Personal Velocity [DVD] [English] [2002]

Personal Velocity provides a mixed bag of extra features that still offer enough to make it worthwhile. Especially interesting is "Rebecca Miller and Cast," a 25-minute conversation that allows Miller and the three primary actors to talk openly about their experiences making the film. Also well-done is "Creating Personal Velocity," a 14-minute featurette that presents intimate behind-the-scenes footage. The lack of promotional narration or any specific structure matches the film's tone and offers a comfortable atmosphere. A feature-length commentary from Rebecca Miller would seem like a great idea, but her track has far too many long breaks. She speaks in very quiet tones and does inject a few interesting points, but there is just not enough to warrant a full viewing. The second commentary, with cinematographer Ellen Kuras and gaffer John Nadeau, does include some worthwhile material, but it also is far from compelling. Low-definition digital video photography makes it more difficult to evaluate DVD transfers, since the grain and muted colors are more inherent to the medium. However, this 1.85:1 widescreen picture does succeed in providing an easily watchable presentation. This disc also offers a full-frame transfer, which contains significant grain and lacks the clarity of its visual counterpart. Personal Velocity utilizes a decent 5.1 channel Dolby Digital transfer that presents the extensive dialogue understandably and effectively; however, it lacks much power and rarely utilizes the rear speakers.
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Special Features

  • Audio commentary with director Rebecca Miller
  • Audio commentary with cinematographer Ellen Kuras & gaffer John Nadeau
  • "In Conversation: Rebecca Miller and Cast" featurette
  • Behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • English 5.1 Surround
  • English, French, Spanish, & Portuguese language subtitles
  • Closed Captioned


Personal Velocity: Three Portraits
Three women whose lives have followed very different paths ponder their pasts and their futures in this omnibus film from second-time director Rebecca Miller, adapted from her acclaimed short story collection of the same name. Delia (Kyra Sedgwick) grew up in a fractured household; her mother abandoned the family when Delia was a child, and her father (Brian Tarantina) was a drug-addled loser who could barely be prodded off the couch. When she entered adolescence, Delia realized that she could use her body to get men to do as she pleased. While this gained her a feeling of power and self-sufficiency, it also earned her a reputation as the "class slut," and the end product was her marriage to Kurt (David Warshofsky). Greta (Parker Posey) is the daughter of a successful lawyer (Ron Leibman) who left her mother when she was young and offered Greta criticism rather than affection. Plagued with self-doubt, Greta is squandering her literary talents editing cookbooks and is married to Lee (Tim Guinee. When Thavi (Joel de la Fuente), a respected and successful young novelist, asks Greta to edit his next novel, it forces her to reassess herself on a number of levels. Finally, Paula (Fairuza Balk), yet another product of a fractured family, ran away from her mother and was homeless until she met Vincent (Seth Gilliam), who took her in and became her boyfriend. A year later, Paula is uncertain in her feelings about Vincent, unsettled to learn that she's pregnant, and startled after witnessing a murder while out clubbing with a friend; she hits the road again, and soon picks up a fellow alienated teen, Kevin (Lou Taylor Pucci), who bears the scars of a recent -- and very brutal -- beating. Personal Velocity: Three Portraits was honored with the Grand Jury Prize at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • John Ventimiglia
    John Ventimiglia - Narrator
  • Kyra Sedgwick
    Kyra Sedgwick - Delia
  • David Warshofsky
    David Warshofsky - Kurt
  • Brian Tarantina
    Brian Tarantina - Pete
  • Mara Hobel
    Mara Hobel - Fay
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