Friday, 12 October 2012

Catalouge Stuff

Annotated Catalogue

How do the films and projects of Kevin Smith show the characteristics of auteur and how has this changed throughout his career as a filmmaker?

1) Clerks (1994)

Smith's first full-lentgh film; Clerks is a low budget snapshot of a day in the lives of Quickstop workers Dante And Randal and the New Jersey locals they are forced to deal with as they work through their dead end jobs that they claim to despise but yet seem to find themselves stuck with. Throughout the day Dante And Randal discuss all manner of topics from Dante's dreams of leaving the Quickstop to find education to the ending of Return Of The Jedi.

This film will help with my presentation script as i believe that this film showcases Autuer Theory in its purest form, as it was filmed in the store wherein Kevin Smith worked during the filming; with the character of Randall originally intended to be played by Smith himself. Kevin Smith Has Stated On His Q&A DVD An Evening With Kevin Smith that it was a lack of acting ability that steered him to change his role to accompany long time friend Jason Mewes as the now famous Jay And Silent Bob.

Smith has also stated that clerks was intended to showcase his and his friends film-making ability, in the hopes of attracting financial backers for the next film, which after a  bleak opening of clerks was achieved as clerks climbed in popularity, leading to the creation of Mallrats

2) Chasing Amy (1997)

Widely hailed to be Smith's greatest film, Chasing Amy takes a whole different direction to Clerks as it tells a complicated story of Tragic romance, the film explores the themes of friendship, sexuality and love. Chasing Amy is the third film in Smith's View Askewniverse series, after Mallrats.

The story follows life-time friends Banky Edwards (Jason Lee) and Holden McNeal (Ben Affleck), together they are the artist's behind the popular comic book "Bluntman And Chronic" (see next item). The pair's friendship is put under strain as Holden begins to fall in love with a girl named Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams) at a comic book convention in New York where they are promoting their comic book. What follows is a cinematic adventure into the human heart at its most raw.

While discussing this film in my presentation i shall be using evidence taken from the DVD An Evening With Kevin Smith as it is rich with director monologues upon the subject of Chasing Amy

3) Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

My personal favorite piece of Kevin Smith cinema, Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back twists the classic american road movie as titular characters Jay and Silent Bob venture to Hollywood in a quest to save their names and reputation from from being tarnished by the big budget Hollywood industry.

They travel in an attempt to sabotage the filming of the Bluntman And Chronic Movie, a film based on a fictional comic book Bluntman And Chronic (A Key plot point from smith's earlier film, Chasing Amy), the character bases for who are Jay and Silent Bob.

I believe that this film is the best example of how Kevin Smith's cinematographic style has developed through his career, coming along way from black and white long shots filmed in a convenience store; As Smith put it himself in his DVD An Evening With Kevin Smith "I thought this movie looked really good man, cuz ya know, everything before looked like Shit".

4) Jersey Girl (2004)

Moving away from the Smith's originally established tone of cinema whilst still maintaining elements of auteur, Jersey Girl is arguably Smiths most artistic film, and is also the first film by Smith not to be set in the View Askewniverse or to feature his iconic characters Jay and Silent Bob.

The film follows the story of media publicist Oliver "Ollie" Trinké (Ben Affleck) who loses everything after the tragic loss of his wife during childbirth, leading him to a breakdown that costs him his career as he becomes Blacklisted by all of New York City's public relations firms, forcing and his baby to move back to Ollie's fathers (George Carlin) home back in New Jersey, where Ollie takes up a a job as a civil servant, alongside his father.

Much like one of Smith's other films Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Jersey Girl was a financial disappointment, with a budget of $35 million dollars the film was Smith's biggest Budget work to date, yet only managed to make making only $25.2 million domestic and $10.8 million overseas. Smith discusses this film at great length in his dvd Kevin Smith: Too Fat For 40, this will help me show evidence for any points i wash to make about this film in my presentation script.

Director Q&As

5) An Evening With Kevin Smith

Smith's first released Q&A DVD, An Evening with Kevin Smith, is a compilation of footage recorded across America as Smith travel's from University to university, standing on a stage taking and answering questions about his life and film work froom a crowd of loyal fans.

In this DVD Smith tells the story of his early film career, his experiences of studying film in Canada and also goes into quite a lot of detail concerning the making of Clerks, Chasing Amy and Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back; it is for this reason that this DVD will be extremely useful to me in constructing my presentation script.

6) Kevin Smith: Too Fat For 40

Filmed on Smith's 40th birthday, Too Fat For 40 is Smith's most recently released Q&A DVD. Smith's perfomance in this DVD is of a similar format to his previous DVD releases, it differs in that instead of cutting between different segments at differing locations Smith is shown in front of a set resembling the original QuickStop; only answering one question with a 2 Hour response., shifting from topic to topic speaking of where has film career has taken him over his lifetime.

This DVD will be extremely useful to me for discussing the film Jersey Girl as Smith devotes a large chunk of his performance into explaining his own perspective on the films meaning, making and release.


7) This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

This Film Is Not Yet Rated is as 2006 documentary film upon the subject of censorship and the inner workings of the MPAA (the Motion Picture Association of America). The documentary is a showcase of Interviews with filmmakers affected by the MPAA (one of whom being Kevin Smith) and investigations into the ways in which the MPAA operates.

