Author Topic: character groups in magnolia  (Read 3077 times)

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(kelvin)

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character groups in magnolia
« on: January 12, 2004, 08:41:07 AM »
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Please redirect me if this has been discussed before.

It has been a while since I last saw magnolia, but I recently thought of a question that had come to my mind after I had seen the movie in the theatre.

Anderson creates two groups of characters that are closely interrelated, yet the two groups never come in direct contact. Am I wrong or am I missing something?

There is the first group around the game show, and there is the second around Big Earl. Isn't he the procducer of the show? And in one scene, the girl (who will date the policeman) watches the game show. But are there, apart from that, any other relations? And if not, why is that so?

On a a sidenote: has anyone ever tried to analyze the little boys rap performance in the movie? I had the impression there might be the clue to the interrelation of both groups.

Forgive me if I said anythig stupid in this post, but understand that I'm not the greatest PTA expert.

ono

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Re: character groups in magnolia
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2004, 09:07:13 AM »
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Quote from: HALvin
Please redirect me if this has been discussed before.

It has been a while since I last saw magnolia, but I recently thought of a question that had come to my mind after I had seen the movie in the theatre.

Anderson creates two groups of characters that are closely interrelated, yet the two groups never come in direct contact. Am I wrong or am I missing something?

There is the first group around the game show, and there is the second around Big Earl. Isn't he the procducer of the show? And in one scene, the girl (who will date the policeman) watches the game show. But are there, apart from that, any other relations? And if not, why is that so?

On a a sidenote: has anyone ever tried to analyze the little boys rap performance in the movie? I had the impression there might be the clue to the interrelation of both groups.

Forgive me if I said anythig stupid in this post, but understand that I'm not the greatest PTA expert.

The girl (Claudia) is the game show host's daughter.  The whole cast is like one big chain of connections.  More like a tapestry, really.  Multiple threads woven together.

And yeah, people have analyzed the rap before.  Basically, if you listen to the rap closely, it sums up the whole movie for you.

Something like, "...if the sun don't shine, the good Lord bring the rain in."

Been awhile, I forget the exact quote.

EDIT: Found it.  http://www.mrcranky.com/movies/nuttyprofessor2/40/21.html

Quote
"...Ima teach you bout The Worm,
who eventually turned to catch wreck
with the neck of a long time oppressor And he's runnin' from the devil, but the debt is always gaining And if he's worth being hurt, he's worth bringin pain in When the sunshine don't work, the Good Lord bring the rain in."

Dixon is talking about his dad, Worm, here, but it also could refer to any of the characters in the film, oppressed, or being oppressed.  So there you have it.

(kelvin)

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character groups in magnolia
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2004, 09:29:13 AM »
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but where is the connection between the group around claudia (the game show group) and big earl?

but thanks for the information!

cron

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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2004, 10:10:31 AM »
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Big Earl Partridge is the producer of the Kids Show ("What do Kids Know?").    Jimmy Gator hosts the show.  Claudia Gator is his daughter.  Simple as that.
context, context, context.

(kelvin)

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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2004, 10:26:30 AM »
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Yes, I noticed that. It's a bit simple, isn't it? Like I said, there is no direct contact, the two groups never meet in the film. That was my question: why do they not meet? Seems that PTA just had to connect them in one way or another, so he made Earl the producer of the series. That could have been done better.

ono

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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2004, 10:28:22 AM »
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Quote from: HALvin
but where is the connection between the group around claudia (the game show group) and big earl?

The movie really centers around Claudia.  That is, PTA designed it around her.  A visual aid is in order.

Class dismissed.

(kelvin)

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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2004, 10:35:57 AM »
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I'm sorry if I don't get that clear:

Group 1

phil, linda, earl, mackey

Group 2

jimmy, claudia, donnie, jim, stanley et al.

The ONLY limk between them is earl who produces the series. That is quite a weak link. This is a far-away acquaintance. You could as well use the same hairdresser as a link. It's an alibi-link.

phil marlowe

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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2004, 10:38:13 AM »
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think of the themes man

cron

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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2004, 10:48:38 AM »
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yes... Do you wanted another interjected movie where  a character gets the stash at the ending?  I can imagine that-  Bill Macy getting lucky  at the ending  while Smash Mouth's  "All-Star"  plays.
context, context, context.

ono

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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2004, 12:45:49 PM »
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Quote from: HALvin
I'm sorry if I don't get that clear:

Group 1

phil, linda, earl, mackey

Group 2

jimmy, claudia, donnie, jim, stanley et al.

