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Kevin Smith’s Twitter Tirade (December 30, 2010)

Wow, it’s been an interesting day on the Twittersphere today, hasn’t it? Just a few days after director Kevin Smith publicly stated he would not do interviews with press for his upcoming film Red State, he’s let loose with a bunch more thoughts on movie bloggers, his career, the film industry, plus extended a strange offer.

The following tweets are from Smith’s Twitter account today. I’ve aggregated them all here for easy reading. Looking on the entire corpus, it’s a breathtaking, intense critique, and a personal account of a man who’s trying to reinvent himself.

A few movie websites this morning have chided me for talking about not doing press on Red State. Number one, that’s ironic right there. Even I say I’m not doing Red State press…and press writes about it. But I never said I’m not talking: said I always talk plenty right here. So if you can always ask me anything you want right here (and often get a LONG-ASS response), what’s the damage? Besides, the only story in RedState that really needs telling is the MichaelParks story – and, as per usual, NOBODY is writing it. “Gotta wait & see on the Parks of it all. Don’t wanna be out front, first with THAT story. Now – the boring story of how KevinSmith Tweeted he’s not doing press? THAT’S news!”

And one month from now, when EVERYONE ELSE is writing the MichaelParks story, these websites who wasted their time/space on a fruitless war of words with me are gonna wonder why other websites get more hits/have more followers/earn more than their site does. I’M TELLING YOU THIS FAR OUT: why the FUCK aren’t you writing about the MichaelParks story? First one out there gets the top Google hits. But these swing have zero vision; it’s all “Kevin Smith is gonna hurt his career not talking to press.” Seriously: Someone actually wrote that story today (naturally it was a movie news site). The site that’s accomplished merely a fraction of wha tother movie sites in the online fraternity/sorority have, suggested that – since I’m not gonna play the game the normal, boring way, I’m gonna hurt my career.

Once again, these motherfuckers are a day late and a dollar short? Hurt Kevin Smith’s career? Have you SEEN this: I ain’t hurting the career of Kevin Smith, I’m taking a fucking chainsaw to the career of Kevin Smith. That’s what you gotta do as an artist: when everyone’s comfy, pull the fucking chair out from under their settled asses while showing ’em something they’re not used to seeing from anybody, least of all YOU. And if you lose some people in the process, so be it: art should be a little dangerous, scary & thrilling – ESPECIALLY for the artist. You think there isn’t some tiny part of me that stops & says “You can make this SO much easier on yourself & the journey of this film if you just do what you’ve ALWAYS done and go hat-in-hand to the snark-factory…”? But nothing about RedState has been done conventionally; why should I start NOW? Best piece of advice I can give a bunch of people who only wanna shit on what I do? Go find MichaelParks and BECOME the interview of record. Stop writing about how you’re mad at me, or how I’m not doing it your way, or how I’m gonna hurt myself. Write about something original: the guy who the entire WORLD is about to wanna talk to. The money’s out there; pick it up it’s yours; you don’t, I got no sympathy for you.

“Hurt Kevin Smith’s Career”? Bitch, I’ve ANNIHILATED Kevin Smith’s Career. And now? I get to remake it, all over again. And I’ve got a dopey movie blogger to thank for it: one day, one of these hymens wrote “Kevin Smith owes his career to people like me” – said people being bloggers, critics, movie journalists. I gave this some serious thought & realized I’d never know whether that theory was true or not.

But while I couldn’t validate the veracity of the statement, I realized it didn’t matter: if people like this were to thank for my career, then I didn’t want that career anymore. So I made SModcast. And now RedState. And then combined the two. And realized I could do it without the help of the same people who don’t seem to have anything nice to say about not only my flicks, but ANYBODY’S flicks they see. Their game is rigged; why play it? I go to the carnival, I wanna ride the roller-coaster, not waste money on the rigged games of chance, the rewards of which are cheap, empty prizes that don’t seem nearly as cool in the light of day, away from the cotton candy haze. If they weren’t convinced that I made my own way the first time, I’m happy (and more importantly, EXCITED) to do it again, one more time – just to prove that point.

And if you’re gonna make art, you SHOULD reinvent periodically anyway. Lots of jackasses writing about my craft & how I conduct it weren’t even BORN when I built my shit from scratch. They can’t possibly be expected to be impressed by shit they couldn’t witness for themselves because they were just cum when it happened the first time. So rather than continue being the same ol’ KevinSmith that all these movie sites kept insisting I was, I practiced my game, skated night & day, and learned to stay out of the scrum & figure out where the puck was going. I stopped being the KevinSmith they loved to bitch about; the KevinSmith they chided to change. So I changed. And guess what? Now they’re bitching about that? And trying to scare me with some booga-booga bullshit about hurting my career. Like I said: the game’s rigged. So why play it on THEIR terms? KobayashiMaru that shit: at the very worst, you get bitched-out by cowards. At best? You BECOME James Tiberius Kirk.

Shortly afterwards, Smith  extended an offer for up to 48 movie webmasters to go to his house for a screening of Red State, which prompted a whole other wave of hand-wringing and further questions. I’ll address the implications of that offer in a separate post.

  • Anonymous

    After following Kevin Smith for years and (generally) enjoying some of things he had to say, I had to pull the plug halfway through this garbage. It's interesting that a man who prides himself on being able to write for a living has no grasp on what makes Twitter enjoyable.

  • Anonymous

    Kevin is a indy film director at heart, good on him for trying something different. I hope RedState works out for him, maybe it will be a good option for other film makers to get their pet projects made. The studios are not going to continue to give people like Richard Kelly money if their films cant get mainstream success. A RedState model could allow people like him to make niche films, and still make a profit for the investors.

  • Jason Meyes

    o god, i like the man, his movie, and certain podcast, but this is ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    I think the most interesting part of this entire post is the use of "webmaster" at the end.

  • Anonymous

    He may not have much self-awareness left and he may be reacting like a love-injured teenage girl, but he's not far off base and he is one of the few filmmakers with the power to pull this off. God bless him for trying something so bold. Heres one for all of us indy filmmakers without a voice or platform like his, left at the mercy of the "snark factory."

  • I'm sure Kevin Smith is not the first to do a no-press movie, I don't see why it has become this huge ordeal. Vincent Gallo never does any press for his latest movies, and is proud of it… then again, I haven't met anyone who has seen any of his new movies aside from Buffalo '66.

    What is the deal with Michael Parks, that I am curious about.

  • AdamB

    What is the deal with putting names together with no space? Is that his way of "being original"?

    Anyways, though this seems somewhat egotistical, I kind of agree with him. Not saying that everyone has to LIKE his films, but for those people to complain he isn't doing press is kinda stupid. Why should he? So they can prod at him and then write how great a guy he is, yet tear apart the movie after they see it? While you might not agree with what he's saying, at least he is done just putting on a smile and pretending to be something he clearly is not. My only question is: why now?

  • A Fan

    With the amount vitriol and just plain nastiness being directed his way by the movie blogosphere I can't say I can blame him. This is what separates a great critic like Roger Ebert from a lot of the online film critics.

  • I used to be mad at Kevin Smith. But now, I just feel sorry for him. He's mad and antagonistic not because it's in his nature, but because he is, to put it frankly, in a mid life crisis. He's at odds with hinself, his career, and people's reaction to him. He's angry at himself, but he's going to pin it on the film journalist just to have a scapegoat.

    For his sake, I hope he breaks away from this soon and becomes the Kevin Smith that we like once more.