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Entertainment Weekly


Being John Malkovich

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Ready for yet another John Malkovich head trip? The Special Features on the new ”Being John Malkovich” DVD (1999, USA Home Entertainment, 112 mins., R, $24.95) are as intriguing as the mysterious 7 1/2 floor in the film (”Low overhead, m’boy!”). In fact, ”Malkovich”’s digital extras set new standards in DVDelights. There’s a must see featurette on ”the Art of Background Driving,” which shows how bizarre the extras hired to drive on movie set highways tend to be (”You could literally have just gotten out of prison and gotten a job doing this,” one driver says).

Even more subversive is the exclusive DVD interview with director Spike Jonze, which quickly starts looking like Barbara Walters’ worst nightmare. The segment begins with a warning: ”The director’s interview was conducted under duress and should be used for information gathering purposes only.” Good advice, since Jonze isn’t in top form, having just wrapped his first big screen feature. As the interviewer lobs softball questions — ”Were you surprised by how easygoing Malkovich was on the set?” — the director gets paler and paler until he runs out into traffic and loses his lunch (literally). Sure, it’s probably staged, but we defy you to figure out how the prop master passed Jonze the can of vegetable soup so seamlessly. Talk about a revealing interview.

While a director’s commentary and some behind the scenes footage might have been nice, all in all the features on ”Malkovich” will leave your head spinning. ADDITIONAL SPECIAL FEATURES TV spots; theatrical trailer; mini-featurettes on the 7 1/2 Floor and the art of puppeteering; cast and crew Biographies; the director’s photo album; and ”A Page With Nothing On It,” literally