Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Clerks II (2006)/Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

Directed by Kevin Smith. I think of Kevin Smith as an indie rock Hollywood moviemaker. I know there are people who see his movies as flawed but I just see his movies as Kevin Smith movies and I'm glad he gets to make them.

I'm a big fan of indie rock bands including Yo La Tengo, Guided by Voices, the Feelies. The members of Yo La Tengo are not technically the finest singers, many records by Guided by Voices do not boast slick production, and songs by the Feelies are not particularly complex or sophisticated. But when an auteur oversees all aspects of their total work, those aren't shortcomings per se, they are just aesthetics of the work.

So when I hear people complain about Kevin Smith's shitty directing, I generally have to admit that they're right, but I also think that seeing a Kevin Smith movie for the direction is like listening to a Guided by Voices record for the production. He makes Kevin Smith movies, which I see for funny dialogue and story. I enjoy especially when he is on the screen. I enjoy the pace and that he understands three-act structure and that there should be a point made in the third act, however simple. Sometimes the "singing" makes me cringe -- meaning he's so married to his script that the dialogue sounds mannered and unnatural -- but when David Mamet does that, it's considered style.

In "Clerks II" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" Smith indulged himself to the ultimate level. To really enjoy them you'd want to have seen at least "Clerks," "Mallrats," "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma." Not that these aren't worth your time too.

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