XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Paul Thomas Anderson => Topic started by: whisperer on November 26, 2003, 09:06:00 AM

Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: whisperer on November 26, 2003, 09:06:00 AM
hi, I'm new to the forum, I confess I only happened to know about it thanks to greg...
anyway, I'm writing my dissertation about pta, focusing on magnolia and boogie nights.
one part of my work is about the construction of meaning of his films, and I talk about the intention of the director, the importance of the music and the interpretation of the audience.
so, to what an extent do you feel free to interpete these films? do you think there's something specific that he leaves open to interpretation? do you think he uses rules of intepretation? do you feel like you're getting most of the other texts (books, movies, etc.) he refers to?
thanks everybody! it would be really interesting to have some feedbakc about it, because that's what I'm writing about!
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: neatahwanta on November 26, 2003, 10:04:49 AM
dissertation :?:
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: Ernie on November 26, 2003, 10:26:03 AM
I learned in this film study class I took last year (10th grade) that I really fucking hate "interpreting" or analyzing movies, I just like loving them I think. That's just me though.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: Pedro on November 26, 2003, 10:29:58 AM
I like analyzing literature a hell of a lot more than doing it with films, but i really dont mind inturpreting them.  anyway...wow...a dissertation on the works of paul thomas anderson.  that's someting else.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: cowboykurtis on November 26, 2003, 10:52:06 AM
my film teacher once told the class -- there has not been a good film made post 1979 -- he  lost everyones respet very quickly -- someone raised their hand and said "what about magnolia" -- he spent about 5 mintues explaining why magnolia was a peice of shit. he was a sad lonely man.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: SoNowThen on November 26, 2003, 11:13:01 AM
Quote from: ebeaman
I learned in this film study class I took last year (10th grade) that I really fucking hate "interpreting" or analyzing movies, I just like loving them I think. That's just me though.


This quote should be up on film school walls everywhere.


Great, great, great, Ebs!!!!
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: molly on November 26, 2003, 12:09:46 PM
Quote from: cowboykurtis
my film teacher once told the class -- there has not been a good film made post 1979 -- he  lost everyones respet very quickly -- someone raised their hand and said "what about magnolia" -- he spent about 5 mintues explaining why magnolia was a peice of shit. he was a sad lonely man.



Those people in/around movie industry are so lame and pathetic sometimes. I've also heard about some top list of films ever made, I think Citizen Kane is No1, and the rest are mostly old films, their authors
are either dead or too old. It's like film as a science or art is behaving in opposite way than everythig else in the nature. Or it's just small tank and too many sharks.
That's why I hate top lists of anything, because they are very personal and can't be taken as something serious and objective.
Also, many people who say that The Godfather1,2,3 is their favourite film watch films like Terminator, Rambo, Die Hard, fast and Furious...but are ashamed to say that those are their favourites.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: cowboykurtis on November 26, 2003, 12:42:51 PM
i can safely say my favorite films are jaws, its a wonderful life, the conversation, glengarry glenn ross, and the shining. i can say that without any doubts. im not a big fan of rambo, but the frist 2 terminators are quite wonderful. not a big fan of the 3rd one.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: md on November 26, 2003, 01:33:14 PM
booige nights is an encrypted autobiography...thats all im going to say
Title: Re: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: ębrad on November 26, 2003, 02:11:51 PM
Quote from: whisperer
hi, I'm new to the forum, I confess I only happened to know about it thanks to greg...
anyway, I'm writing my dissertation about pta, focusing on magnolia and boogie nights.
one part of my work is about the construction of meaning of his films, and I talk about the intention of the director, the importance of the music and the interpretation of the audience.
so, to what an extent do you feel free to interpete these films? do you think there's something specific that he leaves open to interpretation? do you think he uses rules of intepretation? do you feel like you're getting most of the other texts (books, movies, etc.) he refers to?
thanks everybody! it would be really interesting to have some feedbakc about it, because that's what I'm writing about!


first off, welcome whisperer.

i encourage you to scroll through the many many many threads in this pta section. we've exhausted every single topic that could possible be discussed about paul thomas anderson, from the frogs to clementine's loop. i'm sure mac or someone could redirect you to specific relevant threads. good luck!
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: whisperer on November 26, 2003, 03:57:14 PM
Quote from: ebeaman
I learned in this film study class I took last year (10th grade) that I really fucking hate "interpreting" or analyzing movies, I just like loving them I think. That's just me though.


