SXSW Film Festival: ‘Clerk’ Review

Clerk: Directed by Malcolm Ingram

SYNOPSIS: A look at Kevin Smith’s 25-year career including his feature films, television, animation, comics, hosting, and philanthropy projects.

“I just want to be Kevin Smith. And when I’m gone, that’s what they’ll remember is the Kevin Smithiness,” –Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith is someone who I have been interested in for quite some time. He transcends film. Smith has taken the art of film, spun it on his head and taken crap from absolutely no one. With that being said, I was extremely excited to dive deep into his career but not just his career, but the person himself. 

The thing done so well here is the fact that a majority of the film is narrated and told from the source himself, Kevin Smith. Having the subject of the documentary be the person telling the story is personal, authentic and real. The examination of his career is so interesting due to the fact that it really is all over the place. 

The doc goes over everything. Movies, podcasts and his personal life. That is a very well done doc when you can cover everything. The other perspective that is shown throughout the doc is how Kevin has changed other people’s lives. The whole second half of the documentary goes far beyond just his filmmaking. 

The other thing that was so well done was the quality of the interviews they were able to get. Friends, co-workers, family and well known Hollywood personalities, the documentary has it all. I was so surprised and interested to see the whole scope of how many people truly were changed. They literally got Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to interview on this doc to talk about how Kevin jump started their careers. That is absolutely huge. 

The film is technically extremely well done. The editing, directing and overall composition of the documentary is done in a way that makes you feel like you’ve known this man for your entire life on a personal level. The footage, photos and the entire catalogue of things that was used to tell the story was so rich and authentic. 

But in the end, this is about the life of Kevin Smith. His life, his professional journey, his family and his legacy. It transcends just his filmmaking, just like he transcended the art of film. And for that, I loved this documentary on such a personal level.


Clerk is a documentary that transcends just the filmmaking of Kevin Smith. It is a technical master that covers everything from movies to his personal life to the legacy that he will leave behind through others. This is a crowdpleaser of the festival so far and a documentary that everyone interested in film should watch.

Point Breakdown:

25 for Entertainment 22

20 for Performances 20

10 for Direction 10

10 for Writing 10

10 for Emotions 10

10 for Cinematography 9

5 for Pacing 4

5 for Rewatchability 5

5 for Automantic 5

Clerk: 95/100

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