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Kevin Smith's Secret Stash Kevin Smith

Book Review: ‘Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash’ by Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash, published by Insight Editions, is by and about film director/writer Kevin Smith. Actually its not really about Smith per se, but more about his life’s work to this point.

However, Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash is more than just a little book about “making movies”. This is a wonderful cornucopia of pictorial and written delights about every single project Smith has ever worked on. From the movie which first brought him to the attention of film lovers everywhere, Clerks, to his adventures into podcasting and live appearance (Hollywood Babylon, Silent Bob Speaks and others) this beautifully laid out coffee table book covers his entire career.

Scattered throughout the book are commentaries provided by the actors who have worked with him over the years. While not all of them have contributed to the book Ben Affleck, Rosario Dawson, Matt Damon, Selma Hayek, Chris Rock, George Carlin, and Jason Lee have all showed up in Smith’s strange little universe and some of them do make noises about Smith on these pages. Affleck in particular has been a repeat offender with his first appearance being in Mallrats and showing up in seven of Smith’s films in total.

As many of Smith’s films were produced by Miramax, Harvey Weinstein’s name shows up a number of times in the book. However, it’s important to note when Weinstein’s predatory behaviour was made public Smith immediately dictated any future royalties he would earn from projects produced by Weinstein should paid into a fund supporting the development of women directors.

However, most of the book is filled with far less controversial subject matter (Okay some people might have issue with Tusk and Jersey Girl but that’s a totally different thing) Of course with Smith being the ultimate fanboy’s fanboy, and given his friendship with the late Stan Lee, no one should be surprised at how often the creator of the Marvel Universe shows up.

Smith is an equal opportunity comic book freak and gives plenty of space to the DC universe. It helps that he’s directed episodes of both current incarnations of the TV versions of The Flash and Supergirl. Of course everybody knows how his alter ego, Silent Bob, was Batman obsessed in Mallrats – so his love of DC isn’t just recent history.

Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash doesn’t just contain commentary, Its filled with an eye popping collection of paraphernalia associated with the universe of his movies. While maybe not as elaborate as either the Marvel or DC universes it contains its own icons.

Since Dogma, the fast food chain Mooby’s has cast a large shadow over the View/Askew universe. From being the go to fast food joint for stoners Jay and Silent Bob to the setting for Clerk’s Two Mooby’s golden calf is an omnipresent figure. Of course as we found out in Dogma worshipping a golden calf can get you in all sorts of trouble, but that’s another story.

Inside this book you can not only find storyboards, script excerpts but a genuine Mooby’s Hash Heads container.(Hash brown potatoes – what did you thing it meant?) There are also script excerpts and treatments included. Make sure you’re careful turning pages as some of them are inserts in the book and not actually part of the text.

Like Smith’s movies Kevin Smiths Secret Stash might give off the appearance of being trivial and a bit silly, but when you take a closer look you find surprisingly hidden depths. Behind the self-deprecating jokes, the laughing at the universe, Smith’s work is heartfelt, intelligent and always quite pointed. 

Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash by Kevin Smith is a wonderful memento for any devoted fan of the man and his movies. Read it for pleasure and be amazed at how much you learn.

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About Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus is the author of two books commissioned by Ulysses Press, "What Will Happen In Eragon IV?" (2009) and "The Unofficial Heroes Of Olympus Companion". Aside from Blogcritics his work has appeared around the world in publications like the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine and the multilingual web site Qantara.de. He has been writing for Blogcritics.org since 2005 and has published around 1900 articles at the site.

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