Kevin Smith's New Goal: Bar All Critics From Free Screenings
Famously contrarian film critic Armond White recently got a lot of attention when Noah Baumbach's camp tried to keep him out of a Greenberg screening, but Kevin Smith has been pulling that stunt on critics he dislikes for quite a while. Scott Foundas and Dave Poland have been among the pundits who were barred from press screenings of Smith's movies after having panned prior flicks (or, in Poland's case, cracking wise about Smith's meaty calves), but now, Smith aims to go one better: He's announced plans to keep all critics out of his press screenings.
That is, unless they pay to see the films like an average moviegoer might. Smith began Tweeting his manifesto last night, and Devin Faraci at CHUD helpfully began to assemble Smith's fragmented, reverse-chronological Tweets into something coherent, which goes as follows:
Sometimes, it's important to turn off the chatter. Film fandom's become a nasty bloodsport where cartoonishly rooting for failure gets the hit count up on the ol' brand-new blog. And if a schmuck like me pays you some attention, score! MORE EYES, MEANS MORE ADVERT $. But when you pull your eye away from the microscope, you can see that shit you're studying so closely is, in reality, tiny as fuck. You wanna enjoy movies again? Stop reading about them & just go to the movies. It's improved film/movie appreciation immensely for me. Seriously: so many critics lined-up to pull a sad & embarrassing train on #CopOut like it was JenniferJasonLeigh in LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN. Watching them beat the shit out of it was sad.
Like, it's called Cop Out; that sound like a very ambitious title to you? You REALLY wanna shit in the mouth of a flick that so OBVIOUSLY strived for nothing more than laughs. Was it called "Schindler's Cop Out"? Writing a nasty review for Cop Out is akin to bullying a retarded kid who was getting a couple chuckles from the normies by singing AFTERNOON DELIGHT. Suddenly, bully-dudes are doing the bad impression of him, using the "retart" voice. The crowd shifts uncomfortably. And you may impress a couple of low IQ-ers who're like "Yeah, man! Way to destroy that singing retart!" But, really? All you've done is make fun of something that wasn't doing you any harm and wanted only to give some cats a some fun laughs. #YesIcomparedMyFlickToARetardedKid
It was just ridiculous to watch. That was it for me. Realized whole system's upside down: so we let a bunch of people see it for free & they shit all over it? Meanwhile, people who'd REALLY like to see the flick for free are made to pay? Bullshit: from now on, any flick I'm ever involved with, I conduct critics screenings thusly: you wanna see it early to review it? Fine: pay like you would if you saw it next week. Like, why am I giving an arbitrary 500 people power over what I do at all, let alone for free? Next flick, I'd rather pick 500 randoms from Twitter feed & let THEM see it for free in advance, then post THEIR opinions, good AND bad. Same difference. Why's their opinion more valid? It's a backwards system. People are free to talk shit about ANY of my flicks, so long as they paid to see it. Fuck this AnimalFarm bullshit.
Of course, if Smith really wanted to "turn off the chatter," might we suggest not reading his own reviews? He may think the critics are hard on him now, but just wait until he makes them spend the money they're barely getting paid these days. I don't anticipate a kinder outcome.