The ONLY limk between them is earl who produces the series. That is quite a weak link. This is a far-away acquaintance. You could as well use the same hairdresser as a link. It's an alibi-link.

Not true.  Look at the diagram.  The major link, besides Big Earl, is that between Wiz Kid Donnie Smith and Officer Jim Kurring.  And now think about the movie, and its themes.  How poignant is this, that there's this element of coincidence and chance here, and these two groups, as you put it, come together through Donnie and Jim.  Jim helps Donnie in a time of need and encourages him to do the right thing.  That's what the movie is about.  What would have been awkward and clunky and unbelievable is if PTA constantly had all these people crossing paths.  It's what we were led to believe this movie was going to be about at first, yes, but how believable is that, really, unless it's some high school melodrama?

Sleepless

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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2004, 12:48:54 PM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
Quote from: HALvin
but where is the connection between the group around claudia (the game show group) and big earl?

The movie really centers around Claudia.  That is, PTA designed it around her.  A visual aid is in order.

Class dismissed.


Quiz kid Donnie Smith.

(kelvin)

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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2004, 01:01:26 PM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
Quote from: HALvin
I'm sorry if I don't get that clear:

Group 1

phil, linda, earl, mackey

Group 2

jimmy, claudia, donnie, jim, stanley et al.

The ONLY limk between them is earl who produces the series. That is quite a weak link. This is a far-away acquaintance. You could as well use the same hairdresser as a link. It's an alibi-link.

Not true.  Look at the diagram.  The major link, besides Big Earl, is that between Wiz Kid Donnie Smith and Officer Jim Kurring.  And now think about the movie, and its themes.  How poignant is this, that there's this element of coincidence and chance here, and these two groups, as you put it, come together through Donnie and Jim.  Jim helps Donnie in a time of need and encourages him to do the right thing.  That's what the movie is about.  What would have been awkward and clunky and unbelievable is if PTA constantly had all these people crossing paths.  It's what we were led to believe this movie was going to be about at first, yes, but how believable is that, really, unless it's some high school melodrama?


Ah, I see. I'm sorry, I'm awfully tired today, I didn't notice it. Yet (I have to insist), the link between Donnie and Earl is on the same superficial level. He was a candidate in a show that Earl produced years ago. I really see a weak point in the script here. PTA had two storylines, but he didn't know how to connect them. Note that Earl's status as a producer is never ever mentioned. I think you only notice it in the credits of the TV show.

That's a very cheap solution,  I'd say.

And do you really think the film is about the two different groups connected through Jim and Donnie, the first helping the other? I don't agree on that point, I have to say.  I don't know if the film has any special meaning whatsoever and I think it doesn't need any. I would accept the the idea of the past repercussing (does that word exist in English?) on the present as a synoptical description.

ono

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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2004, 01:26:58 PM »
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Quote from: Sleepless
Quiz kid Donnie Smith.

My mistake.

And well, I don't think PTA was too concerned about trying to connect the two storylines.  In the That Moment diary, he says it's one story, nine characters, when they're all telling him it's nine different stories.  Me, I look at the big picture.  I look at it as the story of the day, not the people.  What happens on that day, and how all these people are struggling, and just when you think things couldn't get any worse, the fit hits the shan, so to speak.  Any deep meaning that you find is what you read into it.

Two final things I have to say are, Kurring is the glue that holds this film together even though Claudia was who the film was built around, and I think the best way to look at the film and understand it is to realize why PTA wrote it.  Thinking of it all as a eulogy for Ernie Anderson, everything as far as meaning goes becomes crystal clear.  And then, one can finally understand why all the emotion in the film resonates so clearly and truly.

(kelvin)

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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2004, 02:04:21 PM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
And then, one can finally understand why all the emotion in the film resonates so clearly and truly.


Well, I truly agree on that!

Ernie

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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2004, 06:48:33 PM »
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Quote from: HALvin
Yes, I noticed that. It's a bit simple, isn't it? Like I said, there is no direct contact, the two groups never meet in the film. That was my question: why do they not meet? Seems that PTA just had to connect them in one way or another, so he made Earl the producer of the series. That could have been done better.


I don't know, I kinda like how he's the big link (talking about Earl), it's nice and simple and cohesive. Just a single link between this huge storyline. That's how I always describe the movie to people who have no previous knowledge of it - just a story about an adults versus kids game show and 9 people connected to it. It's more complex than that of course but it's a nice one sentence summary. It's very simple to understand that basis.

 

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