Clerk Documentary

SXSW Review: ‘Clerk’

March 20, 2021Ben MK

Beloved by movie and comic fans and a fan of movies and comics himself, Kevin Smith is a filmmaker whose works have both been inspired by pop culture and been an inspiration to pop culture in return. Now, with Clerk, director Malcolm Ingram is taking audiences back to where it all started, to show how a film school dropout from Highlands, New Jersey became one of cinema's most iconic figures.

From the recreational centre where his teenage self would meet his future collaborators to the auditoriums full of fans who would eventually gather to spend an evening listening to him speak, Smith himself is here to offer viewers a guided tour of the highs and lows of his life and career. It's a journey that has the now-50-year-old reflecting on everything from the role Richard Linklater's Slacker played in kickstarting his interesting in making movies to how his 2018 heart attack changed his life. But, of course, no Kevin Smith documentary would be complete with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of some of his most famous films (Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy), not to mention some of his most infamous ones (Dogma, Red State and Tusk) as well.

Suffice to say, if you've ever heard Smith on his podcasts or seen him on the show Comic Book Men, then you know what to expect here. Also featuring interviews with the likes of Penn Jillette and Stan Lee, Clerk is all you could want to know about Kevin Smith and more — which is a lot to say for a man once known as Silent Bob.

Clerk screens under the 2020 Spotlight section at the 2021 South by Southwest Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 54 min.

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