Posted by PaladinCub at highland.at.nwu.edu on February 21, 2001 at 18:02:18:
This question is kind of addressed to Kevin but I would like to hear thoughts about it from anyone really. I have always loved your movies, from a basic spectator angle and then also as a film student myself. Your films are always fun to watch and think about. But there are critiques concerning your films that I hear over and over again and I wonder how you respond to them. The one critique in particular that I wanted to hear your thoughts on are concerning your direction both filmically and career-wise.
One of the most common things I hear about a Kevin Smith film is an amazing script and lackadaisical direction. Certain things like blocking decisions and visual composition are supposedly lacking in a Smith film. I would say (assuming film student voice), “Well, it’s a vital part of his style. His ability to pass the story along to us without the trappings of over-technique. His minimal direction is a welcome counteraction to the arrogance of directors who stylize their pictures to the point of excess. Smith pictures are the anti-spectacle. Come to be amused, challenged and entertained by the stories, the words bursting forth from the screen not by the fancy editing or cinematography.” That boils down to – “Who cares? The story is usually kickass, and the way the actors work with him displays his immense directorial ability. His movies beat everything Michael Bay has ever done!” But the question begs to be asked, will there ever be a Smith script without Kevin at the helm? What will that film be like? Putting the auteur considerations aside, would a Smith film directed by say Tim Burton (J ) still retain that wonderful joy that all Smith films have?
Or is it a control issue? I’m not much a director. I work on some projects with friends cause its fun and I like the creative process, but I’m way too much of a geek for film making, I prefer tending to the film after the dust settles, writing and teaching others about it. But even when I shoot my mini documentaries on the side, control is a big issue. I like writing, shooting and editing, on my own, allowing people in at the end. I can only imagine the pain of watching someone else direct Chasing Amy or clerks. Sometimes there are films that only a certain person can make, and regardless of their lacks, this film wouldn’t “be” without Kevin Smith directing it. Sure there would have been a Chasing Amy the script was way too good not to get made, but then it would have been the bastard stepchild of Kevin, instead of the sometimes gawky but honest film that I saw yesterday again for the umpteenth time. So who cares that occasionally the blocking is over simple, the camera static, the editing slow or the colors bland? All of that is part of the film. The great film.
Suddenly I sound like an intoxicated version of Dennis Miller (ooh shudder at the thought) but I hope that some coherence sneaked its way past the frenzied typing and Word spell checks. What’s my question again? Oh yeah, do u feel that the critiques against your direction are valid and do you feel that a Kevin Smith film would be improved by another director? And for big money – who if anyone in particular?
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