Cloning Essay, Research Paper
Clerks is a raunchy, obscene, cheap, and extremely funny movie. It was written and directed by film school dropout, Kevin Smith in 1994. Clerks is an independent film that was funded for under 30,000 dollars. Smith raised the money by selling his comic book collection. (Ellis) The film ended up grossing $3.1 million on its initial domestic release by Miramax. (Humpry) Films produced for this amount of money would be considered amateur. However, it won top prize in the Critic s Week section at Cannes, and did very well at other film festivals. This film was successful because Kevin Smith is good writer with a great sense of humor.
The film is based on Smith s life as a convenience store clerk. The premise is the day in the life of Dante Hicks, a clerk at a “Quick Stop” convenience store, after he’s called in at 6am on his day off to sub for the help that never showed up. Dante (Brian O’Halloran) hates his job but tries to at least keep things from getting too out of hand. This becomes increasingly difficult when his friend Randal (Jeff Anderson) keeps stopping in and getting him in trouble. Randal works at the video rental place next door, a store apparently so awful that even he goes elsewhere to get movies. Like Dante, Randal doesn’t much care about anything. He’s rude to his customers and closes up shop frequently to go over and hang out with Dante. Meanwhile, Dante’s girlfriend Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) has been trying to convince him to go back to school so he can eventually move on to something bigger and better, but he’s too complacent, too comfortable in his current position to seriously consider the option.
This is basically a dialogue film with no real plot. The film has crude language and was originally given the rating NC-17 for language, but was overturned to an R rating by a Miramax attorney. (Ellis) The characters spend most of the time gabbing about everything from assorted sexual practices to an in-depth analysis of the second and third STAR WARS films. However, the most fun comes when they’re dealing with obnoxious, annoying, or just plain stupid customers. Dante gets in aimless conversations with customers who are opposed to cigarettes, or looking for porno mags, or claim the vacant-eyed guy leaning against the building is a heavy metal star from Russia.
The film is shot at the convenience store where Smith was currently working. (Johnston) There is a scene at the beginning of the movie where Dante couldn t get the shutters open; this was only because Smith wasn t able to shoot his scenes during the day, he had to work as the Clerk. (Johnsotn) The film was shot in 16mm instead of regular 32mm. The picture is in black and white and is almost like a documentary because of the realistic setting. Also, the camera work at times is shaky and the editing isn t perfect which adds to the appeal of the movie. This also can be said for the acting, or lack of acting. It s a reminder that it isn t a multi-million dollar movie. (Ellis)
Clerks isn’t without it’s flaws. There’s an unlikely scene where Dante closes the store so he can play a scheduled game of hockey on the roof that goes on too long, and a scene towards the end involving his ex-girlfriend that isn’t really believable. The film seems a little longer than it actually is not because it’s slow or boring, but because the location rarely changes. Smith is aware of this and uses dialogue to keep the audience entertained.
Clerks is an MTV generation film, full of raunchy comedy. The dialogue in the film made up for the lack of storyline. Smith s original ending was Dante getting shot; I m not sure why he decided to change it. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this movie.
Humpry, M. Clerks. 2000. On-line. 28 Oct. 00
Johnston, Raymond. Clerks (1994). On-line. 7 Dec. 00
Ellis, Joan. Clerks. 1995. On-line. 7 Dec. 00