Last night (Friday, 25 August 2006) I had the extreme pleasure of attending the Melbourne premiere of Kevin Smith’s new film "Clerks II" followed by a three hour Q & A with Smith himself. The Astor Theatre was packed full of devoted fans who laughed their asses off throughout the entire film and then laughed perhaps even more during Smith’s talkfest. Smith introduced the film, walking up a steep flight of stairs and saying something about if he had fallen down them it would have been "more embarrassing than "Jersey Girl". Hehe.
First let’s talk about the film.
For those of you who haven’t seen it yet and who might be thinking "Meh, the last few Smith films didn’t quite hit the mark, I might give this one a miss", I say unto thee – GET YOURSELF TO THE CINEMA (opens in broad release across Australia on August 31st).
This film is a cock knocker.
The audience at the session last night – admittedly, Smith fans – laughed themselves silly and cheered at the end. This is one HELL of a sequel. Now – I’m a fan of Smith’s. Huge fan. Tried to get in contact with the guy so I could get a podcast interview with him while he was here but "his people" didn’t get back to me. Anyway… I’m a huge fan but I thought all of the films since Chasing Amy fell a bit flat. Not that I don’t give the guy massive kudos for doing what he does – hell, I’m not making films. Good luck to the fat bastard. But I just didn’t think the last few films were as good as Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy which are all, IMHO, classics. Clerks II is up there with them. It is tighter that a fish’s asshole. The laughs are non-stop and the requisite Smith themes of finding a purpose, hetero-male-on-male love, and modern relationships are all covered off in perfect style.
Dante and Randall are back and as funny and annoying as they were when we first met them 12 years ago. The Quick Stop has burned down (because Randall left the coffee pot on overnight again) and they are now working at a Moobys for manager Rosario Dawson, along with young Christian nerdy colleague Elias. Dante is engaged to a gorgeous blonde (played by Smith’s real life wife) but he has also found love with Becky (Rosario Dawson). During the film he needs to decide between leaving New Jersey (the movie takes place during his last 24 hours in NJ) to head out to Florida with his soon-to-be-bride to work for her father in a car wash or stay in NJ with manager Becky. Add to this mix Jay and Silent Bob, very short cameos from Jason Lee and Ben Affleck and Ethan Suplee (and a milk lady), a dance sequence, and you have a very entertaining film. As i said earlier, it’s got a million laughs that all worked.
Then we got to the Q & A with writer/director/editor/actor Smith which was scheduled to run for 90 minutes but instead ran for over three hours, past midnight, and only finished because the cinema kicked everyone out.
I’ve made a quick list of subjects Smith touched on (mostly prompted by questions from the audience) to give you an idea of the breadth of the evening:
pluto is no longer a planet which leads him to believe that a death star really does exist
getting sued by darth vader
the joel siegel story
superman returns, how much it sucked
how life changed since 94
yes, jen (his wife) is a milf
storyboard that had silent Bob dead pulled down from "train wreck" after an hour deliberately to get people talking
clerks animated movie Harrvey Weinstein wanted a theatrical version. "Clerks Sell Out", will probably come out on dvd. Smith yet to write script. Storyline – Randall & Dante make a film about being clerks.
A favourite moment – when Homer Simpon said "prove me wrong silent bob"
Another fav. moment, 1997, Ben Affleck goes to Thanksgiving dinner at Spielberg’s house, Lucas is there, Ben asks if he’s ever heard of "Clerks", Lucas replies "Yes, Death Star contractors, very funny".
How his sister feels about being cast as the animal masterbator in the original film
how does he feel about Affleck / Damon / Lee success
Mewes’ rehab to get off of heroin & crack addiction
Taking jay to meth clinic
AfflecK in same rehab, Jay says "check out this morose muthafucka"
Jay driving around with a deployed airbag really happened
Smith likes to LOWER expectations of his films to people treat him like a retarded Kid
How hard it was to get Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson to make the new film
Anderson runs a successful tile import business, never wanted to be an actor, has a love/hate relationship with the first movie, was just a customer at quick stop when Kevin was writing script
Keeps pitching tv show to HBO, gets accepted, but never makes it
37 episodes set in view askew universe
If first film hadn’t worked he would have Kept working at quick stop
Mewes had been doing the tuck thing for years, before Silence Of The Lambs
Duchovny was nearly in J&SBSB, wanted to play Cock knocker
big fan of rim job but Kevin Is a no for ass to mouth
big fan of Internet porn
spend ages describing Brazilian fart porn
Kevin’s brother gay married 12 years to a man
5 fav films:
do the right thing
a man for all seasons
last temptation of Christ
Clerks II already made $24 million from budget of $5
maybe in his 40s or 50s will make a Clerks III
likes to make up his own curse words
degrassi next gen going back to the well inspiration for Clerks II
advice to young film makers: write it and make it
"if a chimp like me can direct…"
next movie is a horror film, wants to cast no regulars just unknowns
jon peters rise to power
commercial failure of Jersey Girl didnt hurt his career, Gigli copped the blame for it
put him off big budgets for a while
prefers writing editing & q&a to directing
loves friend approval, has 96000 friends
jay was on myspace a year and a half before Kevin. Jay gets laid from it.
MySpace brought in more people than view askew.
Shannon Doherty’s german attack dog
On directing his wife make out with other people – he likes to watch
she was sposed to play becKy but Weinstein wanted a name
if she was making out with affleck he might be worried but not o’halloran, women trade up but not trade over
backlash from prince – Smith walked out with the nda from Prince World in his pocket. The film he shot is being turned into a jehovahs witness recruitment film by Prince
Would he open a secret stash in Australia
The success of Clerks had a lot to do with timing. People felt over educated, under employed.Â
His fascination with Koala’s taking a poo
Will there be a sequel to Dogma?
His thoughts on the "brown coats"
hasnt seen firefly but mewes is a big fan
loves his fans to death
which is why this 90 minute Q&A now running over 3 hoursÂ
The story of Walt Flanagan’s dog – "Kill the baby brodie"
thought about buying the quick stop which was his fav Job outside of this one
rst video is shuttered
passion of the clerks original title people hated it
On getting slagged on entourage (cool with it)
because you edit your own films does the film change much from the original vision uses avid
how Mewes feels about smith putting his story out there, the story about mewes fucking Nicole Richie in a bathroom
The pussy troll scene inspired by Mewes who has fucked 300 chicks
harvey wanted him to show the troll in the film