Spike Jonze's brilliantly offbeat directorial debut Being John Malkovich comes to DVD in an equally quirky and thoughtful package that sheds light on the film's most intriguing details and also reflects its absurdist, fantastic feel. Along with the disc's widescreen transfer and Dolby 2.0 Surround Sound, it also includes special features that provide a portal into the film's world. The theatrical trailer and the pseudo-scientific TV spots -- which explain the film's concept of the "ripe vessel" -- are just the beginning: full-screen versions of the "7 1/2 Floor Orientation" and "American Arts & Culture Presents: John Horatio Malkovich, Dance of Despair and Disillusionment" also pull the viewer deeper into the Malkovich universe. The interview with a car-sick Jonze and the "page with nothing on it" are almost as inspiredly nonsensical as the film itself, while "An Intimate Portrait of Puppeteering" -- a profile of Being John Malkovich's expert puppeteer Phil Huber -- and "An Intimate Portrait of Background Driving" -- an interview with one of the drivers in the scenes shot on the New Jersey Turnpike -- provide more practical insight into the making of the film. Cast and crew filmographies and Jonze's photo album complete this enjoyable and detailed disc. Though commentaries with Jonze, John Cusack, Catherine Keener, or any of the film's other stars would have elevated this disc from "very good" to "great," like the film, it doesn't need to explain everything to be a unique and worthwhile work.
7 1/2 floor orientation
American Arts & Culture presents: "John Horatio Malkovich, Dance of Despair and Disillusionment"