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The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein Rating:10.0/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by frankasu03 on July 6th, 2016:Find all reviews by frankasu03
This is an essential listen for any fans of documentaries, or prospective filmmakers out there. Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein are both participants during the commentary, and the track deftly switches between each narrator. The two never comment together, but each individually contribute a wealth of information about this project. Morgen begins by contemplating the very nature of documentaries, and if indeed they can ever truly be objective. He states he enjoys the "Rashomon" style of storytelling, and thinks that a fellow documentarian like Errol Morris has been underrated for his ability to revolutionize the form. Brett gives much credit to his editor, Jun Diaz, who proved to be a real master of the "After Effects" program that 'Kid' so heavily relies on the propel its' visual aesthetic. Although very common in documentaries today (like say any ESPN "30 for 30"), this program was remarkable in the way still photographs, sometimes from vastly different locations and settings, could be "matted" and superimposed to create a very dynamic picture. Also, the cinematographer John Bailey is exalted for his ability to turn Evans' homestead into a "technicolor" wonderland. As for the subject himself, Nanette details the "Dance of the Dead" that her and Brett underwent with Bob Evans. "The kid" wished for the more unseemly elements to be excised, namely his "Cotton Club" fiasco and the resulting affiliation with a murdered producer on that project. Up until the film premiere, Evans had refused to provide the narration to these darker chapters in his own life. Thankfully, a positive screening at Sundance, followed by praise from another mogul in Barry Diller, gave Bob the confidence to forge along with the film as we see it. As Brett Morgen states, Evans reign at Paramount encaptured a fascinating time in Hollywood. One stuck between the ruins of the studio system, and preceding the corporate takeover in the '80s. His place in this time is cemented, not just with the terrific biography, but by this documentary. Listening to this commentary, one gains a new appreciation for the art form, and learns some new things about this wild era in cinema. 9.5/10