Audio commentary thread

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iconogassed
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Audio commentary thread

Post by iconogassed »

I thought we had a thread somewhere but I guess not. Calling all genuine nerds.

The streaming explosion has made commentaries something of a lost art, but I still frequently listen, even for films I dislike. Sometimes especially for films I dislike.

Firstly, I guess, for those with the same affliction, whose tracks do you value most? What do you appreciate in a commentary?

Among living filmmakers I'd put Cronenberg at the very top. Open and unsurprisingly articulate about his influences and process, yet always emphasizes the importance of accidents and happenstance in art. His tracks are so fact-packed you'd think he had to be consulting voluminous notes along the way, and maybe he is, but it never seems like it. Always natural, never boring. And very generous in praise for his collaborators, which is always nice.

I think I've listened to at least half a dozen of his tracks, some multiple times, and will even put them on when I'm doing shit around the house. His commentary for Crash might be my all-time fave non-gimmick* track, but I'd like to give special mention to his track for the somewhat underrated Fast Company. He speaks of it with great affection (he raced cars in real life), and there is a wonderful moment when he realizes that a scene he assumed more or less lost has been restored to the film, and is delighted by it. It's a scene where the one of the characters pours motor oil from a company he despises on the bare breasts of two beautiful women.

Homecountry bias be damned: Atom Egoyan and Guy Maddin are also two of the very best. Egoyan's track for The Sweet Hereafter also features Russell Banks, the author of the novel, and it's practically a masterclass in itself in the art of adaptation.

Some more: (fave track in parenthesis)
Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers)
Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver)
John Waters (Polyester)
James Gray (Two Lovers)
David Fincher (Zodiac)
Steven Soderbergh, in particular his contentious commentary with Lem Dobbs for The Limey

* some great gimmick tracks:
Cannibal: The Musical - drunk commentary with Parker, Stone, and the cast
This Is Spinal Tap - cast in-character
Mutual Appreciation - commentary featuring the parents of the cast and crew
Computer Chess - commentary with a stoned Kent Osborne commentating as an unnamed "enthusiastic stoner". There's also a fascinating track with Deep Blue/Deep Thought programmer Murray Campbell. I love you, Andrew Bujalski.

I also love Vincent Gallo:
Gallo's Buffalo '66 commentary was deemed so consummately libelous that it was excised completely rather than edited down. My holy grail. My other holy grail is the unreleased track he recorded for Human Experiments with Linda Haynes.

I'll probably make a separate post for critic commentaries, but Adrian Martin and Eddie Muller I like a lot.

ribcage
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Re: Audio commentary thread

Post by ribcage »

Whatever you think of his movies, Paul W.S. Anderson is always open, honest, and informative about his movies. Gives alot of great background on his production process and isn't afraid to candidly call out things he wish he'd done better. Usually he's paired with his best friend producer Jeremy Bolt and they make a good pair.

Sometimes others are thrown in though and he gets drowned out. His wife and Michelle Rodriguez dominate the Resident Evil track with some sort of drunk girl shenanigans. Mostly fun because Rodriguez absolutely refused to pronounce Jovavich correctly, driving Milla up a wall over it.

iconogassed
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Re: Audio commentary thread

Post by iconogassed »

Haha, sounds great! I'm a PWSApologist but have never listened to any of his tracks, like a PWSAsshole.

ribcage
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Re: Audio commentary thread

Post by ribcage »

Event Horizon and Pompeii are both really good ones.

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