Sunday, January 29, 2006

JT LeRoy and Van Sant

I bought it months ago. Sometimes I'm terrible about these things. I buy a movie on DVD and I don't open it or watch it for months. I like movies, but unlike CDs, which I devour the music from as soon as I possibly can do it, I just don't have the same drive or urgency towards them. You know the person who buys a book and it sits on the shelf for weeks to be read, if it is ever read at all? That's me with movies, though I do get around to watching them.

The movie in question this time is My Own Private Idaho by Gus Van Sant. I love this film. I saw it in the theaters and I've watched it several times since on video. When the Criterion Collection announced that they were releasing it on DVD, then I knew that I'd have to own a copy. I bought it the week it came out. We finally sat down and watched it on Friday night and I cannot say I'm disappointed. Terrific film and this print is beautiful.

After making dinner last night (a lentil soup with veggie sausages, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, basil, thyme, marjoram, bay leaf, cabbage, zucchini, and chard, salad with gorgonzola and a walnut oil dressing, and sourdough bread), I took a look at the DVD to see what the extras were on the DVD. If there was something interesting, then perhaps we'd watch it. As it turned out, Shawn was more interested in Danger Mouse.

However, while looking over the extras on Private Idaho, I was struck by the inclusion of something I hadn't expected. On the DVD is an audio copy of an interview of Gus Van Sant by J.T. LeRoy. If you're unfamiliar with LeRoy, she is one of the great swindlers caught up in the recent fraud memoir scandals. Susie Bright has written twice recently on her blog about being deceived by LeRoy. Now I see this audio track on the DVD and I'm more interested. I wonder if the Criterion Collection folks will remove it from future pressings? It could become a collector's item.

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