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...After seeing Magnolia -- making myself sit through the offensive scenes -- I realize I've been missing a lot. The world of film is opening to me and I to it.

...as the layers peel away, and we see their pain, regret, fumbling repentence, and the grace, we see they are, after, just like us. Like me.

Wow, what an inspiring post, Annelise! Yes, that's exactly what excites me so much about movies. And plays, and novels, and getting to know people who are different from me.

I had a literature teacher who told the story of a literature teacher he had who was approached by a young student after the first class in a literature course. The student challenged him: "Why are you making us read all these upsetting books? Will they make me a better Christian?"

The professor wisely responded, "No. But if you read them, there will be more of you to be Christian with."

I love that.

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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After seeing Magnolia -- making myself sit through the offensive scenes -- I realize I've been missing a lot. The world of film is opening to me and I to it.

My impression of seeing Magnolia just once was like watching a peeling away of that proverbial onion. That yes we are offended by these people, what they're doing to hurt themselves and others, just the way I am offended with watching them on screen. But as the layers peel away, and we see their pain, regret, fumbling repentence, and the grace, we see they are, after, just like us. Like me.

I watched Boogie Nights yesterday, and while I'm still digesting it, I thought I would find other PTA-related threads. I avoided Boogie Nights for years because of its subject matter, but now I'm glad I saw it (but, yes, it is hard to sit through some of it).

I think Annelise's comment sums up Magnolia--and Boogie Nights to an extent. I want to go back and check out Magnolia again; I've owned it for years, but only seen it twice. I really like the movie, but I feel like I see it again.

One tangent--something I've always appreciated about Anderson is his attention to musical detail, specifically the musical web he's be caught in. He begged Michael Penn to score his first movie, Hard Eight. Penn scored the non-period music portions of Boogie Nights, and also played the role of Nick the music engineer. Magnolia revolves around Aimee Mann songs (who happens to be Michael Penn's wife, and has had her albums produced by Penn), but also has an original score by Jon Brion. Jon Brion also scored Punch-Drunk Love, played a guitarist at the award ceremony in Boogie Nights, and has played on Aimee Mann's albums with Penn. Oh, and Mann and Brion have also added instrumentation or song engineering to Penn's work too. Should I mention that Anderson has dated Fiona Apple, who has had some work produced by Brion?

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Ok. I'll follow that tangent. I love Anderson's musical choices. I can't hear "Jesse's Girl" anymore without thinking of the drug deal in Boogie Nights. The moment when the camera lingers on Dirk/ Walberg's face is profoundly spiritual to me. God seems to be tapping him on the shoulder, lovingly asking "What are you doing here?". The first time I saw it I was always dissappointed that the encounter with God does not seem to last.

Also, Brion's music in Punch Drunk Love is really effective in putting us in Barry's head space. (Not that it's a great place to be, but it is effective.)

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Seems like Anderson has good taste.

You are aware that the "Magnolia" soundtrack includes two songs by Supertramp? I mean, one would be bad enough, but two...

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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Seems like Anderson has good taste.

You are aware that the "Magnolia" soundtrack includes two songs by Supertramp? I mean, one would be bad enough, but two...

Since you mentioned it, I think the Supertramp songs really work in those scenes and they fit with Anderson's style as a whole. The music and his films have just the right mix of are quirkiness, sadness, irony, and sincerity. William H. Macy's "sins of the father" bar room scene in particular.

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Seems like Anderson has good taste.

You are aware that the "Magnolia" soundtrack includes two songs by Supertramp? I mean, one would be bad enough, but two...

Since you mentioned it, I think the Supertramp songs really work in those scenes and they fit with Anderson's style as a whole. The music and his films have just the right mix of are quirkiness, sadness, irony, and sincerity. William H. Macy's "sins of the father" bar room scene in particular.

Yup. Terrific songs, in or out of the context of the film.

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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Bumping for reference to discussion in the Top Directors of the Decade thread.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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I found a couple more "8:2"s on my recent Magnolia watch, enough to do an internet search, and I found a great article on it Here.

In addition to all these, the license plate on Julianne Moore's car is a math problem that equals 2 and 8.

