What the world needs now: a DVD Commentary API

It's Rashomon meets Inside the Actor's Studio over at the Guardian, where Sam Delaney cross-references contradictory behind-the-scenes accounts from various score-settling or credit-grabbing Hollywood memoirs. His movie matching list: Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, Rosemary's Baby, Jaws...and Flashdance.

Truth is not exactly coin of the realm in Hollywood, Delaney notes, "but - with reference to this array of movie-making exposÈs - it can occasionally be pieced together." Good luck. Considering the sources he's quoting-- a talented megalomaniac (Copolla), a mobster (Sinatra), an delusional liar/raconteur (Evans), a slimeball (Esterhaz) a sycopantic snake (Bart) and a passel of betrayed writers and producers--a piece o' entertaining diversion is the best you should hope for.

What'd be more useful, though, is to open up the standard for DVD commentary tracks. Last year, Roger Ebert wrote about alternate tracks as a way for everyone to become a critic, which inspired the creators of DVDTracks.com. [The cool, movie-focused Tagline has a concise post on pre- and post-Ebertian developments in the alternate track story.]

Frankly, I'd rather hear people like Jaws editor Verna Fields talking about their experience making a film, than watch the hundredth fan make the same realizations about The Matrix Reloaded ("See the way Neo falls? Matrix-within-a-matrix!").

Bjork once said that when you break up with someone in Iceland, you usually stay on good terms, since you're probably going to be crossing paths the rest of your lives. Maybe if everyone knew they'd have a chance to air their side of the story--and to be refuted-- they might think once about being a pain-in-the-"arse" on the set. (Thinking twice seems a lot to ask; seriously, how many Godfathers has Iceland produced?)

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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