Friday, July 26, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Seven - Clerks, "I'm not even supposed to BE HERE today!"

Well, that's not really true. I actually am supposed to be here today... and every day... until the year (and Couchbound Project) is done.

I just really love that line.

Just like I really, truly love Clerks... I just wish it wasn't so damned rough. I mean would it have killed Kevin and Scott to insist on a couple of retakes for flubbed lines? Or was the rest of the coverage just that bad that this was the best they could cut together?

Maybe I'm making mountains out of molehills here, because it's actually pretty impressive just how long a lot of these takes are and, for the most part, I see honest delivery. I just wince so hard at the awkward takes from both the side characters and the leads.

The Indie Film of ALL Indie Films, Clerks was the breakout debut of Kevin Smith and his View Askew cohorts. Set in (and sometimes above) a small Jersey convenience store and it's video store neighbor, Clerks tells the story of a day in the life of two counter jockeys who are more concerned with slacking and their love lives (well, one of their love lives, anyway) than their jobs... perhaps rightly so, considering the crap they have to put up with both from their customers and each other.

A film about slacker ennui, Clerks struck a cord with quite a few disaffected Gen Xers both for its sardonic wit and its on the nose commentary concerning the lack of fulfillment of the American Dream... in spite of some of its more, shall we say, surreal sequences.

To be frank, I'm not a huge fan of a lot of the bits. For the most part, they're far too hammy and only serve as an excuse for some cheap navel gazing from the leads and supporting players, but I love how earnest the film is despite its naive writing and unconventional pacing.

It's beautiful simply because it's so rough and you can almost see the love Smith & Co. put into it.

While, yes, I wish someone had been in the editing bay with them to talk them out of a few things (like their sketchy sound effects during quite a few scenes), overall Clerks is a testament both to its creators almost zen-like simplicity when it comes to their art and the film industry as a whole which needed Indie Flicks like this and Do The Right Thing to push non-studio creators into the limelight.

A fact I find ironic now that Spike Lee is doing a Kickstarter campaign.

Clerks probably isn't for everyone. It's foul, over the top, and has disjointed whimsy in all the wrong places (not to mention rough acting everywhere), but it's worth seeing for anyone who's a fan of film as a medium... both for what should and shouldn't be done... and realizing that, perhaps, there's no such thing as either.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

1 comment:

  1. This is for anyone ever working in retail.

    If you spent years in retail, you met your own version of Jay & Silent Bob. You have "the egg man" customer. You've seen some horrid tragedy, bad parenting, etc. You have lived a less comic book version of this reality and the parallels strike a chord that has you laughing where your friends in the room who don't know retail like you do give you odd looks.

    It also helps that you are old enough to remember a video store of the VHS era.