There are moments in THE SCENE that last approximately anywhere from three to ten seconds, and I wish they would last so much longer, as I want to hold onto it and slowly take them all in. These added up are what launches Magnolia from just another film, into the fourth dimension of existence. It platoons into this perfect filmic rhythm, little tragic strengths that pile on top of each other; these strengths overwhelm both the eye, at the actual physical miracle taking place, and the heart, in the hope that this is going to bring a shock the system. We hope that a shock might bring along with it, grace. These are simply dynamic moments to take in.

On this recent viewing, my favorite of all these reactions in THE SCENE, is when Claudia's mom busts into her apartment. She immediately grabs her and holds her and says, "It's OK, it's all right..." She is consoling her for both the strangeness of the situation outside, and over the conversation she just had a few minutes ago with Claudia's dad. The camera pans to a painting on the wall, and in the middle of this moment, rife with chaos, a note at the bottom of the painting reads, "But it did happen." Yes, that can be taken two ways for the consolation of Claudia. Maybe even three. It happened

years ago when she as molested by her dad, it happened in the torture of her addiction to drugs, and it was hard to believe what was happening now, with the frogs falling from the sky outside, but believe it or not, "It did happen."

I love how that one small sentence, four tiny words, takes on so many definitions and a huge weight of meaning.

The point being that she was being consoled, but that she'd been through a lot that she would never be able to outlive.

PS. Links to Punch-Drunk Love and

There Will Be Blood, for the future.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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QUOTE(kenmorefield @ Jun 28 2005, 01:37 PM)

P.S. As long as I'm in the crosshairs, I could always go for the trifecta by nominating MAGNOLIA. (<-----makes gagging sound)

Request: everyone who gave Magnolia 4 or 5 points should be required to watch it again immediately before the next vote because, believe me, that film hasn't aged well. I tried to watch it a few weeks ago and only got through about an hour of it.

It was I, who have seen it many, many times, who suggested MAGNOLIA should be given the boot.

Was it only six years ago that saying Magnolia blows was enough to get you shouted out of a thread for A&F heresy?

I guess the down side of getting many of your posts purged is that you don't get to say "I told you so." But...there are enough embedded quotes in this thread that I can say "I told you so."

P.S. To Stef, yes, I have read Doug's article, several times. I think it's a brilliant article, and much more interesting or successful than the film.

Just for future reference/lobbying purposes, I'm also 100% in the anti-Magnolia camp. I think Punch-Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood are both great films. I'm even willing to admit that Boogie Nights may have held it's own particularly limited charm. But wow did I hate Magnolia. I've loved almost everything that I've seen for the first time due to the A&F Top 100 list. Magnolia is the long, messy, long, pretentious, and loooooonnnng exception. I realize, from looking at this thread, that it has some powerful A&F allies. And if you got something valueable from it, I'm happy for you. But this is the one film on the list I am never ever going to get. Heck, it just moved up in the list from 58 to 16 ... it moved from 58 to 16??? Yes, yes it did.

It's not going to stop.

It's not going to stop.

It's not going to stop.

It's not going to stop.

It's not going to stop.

It's not going to stop.

Edited by Persiflage
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PTA makes some really great films. Magnolia is head and shoulders above the rest. Anyone that doesn't say so is an idio---

JUST KIDDING ALREADY, everyone just calm down

Hey, Pers. Look at the bright side. At least it wasn't as loooooooooong as Ikiru, right? Cuz I swear that film went on for weeks.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Heck, it just moved up in the list from 58 to 16 ... it moved from 58 to 16??? Yes, yes it did.

I mentioned this in one of the general Top 100 threads already, but before the next session of voting, I'm going to beg everyone to rewatch Magnolia. I liked parts of it when it was first released (the prologue, William H. Macy) and can understand what people see in it, but I tried to rewatch it recently for the first time in nearly a decade and couldn't make it past the first hour.

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I think this is one of those films where a case can be made that it plays out better on a movie screen than a TV screen. I saw it several times in its original run, and never tired of it. Bought the DVD when it came out, and could never get through it. I thought, well maybe it's not as good a I remember. Saw it again two years on a big screen, and absolutely loved it. Have tried since to watch the DVD... it just doesn't lend itself to the same experience. I have a hard time thinking of another film where I've reacted so strongly in a negative way to the home viewing experience.

