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Editorial on DVD Expanded Editions

Posted By Joshua on January 21, 2003

The Village Voice has an interesting new article on how DVD has changed us. Here's a clip of it, head there for more if you like:

2002: the year of the expanded edition. While mass culture machines churned out spin-offs, replicants, and sure-shot franchise components, the sloppy-seconds market was stuffed to bursting with associative extras. Most recent big-budget flicks have been shot with the eventual DVD in mind: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with its bulked-up movie, two discs of docs, and miles of still art; Star Wars: Episode II?Attack of the Clones' virtual tech residency at Skywalker Ranch; Monsters, Inc.'s unsullied digital-to-digital transfer and interactive Pixar tour; Spider-Man with its exhaustive Stan Lee side-by-sides. Add-ons to art-house charmers like Y Tu Mam? Tambi?n don't evidence as much forethought, though Mam?'s home-movie-style making-of featurette holds its own with its post-facto sprung rhythms, jauntily documenting the tussles, pranks, and bear hugs among its playful cadre. Even dogs are getting their DVD day. If Unfaithful passed for high-camp trash, its DVD just keeps on giving: Hear Diane Lane's mezzo purr fawning over genius Adrian Lyne. Check out deleted chaff like Olivier Martinez wedging him-self between theater seats to go down on his Faberg?-orgasmic amour in an empty Woody-style matinee.

But what does all this cheap backstory do to the way we see ourselves as devotees? Fans? Even just casual renters seeking insight or escape? Why do many cinephiles among us remain DVD holdouts, avoiding the ancillary glut of push-button scholarship? While watercoolers everywhere are increasingly privy to awed swaps about the VR goggles used to film the CGI Moria Cave Troll, lots of Criterion collector types have never ventured past the simple "play" button. Resistance might be tied into the fact that, with the exception of laser disc techies, early DVD adopters tended to be Tecmo Bowl cum Madden "entertainment-center" dudes. To purists, especially those who did the pre-Internet legwork to learn about beloved directors and films, all this has an unpleasant, hair-of-the-dog, sweat-socky vibe (course, we said that about Hacky Sack and roofies and look at us now).

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