Thursday, May 22, 2003

Interview: "Punch-Drunk Helmer Says DVD Gives Movie New Life"

Video Store Magazine, Written By Joan Villa
May 22nd, 2003

When the surreal and oddly involving Punch-Drunk Love arrives next month, DVD special features will give viewers a glimpse behind the scenes of first-time Golden Globe nominee Adam Sandler’s offbeat characterization of a man searching for love.

The DVD will also explore the spare but romantic style of writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, who also helmed the critically acclaimed Boogie Nights and Magnolia.

The special edition two-disc Superbit DVD of the Revolution Studios film is due June 24 from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment at $28.96. It contains deleted scenes, a “Blossoms and Blood” featurette, a photo montage, 12 Internet teasers, a theatrical trailer, scene selections and 5.1 sound. It is presented in widescreen.

All those disc features mean “a second lease on life,” said Anderson in an online interview.

“It doesn’t affect how I would make the movie, but it certainly gets you going when you realize it’s going to be on a shelf for a lot longer than it was ever in the movie theaters,” he said.

“It inspires me to put my best foot forward in that regard in terms of transfer, packaging, etc.”

Anderson himself seems to realize that the film’s style is hard to capture in words, other than to advise retailers to tell customers, “It’s better than the film they just returned.”

He ultimately settles on staccato, but evocative words that tie together his goals for the film: “focus, color, lovely and romantic, to the point, pop, a hippie movie, really.”

In Punch-Drunk Love, Anderson uses color, an unblinking visual style and poignant background songs to juxtapose the blossoming of new love amid real-world work and family frustrations. It’s often gripping because the viewer is caught off-guard, never quite sure how the story will unfold or how to react to Sandler’s alternating moods.

When deciding which special features to include, Anderson said he seeks “a combination of what’s been lurking beneath the surface that helps complement the movie but doesn’t distract or deconstruct.”

That goes for the present disc as well. “On this movie, we had tons of extra music and artwork, and it was what we we’re excited about showing off and preserving,” he added.

Punch-Drunk Love also stars Emily Watson and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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