Steven Soderbergh is one of the most articulate and fascinating thinkers on film out there. The following is required listening, here’s to the king of the DVD guest commentary.
Steven Soderbergh and Tony Gilroy discuss one of their favorite films, The Third Man directed by Carol Reed. This track was recorded exclusively for the Criterion Collection in 2007.
“For the Warner DVD edition of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? the studio had Steven Soderbergh conduct an interview with director Mike Nichols and the result is one of the wittiest and most sophisticated commentary tracks ever. For the running time of the film, a listener is given the feeling of being in a private screening room with two Hollywood titans as they talk about a very important picture.”
Soderbergh performs a sarcastic mock interview with himself throughout the duration of the Schizopolis. This is, perhaps, the funniest audio commentary ever recorded.
The New Cult Canon: The Limey filmmaker commentary track. Soderbergh and screenwriter Lem Dobbs (a 53,000 word masterpiece of an interview with the screenwriter Lem Dobbs) discuss their film The Limey. While discussing the film, Dobbs bluntly criticizes Soderbergh for perceived “flaws” in the film and Soderbergh is put on the defensive for much of the commentary. Note: The chronology of this commentary track was intentionally jumbled by the studio to resemble the non-chronological ordering of the films narrative. It was intended to be this way. Bits of dialogue from Soderbergh and Dobbs conversation is replayed multiple times throughout the track as well. Again, this was how the track was meant to be.
- The Third Man (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1949) [Amazon]
- Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2006) [Amazon]
- Schizopolis (The Criterion Collection) (1997) [Amazon]
- The Limey (1999) [DVD] [Amazon]
THE THIRD MAN is one of the greats. A must watch for any visual storyteller.