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Tip Sheet: Kevin Smith

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SLACKER by Richard Linklater
”That’s the movie I watched that made it all seem achievable. I was completely ignorant of the fact that Austin was a huge cultural center, so when I saw the movie I was like, ‘This dude in Bumblef—, Texas, made a movie. Why can’t I do it in Bumblef—, New Jersey?”’

TOGETHER ALONE by P.J. Castellaneta
”That was very inspirational. It was like a $7,000 movie — two gay guys in a room. I remember reading about that and going, ‘All right, man. Seven grand? Two gay guys in a room? I mean, a variation on that theme is two guys who maybe are not gay in a convenience store. If that dude can do it for seven G’s…’ And I never saw the movie! To this day, I’ve still never seen the movie. It was just the notion.”

STRANGER THAN PARADISE by Jim Jarmusch
”Very influential, because that too was a series of mise-en-scenes. It cuts to black — and then cuts back into picture. The camera kind of sits there and things happen in front of it. It’s a very simple story, yet really enjoyable, and compelling in its own humorous way.”

TRUST and THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH by Hal Hartley
”They were quirky and had bizarre dialogue, which made me feel comfortable enough to try my hand at my own brand of bizarre dialogue.”

DO THE RIGHT THING by Spike Lee
”If you look at Clerks, it’s not nearly as powerful as Do the Right Thing, but it’s kind of modeled against it: It all happens in the span of a day on one block. It happens in one little neighborhood. You can tell a lot of stories without going very far, without traveling the globe.”

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