So we’ve talked before on the blog about the unifying theme of 2011 seeming to be filmmakers celebrating film in one way or another. Last night, I decided to go check out Kevin Smith’s “Live from Behind” event – a three-hour live podcast followed by question and answer with a live audience in Toronto and questions being sent in via twitter. (The event really was live as evidenced by the fact that when the power went off in Toronto, we, in Carey, lost audio for a couple minutes!) I bring this up not so much to talk about the event itself as it was a one night only event, but as an opening to talk about one of my favorite filmmakers, Kevin Smith. Some of you know that I love Kevin’s movie’s in “a big, bad way,” to paraphrase the man himself. And “Live from Behind” did get me thinking about why that is and why I enjoy film so much to begin with.
I’m not going to try to argue that Kevin Smith is an epic director or that he ought to have won an Oscar by now – at least not for directing. That’s just not the kind of filmmaker he is. He will freely admit that he never focused on trying to make his films look good. He’s more interested in dialogue and described himself last night as “first and foremost, a writer.” And what makes a person “first and foremost, a writer”? Well, for my money, it’s all about storytelling. Different filmmakers tell stories in different ways, but to really engage me as a member of the audience, all you need is a good story to tell. You don’t even need to tell it well; someone once described Kevin’s movies as “sloppy”, but suggested that focusing on that misses the point of the film and that’s exactly right. Maybe Kevin’s flicks aren’t epic or visionary, but he crafts sincere and likeable characters, snappy dialogue, and usually pretty compelling stories. But what’s more, you can tell he loves movies; he loves his audience, and he loves telling stories and that’ll get me out to the theater every time.
Posted by Sarah on 2/3/12.