Special features and bonus track

Whenever I watch a movie or a tv series on DVD, I try to listen to the commentary tracts. Unfortunately, I don’t often make it all the way to the end.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that the information the director, writer or actor provide is not interesting. Quite the opposite. But there’s something about the quiet and monotone voice that they often adopt to do the recording that puts me to sleep. I can sense the presence of the microphone and the padded walls of the recording studio. I can imagine them dressed in comfortable, messy clothes, sitting in the small room with a cup of coffee between their hands, watching the movie on a small screen, trying to bring back the memories of their work experience so that they can share it with us.

The soundtrack of the movie plays softly in the background as if someone somewhere had forgotten to turn off a radio. The voice on the commentary tract goes on an on. I sit there and I watch, motivated to stay awake and to make it till the end. After a little while, I decide that I can close my eyes for a minute because I’ve already seen the movie and the picture is not really necessary anymore. It reminds me of being read to as a kid. You know the book so well the pictures don’t matter anymore. Only the voice of the dear person who reads to you.


Sorry. Did I just fall asleep again? Damn.

Anyway, this weekend we watched the grand finale of Six Feet Under. It was intense and beautiful and good, just like everybody who saw it said it was. I had gotten pretty emotional while watching DVD number 3 – that funeral scene just about killed me because it was close to something I’ve experienced in the past – but I managed to calm down for the last episodes.

I listened to Alan Ball’s commentary track on the last show, which he wrote and directed, and this time, I managed not to fall asleep and sat through the whole thing, wide awake. It felt like the right thing to do to make sure I could « grieve » properly since the series is lost and gone for good.

Last night, I had a dream which I won’t describe here because it would be boring and I can’t remember the details anyway. Let’s just say it involved friends and family. There was nothing really special about the dream, except for the fact that the actual soundtrack of the conversations was set to a low level and the voice-over of Alan Ball was narrating the action. He was explaining why a family member said what he said, why someone was dressed with certain clothes, why someone else entered the room from the front door instead of the back door… Alan Ball was narrating my dream, providing a commentary track to my own universe. Now THAT is what I call special features.

As I said, I don’t remember the dream so well but I’m glad to announce that no one died in the end.

By Martine

Screenwriter / scénariste-conceptrice


  1. Wow, �a c,est cool!

    Et je me demande tout � coup ce que serait un r�ve comment� par Kevin Smith et sa bande de potes?

    Wow, �a serait d�mentiel!


  2. J’ai remarqu� que l’int�r�t des commentaires sur les DVD sont souvent proportionnel � la passion du cr�ateur pour l’oeuvre. On le sent bien dans ceux d’Alan Ball.

    Les meilleurs qu’il m’ait �t� donn� d’entendre sont ceux de Michael Patrick King sur certains �pisodes de Sex and the City. Informatifs, dr�les et passionn�s.

    Quelqu’un d’autre en aurait � recommander?? Un palmar�s personnel peut-�tre??


  3. Bonne question… M�me quand les commentaires sont bons, c’est difficile d’en garder un souvenir pr�cis.

    Je me rappelle que j’ai �t� fascin�e par les d�tails techniques concernant les tournages sous-marins sur le DVD de Blue Crush! ;-)

  4. I know I’ve said it before, but you *have* to get your hands on the DVD of Cannibal The Musical by Trey Parker (Matt Stone is uncredited on the side). It has the funniest and best director’s commentary, ever. Trey and his friends begin drinking as they’re settling down in the studio, and get increasingly drunk as the evening (and movie) wears on. They also get more honest and belligerent. You won’t sleep through it that’s f’sure, and it’s a great peek into anyone’s early years of low-budget filmmaking. Oh, and the film itself is ‘historically accurate’ so snap, it’s educational too!

  5. �coutez celui de Kenneth Johnson pendant les 4 heures de la mini s�rie « V » (l’originale).

    Un vrai bijou.


  6. C’est incroyable quand m�me comment le visionnement de m�dia film� se rapproche de notre souvenir de l’exp�rience d’un r�ve. J’ai parfois des r�ves o� des personnages de films se retrouvent parmi des r�alisateurs c�l�bres, des amis proches, et m�me des personnages venant de r�ves que j’ai fait auparavant. C’est une esp�ce de rencontre de plusieurs r�alit�s simultann�es.

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