BOSTON! I've entered your Masshole so wicked gentle, you don't even know I'm here. Walk-of-shame it to the sold out Q&A at @TheCoolidge!
That was the tweet from writer/director/podcaster Kevin Smith an hour before he took the stage at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on Thursday Night. It set the tone for what was a hilarious night of story telling.
Smith is on tour promoting his new memoir “Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good,” and stopped in Boston for a book discussion and fan question and and answer session.
The topics for the night were to be expected: the health of Jason Mewes, Ben Affleck, his AMC show “Comic Book Men,” his past movie work and working with his long time friends.
A bulk of the night, though, was spent on two topics: Smith ending his directing career in favor of podcasting and the movie “Red State.”
Smith announced his retirement from directing at the Sundance premiere of “Red State” last year, citing a lack of passion for moviemaking.
The topic came up at the Coolidge when Smith was asked if he preferred to direct or do podcasting. Before the question could be finished, he broke in and answered podcasting. What followed was a long monologue of why Smith had lost his passion and why he was getting out and why podcasting was his future.
He cited the ease of podcasting.
“I use to tell people, ‘if you want to make movies, just go make them,’” Smith said. “But movies take money and people. It’s the only medium where I can say ‘I want to make this movie, give me $20 million and Ben Affleck!’”
Smith went on to say: “Everyone in here has a laptop, so everyone here can do a podcast.”
He also added that with a podcast you are completely independent. All you need to do is talk to people. Everyone has an interesting story and they are far better than anything you will see in theater.
As for “Red State,” Smith told of how he felt like the movie was the true spiritual success to “Clerks.” It was the first time since “Clerks” that Smith felt like he needed to make “this” movie.
He also told the story of his run-in with Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church including how they inspired the film and their protests of the movie at Sundance and a later screening.
Amongst all the crude jokes and geek references was a generally touching moment when a fan told Smith of story of how his father had died and it was Smith’s SModcast that finally made him laugh again. Smith was touched to the point that he shed a tear, came off stage and hugged the fan.
The night was perfect for any Smith fan, complete with autographed copies of “Tough Sh*t” for everyone in attendance. I encourage every Smith fan and card carrying member of geek nation to check the local theaters and catch Smith live if possible.