy. Even when working with the big studios, with the big names and the big budgets, he’s always acted small-time. Like the poor asthmatic, epileptic, hemophiliac at primary school that would have had his ass relentlessly kicked if not for his damn near genius self-depricating humour.

I remember at film school we’d turn to to the old-time directors – guys like Alfred Hitchcock – in search of ‘the auteur’. Through the rampant sameness of the commerical film industry, Smith is living proof that it is still possible to retain your personal identity and trademark style while turning a profit in Hollywood.

Probably best known for his early films (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma), his talent is for beautiful, natural, flowing dialogue, from which the most unnatural obscenities spew forth. He reduces characters down to their base mentalities, emotions and bodily functions, and their interactions with one another follow that lead.

For example:

Dante: You said you only had sex with three different guys; you never mentioned him!
Veronica: Because I never HAD sex with him.
Dante: You sucked his dick!
Veronica: We went out a few times. We never had sex but we fooled around.
Dante: Oh my God, WHY did you tell me you only had sex with three different guys?
Veronica: Because I DID only have sex with three different guys; that doesn’t mean I didn’t just go with people.
Dante: Oh my God, I feel so nauseous!
Veronica: I’m sorry, Dante, I thought you understood!
Dante: I did understand! I understood that you had sex with three different guys and that’s all you said!
Veronica: Please calm down.
Dante: How many?
Veronica: Dante…
Dante: How many dicks have you sucked?
Veronica: Let it go!
Dante: How many?
Veronica: All right, shut up a second and I’ll tell you! Jesus! I didn’t freak out like this when you told me how many girls you fucked!
Dante: This is different, this is important. How many?

Dante: Well?
Veronica: Something like… 36.
Dante: What? Something like 36?
Veronica: Lower your voice.
Dante: Wait, what is that anyway, something like 36? Does that INCLUDE me?
Veronica: Ummm… 37.
Dante: I’m 37?

Clerks, (1994)


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