yes, sometimes you end up by losing the magic of a film if you spend too much time thinking about it and ratonalizing every aspect of it.
however, maybe my question sounded a little bit solemn because english is not my mother tongue...instead of "interpretation", you could think in these terms: do you feel like you enjoyed watching pta films for the same reason that presumably pushed pta to make them?
okay. maybe now it sounds even worse... :shock:  :?
anyway, thanks everybody for any kind of feedback you give to my questions...even if you hate interpretation (may times I think people overinterpretate films, that is also why I am trying to find out what the audience think about it...)
Title: ps
Post by: whisperer on November 26, 2003, 04:10:23 PM
...basically, if you think that "interpretation" is too strong and implies an excessive use of rationality while you watch a film, just intend it as your unconscious reaction to the film...do you feel you like it for the "right" reason?
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: aclockworkjj on November 26, 2003, 07:06:42 PM
I have come to realize that the best essays (or papers) about film stem from one's personal opinions (or interpretations).  

why look for answers, when you can make your own?  just an idea.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: whisperer on November 27, 2003, 09:17:01 AM
Quote from: aclockworkjj
I have come to realize that the best essays (or papers) about film stem from one's personal opinions (or interpretations).  

why look for answers, when you can make your own?  just an idea.


I already have my personal opinion and my personal idea about it, but since I try to find out a more general thought it might be useful to have some feedback...
I'm not looking for an interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights, but to understand how aware the audience is of using connections with other films while watching magnolia and boogie nights...
I'm not looking for an answer, it's just a feedback to feel to what an extent what I'm writing is shared with other people...
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: ębrad on November 27, 2003, 09:33:16 AM
i'm often getting the feeling that ppl are ignoring me more and more around this place. r my posts written in invisible script or sumthing? grrrr...

whispererererer, if ur serious about interpretations, let me again redirect u:

Quote from: what ębrad
first off, welcome whisperer.

i encourage you to scroll through the many many many threads in this pta section. we've exhausted every single topic that could possible be discussed about paul thomas anderson, from the frogs to clementine's loop. i'm sure mac or someone could redirect you to specific relevant threads. good luck!
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: aclockworkjj on November 27, 2003, 09:39:55 AM
Quote from: whisperer
but to understand how aware the audience is of using connections with other films while watching magnolia and boogie nights...

shit, where to start is right....here (http://xixax.com/viewtopic.php?t=1623&start=0), here (http://xixax.com/viewtopic.php?t=1922&start=0), or maybe here (http://xixax.com/viewtopic.php?t=1127&start=0).

should be entertaining...if nothing else.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: whisperer on November 27, 2003, 09:42:27 AM
Quote from: ębrad
i'm often getting the feeling that ppl are ignoring me more and more around this place. r my posts written in invisible script or sumthing? grrrr...

whispererererer, if ur serious about interpretations, let me again redirect u:

Quote from: what ębrad
first off, welcome whisperer.

i encourage you to scroll through the many many many threads in this pta section. we've exhausted every single topic that could possible be discussed about paul thomas anderson, from the frogs to clementine's loop. i'm sure mac or someone could redirect you to specific relevant threads. good luck!


no...sorry, I wasn't ignoring you at all: in fact, it's what I'm doing, but I'm new so I'm just starting...
anyway, I wasn't looking for the interpretation of something specific, but for the process of interpretation in itself...
okay, now it looks like I'm here just to annoy people  :lol:
it's just that it's quite difficult to explain what my question is about...
I hope I'm becoming clearer... :-D
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: whisperer on November 27, 2003, 09:45:36 AM
Quote from: aclockworkjj
Quote from: whisperer
but to understand how aware the audience is of using connections with other films while watching magnolia and boogie nights...

shit, where to start is right....here (http://xixax.com/viewtopic.php?t=1623&start=0), here (http://xixax.com/viewtopic.php?t=1922&start=0), or maybe here (http://xixax.com/viewtopic.php?t=1127&start=0).

should be entertaining...if nothing else.


thanks
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: aclockworkjj on November 27, 2003, 10:59:13 AM
Quote from: whisperer
thanks

yeah...that 1st one sorta turns ugly, sorry...I didn't realize it.  But really if you just hop around, there will be good (mixed in with some crap) content in just about anything.  There's a lot more on pdl i think than the others...but even there, some of the same references can be made.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: whisperer on November 27, 2003, 11:03:46 AM
basically, my idea is that pta makes multilayered movies and we have differnet kind of enjoyment depending on how much we get from the intertextuality in them...
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: rustinglass on November 27, 2003, 11:55:50 AM
Quote from: cowboykurtis
my film teacher once told the class -- there has not been a good film made post 1979 -- he  lost everyones respet very quickly -- someone raised their hand and said "what about magnolia" -- he spent about 5 mintues explaining why magnolia was a peice of shit. he was a sad lonely man.



what did he say?
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: The Silver Bullet on November 28, 2003, 02:42:23 AM
Quote from: rustinglass
what did he say?

