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September 2004, Week 4


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david tetzlaff <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 23 Sep 2004 01:58:05 -0400
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Most director commentaries are disappointing. Many makers you'd
expect to be interesting, aren't. They rarely discuss conceptual
issues of any sort. Good commentary tracks are often found on
otherwise mundane films, e.g. the director's commentary on Stir of
Echoes is very revealing about filmmaking. Other worthwhile
commentaries I've heard include Three Kings, and Even Dwarves Started
Small (Herzog is great, but there are two other folks on the track
who have little to say). The commentary on Texas Chainsaw Massacre is
revealing of the mindset behind the film (basically Beavis and
Butthead style  adolescent-sadist humor), and in some ways scarier
than the movie. But I think my favorite is Starship Troopers, which
is very funny among other things, as Paul Verhooven is at pains to
correct the impressions left by many reviewers who somehow failed to
see the satire in the film, and Verhooven's basically progressive
interpretation of the film as critique is regularly subverted by
screenwriter Ed Neumeyer, who seems to have darker pleasures lurking
in his interpretation.

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