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September 2004, Week 4


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William Rainbolt <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 23 Sep 2004 07:30:27 -0400
text/plain (80 lines)
I don't have a lot to add to all the helpful suggestions and comments on
various DVD editions, but I do offer two thoughts:

(1) I've have good luck with DVD editions that include the "Anatomy of a
Scene" feature from the Sundance Channel.  They can be quite helpful for
giving a class a quick introduction to several different aspects of
filmmaking, since they do break down several elements of the scene, showing
the process and the product.

(2) And speaking specifically of documentaries: I would suggest that a DVD
edition might even be able to challenge us to think about what we think we
know about a film or its subject based only on viewing the original release
itself, or put another way, when does a film end?  Specifically, I'm
referring to the DVD edition of "Capturing the Friedmans."  First watch the
107-minute original film, and think about it by itself.  Consider what you
think you know about the subject, the allegations, the family history (and
histrionics) what your interpretations and feelings are, what is said and
left unsaid, and so on.  Do a thorough job on that.  Then, watch the over
two-hours of added footage and information, and you may find yourself
thinking, "There's more to this story than the original film showed."
There's the film life, and then the after-film life, and . . . when does it
end?  What do we really "know" after viewing the release version of a film,
especially a documentary?

On the other hand, maybe DVDs just intensify the angst we already feel in an
information-overload world.

Bill Rainbolt

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bret Coale" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 3:24 PM
Subject: Re: [SCREEN-L] DVD Special Editions

> I have found that the special features on Robert Rodriguez DVDs tend to be
quite interesting, as he goes to great effort to bring the filmmaking
process to the viewer.  I have also found that films that were artistically
and especially commercially unsuccessful sometimes have very interesting
director commentaries regarding where things went wrong.  On the commentary
track for Disturbing Behavior, director David Nutter offers some insight on
how far a project can stray from a director's control when the studio gets
too involved.
> Henry S Breitrose <[log in to unmask]> wrote:After some initial
experiences with shallow or just plain silly
> commentaries on DVD "Special Editions," I wonder whether anyone has
> positive recommendations regarding DVD releases that have additional
> materials which in some way illuminate the film, the process of film
> making, or the art of cinema. Recommendations, please?
> Thanks,
> Henry Breitrose
> Department of Communication
> Stanford
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