"I'm a twat who you shouldn't listen to. Blah, blah, blah. Kill me."
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: whisperer on December 02, 2003, 05:16:18 AM
Quote from: cowboykurtis
my film teacher once told the class -- there has not been a good film made post 1979 -- he  lost everyones respet very quickly -- someone raised their hand and said "what about magnolia" -- he spent about 5 mintues explaining why magnolia was a peice of shit. he was a sad lonely man.


the only reason I could see to say something like that is that postmodern films feature lots of refernces to old ones: traditionalist film teachers don't understand that mixing all these references together doesn't correspond to a lack of original ideas, but to a whole original and new concept of creation...
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: analogzombie on December 07, 2003, 02:17:13 AM
there is nothing wrong with analyzing or interpreting film, art or music. taste is subjective but some works are good and some are not. the ability to intelligently critique film/art/music is a great one to have and develop.

anyway about Magnolia and Boogie Nights.

I think the overriding theme of these works, and this is a bit obvious, is punishment. Righteous punishment. but not brutal punishment. you reap what you sow sort of thing, but there is always hope, the indominable spirit of man or some junk like that. Especially in Magnolia, all the characters reap the punishment that their faults/sins bring upon them. But they are all ultimately worthy or redemption.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: coffeebeetle on December 07, 2003, 11:02:17 AM
Most of them, anyway.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: Pubrick on December 07, 2003, 11:49:08 AM
from the In His Mind thread, discussing the mothers..
Quote from: P
i think it's his relationship to his family in general. hard eight was clearly a father oriented picture, but in boogie nights u start to see a unique and touching martriarchal depiction. lost souls in need of a family, and it has a dream ending of them all living together.

isn't it interesting then that mothers are so absent in magnolia, Stanley and his single father, donnie who was betrayed by his own parents (one can assume his mother sided with his father in pursuit of financial gain like stanley's father), claudia was also abandoned by her mother (she also stuck with her husband despite her strong suspicions), Frank's tragic loss of his mother was also caused by a father's self-absorption. Marcy is a ho as the movie opens (according the police report), and finally Jim Kurring who is special because his mother is never adressed, what is referred to is his wife who died.. it is clear that he is a man-child like Barry Egan, and his relationship to his wife would hav been a similar one to the motherly bond Lena provides in PDL.

hard eight ends with sydney being kind and helpful to his adopted son, everything he does is to balance the burden this kid feels (help his mother out, no father figure, alone), it's a redemption story in the purest sense. redemption through establishment of familial bonds.

the same thing happens in boogie nights, on a grander scale. jack's house is a zion for lost souls, where the queen is Amber. don't be mistaken, the place is patriarchal to the extreme, it's all about dirk's dick after all. but look at the alternative offered to dirk, one where there is a weak father and an overbearing (possibly psychotic) mother. in the end amber suffers silently, and we can't imagine her depth. however we can be sure that this happy ending of sorts is not permanent, we know AIDS was just around the corner, and everyone dies alone.

which is how Magnolia begins, and ends in a way. the individual storylines do not end in a group gangbang, instead each connection made can be traced to the overall hunk of love that connects them all. that which defines us, which is so beyond comprehension it's no wonder we feel alone: the loss of time, life, and love. this is what is given by each character to another (jim kurring becomes donnie's brother, claudia gets a mother, stanley gets sum motherly tenderness out of his dad). in the end i think everyone is still alone, but they hav made a connection.

PDL is like the atomic principle of all previous films, which would explain Barry's unstable nature. the great thing now is, like myself while writing this long post, PTA is looking for ways to not repeat himself. he tackled familial redemption so well already that he sees the only way to go is down, to the threshold of what defines his films and his own past. one lonely guy trying to transcend his roots. this justifies the lena-alien theory, especially because to create a new life for urself u need to find sumthing which, well, creates life. and that's what mothers do, that's the kind of love that barry needs. it's incredibly poignant that the film ends at the exact moment everything is about to change.

i conclude with my belief that it's not exactly a question of what's in his mind, but in his soul.
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: Sleepless on December 08, 2003, 05:50:24 AM
Quote from: The Silver Bullet
Quote from: rustinglass
what did he say?

