Kevin Smith dropped out of film school to make this film. Would you advocate having the same philosophy of do it – don’t read about it?
Paul: I would say that Smith knew what he was doing. He made Clerks with an existing understanding of film and structure (at least to a certain extent). Including audio visual continuity – something I found that some film students didn’t automatically get; the editing of pieces so that the audio flows over the cut, rather than cutting the sound and video together which would be more like a montage. Couple that with understanding about lighting, sound, camerawork, etc… and you have a good start – but that’s something each person would have to decide for themselves.
Emily: If I was in school (a.k.a. university) now… if I knew what I wanted to do and how I was going to achieve it, there would be the temptation to drop out. In the UK there are too many film courses that focus on the academic theory behind film and put the practices behind filmmaking on a lower pedestal, steering their students away from learning actual techniques and the realities of media production. There’s still practical there, but it’s definitely second fiddle on many courses.
Most favourite gag of the film?
Paul: The one favourite gag of the film is probably 37 dicks gag. Mostly because it’s so unique to the film that it’s memorable. Not that the accidental humping of a dead guy, “making fuck” or the cousin Walter story wasn’t memorable, but it’s definitely the one that stuck with me.
Emily: The rooftop hockey game that leads to the only game ball being lost by a disgruntled customer who’s peeved that the convenience store was closed for the game.
Who do you identify more as, Jay or Silent Bob?
Paul: Silent Bob definitely. I prefer to either say something important or not to say anything at all. That and I’m usually quiet in social situations unless I feel like I know everyone well enough.
Emily: Jay, but only because I talk way more than Paul.
Why should everyone have seen Clerks at least once?
Paul: Everyone should see Clerks at least once, because it’s a film that is not afraid to have many layers. Sure, it’s a black and white film with one word sections, but it’s also a comedy about two lovable screw-ups, it’s a buddie movie, it’s a telling indictment of youth culture and attitudes, it’s a film that set Smith up and has enabled him to put a human face on Hollywood. Because, lets face it, how many people have been a director and had as much screen time as Smith?
Emily: Everyone needs to see it once to a) get an understanding of what it’s like to work a dead end job and b) to see one of the most startling twists to ever grace a comedy.
No film is perfect. What is the one thing that niggles at you about this film?
Paul: The one thing that niggles me about the film is its sense of time. I found myself questioning when everything was happening throughout the day. For example, Randal sells the kid cigarettes at around 4pm. That’s around the time that they go to the funeral isn’t it? And when was the hockey game meant to start? They have so much going on in the day, that it’s hard to keep track of when things have meant to have happened, which is unusual for a film that is set around the day of a retail merchant.
Emily: The one thing that annoys me about it? Nothing really – I’m glad the ending was changed though from what it originally was. Not because I wanted something happier, but because it would have meant no sequels or cartoon series.
Love or hate Clerks ? Have a different fave or worst moment? Let us know in the comments below.