The Fountain

Earlier this year we counted down our top 10 movies of 2006, and Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain placed #7 on the list. Despite that fact, I have not yet bought the film on DVD. You might be wondering why, and here is my answer: it’s a lackluster effort devoid of almost any extras (do production photo slide-shows really count as an extra?). We figured that there would surely be a double dip two-disc special edition worth saving our money for. Sure, we understand that the film was a box office bomb, but we still (like a lot of cult internet fans) think it’s a masterpiece. So surely Warner would take advantage of us right? Nope.

“As many of you can tell it is light on extras as compared to my previous DVD releases,” Aronofsky wrote on his MySpace blog. “Everything at the studio was a struggle. For instance, they didn’t want to do a commentary track cause they felt it wouldn’t help sales. I didn’t have it in me to fight anymore. Whatever.”

But don’t fret, Aronofsky has devised a plan to release a commentary track without the studio’s involvement.

“Niko, my friend who did the doc on the dvd came up with a novel idea. We recorded a commentary track ourselves. We’re gonna post it on a site soon, http coming soon. You can play it and watch the flick and hopefully you’ll enjoy it.”

This kind of thing has been done in the past. I think most notably by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the first volume of South Park DVDs. And I’m glad that Darren is doing this for the fans, but it’s sad that Warner was unwilling to do this from the get go. Heck, they lost my business, and I loved the movie. And it pisses me off that a movie studio can be so ignorant. The reason why DVD’s took off were because of the film fantic collectors who wanted the special features. And now it seems like (especially with the next generation formats) that we’ve been discounted as a minority of consumers that doesn’t matter.

But all hope is not lost. Darren still hopes to do a special edition at some point, but that can only happen if the standard DVD sells.

“I got a lot of extras in my bag so who know maybe if you all write to criterion they’ll get interested (suggest the fountain as a title: mulvaney@criterion.com). They’ve been into pi and requiem but because the first run of dvd’s had so many extras they didn’t know what else they could add. but the fountain…”

Criterion would be the perfect distributor for such a release. And honestly, they are running thin of classic titles to give the super-duper special edition treatment to (at least ones they can obtain distribution rights to). So if you have time, shoot them an email at the address above.

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