Hollywood film director Kevin Smith is considered one of the darlings of the ‘90s independent film movement. Gaining an unlikely career with his ramshackle debut Clerks, Smith developed a cult following over the years. Never one to shy away from controversy, Smith has also had some outspoken opinions in the past as well. Despite threatening to quit the industry on several occasions, Smith has continued to make movies.
Alongside Joss Whedon, Smith is considered the poster boy for geeky film fans everywhere and has often done Q&A sessions for his fans. As a filmmaker, actor, author, and podcaster, Smith has enjoyed a varied and successful career, and last year released his 12th film Yoga Hosers. We’re going to take a look at some of Smith’s best work throughout his career.
The one where it all began. Also known as The Film Where Nothing Happens. The genius of Clerks is the humor Smith finds in the wretched mundanity of everyday life in small-town New Jersey. Quick Stop worker Dante, a thinly disguised version of Smith, and loudmouthed video store clerk Randall go about the dull grind of their daily lives, waxing lyrical about life and love. The movie is side-splittingly hilarious, and the rudimentary nature of the black & white filming and the direction adds to the charm and appeal of the movie.
Chasing Amy (1997)
This was the movie that finally brought Smith the critical recognition he deserved and showed he could make films about stuff other than toilet humor. Chasing Amy is an excellent romantic-comedy, showing heart, emotional depth, and clever humor. The movie is widely regarded as Smith’s best work and was a critical and commercial success. If you want to experience the very best of Kevin Smith we urge you to stick this movie on as soon as you can.
Jersey Girl (2004)
Kevin Smith’s ode to fatherhood, the much-maligned Jersey Girl is actually perhaps the most personal movie Smith has made. At the time, the Bennifer factor may well have hurt the movie, but watching it years later you remember how warm, charming, and heartfelt this flick is. It features a strong turn from Affleck, by this time a seasoned actor, and great supporting roles from Raquel Castro as his daughter, and Liv Tyler as the love interest. Jersey Girl is Smith’s most family-friendly movie and a great way of seeing the softer side of the man.
Love him or loathe him, it’s hard to deny that Kevin Smith had an impact on the world of independent cinema. He showed that even filmmakers with limited experience, and a budget of next to nothing, could make a great movie with passion and determination. And he has developed a successful career as a result. We think the movies on this list are his best work, though you may well have your own views on that.