A Mighty Wind Christopher Guest

A Mighty Wind Christopher Guest
You don’t have to be a theatre buff to love Waiting For Guffman, and leashes weren’t required for Best In Show, but for A Mighty Wind, it really does help to have some consciousness — however cynically jaded or wistfully nostalgic — for the early ’60s American folk scene.

Loaded heavily with original compositions, all written by the cast (Michael McKean had the biggest hand there), A Mighty Wind kills this squeaky clean scene softly with its songs. But what came across as gentle satire in theatres can now give way to some deeper appreciation of the nuanced performances that Christopher Guest coaxes from his troupe of improvisers.

As he did with his previous two films, Guest provided an outline and character back-stories (co-written by Eugene Levy), and lets the cast improvise all their dialogue. Add the pressure that they all play their own instruments, sing their own songs and it’s all recorded live — including the climactic final concert — and esteem for this accomplishment only grows.

Naturally, a whole host of deleted scenes — almost another half-hour — flesh out this DVD, many of them songs cut from the final film. Commentary by Guest and Levy is more informative than hilarious, but there are plenty of guffaws to be found blowing in this Wind. Plus: TV broadcast of the final concert, band biographies, more. (Warner)