SxSW 2021 Review – CLERK

Part of the SxSW Film programming this year is offering a handful of titles that were supposed to play in the 2020 edition. When the event was cancelled last March, many of the titles went into limbo. CLERK was a movie originally on my 2020 schedule and I’m happy it is included on this year’s lineup. 

CLERK (United States, dir. Malcolm Ingram) 

Personal story time. In 2014 I was lucky to meet Kevin Smith at a screening of his movie TUSK. Having seen the movie at TIFF about a week earlier. Immediately upon meeting him, he reached out to shake my hand and was so incredibly friendly. We talked about TUSK for a moment, grabbed a picture and I went on my way. I only wanted to mention that story because there’s a moment in CLERK where we see these fan interactions and it’s mentioned that any person who runs into them will think they “Had a great moment”. How absolutely true. 

CLERK, a documentary directed by Malcolm Ingram (a long time collaborator who has a podcast with Smith that I have very much enjoyed) CLERK features many candid interviews from Smith and all of the family around him throughout his long and complicated career of making movies, doing live Q&A’s, starting a podcast, going back to movies, his failures in life and many personal hardships that he pushed through including a heart attack he had just a few years ago.  Even though I already knew a lot about Smith’s life through his movies, Q&A’s and podcasts, there are still many candid stories that I didn’t know about, and either way this is a fascinating look into a “Why Not” individual. 

CLERK is a whirlwind of information and I am pretty surprised that Ingram got all of this into two hours. There is a LOT here and also SOME aspects of his life aren’t included (In particular his relationship with Jason Mewes and his helping with his addiction problems) For hardcore fans of Smith, a lot of Kevin’s personal stories will be very familiar as Smith has always been candid in his interviews and podcasts. For non-fans of Smith, this may just be the push that they need to start checking out his work again.

This film and many others like it will be showing at the virtual South By Southwest taking place March 16-20th. For more information and to register for the festival, point your browser to!

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