Movie Commentary Tracks Are Back—and They're a Trivia Goldmine

WIRED | 10/12/2018 | Brian Raftery
marisha (Posted by) Level 3
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Like most people, you’ve probably watched Get Out at least once. Maybe twice. But the best way to see Get Out is with Jordan Peele sitting right next to you.

Last spring, long before Get Out's eventual Oscar win, the movie was released on home video with a commentary track from its writer-director. A decade ago, in the pre-streaming era, this wouldn’t have been news: Back then, seemingly every movie got a commentary track, even Good Luck Chuck. Then the DVD market began to decline, and the commentary track went from a being standard-issue add-on to relative rarity. Even recent Best Picture nominees like Mad Max: Fury Road, The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave, and Spotlight were released sans tracks—bad news for anyone looking for behind-the-scenes intel on Mark Ruffalo's little-Ceasar haircut.

Years - Films—everything - Star - Wars - Jedi

In the last few years, though, several high-profile films—everything from Star Wars: The Last Jedi to Lady Bird to Get Out—have been released with commentary tracks. That means you can spend your umpteenth viewing of Peele's film listening to him talk about how he modeled the opening credits on those of The Shining, or how the film's title was inspired by a routine from Eddie Murphy Delirious. For casual movie watchers, such details may not be too thrilling. But for film nerds who absorb behind-the-scenes trivia and how-we-made-it logistics, tracks like the one for Get Out remain the cheapest movie-making education available.

I've listened to hundreds of commentary tracks over the last 25 years—a pursuit that goes back to the mid-’90s, when it was possible to rent a laserdisc player(!) and a copy of the Criterion Collection’s The Silence of the Lambs, and spend a weekend listening to Jonathan Demme and the film's cast and creators chat for two hours. That track remains a classic of the genre:...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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