Since the first days of DVDs, Gary has stoutly refused to watch the commentary track. If I try to watch the commentary he leaves the room in protest.
I can’t tell you why.
- Is it because an expert is telling him things he doesn’t know, and therefore he cannot be the expert?
- Is it because someone is talking over a movie and it’s sensory overload?
- Is it because it spoils the magic?
No, it can’t be that last one — he gobbles up all those “Making of” documentaries. In fact, he has rediscovered his set of discs for Blade Runner with every damn version of Blade Runner ever made, and I finally convinced him to watch the “work print” with the commentary turned on.
I watched him for the twenty minutes that he could tolerate of the commentary and I’m fairly certain it’s the first reason. Not being the expert makes him very cranky. (See all posts in which he has to listen to doctors or use repairmen.) He already gets a little cranky when I go to IMDB and share details he doesn’t know.
I suppose when he’s watching a movie his imagination is stimulated and he makes up his own reasons and motivations (such as the “suicide” at the end of The Heiress). Then he’s confronted with what the director actually meant and it enrages him and he becomes Gary Godzilla, squashing directors and smashing movie sets and rearranging them.
As it turns out, half of IMDB is transcribed director commentaries, so l’m good never seeing another. I’ll need to take some time to manipulate Gary into an expert position soon so he can get his expert fix in some constructive way.