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7 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Ghandi's Cotton Hankie

Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach
11 January 2007

I don't know what the future media will allow. It used to be a blessing that we could simply watch an old movie without waiting for the market to bring it to a screen controlled by someone else. Then came the DVD and "extras." Its rare that these expand the cinematic experience for me. That's because there are market forces that apply to them, apart from the film itself, and those forces don't deliver true.

The problem is that many movies are an experience between the filmmaker and us, and often that filmmaker is following a set of urges he or she doesn't fully understand by sees and trusts. Sometimes, hearing from the filmmaker outside the film expands on that experience, but its often the case that the filmmaker is making up a story that sounds good. These are storytellers after all, and they'll want to spin a metastory that supports sales, or their own legend.

And as often, the filmmaker will say something that is actually a matter of concern but not central to the art. Very rarely will you find an artist of any stripe who knows what he is about and why — and why it matters to us. Cronenberg is more of an intuitive, but I have heard him speak about his work in terms that is both interesting and illuminative. Not so much about the art himself, but his motivations and what satisfies.

This film is a movie made by his wife during the shooting of what I consider a failure: "History of Violence." It features all sorts of "home movie" shots of people involved in their craft, actors ruminating on what they are doing, and David in the act of setting up shots.

Well, I suppose it is something to learn that he doesn't storyboard. But the problem is that what we get is mostly from people who contribute to the thing but don't understand the thing — apparently don't have the will or matter to understand. So we just get drivel.

Worse, as with most of these, we get the actors speaking. Actors are fine in my book, and I do wonder about how they do their craft. But its not in an actor's portfolio to understand the grand composition — they just have different, often conflicting concerns. They live in different worlds.

Maria Bello is quite adequate in what she does here. But in real life, she's a nitwit, and anything she says about this film detracts rather than adds. I recommend you watch the film, and ignore this "extra" on the DVD.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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