Kevin Smith was supposed to be at SXSW in 2020 to premiere the documentary Clerk, which chronicles his career in film. The title of the doc may remind you of Smith’s debut film Clerks, as well it should. That film launched his career and went on to create a subculture for both filmmakers and movie fans.
In March 2021, Smith and Clerk director Malcolm Ingram returned to SXSW to finally screening the flick at the 2021 virtual event. But that’s not all! On November 3 they’re back in Austin hosting a special screening of Clerk at The Paramount Theatre, with a Q&A to follow!
We had the opportunity to see the film at SXSW and if you’re a fan of Kevin Smith, you do not want to miss this film.
Clerk is an examination and celebration of Smith’s. It’s the story of how one kid from Jersey completely transformed the cultural landscape. The journey began 25 years ago at the Sundance Film festival where his DIY film Clerks took the film world by storm. He went on to build a successful career as a filmmaker, podcaster, stand-up comedian, author, comic book writer, television producer, and a veritable pop culture icon with a very large and loyal fanbase.
This film industry star studded documentary will either rejuvenate your love of Kevin Smith or perhaps make you a first-time fan. Silent Bob is anything but silent in his interviews. Smith is honest and raw in telling the tales of his 30 year career in the industry. Stories are woven throughout the film as told by cast, crew, and family. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Stan Lee are just a few big names sharing stories about Smith. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to watch (almost) every Kevin Smith film ever made (we’re looking at you Jersey Girl). Clerk is a story about an underdog who made his first movie with his friends and never stopped.
The Austin Effect:
Smith’s Austin ties are more deeply rooted than we knew. In 1990, Smith saw Richard Linklater’s film Slacker and his life was forever changed. Smith had always wanted to be a writer but after walking out of that film, he said things just clicked. He knew he wanted to apply his love for writing to his love of film. Smith and Linklater’s connection doesn’t stop there. After the success of Clerks, Smith went on to do Mallrats, which was picked up by the same studio, producer, and casting director as Dazed and Confused. Both films also happen to star Affleck. Coincidentally, both Dazed and Chasing Amy feature Joey Lauren Adams.
In 1997, both Linklater and Smith sat on a SXSW panel that included other big names in indie film like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Mike Judge, Steve Soderbergh, and George Huang.
Linklater makes an appearance in the documentary, where he jokes about inspiring Smith to appear in his own movies (Linklater makes an on-screen appearance in Slacker). “At least I gave myself a three page monologue,” he said. “Kevin just had to stand around and be quiet all the time. Tough acting.”
In a Q&A following the SXSW film screening, Smith said, “Austin stay weird but mark your calendars!” They have been marked since and the day is finally here.
Tickets are still available for Clerk at Austin’s Paramount Theatre on Wednesday, November 3.
Smith and Ingram will both be in attendance – hopefully bringing with them more Austin related anecdotes. Who knows, maybe Linklater will take part too! Fingers crossed.