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At the risk of sounding like a shallow populist, I would recommend Roger
Ebert's DVD commentaries for DARK CITY and CITIZEN KANE (the latter of
which summarizes material from several sources, including Pauline Kael's
book on the film).  I also rather enjoyed the commentary on the MASK OF
SATAN (aka Black Sunday) disc, delivered by an academic whose name
escapes me now.  And the interspersed, almost competetive, commentaries
by Robert Altman and Michael Tolkin for THE PLAYER certainly illuminate
conflicts in the filmmaking process, although Altman is otherwise a dry,
ridiculously self-effacing bore on this disc.  Also insightful into the
filmmaking process are the director's commentary and behind-the-scenes
features on the JEEPERS CREEPERS DVD.
At all costs, avoid commentaries by Peter Bogdanovich, who spends his
time stating the obvious.  With a few occasional exceptions, you are
correct--DVD commentaries, particularly by more than one person at a
time, tend toward the insipid.


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Jonathan A. Cullum
Contracts & Grants Accounting
Auburn University
303 Samford Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849-5110
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>>> [log in to unmask] 9/20/2004 12:47:01 AM >>>
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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