THE 5 BEST QUOTES FROM MICHEL GONDRY’S BEING JOHN MALKOVICH COMMENTARY
someone at Criterion got the brilliant idea of getting Spike Jonze’s close friend / arch-nemesis Michel Gondry to record the commentary track on their Being John Malkovich release. some legal shenanigans have prevented Criterion from using the entire track, but the selected-scene commentary that’s included on the disc packs an absurd amount of genius into its 57 minutes. Gondry isn’t shy about his bitter rivalry with Jonze — most of the track is a hilarious meta-commentary on the perils of jealousy among artists, as Gondry, to put it generously, gets a *bit* distracted from the task at hand.
this is something that you should really experience for yourself, so all the quotes i’ve included below have been plucked exclusively from the first 15 minutes of the commentary. it only gets more amazing from here. trust.
(note: best read with a very thick French accent. all of Gondry’s imaginative sentence structure has been kept intact)
Gondry on the opening credits:
“What the fuck? I didn’t do this movie! I’ve been tricked.”
Gondry discussing an encounter he and Spike Jonze had when they were struggling to get their first films into production:
“We run into the guy who did Buffalo 66 (Vincent Gallo), and he said he’s gonna retire from movies and become a lawyer. And he’s such an asshole, talking to us who are struggling to have a movie made and he’s complaining cause he has too much work? I felt like he was, uh… just an arrogant bastard. So everyone hate him after this commentary.”
Gondry on the introduction of Mr. Lester:
“I don’t know who this actor is, I bet he’s not alive anymore. It’s kinda gross to watch movies, everyone is dead… I remember watching the movie and thinking the shoes of the guy survived the guy, the guy was dead, but maybe his shoes were somewhere still functioning. Anyway, I’m supposed to be talking about this movie… who is this actor? [Gondry is told it’s Orson Bean] Is he still alive… [a few moments pass] Great news, Orson Bean is still alive.”
Gondry on the Malkovich portal:
“Charlie imagined more of a vagina, but Spike imagined more of an asshole, I guess it’s just a matter of taste.”
Gondry trying to get back on task:
“Jealousy is a very ugly feeling, and i hate to have this feeling, so the best way to get rid of it is to say to everyone, and this is retarded because everyone thinks i’m a bitter person, which i don’t think i am. Oh, here he’s finding the portal.”