Method, Madness, and Metaphysical Mysteries

If you’re reading this you’re one of us. You see the patterns that no one else does. You find the answers to questions too bewildering for others to comprehend. But the deeper you dig, the more confusing things get. And then there are the shady characters who keep weaving through your journey. It’s a conspiracy, but you’re the only one who can see it! That path can lead only to madness. Or a movie. We all love a good conspiracy thriller, but we are mesmerized by a conspiracy plot where the answers one seeks may not exist in the material realm.

Under the Silver Lake, the latest film to explore a mystery that seems to defy the logic of science and reason, has been pushed back from its original June release date to December. Ostensibly it’s to give filmmaker David Robert Mitchell time to recut the movie. But could there be another, more sinister reason behind this delay? What exactly aren’t they telling us? Just who is really pulling the strings here?

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DVDs for 2/23/10 – Informants, Conspiracies, Parallel Universe Heroes and Nazi Zombies

My DVD of the week, Make Way For Tomorrow (Criterion), was reviewed a couple of days ago here. Of slightly newer vintage is The Informant! (Warner), a film that straddles multiple eras: released in 2009, set in the nineties, directed with seventies flavor and set to a swinging Marvin Hamlisch score that channels the groovy sixties. I reviewed this lightfingered film, based on a true story but directed with a jaunty snap and a deadpan style that makes the absurd cascade of complications all the more astounding and hilarious, on my blog last year here. “Matt Damon is a constant churn of gee-whiz earnestness, righteous indignation, nervous exasperation and self-aggrandizing swagger as Whitacre,” I wrote. “It’s a brilliant dance of charm and delusion delivered with an amiable enthusiasm and wavering resolve and accompanied by a running stream-of-consciousness narration of constant distraction… “

Matt Damon is The Informant!

The DVD features four deleted scenes which run about six minutes and were cut simply to move the film along; the scene with Damon and his FBI handlers, however, is a nicely understated bit that adds to a twist to their complicated loyalties. Exclusive to the Blu-ray release is commentary by Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns. Soderbergh is one of the better commentary track jockeys around, having talked not just over his own films but been a guest on other film tracks. He brings that talent as a moderator to bring Burns front and center in a discussion that ranges over all aspects of the film, from its inspirations (Burns initially heard the story told on the public radio show “This American Life”) to Soderbergh’s conscious shift in style to working with composer Marvin Hamlisch. Also includes a bonus digital copy of the film for portable media players.

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