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From Russia with Love "literary" commentary (1 Viewer)

Sathyan

Second Unit
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Jun 17, 2002
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I was just watching From Russia with Love earlier today (it was a repackaged library copy so I don't know if it was special edition). This is my favorite Bond movie (and maybe my favorite espionage movie) so I've seen it many, many times. Not needing to hear the dialogue, I switched over to the commentary track.

This was unlike and commentary track I've heard before. Often they just point out people and how they got involved with the picture (Blazing Saddles), gather the gang together to sound like an "E" show (The In Crowd, Mallrats, Chasing Amy) or the better ones explain the production decisions (Requiem for a Dream, Amadeus, Moulin Rouge, Romeo+Juliet, Lola Rennt, etc). Many commentary tracks do not seem planned out (they may well be) but this was clearly scripted. FRWL had a narrator that introduced a number of segments with people from cast/crew explaining the production but in between offered literary criticism and context. He made comparisons (and pointed out divergences) from the Flemming novel and referenced other literary works when relevant.

Anyways, I thought it was really cool.

Please reply if you have any thoughts on this or know of other films with interesting commentary (for someone who's not in Film School and doesn't watch Entertainment Tonight)

Sathyan
 

Brian_Linnen

Stunt Coordinator
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Nov 15, 2000
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i think you'll find that all of the bond films up to (but not including) goldeneye have this same type of commentary track. most of them are pretty interesting, so check 'em out!
 

BrianB

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Apr 29, 2000
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Indeed, I really like the Bond commentaries - they're interesting & relevant, offering lots of detail behind the films & the production.
 

Jeff_HR

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I love the commentaries provided by John Frankenheimer on "The Train" & "Seven Days in May". It may just be me, but I find Frankenheimer's commentaries fascinating. Also you should check out the Lumet's commentary on "Fail-Safe".
 

Jussi Tarvainen

Second Unit
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May 10, 2001
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There's a wonderful analytical commentary track on the UK special edition release of "Straw Dogs" by Fremantle Media that has two (or was that three?) Peckinpah biographers discussing and dissecting the film. This track won't be on the Criterion disc, but Criterion's tracks tend to be great too.
 

Douglas R

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I agree with Jeff that John Frankenheimer's commentaries are excellent. They are very screen specific and comment greatly on the technical aspects of each shot. His commentaries appeals to those of us who like to know about the film making process. Roman Polanski's audio commentary for The Ninth Gate is similar. I'm afraid I don't like the audio commentaries for the pre-Goldeneye James Bond films at all. I find them extremely tedious because they are so anecdotal and non-scene specific.
 

Jeff_HR

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I agree with Jeff that John Frankenheimer's commentaries are excellent. They are very screen specific and comment greatly on the technical aspects of each shot. His commentaries appeals to those of us who like to know about the film making process
Exactly right Douglas. I'm wondering if Frankenheimer recorded a commentary for the upcoming "Black Sunday" before he died?
 

Mark Zimmer

Senior HTF Member
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Jun 30, 1997
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I haven't heard the UK commentary for Straw Dogs, but I just heard the Criterion one (also by a Peckinpah biographer--how many bios does his man have??) and it's quite excellent as well, with the right amount of thematic and technical analysis, anecdote and historical perspective to make for a very fine track.
 

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