"I'm a twat who you shouldn't listen to. Blah, blah, blah. Kill me."


You've really just made me laugh, thanks :-D
Title: Re: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: molly on December 10, 2003, 02:14:18 PM
Quote from: whisperer
one part of my work is about the construction of meaning of his films, and I talk about the intention of the director, the importance of the music and the interpretation of the audience.
so, to what an extent do you feel free to interpete these films? do you think there's something specific that he leaves open to interpretation? do you think he uses rules of intepretation? do you feel like you're getting most of the other texts (books, movies, etc.) he refers to?
thanks everybody! it would be really interesting to have some feedbakc about it, because that's what I'm writing about!


Quote
Abstraction. A form of mental activity by which a conscious content is freed from its association with irrelevant elements, similar to the process of differentiation. (Compare empathy.)

Abstraction is an activity pertaining to the psychological functions in general. There is an abstract thinking, just as there is abstract feeling, sensation, and intuition. Abstract thinking singles out the rational, logical qualities of a given content from its intellectually irrelevant components. Abstract feeling does the same with a content characterized by its feeling-values . . . . Abstract sensation would be aesthetic as opposed to sensuous sensation, and abstract intuition would be symbolic as opposed to fantastic intuition.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 678.]

Jung related abstraction to introversion (analogous to empathy and extraversion).

I visualize the process of abstraction as a withdrawal of libido from the object, as a backflow of value from the object into a subjective, abstract content. For me, therefore, abstraction amounts to an energic devaluation of the object. In other words, abstraction is an introverting movement of libido.[Ibid., par. 679.]

To the extent that its purpose is to break the object's hold on the subject, abstraction is an attempt to rise above the primitive state of participation mystique.


I think people are trying to guess the meaning by searching in their mind for things they have stored already (events, books, other films,different opinions...). They search for similarities between the thing they research and things for which they already  have all informations. In that way they add the meaning to the thing they research. It's a mental ricochet(i'm not sure I used the right word).
I mentioned that those colors in PDL reminded me of the song True Colors. The process was maybe facilitated because a few years ago there was a TV commercial for wall paint with this song playing.
Poking on your mind is not a pleasant process many times, it requires an open mind(subconscious) and people are trying to avoid that. This is why so called artfilms don't do much cash. This is why (probably) people reacted like they reacted to PDL. It struck a painfull spot. PDL was more demanding than Magnolia, in my opinion.
Title: Re: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: whisperer on December 11, 2003, 11:12:33 AM
Quote from: molly

Poking on your mind is not a pleasant process many times, it requires an open mind(subconscious) and people are trying to avoid that. This is why so called artfilms don't do much cash. This is why (probably) people reacted like they reacted to PDL. It struck a painfull spot. PDL was more demanding than Magnolia, in my opinion.


yes, I think the same about PDL and magnolia. it was not more demandige on the surface, in terms of structure it looked like a straight forward comedy, but this was because the intertextuality was less explicit.
one thing that always intrigued me is the difference in between what the viewers get and what the author wanted to say...also, an interesting thing to consider is what the soundtrack told to pta before or while he was writing and what it communicates now, associated with the images...
Title: interpretation of magnolia and boogie nights
Post by: TheVoiceOfNick on December 11, 2003, 03:07:04 PM
Ok, here's my interpretation of the "interpretation" question...

As an audience member, I like being able to relate to characters in some way or another... if there character has characteristics that remind me of myself or of things I like, then i'll be more likely to relate to that character.  I think most people could agree that at some point in their lives they wanted to be big stars... or at least thought about the possibility of what would happen if they were big stars.  This is something that draws me into Dirk Diggler... he was a nobody... a kid with very little going for him... a shy kid who busses tables... a nice kid.  He had a dream of being a big star... he knew of one obvious way of becoming a big star... by using a god-given gift that he's had his whole life... and to use it he didn't need anymore education, any real connections, or really anything else... he knew he had the gift... he just had to know where to use it.  I can relate because i've seen all of those entertainment news shows... when they interview an actor who "this time last year was working at a paint store" or "washing cars" or "living on the street"... you hear the story, and you think "wow, if they can do it, so can i!"... i almost look at relatable characters a inspiration... this is why i like Keanu Reeves... he's such a bad actor, that if he could make it big, so can I!  

Anyways... I think this is what you were going for in your original question...