In 1994 a little black and white film set the independent film world on fire and Kevin Smith was born. The story of Randal & Dante, two retail clerks who hate their jobs was unlike anything else on the market and the wit and imagination flew off the screen and helped change the film market as we know it. Seven movies later Kevin Smith is still on top of his game and Clerks is still considered one of the most ground breaking films of the past decade.
Kevin Smith has never been known for his talent as a director, but his skill as a filmmaker. Smith shines when he combines his amazingly unique writing and talent at casting and this jumps off the screen in Clerks. Like most great indy films his film was put together using favors and credit cards, but you’d never know that by watching it; Smith is able to pull the audience into his Jerseyverse* because his actors commit to the dialogue and world of his writing, this happens to completely that you don’t notice Smith’s static shots, lack of lighting, or non-professional actors.
A bid deal has always been made about Jay & Silent Bob, but watching Clerks I am not sure why. The characters are memorable in Smith’s first foray to be sure, but the true stand out to me in Clerks are Dante and Randal – of course this could be because I have been a disgruntled retail clerk myself.
If you want to see why independent film changed the film world in the 1990’s Clerks is on the very short list of films you must see.
Director & Writer: Kevin Smith
Dante: Brian O’Halloran
Randal: Jeff Anderson
Veronica: Marilyn Ghigliotti
Jay: Jason Mewes
Silent Bob: Kevin Smith
Randal Graves: Some guy just came in refusing to pay late fees. Said the store was closed for two hours yesterday. Tore up his membership.
Dante Hicks: Shocking abuse of authority.
Randal Graves: Hey, I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class. Especially since I rule.
*The Jerseyverse is a term coined by Kevin Smith in regards to the world of Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, & Clerks II. They all take place in a fictional burb of New Jersey as many of John Hughes brat pack films took place in a fictional town in Illonis.