Sunday, June 05, 2005


I've been watching this[^]. Long movie - over 3 hours if you count the credits. I do; I watch the credits on most movies.

Given that we're going on another family outing tomorrow I wouldn't, ordinarily, have had the time to watch such a long movie and write about it (it's 2:50 AM) but this weekend just happens to be PBS 'bore the public stupid by running The Grateful Dead Movie[^] movie for the 700th time whilst interrupting every 7 minutes with a talking head pleading for money' weekend. I dunno why they don't just fork out a bit of government cash instead. It'd be cheaper than running a war in Iraq. Be that as it may, I missed my fix of British Comedy this week. British Comedy is rare enough as it is here in Phoenix - just 1 hour of it a week. In lieu of British Comedy I chose Magnolia.

A few people I know don't particularly like Magnolia as a movie. That's ok with me. There are movies we both like; movies they like that I don't; and movies I like that they don't.

I like Magnolia. A wonderfully mellifluous movie that mixes 9 or 10 different story lines and blurs the lines of demarcation between them. It just flows and it has a soundtrack that supports the flow instead of being merely noise to cover the awkward silences. Taken as music in and of itself the soundtrack isn't anything special but combine it with the visuals and it really works. The camera moves a lot - I reckon they must have worn out more than one Steadicam in the shooting!

The highlight, for me, is the extended sequence toward the end of the movie, where the soundtrack is a song who's name I don't know but the words go 'it's not going to stop', repeated over and over again. Each of the characters in the 9 or 10 overlapping story lines has reached a point of crisis and the view switches from character to character as they sing those lines.

And then we get the 'rain of frogs'. It's a reference to Exodus 8:2 (the number 82 appears throughout the movie) 'And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs.'. It's taken me a few viewings of the movie, and some thought, to realise just how apropos the verse is to the story at that point. Hint: it's the relationship between the cop and Donnie Smith the has-been quiz kid.

Highly recommended!

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