I have been giving the above topic a great deal of thought lately. I have decided at this point, I will not listen to any commentary about how the movie was made, and what motivated whom to act accordingly.
At what point does art lose it's intrisic value? I say that when the artist has to tell you what he is thinking, then the whole point of exploration is lost. (That is why this sight is so cool) shameless plug...
I mean really, do we as the independant generation really want to be told how to interpret a character, a line, a thought? We are so spoon fed into believeing that we must know what the original intention is, to know how to think; I think it is becoming much to automated.
What is the value in knowing what Steve or Harry wanted from the Indy character? Can anyone tell me? Are we as fans too inept to speculate for ourselves. Is it worth $15 more to know why? Really?
I won't watch the directors commentary, just like I don't want people coming up to me asking me why I wrote a poem, what it means, where I was when I wrote it. Truely good art shouldn't have to be explained.
Well, I, for the most part, look at filmmaking from the standpoint of the auteur theory, so I would like to hear what Spielberg has to say.
It seems to me that I don't think the commentary would reveal much as to the story itself (motivations, etc.) but more about the behind-the-scenes filmmaking, and probably how it fits into Spielberg's ouevre, and also the genre as a whole.
i dont completly agree with you. some persons get irritated when people try to interpret their art, by saying what the artist thinks without knowing. its better to hear it from the man himself, what he was thinking when he created his art instead of hearing persons what they think he wanted to say.
am i making myself clear, sometime i have a hard time expressing myself in english
Did anyone ever see Annie Hall? Well, remember the scene in the line at the movie theatre?
At first while they make small-talk in the second movie line, Alvy (Woody Allen) tries to ignore the intellectual cant of a pretentious academic braggard (Russell Horton) standing behind them in the lobby who opines loudly to his date:
In the movie-ticket line, Alvy wishes to one-up and embarrass the pseudo-intellectual movie buff who loudly pontificates, claims to teach a course on TV, Media and Culture at Columbia University, and quotes extensively from influential Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan:
Alvy: What I wouldn't give for a large sock with horse manure in it. (He steps forward out of line and addresses the camera.)...What do you do when you get stuck in a movie line with a guy like this behind you? It's just maddening.
Even the blowhard speaks to the camera: "Why can't I give my opinion? It's a free country."
Alvy triumphantly brings on the real-life Professor McLuhan to tell the man he doesn't know what he is talking about. Media critic McLuhan conveniently emerges from behind a theatre lobby signboard to contradict the theories of the startled, pompous bore who is annoying Alvy (and to satirize himself):
I heard what you were saying. You, you know nothing of my work. You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing.
About this obvious, magically-fanciful situation, Alvy demonstrates the film's major theme - he turns to the camera and states that only in art can one re-shape reality and have such complete control over life:
Boy, if life were only like this.
The point is, you can't really know what the artist wants unless the artist tells you.
I can think of many reasons why there should be a commentary track.
First of all the buyer of the DVD should decide what (s)he would like to watch/hear. If you don't want the audio commentary, then you have the possibility to ignore it.
Second of all we don't require that the makers of the movie should explain everything. They have the microphone and they can talk about everything they want. If they don't like to talk about the character building, then they could talk about some stunts or how the scenes were made - it's up to them.
I really can't think of a reason why there shouldn't be an audio commentary. The best releases have audio commentaries, and I only expect the best from the Indiana Jones Trilogi.
Maybe we won't get the best from the DVD collection, I'm still looking for a confirmation of the audio commentary. So far I've only read about John-Rhys Davies doing a commentary track, but I would like a confirmation from Paramount.
EvilNazi i dont completly agree with you. some persons get irritated when people try to interpret their art, by saying what the artist thinks without knowing. its better to hear it from the man himself, what he was thinking when he created his art instead of hearing persons what they think he wanted to say.
I see what you are saying, and for a bit there I tried to agree with it, but then I got to thinking about art itself. If someone has to tell me how to interpret the art, it becomes propoganda. It also captures the art to a specific time period, and it loses it universiality. I think this goes for books, paintings, movies, anything really.
Independant? Hu? Most kids these days couldn't be let loose in the woods with a compass and a map...
So true. I just meant everyone likes to pretend they are independant, autonomous, self reliant, respectfull of privacy, but really: they are unique, just like everyone else. I just don't see me watching it at all. There is no need to, especially with a bar like this where we can make our own ideas about everything.
Independant? Hu? Most kids these days couldn't be let loose in the woods with a compass and a map... two weeks later you would find the kid crying sucking his thumb in the same spot where you left him!
You're going to listen to the Director's commentary... just so you can say you didn't miss a trick. You're going to get your money's worth... UNLESS YOU BUY THE FULL-SCREEN. [Oh, I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.]
No reason to harp on this subject, but it's true...we've never really been independent, in any age...most people are just a bunch of Babbitts...
In any commentary I've listened to, they're generally not talking about that stuff. They mostly talk about how the movie was made and that kind of thing. (I'm gonna go off on the whole "interviews make commentary pointless" issue here, but don't worry, I'll get back on topic!) And in that sense, they could leave it to interviews. But the thing I like most about the commentaries is the personality of it. Seeing a person or an event and saying, "Holy crap, it's so-and-so! Gosh, I haven't seen him in ages! Ha ha!" The little things that the filmmakers, cast, and crew are reminded of when they're sitting together and watching the movie. I love that stuff, and that's what you can't get out of the interviews.
As far as the whole "interpreting the movie" thing, I haven't heard that in any commentary yet. What commentaries did you hear that stuff in?