insomnia and commentary tracks

September 14, 2010

I threw my Netflix into the machine and fired it up when I got back from the grocery store.

It’s the 39 Steps by Hitchcock.

I watched for a few minutes and then realized I’d seen it before.  So why was it still in my queue?  I looked at the special features and realized I’d requested the disc because I wanted to listen to the commentary track.

You see, I love commentary tracks.  I love listening to film makers discuss their films.  It makes them seem more than just flashing pictures on a screen.  It makes the movies seem like someone’s project.  Something important even if it didn’t seem that way to anyone else.

But I have a special spot in my heart for film historian commentaries.  Part of it is the history, part of it is the trivia but a big part of it is the tone they all seem to have.  That melodious even tone of voice that just lulls one into a sense of calm.

Which is handy when you have insomnia and you want something soothing in the background while you try to get some kind of rest even if your brain is still going a million miles an hour going over things you have no control over.

Marian Keane has a wonderful voice for commentary tracks.  I wonder if she’s done any others.

night

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