“If you’d like an apology, I’m glad to apologize,” ABC movie critic Joel Siegel said to Clerks 2 director-writer Kevin Smith on the radio this morning for walking out of a critics screening of Smith’s film.
“And if there’s a second movie I walk out on, I’ll be much quieter.” And then Siegel confessed mid-conversation that he didn’t know he was talking to Smith. It’s pretty funny — give it a listen.
As he explained on View Askew, Smith said he wasn’t steamed about Siegel walking out of the screening as much as theway he did it.
“I can’t fault Siegel for feeling ‘revolted’ by our flick,” Smith
wrote. “There is a donkey show in it, and I recognize that brand of whimsy might not be for everybody. Film appreciation is very subjective, and maybe Joel just isn’t into ass-to-mouth conversations.
“However, I can fault him for the manner in which he left the screening. Apparently, rather than quietly exit, Joel…made a big stink about walking out, calling as much attention to himself as possible, and being generally pretty disruptive.
“Roughly forty minutes into the flick, when Randal orders up the third act donkey show, Siegel bellowed to his fellow critics ‘Time to go!’ and ‘This is the first movie I’ve walked out of in 30 fucking years!’ Now, I don’t need Joel Siegel to suck my dick, but shit, man — how about a little common fucking courtesy?”
Houston critic Joe Leydon asked this morning if Siegel also bolted “during that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin in which characters described a woman having sex with a donkey”? Probably not, I’m thinking, since it was just dialogue. But then Smith, who’s never depicted anything particularly raw or throbbing in his films, doesn’t really “show” anything. In fact, I could imagine someone out there beefing about the Clerks 2 donkey scene not being rude or envelope-pushy enough.
Here‘s what Manhattan publicist and marketing guy Reid Rosefelt has to say about the whole magilla. I agree with him — critics are professionally obliged to see the whole movie. Columnists, on the other hand, can do whatever they want. They can walk out and then write a piece about how proud they were to have done so, or about the soul-stirring joy that comes from any well-motivated bail-out. Or they can run a piece about the best theatres to take a short nap in (i.e., the ones with the most comfortable seats). Or, to shift gears, a columnist can watch a film all the way through and do the usual-usual.