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New Podcast Provides Director’s Commentaries for Netflix Movies

Jeremy Milliner

There’s a special moment when you finish watching a film, right when the credits are rolling and you’re digesting everything that took place since the title hit the screen: Your favorite parts, the best performances, whether you’d recommend it to your friends and family. In short, you want to share your thoughts on the experience, want to hear what other people might have thought or felt. In today’s ever-growing streaming culture full of reaction videos, YouTube reviews, Twitter pages and more, it’s somehow become rare to get commentary from the actual makers behind the movie.

That’s what content creators Grant Sputore and Dave McDonnell are fighting to bring back: A spotlight where directors can discuss and comment on their recent projects, answering questions and describing the seed of an idea that grew into what audiences got to experience. Modern streaming provides quick, convenient access to thousands of features and TV shows, but nothing comes close to the level of insight that comes from a direct conversation with the mind behind the media. Sputore and McDonnel created a podcast called The Commentary Cast, the goal of which is to bring back that experience, starting with select Netflix films.

The Commentary Cast harkens back to the glory days of the director’s commentary, a once-commonplace point of interest for the more theatrically inclined. If you miss the option to switch on commentary (a feature that was once ubiquitous on DVDs), here you’ll find the same in-depth conversation with the program’s filmmakers, reviewing and breaking down their work.

Sputore, himself a director of Netflix’s “I Am Mother,” recommends listening to the podcast while watching the film featured in the episode of the week, but The Commentary Cast can be enjoyed equally on its own.

Most recently, the podcast has welcomed Zak Hildritch to discuss “1922,” his adaptation of Stephen King’s titular novella, Mike Flanigan, director of “Gerald’s Game”, and “Extraction” director, Sam Hargrave.

The episodes add substance to the features, offering insight into the decisions that molded these features into what they became, but they’re also an opportunity for the directors to share their own nuances and anecdotes that may not have come across, or cut scenes and ideas that remained on the cutting room floor. The directors involved are thrilled to have this chance to extrapolate on their finished products.

If Netflix wanted to make a huge splash, they could offer features like this for the cinephile crowd. They already have some making-of features for popular items like “The Irishman” or “The Queen’s Gambit.”

See the films for yourself with an £6 / month Netflix subscription, and tune into The Commentary Cast to hear what the creators have to add!

Films with Commentary Cast episodes

  • 1922

    20 October 2017

    A simple yet proud rancher conspires to murder his wife for financial gain, convincing his teenage son to participate.

  • Gerald’s Game

    29 September 2017

    When her husband’s sex game goes wrong, Jessie (who is handcuffed to a bed in a remote lake house) faces warped visions, dark secrets and a dire choice.

  • Extraction

    24 April 2020

    Tyler Rake, a fearless mercenary who offers his services on the black market, embarks on a dangerous mission when he is hired to rescue the kidnapped son of a Mumbai crime lord.

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