Independent filmmaker Kevin Smith
has received a lot of notice recently, and for good reason.
Made for the paltry sum of $28,000, his new film Clerks is
an incredible success.
Indie directors are almost the
new wave these days, and it's a trend I'd like
to see continue, because Clerks is such a spectacular joyride.
Filmed in 16mm black and white, the film packs in non-stop
humor (and extreme profanity) from start to finish, as the
story traces a day in the life of Dante (Brian O'Halloran),
a twentysomething convenience store clerk still living with
Dante's day is traced from
bad to worse, with his girlfriend (Marilyn Ghigliotti), ex-girlfriend
(Lisa Spoonauer), and irresponsible best friend (Kevin Anderson),
weaving in and out of the picture. Anderson is a perfect choice
to play as a foil against O'Halloran, and together,
the two bring the "buddy picture" to a new level.
And while Clerks may appear to
be a simple tale of man vs. society on the surface, it really
packs a deeper punch. Smith has thrown together bits and pieces
of a dozen modern morality fables, and he's done it
with ease. The true depth of the film is masked by the activity
on the surface (much like the much-misunderstood Pulp Fiction),
but on reflection, moviegoers will be impressed.
Clerks fails only on technical
merits, for obvious reasons. The sound is bad at times, scenes
are out of focus, and the acting has some flawed moments,
but for the most part, the cast works, and the movie is an
incredible and hilarious success. I was still smiling an hour
after it ended.