Segments from this documentary shall be useful to me as not only does it contain Smith discussing ways in which the MPAA has affected him directly but also it deals with the way in which censorship and ratings systems affect independent film making as a whole.


8) Jay And Silent Bob In Clerks

This image is a screenshot from Smith's first film Clerks; taken from outside RST video this image depicts a young Kevin Smith along side life time friend Jason Mewes in their first appearance as the now iconic Jay And Silent Bob.

This image represents the humble beginnings of the director before journey to big budget cinema, as such it is the image i shall use as the opening of my presentation script in order to set the tone for the opening of my discussion.

Comic Books

9) Chasing Dogma

Set between the events of Chasing Amy And Dogma, Chasing Dogma Is An Excellent Example Of Smith's Story Telling Ability. The comic tells the advanture of Jay and silent Bob between the Diner scene in their Chasing Amy appearence up to the pairs indroductory scene in Dogma.

As Smith states in his DVD An Evening With Kevin Smith, Chasing Dogma was project intended to fund the making of  Smiths 1999 film Dogma; i shall be using this in my presentation to discuss Smith's methods of self-funding (and later self-publishing) in his film-making work.

TV Shows

10) Clerks: The Animated Series

Set for a new series in 2013, this short-lived cartoon is a side project of the now iconic film Clerks.
First broadcast in 2000 on the american TV network ABC the show only ran for two episodes before being cancelled due to several factors; for example the networks decision to play the episodes out of order.

The series did find some success however when released a year later on DVD and VHS, marking it as one of the first instances in which a short-lived TV series has found success in this format, and since then the series has been broadcast on several other networks such as comedy central, ITV 4 and  [adult swim]

The show continues to follow the lives of store clerks Dante And Randall as well as lifetime friends Jay And Silent Bob. Throughout the series the show seems to go through all of the cliches and staples of classic television, depicted in Smith's classic style of pop-culture referencing and intertextuality; with the series's originality is derived from the characters understanding, perspective and responses to the situations they find themselves in.



The official website/personal blog of Kevin Smith, this website keeps fans updated as to goings on of Smith and his film production company ViewAskew Productions.

I Shall use this website in presentation as evidence alongside Smith's Twitter profile in reference the direction in wich Smith his taking his career, including the prospect of Clerks 3 in 2014

Director Interviews

12) Kevin Smith: How And Why He Made Clerks

This interview shows Smith telling the story of how he came to make his first film Clerks, i shall be using quotes and clips from this interview in my presentation script as evidence when discussing Smith's early work and the methods used to fund Clerks.


13)  Richard Maltby: Hollywood Cinema

This book upon the subject of film-making is rich in information on auteur theory, this is useful to me as i shall be taking quotes from it to use in my presentation script when explaining the auteur qualities of Smiths work.

Rejected Items

1) Mallrats (1995)

Smith's second film, Mallrats follows the lives of slackers T.J Quint and his best friend Brodie Bruce, the film takes place after both characters have been dumped by their respective girlfriends. The film fallows their adventures as they both attempt win back the hearts of the girls they have lost. Like Clerks the film prominently features extended discussion of seemingly irrelevant subjects; the best example being Brodie's 'plane story'.

Set the day prior to the events of Clerks, Mallrats is the second film to take place in what fans refer to as The ViewAskewniverse Named after the View Askew production company founded by Kevin Smith And Scott Mossier), and as such features the adventures of Jay And Silent Bob as they assist Brodie and T.J, they plan to destroy the pilot episode recording of T.Js ex's father's new reality dating show, meanwhile helping Brodie to dishonour his ex's new boyfriend.

I have chosen to reject this film from my study because even though it is a film i personally enjoy it is a film that is of a very similar tone to other films featured in my presentation script, i feel as though Mallrats will only allow me to make points about my topic that are more easily discussed and explained with reference to Smith's other work. (specifically clerks and Chasing Amy).

2) Red State

Smith's first attempt to create a horror film, Red State tells the story of a psychotic religousorginization/family; loosesly based around the Westborough Baptist Church; as they seek to rid the world of those whom they see to be 'sinners'; acheiving this by employing their own brand of self-justified tourture and murder.

I Have chosen to reject this film from my study for similiar reasons that led to the rejection of MallRats, any points and discussions i may wish to add to my presentation script can be put forth just as well or better using reference to Jersey Girl.

3) An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder

The Sequel To An Evening With Kevin Smith; An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder is of an identical format to Smiths first DVD perfomance, covering fresh topics and telling new stories about his expiriences as a film-maker.

I Have choosen to reject this item as much of it is irrelevent to my presentation or has already been covered by Smiths previous DVD.

4) Bluntman And Chronic (Comic Book)

Released alongside Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back; Bluntman And Chronic is a real world comic book release based on the reccuring fictional comic book series Bluntman And Chronic, referenced throughout the View Askewineverse but most prominently featured in one of Smith's earlier films, Chasing Amy.

I have chosen to reject this item as i believe it would add nothing more to presentation script that cannot be covered just as well, if not better in reference to one of Smith's other comic book release, Chasing Dogma.


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