Spend an Evening with Kevin Smith

by Alan Rapp on July 20, 2006

in DVD Reviews 

Back in 2001-2002 filmmaker Kevin Smith set out on a speaking tour through America.  Smith stopped at several universities to speak and give fans an chance to pick the brain behind the View Askew Universe.  Oh yeah, and he brought a documentary crew along…

An Evening with Kevin Smith
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From Cornell to Indiana, from Kent State to Wyoming and Clark University, Kevin Smith stops by for an evening with fans, and curiosity seekers, wondering what the one time clerk, and now world famous writer/director, has to say.  It’s an impressive and enlightening little documentary that gives fans a little more insight to Kevin Smith.

There’s not much to the set-up here.  Kevin Smith travels to five colleges and speaks in front of sold out auditoriums offering insights and answering questions about his films and career.  The best parts of these five performances have been cut together in a hugely entertaining two-disc DVD.

In much the same vein of an a cappella concert film, Smith riffs, tells stories, and spends time with groups of rabid fans.

The documentary is filled with great moments, too numerous to list them all here.  Some of my favorites include – the story behind Smith’s work on a Superman script and why it is so important to have a good producer on a film, his feud with Tim Burton, and his work on a documentary of music icon Prince.

Then there are humorous moments where he bemoans his overly vocal stoner followers, refuses to dance for his a sweet female fan, or discusses his views on homosexuality and the personal reasons his films deal with such issues.  Not all the questions are winners, but some of the more pedestrian ones actually lead to some quite unintentionally funny moments.

Even with it’s simple set-up and low budget it’s still one of the best things Kevin Smith has ever done.  Fans will find all kinds of fun moments and interesting stories and anecdotes to enjoy.  I’d recommend it not only to fans of Smith’s work, but for anyone interested in what makes this guy tick, or interested to see a filmmaker take the time to seriously interact with his fans, and to listen not only to their questions but some criticism as well.  It’s just a great DVD to have on your shelf.

Despite it’s length (225 minutes) it will leave you craving more.  And for fans who do want more, Smith has announced a sequel DVD that will be released this November – An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder which showcases the same type of humor and wit from Smith’s recent tour through cities such as London and Toronto.

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