In Canada, we have to wait until September 14th for the DVD. Damn Alliance Atlantis!!!!

Kevin Smith’s Clerks: icon of indie film still at work after a 10-year shift
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ten years ago, Kevin Smith became the patron saint of the slothful.
The aspiring New Jersey filmmaker proved that if a guy worked hard enough, he could still make his dreams come true while spending a lot of time collecting comic books, debating the merits of peculiar sex, and selling cigarettes and candy to dead-eyed consumers.
Clerks, a $27,000 US black-and-white film he shot mainly with friends in their spare time, became an icon of independent cinema by inspiring a generation of homegrown filmmakers.
“It’s the kind of movie where you go, ‘If that counts, I can make a movie, too,’†” said Smith, who makes self-deprecation a kind of second career. “It’s flattering on one level, but it’s also a backhanded compliment because it’s like, ‘Dude, your movie looks so bad, that even a chimp can make a movie at this point.’†”
A new three-disc DVD titled Clerks X commemorates the 10-year anniversary, documenting the movie’s entire history, from Smith’s birth to the audition tapes to the day Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein purchased the film at the Sundance Film Festival.
Working on the DVD inspired Smith to write a sequel, The Passion of the Clerks, which he plans to begin filming in January.
After creating a cult-fanbase with his later films – Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Jersey Girl – Smith said he wanted to go back to his super-low-budget roots and revisit his fictional cash-register dwellers.
Smith’s original movie centred on two 20-something guys – one from a convenience store, the other from a video store – and their disintegrating morale over the course of a day as they endure customers from hell.
It’s no coincidence that the main character’s name was Dante.
“I just wanted to make a movie that I thought was representative of me and my friends,” Smith said. “A lot of movies I went to see were fun to watch and totally entertaining and escapist. But what – I’m going to identify with John McClane in Die Hard? I would never jump off a building, I would never shoot a terrorist, I would never take my shirt off in public.”
He wanted to make a movie about what wanders into the mind of a guy who feels like he’s going nowhere: Star Wars, ex-girlfriends, hockey, porn movies.
The humour in Smith’s movie was the kind of shameless joking guys do around a poker game, or in the back of a classroom, wherever they think no one else is listening.
Before the gross-out comedy craze of There’s Something About Mary, American Pie and MTV’s Jackass, Clerks opened the door.
Although it featured no violence, no nudity and no on-screen sex, the coarse dialogue earned it an NC-17 rating and Miramax hired attorney Alan Dershowitz to successfully argue the ratings board down to an R.
Before that, even Brian O’Halloran, a community theatre actor who won the role of Dante, said he never thought the movie would make it to the big screen.
“I thought it was hysterical, but the vulgarity of certain things, the shock value at that time in 1993 .†.†. I didn’t think it would become a feature film,” he said. “If anything, it was just something I would have a copy of on VHS to show friends. ‘Hey, look what I got cast in once .†.†.’†”
Smith used his environment to craft a story, taking a lesson from Robert Rodriguez, another homegrown director who made his breakthrough in 1992 with the $7,000 shoot-’em-up El Mariachi (later glossily remade as Desperado.)
Here’s what Smith had at his disposal: a convenience store, a lascivious stoner friend, and a comic book collection. All he needed were the cameras – so he sold the comic books. That made him a few thousand dollars.
He also ran up dozens of credit cards and collected several thousand in flood relief money after a storm washed over his New Jersey neighbourhood.
Smith’s other means of investment: mom and dad, who gave him $3,000.
“It was pretty huge, because my old man at that point was a government employee. He worked at the post office and he didn’t make much more than 15 or 20 grand, tops,” Smith said. “That was a big chunk for them.”
He talked the owner of the convenience store into letting him shoot the movie there after closing time. The solid metal security gate stayed down over the main windows to make it simpler to control interior lighting and enable them to shoot at night when the story was supposed to take place during the day.
Smith adjusted the script to explain the shutters: part of Dante’s terrible day involved being unable to open the gate. He paints a sign with shoe polish that reads: “I assure you we’re open.”
O’Halloran and his co-star Jeff Anderson, who played the rude video store clerk Randal, worked the midnight shift for the movie, and never expected to get paid.
“It was definitely fun, and yet we all had real jobs,” said O’Halloran. “And we all got done with our real jobs and then got down to the store around 10:30 at night, and by the time we got into makeup and into costume, and we were ready to shoot after everything was lit, it was 11:30. Then we’d shoot until five in the morning or straight up until six when the store would open. Then we’d help Kevin open the store and move all the film equipment.”
Other story points were also dictated by circumstance.
Smith wanted to put his friend Jason Mewes in the movie as Jay, a trash-talking stoner who perpetually ornaments the parking lot. The character was basically Mewes as himself, but he was jittery about playing the part.
“He needed somebody to talk to, but I didn’t want anyone to take away from this one-man show,” Smith said. Thus was born Silent Bob, and the director played the role himself.
Clerks played no more than 96 theatres and earned only $3.1 million, but it became a hit on video and spawned an animated series, while making cult stars out of Jay and Silent Bob.
The duo will return with Dante and Randal in the Clerks sequel, but Smith said they’ll be more realistic than the slapstick buffoons they became in recent years, reflecting Mewes real-life sobriety after battling drug addiction.
No celebrities, no big budget. Just another shift at the shop. Only this time, the film will be partly in colour as well as black and white.
“Just like The Wizard of Oz,” Smith cracked, with a snap of his chewing gum.