. I’m a big fan of a good audio commentary sometimes I’ll like it more than the film. After championing Lucas’s commentary on THX or an unlikely great commentary by Steven Sodenberg and Tony Scot on the Third Man it got me thinking which is my favorite and what other hidden commentary gems are out there. I think I personally so far love hearing Wes Anderson on his commentary tracks for criterion and at this time am loving listening to Zulawski on the mondo releases.
SO WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE OR UNLIKELY FAVORITE AUDIO COMMENTARIES?
Martin Scorsese on the Black Narcissus criterion release is prob the one I’m looking forward to the most. I also really love Polanski’s commentary track on the criterion Repulsion release.
Fincher’s commentary on Zodiac immediately comes to mind. His commentaries are always great though. I still haven’t listened to his commentary on Chinatown, which I imagine would be awesome.
One of the more “controversial” commentaries is the one Soderberg and writer Lem Dobbs did for The Limey. I haven’t listened to it yet but apparently Dobbs was not all that happy with how the film turned out (or should I say, how certain elements of his script were left out of the film).
Yeah its funny you mention Fincher he’s another one I like his commentary tracks almost as much as his films Zodiac was great but am I alone in saying I was dissapointed in the BENJAMIN BUTTON commentary he kept talking about the mechanical baby and Fitzgerald.
A Polanski CHinatown commentary s just a godsend I didn’t even now existed.
I’ll look out for The Limey commentary track I haven’t really heard it when theres actual tension on a track that sounds great. I have heard Zulawski just put down Daniel Bird on some of there tracks together.
Terry Gilliam with Brazil
John Carpenter and Kurt Russell with anything they did together
Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg with Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead
The Dobbs-Soderbergh commentary is pretty infamous. Dobbs makes it known how unhappy he was about the changes in the final product and has some low blows for Soderbergh such as describing lines as ‘Tarantino-wannabe’. Dobbs also is annoyed the stuff Soderbergh followed ended in critical praise for Soderbergh than his script.
Does anyone ever feel a commentary can enrich and teach you about your own work. Is it a valuable referance for film students I think so? oh and HERZOG commentary is also a must his commentary on AGUIRRE is just fascinating. It’s just too bad Kinski never did a commentary.
Yea Gilliam on Brazil is also one of my fav’s. I’ll look out for any Carpenter Edgar Wright and simon pegg are probably really funny But this Limey commentary sounds great it ma be worth it just to pick it up is the commentary on just any release for The Limey?
The best recent one I’ve listened to is David Fincher on the The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo blu-ray.
“Is it a valuable referance for film students I think so?”
Yes, definitely when talking about Fincher’s commentaries since he puts so much effort in his DVDs to create a sort of “film school in a box”.
I also thought it was interesting hearing Lumet talk about shooting digital on the commentary for Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.
Oh how I wish netflix offered extras and supplements like commentary on movies streaming. I’d love to hear Lumet talk about his last film and shooting digitally so much so it may be worth buying the dvd even though I have a roku. I think its strange when certain directors avoid the commentary Inarritu sais its like a magician revealing his secrets so I really appreciate a commentary I love Finchers commentaries so far Seven, Fight Club and Benjamin Button have all been great but the most enlightening have been Wes Andersons surprisingly enough. Herzog is a real treat cause you don’t usually get the Masters wich is why Lumet is so intriguing is there a Godard commentary out there???? Commentaries have been valuable for me if you ever want to put your work (if you inspire to make films) into perspective.
Thanks for your comments.
Gene Youngblood on L’Avventura
oh, and Altman on McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Wonderful.
Altman’s 3 Women commentary was very informative.
Another great Martin Scorsese commentary is on the Criterion Thief Of Bagdad, where it alternates between him and Francis Ford Coppola. It’s really great.
Wow! that sounds great another dvd maybe worth getting for the commentary and I’v never seen the film and want to..thanks.
David Bordwell on An Autumn Afternoon
Kent Jones on L’Argent
David Ehrenstein & Bill Krohn on The Savage Innocents
James Gray & Steven Soderbergh on The Yards
Laura Mulvey on Journey to Italy
I like ANYTHING John Frankenheimer did…he was so into it…it was informative, entertaining, etc…he LOVED making movies!
strangest….the two tracks of audio commentary on THE LAST OF SHEILA (Richard Benjamin & Dyan Cannon on one track; Raquel Welch on the other).
peter greenaway’s commentary on a zed and two noughts is great
I recently listened to Julian Fellowes’s commentary on Gosford Park and found it to be incredibly illuminating.
Also I have never ever got tired of John Lurie’s commentary on Fishing With John.
And actually… some schlocky commentaries that I’ve always kinda loved are Joe Bob Briggs on I Spit on Your Grave, and Roger Avary on Day of the Dead.
AND, I must say, the Criterion commentary on Spartacus contains an astounding collection of film legends. Very rare, very special.
Oliver Stone has incredibly informative, insightful audio commentaries, particularly on Nixon.
I’d also say that Guillermo Del Toro’s commentaries are very educational if you’re interested in production design.
Is that Greenway commentary on the BfI release of a Zed and Two Nights?? I’d love yo hear Greenway Del Toro and John Lurie. And I’ll have to dig up that Spartacus release.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s commentary for Boogie Nights is really entertaining and interesting.
On what release is that on? Is it on the old one or the new Blu Ray release? Thanks
I have the DVD which I assume is the original and only copy. It has two commentaries: One with PTA by himself and one with him and a few of the cast.
Oh c’mon, people! Commentary: The Musical on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog!
(Though a great runner-up would be the “commentary” on the Blood Simple Director’s Cut DVD by MGM)
Roger Ebert on Citizen Kane.
Martin Scorsese on Raging Bull with Thelma Schoonmacher and also his one that he did on Last Temptation of Christ.
The two commentaries for Taxi Driver: one by Paul Schrader and the other by Robert Kolker.
Which edition of Citizen Kane is the Ebert commentary on?
@Rupert It’s the Warner Bros. DVD edition. I don’t have Blu-rays, so I don’t know if there is another edition that features Ebert’s commentary. The edition comes with another commentary by Peter Bogdonavich, (which, by the way, might be one of the worst ones I’ve ever heard!) and a documentary called the Battle Over Citizen Kane on a second disc.
Abel Ferrara on King of New York