Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kevin Smith To Leave Directing, Start Producing

When news broke yesterday from Sundance that Kevin Smith is going to retire as a director, I kind of flipped out. As far as I'm concerned, Smith is the John Hughes of the 1990s. He defined the Generation X slacker culture through film with both Clerks and Mallrats.

But he didn't keep churning out the same stuff. He kept up with the times, making several filmic innovations. In 2008, he pushed the censors with Zack & Miri Make a Porno. Who else could take a story about two people filming a porn to make ends meet and turn it into something charming and romantic? Smith has been one of the most consistently great comedy directors in the business and has built quite the following for himself. So needless to say, his retirement from directing came as shocking news.

I relaxed, however, when I learned that his retirement from directing was to move into producing. In a dramatic move, Smith purchased the rights to his own new film, Red State, and gave a striking speech about the corruption and brokenness of film studios and his intentions to work against these issues. Hopefully his impact as a big wig in film will be as profound as his work as an auteur.

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