The filmmaker, author and podcast impresario will host a live watch party on Facebook during Monday’s streaming screening of “Mallrats” (8 p.m. ET), his 1995 comedy classic, with the event raising funds for coronavirus pandemic relief efforts.
“This is right up my alley,” Smith says. “Hanging out with a bunch of people that like my old movies? That’s all I ever do.”
The Facebook “Mallrats” screening is part of the Focus Movie Mondays, where Focus Features will stream a film from its library for free on Facebook.
Every screening will include a link to donate to the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s COVID-19 response fund.
Staying Apart, Together: A newsletter about how to cope with the coronavirus pandemic
“Help where you can, but if you can’t, don’t worry about it,” says Smith. “Not everyone can help, some people need to be helped. If you’re one of the people that needs to be helped, kick back, watch, enjoy the show. Don’t hit that donation button, don’t even think about it.”
Smith tells us he’s 20 pages away from completing the screenplay of the latest iteration of a potential “Mallrats” sequel, “Twilight of the Mallrats.”
With unemployment skyrocketing as the economy is hit hard by the global coronavirus pandemic, the retail-set “Mallrats” sequel-in-waiting can’t help but be informed by the current crisis, Smith says.
His screenplay is “being reformed, as we speak, by the pandemic, by coronavirus, because clearly this is something that affects us going forward, from now through all time.”
“Nobody’s forgetting about this. This isn’t a minor blip in the history of humanity. Everything we do from here on in the arts that reflects life is going to include this time in our history. It’s not like you can ignore it.”
Smith’s no stranger to hard times: He suffered a massive, life-threatening heart attack in 2018. His advice to anyone struggling through these trying days? Make something.
“You can record a podcast, you can build a bench, you can create a charity fund,” Smith says. “The act of creating something is the antithesis, the exact opposite, to destruction. So when we’re surrounded with so much destruction, it’s very therapeutic to create. It’s just standing in the face of adversity and being like, ‘Yeah, as everything crumbles around me here, I’m going to produce something.’
“It doesn’t have to be art, it’s whatever you feel like you can bring to the conversation. And I don’t mean create more negativity by let’s go online and (complain) about this. Look, everyone’s got it bad and stuff. Create in this moment, that is a great way to deal with destruction.”
The “Mallrats” sequel would be another chapter in Smith’s View Askew interconnected cinematic universe that launched with 1994’s “Clerks.”
The filmmaker, who returned to View Askew with 2019’s “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” also announced last year that he was at work on a third “Clerks” film that would reunite him with original stars Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson and Jason Mewes.