Is Kevin Smith's "Yoger Hosers" as bad as people are saying?


MONTREAL — “Boy, you guys are in for a disappointment” Kevin Smith quipped, introducing the Canadian Premiere of “Yoga Hosers” at the Fantasia Film Festival this past weekend. Greeted by an extended standing ovation, Smith wiped away tears and was genuinely touched by the reception, mentioning that it rivaled a similar high point in his life when he received a standing ovation at Cannes.
At Sundance this past January, “Yoga Hosers,” a goofy, silly romp about two millennial Canadian teenage girls that face off against evil Bratzis, one-foot-tall Canadian Nazis made out of bratwurst, was met with frosty shrugs, many calling the film a new career-low for Smith. But as he explains (and later detailed in a tweet — see below) Smith acknowledges that he doesn’t have it all figured out just yet as a moviemaker, but still cares what critics think.
“I’m 45, still trying to figure it out, but by the end of this movie you’re going to be like he’s fucking confused,” he said, adding jokingly, “If you’ve seen ‘Tusk‘ you know I don’t give a shit anymore.”
The movies from Smith for the last decade or so have been overtly different than the slacker, socially relevant cinema he delivered in the ’90s. Then, he was an upcoming young director who wanted to change the way movies were made. “Clerks” was made for just $27,000, with Smith maxing out 10 credit cards, taking money from his college education fund, and selling his pricey comic book collection to make the film. The plot was simple: “I wanted to make a movie about two guys that talked about pussy and ‘Star Wars,’ ” he explained. It became a sensation, making $3 million dollars, becoming an anchor in the ’90s indie revolution, and Smith’s fanbase only grew from there.
Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp in Yoga Hosers 2016

Now he’s a 46-year-old filmmaker, who also happens to be a Dad, and has been following his own muse, keen to return to his own filmmaking voice after dalliances with Hollywood fare.
“What you are about to see is what I intended to be a kids movie. I made it for tween girls. I never made a kids movie in my life,” Smith said about his latest effort. “This is the movie I wanted to see when I was a 12-year-old girl,” the director added.
Smith was just supposed to give a quick introduction, but the seasoned storyteller wound up talking for almost an hour to a captivated audience hanging onto his every word. It was a treat listening to him explain his train of thought about how “Yoga Hosers” was formed and the personal significance of the film itself, which stars his daughter Harley Quinn Smith, and Lily-Rose DeppJohnny Depp‘s daughter, both making their first movie. “It was like summer camp for the kids, they learned film school on the set,” Smith said.
Johnny Depp’s presence in the film — the actor met Smith because their kids attended the same elementary school — was an inspiration in forming the film, with the actor obsessively phoning the director as French-Canadian detective Guy Lapointe, a character that would appear in both “Tusk” and “Yoga Hosers.”
Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp in Yoga Hosers (2016)Depp’s name surely brought out the curiosity factor with producers, and Smith recalls how he presented the project: “I walked into the offices of StarStream, the people that would eventually finance this movie, and I was just like, ‘Hi, I would like to make a movie for around $4 million bucks about two little girls in a cartoony version of Canada starring two kids that haven’t really acted before and, to be honest with you, one of them is my own kid and, they are gonna be fighting Canadian Nazis made out of bratwurst called Bratzis. Oh and, by the way, Johnny Depp is in it too.” Needless to say, the pitch worked.
Smith maintains that you can enjoy the film by simply reveling in the absurdities, saying, “It may not be your cup of tea, but just know that the spirit with which it was made was fun.”
“Yoga Hosers,” which Smith describes as “Clueless” meets “Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College,” opens on September 2nd.
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