Kevin Smith / US, 1994 / 92 min.
This slacker comedy by Kevin Smith probes the mindset of two store clerks in New Jersey as they deliver sharp and philosophical dialogues on the subject of women, sex, adultery and the world in general. Part of Looking for America: Slackers.
The slogan of this slacker classic was: “Just because they serve you, doesn”t mean they like you.” It”s something the customers of the local Quick Stop Grocery in New Jersey will just have to live with.
Store clerks Dante Hicks and Randal Graves are first-generation slackers, meaning work is something best avoided… Instead, the two lads in lumberjack shirts spend most of their days talking and fantasizing. The tit-for-tat dialogues, riotous discussions and philosophies add a little zest to their existence as clerks at the counter. Kevin Smith”s low-budget black and white film (shot for just 27,000 dollars) on an apparently uncool subject is fast paced and bursts with dry humour. Not surprisingly, it grew into a cult classic.
Clerks touched a chord with a generation of college drop-outs working in underpaid jobs and dreaming of a life less ordinary as an actor, filmmaker or womanizer, without, of course, having to make much of an effort to get there. The film was a slap in the face to all those who still believed in the promises of the American Dream, an act of merry and infectious nihilism, a raised middle finger to the typically American “can do” mentality.
On 7 November the film will be introduced by standup comedian Eric van der Woude.
Looking for America
This autumn Eye is taking an inquisitive look at the United States. How does the age-old ideal of a ‘land of the free and home of the brave’ relate to the difficult reality of today?