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Stigmata (1999) Amazon
Director: Rupert Wainwright

Patricia Arquette whose work includes the great TV series Medium (nominated for 3 Golden Globes) stars in this very cool and stylish movie. Gabriel Byrne and Jonathan Pryce also star in Stigmata. I chose this primarily because I just love Patricia Arquette but, secondarily because Rupert Wainwright directed it. I wish he directed more films – we have not seen him directing nor producing in the past few years. The special features on this disc are few but good nonetheless.

    • Deleted Scenes: Father Alameda’s Suicide, Frankie and Steve get it on, Everything Goes Wrong at Work, Steve Scares Frankie, Frankie Stabs Herself, Alternate Ending
    • Director’s Theatrical Release and Alternate Ending Versions of the film
    • Natalie Imbruglia Music Video
    • Collectible 8-Page Booklet

The running commentary by Rupert is super. Except for the fact that you don’t have the option of English subtitles whilst the commentary is playing. Bad move IMO. What I really liked is the enthusiasm and love for movie making that Rupert has. He talks about the locations and how they impacted the film. In the introduction of Gabriel Byrne, he talks about how the camera work impacts our first impressions of Father Andrew. Also in the beginning of the commentary, he describes the weeping statue and how the effect was created as he does with many of the effects through out. Rupert discusses the music and how the editor Kenneth Karman brings it together for a particular scene. There is so much in the commentary. You have to check it out. He is a superb director.

The deleted scenes include: Father Alameda’s Suicide which was a discarded opening scene. There is no director commentary. Frankie and Steve get it on which sets up their relationship. Everything Goes Wrong at Work, extended version of what’s in the film. Steve Scares Frankie, showing the tension between them. Frankie Stabs Herself, deemed too graphic for release (during the possession scene). The Alternate Ending, I actually prefer the alternate ending to the theatrical release version.

The music video . . . well, it’s the music video.

The included booklet is pretty good too. A director’s introduction to the DVD. And in regards to the alternate ending he states: “I felt strongly that you — the home audience — would appreciate the chance to decide for yourselves which you prefer.” For me, I did prefer the alternate ending. In this booklet are: Stigmata: of Science or Miracles?, The Holy Inquisition, Power, Passion and Possession, Not Looking to a Saint, Byrne’s Confession, Divine Power . . . for a Pryce, The Lost Gospel of St. Thomas, Resurrecting an Un-Dead Language, Provocative Style for a Controversial Film, and Let’s be Frank. They are short pieces as the booklet is only 5 pages long.

Have you ever heard of an “Easter Egg?” That’s what hidden special features on DVD’s are called. You can find a lot of them online. There is one for this film too. Go to the disc’s main menu and there press the ‘arrow up’ key on your remote control (or computer keyboard) to highlight the circle on top of the Stigmata logo. If you press ‘Enter’ now, you will see a very cool Pre-Production Animatic piece of the subway scene that the folks from MGM have hidden there.

This DVD has something for everyone. I’m giving it 4 of 5 stars because there is no sub title during the commentary and there are so few extras. Directors and actors will like this DVD the most.

I give it ★★★★☆

Victor

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