As for Top 100 Spiritual Films, I'm on the fence about that. But that's not to say I couldn't find myself recommending it strongly for one of the satellite "Top Lists" that A&F is going to pursue.

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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It's been years since I've seen it, but I watched on home video (27 inch screen even) and was utterly blown away. I'll have to check it out again, but got to find time to fit it in inbetween all the stuff I haven't seen. I loved the frogs, though.

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It's been years since I've seen it, but I watched on home video (27 inch screen even) and was utterly blown away.

Was that your fist viewing experience with it? Perhaps a lot of the backlash is from folks like me who originally saw it and loved on the big screen, and are not all that impressed with the small screen viewing.

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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Hey, Pers. Look at the bright side. At least it wasn't as loooooooooong as Ikiru, right? Cuz I swear that film went on for weeks.

Ikiru was really long, but I still liked it. There Will be Blood was really really long, but I still liked it. Huh ... maybe there's just a little difference between, oh say, the clock speed of a 6 hour film starring a delightfully slow moving and speaking understated Takashi Shimura, and the clock speed of a 3 hour long film starring an abrupt and artificial overstated Tom Cruise.

As for Top 100 Spiritual Films, I'm on the fence about that. But that's not to say I couldn't find myself recommending it strongly for one of the satellite "Top Lists" that A&F is going to pursue.

I could get on board with that ... like if we made an A&F Top 25 films "best-demonstrating-Hollywood-superficiality-and-emo-pseudo-intellectualism-that-will-put-you-to-sleep-if-you-are-Charlene-or-Micky-Ward-but-that-you-absolutely-must-love-if-you-are-a-main-character-on-the-TV-show-Portlandia" list.

Waking Life and a couple Wes Anderson films might rank above it, but I'm still confident it could make the top 5.

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As for Top 100 Spiritual Films, I'm on the fence about that. But that's not to say I couldn't find myself recommending it strongly for one of the satellite "Top Lists" that A&F is going to pursue.

I could get on board with that ... like if we made an A&F Top 25 films "best-demonstrating-Hollywood-superficiality-and-emo-pseudo-intellectualism-that-will-put-you-to-sleep-if-you-are-Charlene-or-Micky-Ward-but-that-you-absolutely-must-love-if-you-are-a-main-character-on-the-TV-show-Portlandia" list.

:lol:

A slightly more serious list (but not much more, and a list that would be a few years down the road once the more serious ones are considered) that I had in mind would be Top 25 Films: Song Soundtracks. I do find myself listening to the Magnolia soundtrack quite a bit, even after 11 years.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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starring an abrupt and artificial overstated Tom Cruise.

Does this mean the acting was abrupt and artificial and overstated, or the character was? Honestly, I can't get on board with either of those thoughts. I have met people even in the past two months like him. Um, I don't ever want to meet the person I'm thinking of again.

Waking Life... might rank above it...

ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, guess I don't have anything to contribute there.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I mentioned this in one of the general Top 100 threads already, but before the next session of voting, I'm going to beg everyone to rewatch Magnolia.

A good idea. Remember that two years from now.

I could get on board with that ... like if we made an A&F Top 25 films "best-demonstrating-Hollywood-superficiality-and-emo-pseudo-intellectualism-that-will-put-you-to-sleep-if-you-are-Charlene-or-Micky-Ward-but-that-you-absolutely-must-love-if-you-are-a-main-character-on-the-TV-show-Portlandia" list.

biggrin.gif

FWIW, when I say I'd like to see MAGNOLIA given the boot from the list, it does not mean that I think MAGNOLIA is a bad film. 'Cause I don't. But while it's far from bad, it's also very, very flawed.

Edited by Ryan H.
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Heck, it just moved up in the list from 58 to 16 ... it moved from 58 to 16??? Yes, yes it did.

I mentioned this in one of the general Top 100 threads already, but before the next session of voting, I'm going to beg everyone to rewatch Magnolia. I liked parts of it when it was first released (the prologue, William H. Macy) and can understand what people see in it, but I tried to rewatch it recently for the first time in nearly a decade and couldn't make it past the first hour.

I echo this sentiment and request - I couldn't make it past 30 minutes when I tried it again recently, even trading in my DVD for a copy of Lost in Translation.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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