Thursday, November 02, 2006


The specs have been unveiled for December's Region 1 DVD release of Little Miss Sunshine. As well as the film itself, which is for most of its running time a nearly perfect piece of film craftsmanship, there is a commentary track by screenwriter Michael Arndt and directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, four alternative endings each with commentary of their own, the option to watch in Widescreen on one side of the disc or butchered up pan and scan on the other, some trailers, and a music video for the band DeVotchka.

The film's score was by DeVotchka and Mychael Danna. While Mychael and his brother Jeff are very experienced composers, having been responsible for such memorable scores as those for Where The Truth Lies, Exotica, The Kid Stays in The Picture and Tideland between them, DeVotchka were entirely new to it. The band's website says of Dayton and Faris' decision to ask the band to score the film: "After hearing You Love Me on Los Angeles’ famed KCRW radio station one morning, they looked at each other and said, ‘This is the sound of our movie.'"

Well spotted - it ended up working out perfectly. At least it did in the end. Danna was only recruited late in the day, and his brief was to help DeVotchka's songwriter Nick Urata transform his compositions into something befitting a motion picture accompaniment - but the sound of DeVotchka persists and Danna's hand is largely invisible for all of the ordering, compacting and expanding he must have done. Theirs is a wonderful collaboration, and another remarkable weapon in Little Miss Sunshine's arsenal.

Note that both the best and second best films of 2006 (so far) have Danna soundtracks - that's Tideland and Little Miss Sunshine respectively.

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