Listening to Kevin Smith talk lately, you might think he's the most misunderstood and put upon director in Hollywood. Railing against movie critics following the drubbing "Cop Out" received earlier this year, /Film decided to follow up with the director first after news began circulating of his imminent retirement following some comments made to the Boston Phoenix recently where he mused he was one or two film away from retirement. And the director was game, hitting the website with a not very clear clarification of his retirement news and some details on how he plans to sell "Red State."
He tells /Film, "I’ve always said (since CLERKS, even) that I’ve got about ten films in me (that info might even be on my Wikipedia page). And COP OUT notwithstanding (solely because I didn’t write it), HIT SOMEBODY is the 10th film I’ve got in me. At this moment in time, I’ve got no other flicks I wanna make. The musing about a possible return visit to the View Askewniverse with a third CLERKS is something I’ve been doing since CLERKS II, but I’ve always opened said musings with the disclaimer “If I ever wanna make a flick about being in my 40′s, I’ll think of Da nte & Randal first.” There are no concrete plans for a CLERKS III." As a commenter in the story notes, "....is it just me, or does this email essentially read like a wordier version of the quote Smith is so mad about everyone reporting?" Nope, it's not just you.
As for "Red State," Smith had previously announced his plans to get the film into Sundance, and if it does he wants to sell the rights to the picture right after it premieres. He says, "Here’s something that’s not so much news as my stated intentions for RED STATE: if it gets into Sundance, my plan is to pick the RED STATE distributor right there – IN THE ROOM – auction style. Might even bring up a professional auctioneer to make it fun and unintelligible. And if you’re a multi-millionaire who can’t make it to the first screening of RED STATE, fear not: maybe we’ll set up an eBay page for the post-screening bid-calling as well."
We're not quite sure what to make of Kevin Smith anymore. While he has nothing but venom for most critics and entertainment press, he is nothing if not a tireless self-promoter who has no problem oversharing in interviews, podcasts and Tweets. If he truly wants to represented accurately in the media he's going to have to learn to perhaps stand behind the curtain a bit instead of tearing it off completely and then complaining about it.
As for auctioning off the film, it's certainly the kind of sensationalism that Smith loves, but it's also kind of cheap, reducing the film to the status of better relegated to Grandma's old coffee table, rather than being representative of the passion project the film definitely is for the director.
And apparently, that's not all from Smith as he apparently plans to reveal some of the "Hit Somebody" casting today. Yep, Smith certainly doesn't like the press but even he realizes he has to use it. The Sundance lineup will be announced in the coming weeks and Smith's "Red State" will likely be in the lineup. Distributors should be advised to make sure their checkbooks are packed before they head off to Park City.